EDITOR’S NOTE: While this article has timely information on restrictions and hours due to COVID-19, protocols can change quickly. Before you start planning a visit, please keep in mind that these destinations’ hours and operations may be abbreviated or amended, so confirm the information presented here and that they are open before you go.
Yes, there are hayrides, fall festivals and pumpkin patches — but for all you lovers of things creepy, paranormal and even terrifying, we’ve got the list for you. You’ve probably heard of these places and maybe even been to some of these landmarks, but did you know they were “haunted”? Read for yourself, and see if you think these local spots are haunted or if it’s just hallucinations.
8 Haunted Memphis Landmarks
Earnestine & Hazel’s
531 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 523-9754
Hours: Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
Earnestine & Hazel’s has a reputation for being one of the most haunted buildings — even in the United States. With its own haunted jukebox, a number of wandering ghosts and customers even being touched, there’s no doubt this place has serious creepy vibes. The former Memphis brothel is most famous for its jukebox that randomly plays on its own. The occasional customer experiences the jukebox playing the sound they were in the process of requesting before they even put their money in. It’s also been known to turn on randomly even when it isn’t plugged in. Some even say it picks up on your conversation and plays something related.
203 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 525-3000
Box Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is believed the Orpheum Theatre is haunted by Mary, a little girl who was killed outside of the theater when she was hit by a trolley in 1921. She is sometimes spotted during performances, especially those with children. The Orpheum even saves the seat C5 just for Mary. Aside from performing on stage during shows, she has also been known to slam doors and flick the lights off and on.
374 Metal Museum Drive, Memphis, TN 38106 • (901) 774- 6380
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; seniors (62+), $6; military and student discounts, $5; children (ages 5 to 17), $4
The National Ornamental Metal Museum served as a Marine hospital in the 1800s. Afterward, it served as a Civil War hospital, as well as sleeping quarters for nurses, doctors and soldiers. One of these buildings even had a morgue and a body chute in the basement, which is one of the most haunted places on the property. After the building was renovated in 1979, it seems to have “stirred up” the spirits. Now visitors say they can hear voices of the medical staff and marines and feel like they are constantly being watched.
The Lorraine Motel
National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 521-9699
Hours: Monday, Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Tuesday and Sunday
Admission: Adults, $17; seniors (55+), $15; children (ages 5 to 17), $14; children under 4 are free
The hot tourist spot, The Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination occurred, is said to be haunted, but we aren’t sure by whom. The motel has not been touched since the day of the assassination and is part of the National Civil Rights Museum. And the definition of “not been touched” means cigarette butts are still in the ashtray, bedsheets are still wrinkled and messy, and Dr. King’s car is still in its parking spot. Many visitors say they get uncomfortable in the hotel, especially where Martin Luther King died. Do you think it’s Dr. King’s ghost haunting visitors?
Everyone knows Graceland, the home of “The King,” Elvis Presley. The building preserves his memory, and maybe even something more. More than half a million visitors visit Graceland every year, and a significant chunk of these visitors have claimed to see Elvis wandering around the building. They say he is seen gazing down from one of the windows, watching people enter his once home. Some even say they get him on camera because the images turn out very blurry.
4554-4562 Mary Angela Road, Memphis, TN 38109 • (561) 705-5675
Most Memphians know Voodoo Village. Inhabited by people who practice African Voodoo, Native American Spiritualism and even Freemasonic rituals, this village is the heart of Memphis Voodoo culture. There are many rumors of weird things happening in this neighborhood, and some are linked to voodoo rituals and some are even supposedly paranormal. Although there is little to no evidence — because cameras aren’t allowed — those who have visited can tell you this place is pretty creepy.
680 Adams Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105 • (901) 526-1469
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors (65+), $12; children (6+), $10
The Woodruff-Fontaine House is used as a party and wedding venue, but most people don’t know it’s one of Memphis’ most haunted buildings. The story behind the house is one that features Mollie, daughter of homeowner Amos Woodruff. Tragedies quickly befell Mollie’s life, first being her son, who was born and died on the same day. Two months later, her husband was injured in a boating accident and then came down with pneumonia, eventually dying from inhaling too much water from the boating accident. Mollie is often seen sitting on her bed and then quickly disappears, leaving imprints on her comforter. Visitors also say they smell a woman’s perfume and have encountered several other spirits here.
The Pontotoc Hotel
69 East Pontotoc Avenue, Memphis, TN, 38103
The Pontotoc Hotel was a moving and grooving place in the 1920s. Today, the building is boarded up and assumed to be abandoned, but what most don’t know is there’s a family who actually lives in this so-called “abandoned” building, inhabiting the first floor. However, the second floor remains empty because they say the spirits do what they can to deny any renovations to keep the hotel the exact way it is. The Davis family, who has lived on the first floor for more than 30 years, say the spirits are very friendly. The story behind the hotel is one of a manager of the boarding home who was drunk one night and made lots of disturbance, then residents woke up to the smell of burning from the basement, only to find out the manager was burned to death inside the boiler. Creepy, indeed.
Do you think these historic Memphis places are haunted, or is it just a bunch of hallucinations? Maybe you will have to discover for yourself. Have a spooky Halloween!
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