Haunted Louisville, KY – Part 1

Oh Louisville has about 45 square blocks in its historic preservation district roughly 1,400 structures most of the houses in the neighborhood were built between 1885 and 1905 that makes them Victorian in style when you talk about Victorian architecture they think of gingerbread houses sort of wood and shingle houses here most of the houses are built of stone and brick this was a very affluent neighborhood so they could afford the most expensive building materials the southern Exposition was something that put Louisville and the state on the map southern Exposition was actually a World’s Fair it was formed in the early 1880s because the Louisville Board of Trade wanted to showcase Louisville as a world port so they designed the southern Exposition which was and still is the world’s largest wooden structure president Arthur conducted the opening ceremonies and that’s when 4,800 lightbulbs that Thomas Edison’s men had strung came on and the lightbulb was showcased to the world you’re supposed to last for a hundred days you know people around here we’re sitting on pins and needles they were hoping they’d make enough money to pay their costs and as it turns out in that first 88 days they sold more than 3/4 of a million tickets and so what Louisville on the map it was such a huge hit that they opened it up the next year and the subsequent three years after that after they tore down this exhibit hall and we had this big empty space that’s where they put in the city’s first planned community they called it st. James Court for a good 20 years that was the most desirable place to live in the city this neighborhood has been designated as America’s most haunted neighborhood the people who live here feel the spirits they’re always with us some are not so friendly most are the spirits just want to be left alone they’re not harmful they have a long history here david domine moved here he fell in love with victorino avoid everywhere David went people had ghost stories they had stories about the house and odd things that what happened in their homes and so he began compiling this information and started writing books about it and based on the books he came up with with the first ghost tour he’s worked hard at making sure they’re correct and that he has as much information as possible packed into each story generally we offer two different kinds of tours a history and architecture center tour and a ghost tour at night our ghost tour is called the America’s most haunted neighborhood tour that tours started with just guiding people around in groups with lanterns and stopping in front of the haunted houses we have many in Old Louisville and then he would tell the story of the spirits that lived in that particular house how they died why they come back to haunt he would take the stories in each book and then for the next year’s tour feature those houses one of the places is the Pink Palace is one of the local landmarks you can’t miss it because it’s pink it was built at 1890 originally it was the st. James Court gentlemen’s club and casino so this is a private club house for the local men they’d gather and have a sniff of bourbon smoke a locally real cigar things like that and eventually it was turned into a residence like it is today in the 1960s is when it acquired a reputation as being a haunted house supposedly there’s a ghost by the name of Avery here he’s a distinguished gentleman who makes appearances at times when people who live there are in danger so he’s what they call a crisis apparition in the paranormal world you have to have a ghost in your house he’s the kind you want he shows up to warn you that you’re in danger that something is about to happen and he was first discovered by a woman living there in the 1960s her name was Jenny and he showed up made made several appearances and she started wondering what was going on and it turns out there were two burglars outside trying to break in and he sort of alerted her to this and saved her and throughout the years things like this have happened current owners know that as they see Avery they better watch out something’s something’s afoot at the Pink Palace I’ve had many personal experiences with the spirits that live in this house the main focus of my house has been the little girl in the white dress who stands on the stairs she’s been seen by four people in the last hundred years my son saw the little girl he was the last person to see her he told me about her and I just blew it off I didn’t think anything and was until later that I met David and was telling him about the happenings in the house he did the research on my house to find out who the former owners and inhabitants were at one point around 1915 to 1920 a woman lived here in the front bedroom upstairs she had a little girl and they were boarders here the little girl ran down the stairs one day and out into the street and she was run over by a car and killed there have were several generations of the family that grew up in the house we have documented evidence that they have seen the same little girl on the same stair in the center of a Louisville we have our famous Central Park Central Park was redesigned in 1905 by frederick law olmsted the man who did Central Park in New York City and at one time this is where the DuPont brothers Antoine Biederman and Alfred Victor had a residence and supposedly one of these brothers that haunts the park and the environs people have reported him in their houses as well but it’s a tall man and a black tuxedo who’s got a gray –sole top hat on very often very often a gold tip Walkingstick at his side supposedly it’s the ghost of Alfred Victor whom everyone just called Uncle Fred and supposedly the evening of May 16th 1893 a mistress of his showed up at the Galt House and she announced that she was pregnant by him her name was Maggie Payne and she demanded that Alfred Victor acknowledged the child and bring it up as his own refused and when he did Maggie Payne pulled out a pistol and shot him straight through the heart and today that would be a terrible scandal for a family to deal with you can imagine what was like back in Victorian Kentucky they tried to cover it up a lot of the local newspapers were indebted to the DuPont’s so they printed the story that he had died of a heart attack they say it’s because of this scandalous tragedy that Uncle Fred as he’s now still haunts the neighborhood today there are a lot of people who take the tour’s for the history and because David has done the kind of research he’s done it’s it’s very very interesting yet a ghost story though seasons it up and makes the history less dry is real good feeling to this home and a lot of time well every time in fact when someone comes in people come in on the tour someone will ask ask us you live here and we say young yeah we live here it’s it’s our home each house has a history and it’s wonderful to learn about not only the architecture but who built the house how much they cost who lived there who died there what happened to the house after the original owners moved out we don’t really own these houses we are caretakers the structures actually have a life of their own they come to life and it’s a privilege and an honor to live in one of these homes so full of history one of the reasons that I write these books one of the reasons I love taking people around myself and showing them the neighborhood it’s just to have them experience firsthand what a beautiful neighborhood this is and and to learn something about you know American history and Kentucky history as well you

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