Ghosts of Memphis

Inside the empty bar of Earnestine & Hazel's

Matt Lucht / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Flickr

Tennessee is home to tons of haunted places including Memphis and the Mid-South. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, such stories can be entertaining. There are plenty of scary places in Memphis that you can visit for fun or historical interest. 

Here are the top 11 most haunted places in Memphis. These stories are not presented as fact, but rather as the legends that they are. You will have to decide for yourself if these Memphis ghost stories are true or not.

Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery

Located in Atoka the Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery is infamous for its paranormal activity and is known as one of Tennessee's haunted places. Visitors to the old cemetery (which was established in the 1850s) report encountering unfriendly spirits such as long-dead criminals, ferocious beasts, and even the ghosts of malicious children. Even folks who do not believe in ghosts claim to have encounter wild animals in the cemetery late at night.

Blackwell House

The Blackwell House is a Victorian home located on Sycamore View Road in Bartlett, and it may be the only haunted house in the city. Legend has it that the wife of the original owner, Nicholas Blackwell, died just two nights after moving into the house. According to the story, subsequent residents have not been able to stay in the home for any length of time because the home is now haunted by the ghosts of both Blackwells -- two spirits who are frequently roaming through the house, wearing their Sunday best.

John Willard Brister Library

Is the University of Memphis haunted? One Memphis ghost story seems to say that it is. The Brister Library is the former library building at The University of Memphis. Legend has it that many years ago, a student was attacked and murdered inside the library. The murderer was never caught. The spirit of the student is said to still roam around the building, screaming for help.

Earnestine and Hazel's

It is unclear just who haunts Earnestine and Hazel's, the dilapidated bar in downtown Memphis. But with its history (it once housed a brothel upstairs!), it comes as no surprise that the bar is haunted. The jukebox reportedly plays on its own and ghostly figures have been spotted in the bar. If you are crossing off your list of haunted places in Tennessee, Earnestine & Hazel's is must-visit. VICE even called Earnestine & Hazel's "the most haunted bar in America." The ghosts don't scare away patrons, however, and locals visit nightly. The burgers are a must.

Ornamental Metal Museum

The Ornamental Metal Museum is located in and on the grounds of Memphis' old Marine Hospital, one of the spookiest, scariest places in Memphis. The basement of the museum's main building, in fact, was originally the hospital's morgue. The morgue saw thousands of yellow fever victims during the city's epidemic and the ghosts of some of those victims reportedly haunt the area today. It's not legal to break in and tour the Memphis old Marine hospital, but on rare occasions, it has been open for tours.

Orpheum Theatre

Probably Memphis' most famous ghost, Mary is the ghost of a little girl that was killed when she was hit by a trolley outside the Orpheum. Though she is known to play childish pranks in the theater (opening doors, laughing out loud, etc.), she is most frequently spotted in her favorite seat, C-5. In addition to Mary, paranormal investigators believe that there are as many as six other spirits residing in the Orpheum Theatre, making this downtown building one of the most haunted places in Tennessee. Friends of the Orpheum Theater have staged ghost tours in the past. Call the theater to see if there are any coming up during your visit.

Overton Park's Haunted Lake

Legend says that in the 1960s the body of a young woman who had been stabbed to death was found floating in the lake at Overton Park. The woman was said to have been wearing a blue dress. Since then, numerous people have reported seeing an apparition in a blue dress rising up out of the lake.

Salem Presbyterian Church Cemetery

Another cemetery in Atoka, this one is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of Native Americans and slaves who were literally dumped into a mass grave in one section of the property. Today, a lone marker designates the grave area. In addition, there are many others buried in the cemetery, each in his own plot and with his own marker. Those who claim to have encountered ghosts in this cemetery describe the spirits as angry and even malicious.

Voodoo Village

Voodoo Village is located on Mary Angela Road in southwest Memphis. According to residents, the area is home to St. Paul's Spiritual Temple and is enclosed in a huge iron fence. But the legend suggests that something other than church services is taking place there. Reports of sacrificial offerings, black magic, and the walking dead suggest that Voodoo Village is ripe with supernatural activity.

Woodruff Fontaine House

There is one room in this historic home in Memphis' Victorian Village that is purported to be haunted. Molly Woodruff Henning is said to inhabit The Rose Room, though she occasionally wanders throughout the rest of the house. A seemingly friendly spirit, Molly reportedly once instructed museum staff on the correct placement of the furniture in her former bedroom. The museum stages regular ghost tours as well as a ghost hunt where you put on gear and look for ghosts with specialists. Get your tickets at this website.

Elmwood Cemetery

This cemetery seems picturesque and peaceful with its aging monuments, towering trees, and rolling hills. However, with so much history - it's the resting place for important politicians, Civil War soldiers, as well as graves of unknown Yellow Fever Epidemic victims - it's not hard to believe there's something supernatural happening there. The cemetery stages regular walking tours, where you can learn more about the history. Get the schedule here.