Inside Elmwood Cemetery / Andrea Zucker

Experience The Haunted Side Of Memphis

Discover This Season's Most Ghoulish Adventures

In a city with such a storied past, it should come as no surprise that some of our most popular attractions like to play up their haunted history and ghoulish reputation during the Halloween season.  During your visit to Memphis, check out some of Memphis’ most haunted hallows for a spooktacular good time.

The Orpheum Theatre

The way the legend goes... a 9-year-old girl was hit by a car in 1921 on the street where the Orpheum sits today. Though there doesn’t seem to be any documented mention of the accident, that hasn’t stopped ghosthunters and casual purveyors from spotting “Mary” in her white 1920’s gown near (and sometimes inside!) the theater). She’s been known to make the lights flicker and doors slam during stage performances. Plus, famed Hollywood actor, Yul Brynner swore he saw her sitting in her favorite seat, C-5, enjoying the show during a production of “The King and I.”

This year, catch a showing of “An American In Paris” during the weekend before Halloween and let us know if you spy “Mary” in the audience.

Earnestine and Hazel’s

Turn a popular brothel into a dive bar and there might be a few lingering spirits around. That’s precisely what happened at this well-known hangout in downtown Memphis. No one really knows who might be keeping an eye on things, but there a few potential suspects (like sisters Earnestine and Hazel who originally ran the store-turned-brothel). Patrons claim to hear ghostly moans and wails upstairs. The jukebox mysteriously plays whatever songs it wants. Plus, certified ghost hunters say that the local hot spot is definitely haunted (so that must mean it’s true!). Arrive a bit early and a bartender might feed your curiosity with a spirited tour of the second floor.

Pro Tip: Don’t be so distracted by the spook-factor that you forget to order the soul burger. The $5 classic might offer another clue behind why Earnestine & Hazel’s is one of the best dive bars in the country.

Woodruff-Fontaine House

This prominent mansion in the historic Victorian Village was built in 1870 by Amos Woodruff. His daughter, Mollie Woodruff experienced great tragedy in her second-floor bedroom.  Both her infant son and her husband died in that room in the same year.  Visitors report feeling cold spots in and around the bedroom and hearing strange, unearthly noises.

Visit the Woodruff-Fontaine House on Sundays thru Wednesdays to see for yourself. In the evening you can grab a cocktail at Mollie Fontaine Lounge, one of Memphis' most unique bars located inside a victorian Mansion.

Elmwood Cemetery 

For spine-tingling adventure at the posthumous home of the city's founders, mayors, history-makers and beloved residents, attend the 11th Annual Costume Twilight Tour at Memphis's oldest active cemetery. Costumed characters dress like Elmwood residents and bring history to life. On October 28, the Scandals & Scoundrels tour sheds a little light on the more salacious side of Memphis history… and takes you to where their souls rest today.

On any given day, visit the Elmwood office to grab an audio CD and take your own 1-hour self-guided tour of the 80-acre site. Or pre-schedule a guided group tour for at least ten people upon request. 

Backbeat Tours

Learn about some of Memphis’ most ghastly ghouls during the two-hour Memphis Ghost Tour. Visit the Voodoo Fields in South Memphis, Downtown’s Gayoso House, Ernestine & Hazel’s, the Orpheum Theatre and other harrowing haunts around the city.

Fear, Beer, & Bikes? Throughout the month of October, Backbeat Tours and Sprock ‘n’ Roll host a Haunted Pub Tour (on Oct 13, 27, 28 and 29). Grab some booze and pedal to some of the city’s most spirited sites. Stop at up to three bars and learn about Memphis’ spooky history along the way.

Historical Haunts

To really get in touch with the other side take a tour with experienced ghost hunters. You'll have a night out you won't ever forget as you learn the ghost stories and get a taste of paranormal investigating in the most famous haunted locations in Memphis.  Check out Historical Haunts to book your bus tour, pub crawl or ghost hunt.