Not many buildings can claim to have a portal to hell in the basement. Then again, not many buildings have a history filled with emotional pain, murder and Satanic rituals like the infamously haunted Bobby Mackey’s Music World.
The haunted history of Bobby Mackey’s begins long before the popular country music club was even built. The site where the current building stands was once home to a slaughter house that was used until the 1890’s. There was a well in the basement that was often used to dispose of animal parts and blood from the slaughterhouse. After it’s abandonment, a small group of locals found a new use for the building and the blood well in the basement.
Satanic Rituals at Bobby Mackey’s
The old well was perfect for hiding remnants of the satanic rituals held in the basement of what would one day become Bobby Mackey’s Music World. Animal and even human sacrifice is rumored to have taken place in the basement. The well was used to dispose of any evidence left over from the occult meetings and rituals held there. It has even been said that handicapped children were taken there and sacrificed along with animals by the secret group of local satanists. The most popular and well known story is about a young and popular girl named Pearl Bryan.
The Demise of Pearl Bryan
Pearl Bryan was a lovely young girl from Greencastle, Indiana. She was popular and well liked. She also had her choice of many male suitors. It wasn’t until her cousin introduced her to Scott Jackson that Pearl was swept off her feet. Scott Jackson was a student at the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati. What Pearl didn’t know was that Jackson was also part of the small group of Satanists that met near the well under the old slaughterhouse.
Soon Pearl was pregnant with Jackson’s child. This was not very good news considering the fact that Jackson and Pearl were not married. Jackson also had no intentions of becoming a father or giving up his college dreams. It wasn’t long until Jackson had a plan to rid himself of this burden.
On February 1st in the year of 1896 Pearl was five months pregnant. She left home to meet Jackson and his roommate in Cincinnati for what would turn out to be the last night of her life and one of the most infamous nights in the history of Bobby Mackey’s.
The group had planned to perform an abortion. This was something that was practically unheard of in those times and must be done in secret. Pearl was distraught over the entire situation. She knew that an unwed mother in those times would be an outcast from society and that her good reputation would be ruined forever. So the lovely young girl made the worst decision in her life and decided to go along with the procedure.
Unfortunately for Pearl, Jackson was not yet a doctor and had poor skills as a surgeon. When the dose of drugs that he believed would cause an abortion failed to succeed, Jackson resorted to dental tools. The crude surgery attempt was also a failure. After an hour of bloody horror, Pearl was still with child. Things were only worse at this point, with Pearl bleeding and screaming in agonizing pain. At this point Jackson became even more desperate and turned his attention towards Pearl.
He and his roommate took the bleeding, pregnant and helpless girl across the Ohio River into Kentucky where they brutally murdered her. The method of death was beheading. Jackson had used his dental tools to sever the head of poor Pearl Bryan while was still alive. Her body was found just a couple of miles from the old slaughterhouse that would become Bobby Mackey’s. It was learned later that her head was used in some kind of satanist ritual under the slaughterhouse and was disposed of in the well that had seen so much blood and horror before.
The trial that followed shortly afterwards exposed the group of occultists and what had been happening at the old well. It received national attention and thousands were horrified of the details of the crime. Scott Jackson was even offered a chance to avoid the death penalty if he would reveal the location of Pearl Bryan’s head. She had only been identified by her shoes when found. Jackson refused and many believed that he feared the wrath of Satan himself if had done so. The details of the ritual were also never revealed and Jackson (along with his roommate) was hung by the neck until he died on March 21st 1897. Some folks claimed that just before he was hanged, Jackson’s roommate vowed to return from the dead and haunt the area. Others believe that everyone involved in the murder case of Pearl Bryan had been cursed and many were reported to have experienced tragedy and bad luck following the hanging of the two satanic men.
A headless woman has been seen on several occasions at Bobby Mackey’s Music World that is believed to be the ghost of Pearl Bryan. Was she cursed somehow to live life as a wandering spirit by the rituals performed on her decapitated head? Is she seeking revenge for the untimely death of her unborn child and herself? We may never know exactly why The Ghost of Pearl Bryan still resides at Bobby Mackey’s but many are sure that she is still there. And so is her head.
New Life For The Old Slaughterhouse
After the famous trial, the slaughterhouse was torn down and a new building was erected. The only thing that remained of the old place was of course the basement and well that had been the focal point of so much agony. The events that took place in the new building didn’t improve the reputation of the property. During the prohibition, it was used for illegal gambling and uncontrolled drinking that resulted in many alleged murders on the site. Many of these murders were never solved and the bodies never found. The site of the former slaughterhouse and cult rituals seemed unable to escape darkness and tragedy.
After prohibition was lifted the building was used for a number of nightclubs and taverns. Involvement with Cincinnati mobsters, more illegal activity, murder and suicide continued to plague the building. One owner named “Buck” Brady committed suicide in 1965 after selling out to local mobsters looking for a slice of the old slaughterhouse pie.
One of the more talked about nightclubs that once thrived in the building was known as “The Latin Quarter”. The owner of the bar had a beautiful daughter named Johanna and was very protective. When Johanna fell in love with a singer at her father’s night spot, he did not approve and after many heated arguments, used his mobster connections to have the singer murdered. His daughter was so depressed by the death of her lover, that she tried to kill her own father and then took her own life. Her body was found in the basement near the well. Eerily, she was found to be exactly five months pregnant when she died. Just like the young and beautiful Pearl Bryan so many years earlier. Tragedy and misfortune seemed to put an end to any establishment that attempted to open it’s doors where the slaughterhouse once stood.
Years later, the national restaurant chain Hard Rock Cafe tried it’s hand atop of the the old well. They too were forced out of business because of a number of violent murders on the premises.
The Birth of Bobby Mackey’s
In 1978, shortly after the closing of The Hard Rock Cafe, Bobby Mackey and his wife, Janet purchased the building. Mackey was a popular singer in Kentucky and had recorded several albums. Rather than continue a pursuit of fame as a singer, he focused his attention on what is still known today as Bobby Mackey’s Music World. The club has seen it’s share of success and has also experienced it’s share of haunted and paranormal activity. It has been featured on shows such as Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans and more. The Bobby Mackey’s episode of Ghost Adventures turned out to be one of it’s most popular, as it focused on the basement and the well which is believed by many to be a portal to hell, created through the satanic rituals of old.
Countless reports of ghosts and spirits have risen from within the walls of Bobby Mackey’s Music world. Newspaper articles, books and more have been based on the haunted night spot in Kentucky. Visions of the headless Pearl Bryan and the young girl who committed suicide are commonplace. Objects move by themselves, lights flicker and patrons have been touched by unseen forces. An exorcism was performed in 1994 but seemed to help very little if any at all.
One employee who was five months pregnant had one of the worst experiences at Bobby Mackey’s. She was allegedly thrown to the ground, grabbed and heard disembodied voices screaming “Get Out!” This all occurred in the basement and she even reported feeling something trying to drag her back down the stairs as she attempted to escape.
Although nobody is completely clear what the exact cause of the evil that resides at Bobby Mackey’s, There are very few that doubt the presence of this evil. Whether it could be the satanic rituals performed over a century ago or the sheer volume of tragedy and murder within it’s walls, Bobby Mackey’s is sure to remain one the most haunted places in America and attract the attention of paranormal fans and ghost hunters indefinitely. Assuming of course, that the curse of the old slaughterhouse doesn’t put an end to this business as well. Although after 30 years of success, I wouldn’t count on it. You can visit the official Bobby mackey’s site or other links below for more information.