Artwork by Elena Campos
Memphis is best known for its blues music, rock n’ roll and delicious barbeque, but beneath its richly storied past lies a lesser-known, darker and ghoulish side. Halloween may have passed, but the spooky spirits that haunt some of the most ghostly locales within our beloved city never die.
The Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre is haunted by a small young girl with pigtails named Mary, so goes the urban legend. She was killed outside the theatre in 1921 when she was struck by a moving trolley. Ever since her tragic death, she has supposedly been spotted during performances on stage, especially shows geared towards children. Mary has also been known to slam doors and lightly flicker the lights. The Orpheum even reserves a special seat just for Mary, seat number C5.
Earnestine & Hazel’s
This restaurant and former brothel is not only well known for being one of the most haunted buildings in the state of Tennessee, but it is also famous across the entire United States. Customers have claimed to have seen a great number of eerie ghost-like figures all over the building. It even has its very own haunted jukebox that randomly plays music when not plugged in. Often, a customer’s song request will play before he or she pays and makes a selection. Perhaps the most petrifying aspect of this jukebox is that it seemingly eavesdrops on side conversations and plays a song related to that conversation.
One of the most popular tourist sites in Memphis is, of course, Graceland — home to the rock’n’roll king himself, Elvis Presley. This site attracts over half a million tourists a year, and a great portion of them have reported having seen the ghost of Elvis. Many tourists have claimed to have seen his apparition peering out his window at the many guests entering and admiring his home.
National Ornamental Metal Museum
The National Ornamental Metal Museum holds approximately 3,000 examples of contemporary art pieces. The property consists of four main buildings that served as a Marine hospital in the 19th century. It later served as a Civil War hospital which included housing for nurses, doctors and soldiers. The basement of the main building was, in fact, previously a hospital’s morgue and seems to be the museum’s focal point for paranormal activity. The morgue held thousands of yellow fever victims, and to this day, the spirits of the victims reportedly haunt the area.
Although our spooky spirits have dwindled and holiday spirits slowly emerge, the ghosts of Memphis still linger among the well-known whereabouts within our city, and possibly many others we may be unaware of.
For & By Students
Our website videos were made in partnership with St. Mary's video-making publication, Bella Vista.
Click on the author or artist's name to view more of her work!
HAVE AN ARTICLE IN MIND?