From Hellier Caves to Lover’s Leap, Travel the Haunted Trail of the Kentucky Wildlands if you Dare!
The Haunted Trail of the Kentucky Wildlands is not your run-of-the-mill road trip. It is a map of twelve terrifying stops put together by Explore Kentucky Wildlands with documented cases of unexplained spirits, creepy motels, tragic tales of jealous lovers, and otherworldly visitors. Located in various parts of Kentucky's beautiful Wildlands, these sinister stories will have you shaking in your boots. If you are brave enough to venture out, there is no telling what real-life frights you might encounter along the way. Here are some of the legends on the Kentucky Wildlands Haunted Trail:
Paramount Joe Takes the Stage
The Paramount Theatre built in Ashland, KY in 1930-31, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Joe. He was one of the workers and was unfortunately found dead hanging by his neck with the curtain ropes as his crewmates returned from lunch. Paramount Joe as he is called, is said to haunt the theatre. There is a story involving Billy Ray Cyrus who filmed his Achy Breaky Heart video there. He supposedly had an encounter with Joe and signed a poster to him that hangs in the theatre. The staff once tried to put it in storage, but Joe pitched a fit and made a mess, so they hung it back up. Here is an encounter shared on hauntedplaces.org,
"I’m an actor at the paramount and i can definitely say it’s haunted. I’ve felt cold breezes and the volume on the speaker/ intercom system turns itself up and down, but my biggest story took place in the banquet hall bathroom. It was tech week so i was in costume and in this particular show i was a fairy and my huge wings made it difficult to go fit in bathroom stalls so i had to use the handicap stall in the banquet hall as it was the only one i could use without taking off my wings. Well there’s only two stalls down there and i was alone when the temperature in the room dropped and then the toilet next to me flushed on it’s own. Needless to say i booked it out of there and still to this day won’t go to that restroom alone." -Kyli Springer, 9/26/18
You can visit the theatre which is now called The Paramount Arts Center. They have some pretty great acts and performances come through there. You may even get a paranormal show as well...I wonder if Joe is hiding in this video somewhere.
The Lore of Hellier Caves
Near Pikeville, Hellier Caves has been recently featured in a documentary by Planet Weird. The investigators take the audience along as they look into claims of small goblin-like creatures that are said to live in the cave system that also connects to Mammoth Cave, so that's pretty creepy! There have also been sightings of other unidentified flying objects in the area. These folks found a possible connection between these Hellier Goblins and the Kelly Green Men in Hopkinsville, KY which I think is wild.
Reportedly haunted by the ghosts of a double murder after a husband killed his wife and her lover in a jealous rage, this motel in Hindman, KY on Highway 80 was seized by the US Marshals in 2010 and is no longer open to guests. Before closing, however, people reported incidents of objects being moved in their rooms and lights turning on and off unexpectedly. It really does look like something from a horror movie. Would you stay there?
Lover's Leap is the name of a cliff at Cumberland Falls, KY with a tragic 1950s legend. A bride and groom were standing atop the rock when the bride lost her balance and fell to her death. Visitors claim to see her ghostly form near the rock and also on the road close by. Motorists have thought to have hit a woman in a wedding gown only to get out of the vehicle and find no one there. If you go visit the spot where this horrible accident occurred, be very careful. Some believe that she will try to push you to join her.
The Dark History of Soule's Chapel
The Somerset, KY area was the site of two Civil War battles that claimed hundreds of lives. This history of spiritual unrest continued after the war in the local church congregations as locals on opposing sides of the fight returned home. Once the chapel was abandoned in 1930, the grounds experienced mysterious fires, claims of satanic rituals, and accounts of ghostly girls in white dresses wandering the cemetery. Folks doing paranormal investigating have even picked up recordings of voices and have been pushed in the back only to turn around to no one there. Here is a video from one such investigator about his findings.
Are you brave (or crazy enough) to visit any of these haunted places in Kentucky? Have you ever been? Are you from any of these towns? If so, share your stories with us!