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Haunted places to explore in Owensboro

For those who love being scared and exploring the paranormal, Owensboro is the place to be. There are more than a dozen locations throughout the city and county that have sparked hundreds of ghost sighting reports over the years and, to be honest, the stories are pretty creepy.

From stories of a ghost that pushes people down the basement stairs to the mysterious “Lady in White” that haunts the RiverPark Center, there are a lot of spooky places to check out around here. That is, if you believe in ghosts enough to go for it. And if you don’t, well, you have nothing to worry about. Right?

Haunts of Owensboro Walking Tours

Owner David Wolfe II has been sharing the city’s local hauntings since 2007. You’ll hit a handful of the haunted places on this list by taking Wolfe’s tour, which is convenient. Wolfe engages his audience with not only stories, but enthusiasm. I took Wolfe’s tour in 2018, and one of his creepiest stories involved a couple that lived above The Crème Coffee House on the second floor.

“That second floor is so haunted, literally, they could put it on a movie or a documentary itself,” he’s said.

That building first opened in the 1800s. Originally a music store, the current coffee shop has been using the upstairs floor as a rental space. On the very first night of the first tenant’s stay, Wolfe said, the girl experienced the front door opening and shutting on its own, as well as a series of “clomping footsteps” walking from the first floor to the second. Upstairs in her living room, Wolfe said the young girl heard the sound of someone sitting down on a squeaking couch cushion in her studio apartment.

She was so scared she called the cops. Then she moved out. A second person moved in, experienced the same series of hauntings as the first girl, and moved out too. She documented her experience and submitted it to Wolfe, who said it was legit.

Other haunted places on Wolfe’s tour were the front lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse and the Famous Bistro on 2nd Street.

Theatre Workshop of Owensboro

Wolfe has called TWO “one of the most haunted sites in western Kentucky.” According to legend, there are five spirits haunting the Old Trinity Centre (now TWO). Many people have reported seeing a young lady who allegedly took her own life by hanging herself in the shower. As the story goes, when a priest walked into the church and saw her corpse, he took his own life in the basement because he was so haunted by the image.

To this day, reports of lights constantly flickering on and off, the sound of a ringing bell (where there no longer is a bell) and cold drafts that come out of nowhere are often made. Even scarier, you want to be cautious standing in front of the basement because you might get pushed down the stairs. Many others have in the past.

Daviess County Middle School

The sounds of screams and slamming doors are enough to scare anyone, but reports of a dark figure that roams the premises makes DCMS as haunted as it gets.

Ben Hawes State Park

According to legend, a girl was burned at the stake for witchcraft in the 1700s, and now, she meanders (or floats?) through the very woods in which she was killed. It’s true what they say about Ben Hawes…it’s hauntingly beautiful.

Civil War site in Deanefield near the Daviess/Ohio County line

Anytime you can hear shots fired in the middle of the night at a former Civil War site, it’s pretty much a guarantee the place is haunted. The place to check is located at Highway 1414, where confederate soldiers hid from the Yankees behind a small cliff. Rumor is, the Yankees found those soldiers and…you guessed it. They killed them. On nights when the moon is full, you can hear gunshots, sounds of laughter, a fire crackling and horses galloping. I’m no expert, but that sounds haunted enough to me.

Owensboro Catholic Middle School

From “mysterious red stains” on the floor to reports of creepy laughter, screams and doors flying open, it feels safe to say there’s something peculiar happening at OCMS. Does that mean it’s haunted? Yep, pretty much.

The Turley Building

The Turley building, located at the corner of 2nd and Daviess streets, used to house the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Now, it’s rumored to house ghosts. The Turley building was built in 1873 and RiverPark Center Executive Director Rich Jorn told the Messenger-Inquirer that it’s one of the five most haunted buildings in Owensboro.

Even better, RPC is hosting “Terror at the Turley” throughout the month of October. The “PG-13” haunted house opens on Friday, October 15 from 7:30-10:30 p.m., and it will also be open on Oct. 22, 23, 30 and 31. Admission is $12 per person.

According to Jorn, “I wouldn’t bring small children.”

The RiverPark Center

At RPC, you’ve got your classic, “Woman jumps from a catwalk into the Ohio River to her death” haunted building story. This happened in 1927. So, it’s more than a little weird that, 100 years later, you can see a woman in white—water dripping from her clothes—walking over the edge of the catwalk to the river below.

The Miller House

The spirit of a little girl is rumored to haunt the local eatery and loves to play with a ball she bounces up and down the restaurant’s wooden staircase. I mean, she doesn’t sound like a malevolent spirit, per se, but creepy is an understatement.

 

Downtown Dining Noon

 

Arrive in downtown Owensboro and have lunch at Famous Bistro featuring yummy salads and one of the best cheesesteak sandwiches you’ll ever eat.

Smothers Park 2 p.m.

Take a stroll at the award-winning Smothers Park. There’s no better place to enjoy the outdoors along the Ohio River in downtown Owensboro than Smothers Park, home of Lazy Dayz Playground named the “Top Playground In The World” by Landscape Architects Network. Then get an afternoon pick me up at The Crème Coffee House. They’re locally owned and operated, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. They have a wide variety of specialty drinks, delicious treats, and yummy sammiches.

Downtown Shopping 3 p.m.

Check out a couple of the downtown boutiques like Byron & Barclay and Simply Chic Home Accents.

Downtown Hotels 4 p.m.

Check in at the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront or the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront.

Grab a Drink 4:30 p.m.

Grab a drink at Lure, in the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront, or at Burger Theory, in the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront.

The Miller House 5:30 p.m.

Step into your southern side and have dinner at The Miller House. This historic Sears-Roebuck house was brought back to life in 2008 when it was transformed into a fine southern cuisine restaurant.

Friday After Five 6 p.m.

If you’re in town on a Friday between Memorial and Labor Day, don’t miss the free concert series downtown called Friday After Five.  Five free stages of music!

Bourbon Time 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy a rare bourbon at Spirits, one of the largest bourbon bars in the country conveniently located in the basement of The Miller House.

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum 7 p.m.

Go catch a bluegrass concert at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Head over early to take a tour of the museum before the concert.

Enjoy a Nightcap 9:30 p.m.

Grab a fresh beer at The Brew Bridge or for a cocktail check out The Pub on Second.