Bobby Mackey's is a shady, smokey, dive bar with a mechanical bull, line dancing floor, and a portal to hell. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure the portal has a cover charge.
Every good ghost story comes with its own origin, and Bobby Mackey’s Music World is no different. In 1850 the land that now belongs to Mackey’s was home to a huge slaughterhouse that supplied most of northwestern Kentucky and Cincinnati with beef. Back in those days things weren’t really on the up and up, so instead of dispensing of the blood, guts, bones, and cartilage properly, they dumped them into a well in the basement. In other words, it was the most epic sacrificial pit on the planet.
In the 1890’s the slaughterhouse closed (for unknown reasons) and that’s when they say a local Satanic cult moved in. If you know anything about Satanists, you know that there was a good probability that some babies, virgins, and/or animals were sacrificed to the dark lord. Probably. Maybe.
The next part of the legend is a little less speculation and a lot more tragic. In 1896, 22-year-old Pearl Bryan’s body was found decapitated in a field on the property. Pearl had been pregnant at the time of her death. Her boyfriend, a dentistry student named Scott Jackson, and his fellow classmate Alonzo Walling had attempted to conduct an abortion on their own. For obvious reasons the procedure went very wrong, and after Pearl died, they removed her head with the hopes of throwing the police off the chase. Both men were killed for their crime, and Alonzo vowed to haunt the land indefinitely before he died.
For years the building sat abandoned until the 20s when the land became the home to a speakeasy called The Primrose. The secret bar and casino became so popular, Cincinnati mobsters came sniffing around, and when the owner “Buck” Brady refused to sell the building the staff saw their fair share of threats, fights, and attempted murders.
By the 50s the building had yet again become another bar called the Latin Quarter. A dance hall girl working at the bar named Johanna fell in love and became pregnant with the child of a singer named Robert Randall. When her father discovered what had happened he had Randall killed, and so Johanna poisoned him, and took her own life beside the well that had once been the repository of so much blood.
By 1978 the building has been witness to every form of death imaginable on a constant basis. So when Bobby Mackey bought the building and turned it into a music hall, it was no surprise that strange things began to happen.
There's been sightings of full bodied apparitions, including the headless ghost of Pearl Bryan. It is impossible not to experience touches, the movement of furniture, banging, screaming, jukeboxes that turn on and off by themselves, and an uncountable number of paranormal events.
Much of the activity occurs around the well, or the portal which many people believe has transformed over the years into a gateway to hell. Often people will hear the sound of deep growling coming from the depths of the well. Most people refuse to even be in the area of the well because it has such a strange effect on people.
If all of this hasn’t scared you away yet, you’re in luck. Bobby Mackey’s offers nightly tours of the the most haunted hot spots in the building, including the gateway. My advice is to visit when there isn’t a huge crowd upstairs to cut down on the creeps. If you’re looking for something truly terrifying, this is a perfect piece of creepy American history with an epic legend to boot.