You’ll find these tunnels along the shore of the Licking River, back behind the parking lot of Bobby Mackey’s in Wilder, KY. You may have seen or heard of them on Ghost Adventures, as they supposedly lead to the ‘well’ in the basement at Mackey’s. So, if true, this would be the route Pearl Bryan’s head would have taken out of the building, if, in fact, it was tossed down the well there. There’s a lot of ‘if’s’ to this story. Don’t know the story of Pearl and her lost head? Read about it HERE. Now let’s talk about the tunnels.
Located in Wilder, Ky, this is by far the most famous of the local haunts. It has a long history, and far to many stories connected to it to mention all of them here. There have been books written about it, it’s been the subject of several TV shows, including Unsolved Mysteries, Ghost Hunters, and Ghost Adventures, to name a few. And you can count on the local news to do a story on it just about every Halloween. But how much of what you’ve heard is true, and how much is hype?
Lets start at the beginning. I’m just going to give you the basics of the bars history and the tales around it, as much of it isn’t really known for sure, and what is out there varies depending on who you talk to. The site where Bobby Mackey’s sits was originally a slaughter house, built sometime in the late 1840’s, and was shut down in the 1890’s. Part of this slaughterhouse was a drain that led out to the Licking river, which is basically where the blood and other waste from the slaughtered animals was dumped. This drain is always referred to as a ‘well’, but no, it was used to discard waste.
Carl Lawson, the man who claimed to have become possessed while working and living at Bobby Mackey’s Music World, passed away on Jan. 27th, 2012, at the age of 53. His stories of ghostly encounters, not to mention his alleged possession and subsequent exorcism, are the basis for the popularity of Bobby Mackey’s in the paranormal community. Regardless of if you believe his tales or not, Carl is the reason Bobby Mackey’s is what it is today.
There was a bit of a big deal made on Facebook recently after someone stole the broken Jesus Statue out of the basement of Bobby Mackey’s during one of the tours. I guess all the requests to bring it back worked, or half worked, as the bottom half of the statue was returned in the mail, along with letter of explaination.