The site on which Bobby Mackey’s now stands served as a slaughter house for 40 years in the 1800’s. It was torn down at some point and replaced with an entertainment venue that went through various incarnations and names before it was bought by country musician Bobby Mackey in 1978 and turned into Bobby Mackey’s Music World.
Today you can enjoy live music, dancing, and drinks, as well as pool tables, mechanical bull rides, line dancing, karaoke, and ghost tours.
Perhaps due to its association with the blood of the slaughter house or its proximity to the rarity of the north flowing Licking River, the site on which this honky tonk now stands has a long history of sordid, gruesome, spooky, and downright evil tales and events. The stories go beyond murder and suicide and the ghosts of the deceased and also talk of satanic worship, sacrifices, curses, demonic possession and attempted exorcism. It is even alleged that Bobby Mackey’s sits atop a well that is in fact a gateway to hell itself. Much of the terror and history is documented in the book Hell’s Gate: Terror at Bobby Mackey’s Music World by Douglas Hensley and countless articles and television productions.
Unexplained activities reported by visitors and employees include the apparitions of the headless murder victim Pearl Bryan and of her two convicted murderers. Also frequently seen is the figure of the young cabaret dancer Johana who killed herself and her mobster father on the premises in the 1930’s after her father murdered her lover, a club singer named Robert Randall.Witnesses often report the strong smell of rose perfume before paranormal activities are noticed. In addition to the visions of ghosts, these activities include flashing lights, moving objects, mysterious shoving, voices, deep chills, the jukebox suddenly playing songs from the 30’s (that aren’t even loaded in it) and most disturbingly… spiritual possession.
Address: 44 Licking Pike, Wilder, Kentucky 41071
Phone: (859) 431-5588
Tours and Events
Bobby Mackey’s holds scheduled tours every weekend and by reservation on weekdays. In addition, they will accommodate private investigations for a fee. Check their website for current information and rates.
- Bobby Mackey’s Website
- Hell’s Gate: Terror at Bobby Mackey’s Music World
- Haunted Places: The National Directory: Ghostly Abodes, Sacred Sites, UFO Landings and Other Supernatural Locations
- You can read about this and many more haunted places open to the public in The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide: Over 1000 Haunted Places You Can experience
Special thanks to Lewis of the Southern Spirit Guide for providing information about Bobby Mackey’s Music World.