Bobby Mackey's Music World
Bobby Mackey's Music World is a nightclub and honky tonk located in Wilder, Kentucky, United States owned by country singer Bobby Mackey. Urban legends claim the nightclub is the site of hauntings, murders, and suicides, however no credible evidence exists for such claims.
Promoted in popular culture as "the most haunted night club in America", Mackey claims the site was originally used as a slaughterhouse in the early 19th century and later torn down for construction of a roadhouse that took on various names, such as The Brisbane, until he purchased it in 1978. Various urban legends and modern folklore claim that the site features a "gateway to hell" and is haunted by spirits including Pearl Bryan, whose corpse was found in a field 2.5 miles from the site in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Other legends claim Bryan's murderers were Satanists who cursed the location and vowed to haunt everyone involved in prosecuting the case. There is also a legend that claims a pregnant dancer named "Johanna" committed suicide with poison in the 1950s after her father murdered her lover Robert Randall, a singer at the club, by hanging him in the dressing room.
Investigations have failed to find public records of any such events, and research into property records, newspapers, and court files has failed to substantiate claims made regarding the history of the location. No connection between Bobby Mackey's and the Pearl Bryan murder has ever been established. According to science writer Sharon A. Hill, the nightclub is often publicized with tales of murders, curses, and hauntings, however "the current circulated legend has obviously enhanced and accrued additional details in the retelling over some 30+ years". Hill states that claims of supernatural activity and a "portal to hell" are completely unsubstantiated.
- On December 13, 1991, Mackey, his wife Janet, and caretaker Carl Lawson were guests on The Jerry Springer Show.
- On October 30, 1992, Mackey, his wife Janet, Lawson and others were guests on Geraldo.
- A 1995 UPN special, Real Ghosts aka Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories, featured interviews with the Mackeys.
- A 2006 episode of the National Geographic Channel's documentary series Is It Real? featured the nightclub.
- The 2006 Discovery Channel's docudrama series A Haunting featured the nightclub.
- The 2008 premiere episode of the Travel Channel's ghost-hunting series Ghost Adventures featured interviews with former caretaker Carl Lawson, and author Douglas Hensley. The network later released a 3-part web series called Return to Bobby Mackey's, and the nightclub was featured again on the program in late 2010.
- On October 9, 2009, the nightclub was featured on Travel Channel's Most Terrifying Places in America.
- On November 16, 2011, the nightclub was featured on the SyFy program Ghost Hunters.
- Hensley, Douglas (2005). Hell's Gate: Terror at Bobby Mackey's Music World. Outskirts Press. ISBN 1-59800-011-X.
- Stephenson, Wanda Kay (2013). Wicked They walk: A Tour Guide's Book. ISBN 978-0-578-09201-0.
- Worrack, Johnette; Mallory, Mike; Shaw, Tory. "Waverly Hills, Shandies among Kentucky "haunted" locations". wpsdlocal6.com. WPSD-TV. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Legend of the Pearl Bryan Murder, excerpt from Troy Taylor Book, ancestry.com. Accessed 12/22/10.
- Sharon, Hill. "Haunted history of Bobby Mackey's Music World fails to stand up to scrutiny". Doubtful News. Lithospherica, LLC. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Teets, "Legend of Haunted Honky-Tonk Grows, CinciPulse.com. Accessed 12/22/10.
- Return to Bobby Mackey's TravelChannel.com