Old Legends in Old Louisville

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Old Legends in Old Louisville

Old Louisville Kentucky is the historic district and neighborhood making up the largest preserved district.  It maintains the highest concentration of stained glass windows in the United States. Old Louisville spans forty eight city blocks and used to be home to some of the wealthiest residents in Kentucky.  Unfortunately, the Great Depression caused many of the homes to be transitioned into boarding houses.  Those that survived the Depression were affected the Ohio River Flood of 1937 which drove most of the others out.

(images:onasill/flickr) Queen Anne

(images:onasill/flickr) Queen Anne

Originally referred to as the Southern Extension, the area was established by Victorian style houses from the 1850s to the 1920s.  Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, many Kentucky residents now reside in the ancient homes which are now mostly apartment style homes after renovations.  The area also features the largest collection of pedestrian only streets in the United States.  Old Louisville also maintains some of the largest collections of ghosts and spirits in the United States.

Often showing orbs and other unidentifiable objects in photos, visitors to Old Louisville see lights, shadows and apparitions regularly.  Some of the neighborhood houses seem to have more activity than others, but even just a casual stroll down the stress will usually result in paranormal activity of epic dimensions.

On St. James street, the Pink Palace is an 1891 brick three story mansion.  Despite the ongoing reports of strange occurrences, people continue to rent the building for special occasions.  Initially, the home was a gentlemen’s club and casino.  Men would enjoy late evenings there, drinking and smoking cigars.  It was eventually painted pink, and got its name, when purchased by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1910.  Despite the change in ownership, one guest remains the same.  A man, called Avery, appears around the home in an older era duck suit with a string tie.  He is over six feet tall and always shows himself in times of danger.  When he showed himself to guests in the kitchen, they panicked and flew from the home, saving them from the engulfing flames.  Similarly, one guest who was startled in the tub jumped up and grabbed a knife, just in time to scare a burglar who was getting ready to climb in the window.

(images:onasill/flickr) Pink Palace

(images:onasill/flickr) Pink Palace

Just down the street from the Pink Palace is the Ferguson Mansion on south Third Street.  Built in 1901,  the home was refuge for a family of three and their six servants.  Their resident poltergeist is Sally.  Sally is notorious for terrifying house visitors by way of books.  She is known for throwing books about the room, even dumping an entire shelf at the feet of an unknowing guest.

Near the Ferguson Mansion is the Speed Art Museum, built in 1925.  The ghostly guests here are a little less pronounced, but their actions are no less terrifying.  The smell of rose perfume randomly permeates the air.  Motion sensors are triggered, with no source able to be located.  Similarly, elevators open and send themselves to other floors, carrying invisible guests.  Misty shapes have even been seen on security cameras, long after the last visitor has gone.

Finally, the last stop on this exploration of Old Louisville lies the Old Sanatorium.  The building lies on Fourth Street and was purchased by a doctor in the 1900s.  Unfortunately, opening up the large mansion as a hospital, inadequate care ran rampant and there were many deaths in the 20s and 30s.  Bodies were buried in the basement, lost in the depths of the home.  In the 1960s, a nurse purchased the home and opened it up to board the unsavory- often bunking with drug addicts and prostitutes.  She was beaten to death and killed by one of her guests.  This home commonly features apparitions.  Bodies have been found during renovations of the home and many hidden panels throughout.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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