Bobby Mackey's Music World. The mere utterance of the name is enough to trigger many of the people who've visited "the most haunted nightclub in America."
Located in Winder, Kentucky, the place (which was originally meant to be a slaughterhouse; a surefire method for opening a gateway to Hell) has worn many faces since it was built in the 1850s. From a hotel, to a casino, to good ol' Bobby Mackey's nightclub, there was even a period when, while abandoned, the site was used for vile purposes.
Based on pictures alone, you might not think the sleepy little club was a portal to Hell. It looks so innocent... a little small-town bar made for lovers of country-and-western. Nothin' to it, right? Well, there are tons of folks who'd disagree wholeheartedly.
Pictured above is what happened to Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures while investigating Bobby Mackey's place.
A patron of the bar once claimed he felt like he was suffocating while a trashcan was thrown around the room. Allegedly, an apparition of a man with a handlebar mustache appeared screaming "Die game! Die game!" which is Latin for "well dying." This cryptic message might refer to the well in the basement that sacrificed bodies were dumped into.
Even Bobby's wife won't set foot in the place after she was grabbed around the waist, lifted, and thrown down the stairs by an apparition that screamed, "get out!" repeatedly.
A former caretaker of the grounds was said to have become possessed by a demon, and later had to be exorcised.
Regardless of their reasons for entering the club, it seems like pretty much everyone who steps foot in Bobby Mackey's ends up with a creepy story of their own. Check out a few choice selections from an eclectic mix of visitors:
"I was locking up after a tour, which happened to be pretty quiet that evening, and all of a sudden, I hear what sounds like all the windows and door shaking violently. You could actually feel the walls and the floors shaking. It was pretty creepy, so I stuck my head out the door and no one was there." – Laura Roland, Gatekeeper Paranormal
"I had a friend who went one day. I wasn't there, but he told me about his experiences. He said as soon as he walked in there was a sign telling about the paranormal events that have happened, kind of a disclaimer. He told me while he was reading it he started to feel real weird and he was just staring at it. He heard voices that he couldn't make out just drowning out the surrounding sounds. He said he couldn't go anywhere, as he felt like he was being watched.
When he came back he was a different person for weeks, always angry and snippy, everyone could tell there was something off. He started to self harm too, which is when we all knew he needed help. He's fine now, but promises never to return." — Doctorman817
"I'd double check at the end of the night and make sure that everything was turned off. Then I'd come back down hours later and the bar lights would be on. The front doors would be unlocked, when I knew that I'd locked them. The jukebox would be playing the 'Anniversary Waltz' even though I'd unplugged it and the power was turned off." — Carl Lawson, former employee
For my 30th birthday, my wife got some of my friends together and did a Bobby Mackey's overnight [tour]. We all had a blast and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I [saw] a black figure peeking around a corner when I was in the attic by myself. I spent a lot of time solo on the investigation. I know I saw a figure upstairs in the old caretaker's room behind the bar. When I called out, 'I see you,' it moved and I thought it was going to move from behind the bar but it didn't. I stayed up there for a few moments longer but then I got a feeling of dread and went back downstairs to join my group. I found an old film strip in the basement of a girl screaming (8mm film probably 4 or 5 frames), [and] after I took it home as a souvenir from BM, I couldn't sleep for days. I would be up all night and felt like something was watching me. After a few nights, I threw the film out and the feeling was gone. Idk if something latched on to it or if it was just psychological, but [there] was a weird vibe in my house." — CaptHotPantz
It's a little surprising to find a Hard Rock Cafe in the middle of rural Kentucky, especially since the building isn't even near the interstate. Yet that's exactly what happened the day the ex-slaughterhouse, ex-mob-casino, reopened as the ubiquitous, rock-themed chain's newest location.
Unfortunately, the kitschy restaurant didn't stay in business for that long. Apparently, some folks got a little too raucously excited over the faux memorabilia and decided to pull guns. After a slew of fatal shootings, the Hard Rock was shut down.
This place has one Hell of a body count.
From the 1930s to the 1950s, gangsters used the building to house a casino. The owner of the club, who was himself a mobster, had a daughter named Johanna.
At one point, Johanna, who was also a dancer at the club, fell madly in love with Robert Randall, one of the more popular singers. Once it was discovered that she was pregnant, her father had his daughter's lover hanged in the nightclub's dressing room.
Unable to recover from the tragedy, Johanna allegedly killed herself by swallowing poison.
In what can only be described as a horrid coincidence, the current owner of the club shares Johanna's lover's name. Robert Randall Mackey, or "Bobby" Mackey. Say whaaaat?
Here's Bobby Mackey himself telling the tale through a song he wrote, aptly titled "Johanna."
Way back in the thirties, in the little town of Wilder
Lived an old man and his lovely little daughter.
They ran gambling for a living.
It was the best place around.
All the men would come and lay their money down.
Her daddy was a jealous man,
But Johanna fell in love.
He kept saying the man dealt a bad hand,
So deep in the night when all the world is quiet
Someone came and took her lover's life.
Johanna, Johanna where are you now?
Could it be you're still here somehow?
Johanna, Johanna where are you now?
Is it true, you're still here somehow?