Is The Legendary Ryman Auditorium Haunted?

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Is the Ryman Auditorium haunted? With Halloween coming up soon, we can't help but dig into the spine-chilling stories of  the legendary country music venue.

Before we can confirm or deny whether the Mother Church is haunted, we must take a look into its history. Below is a small timeline that will bring you up to speed:

  • 1885: Thomas Ryman, a riverboat captain, attends a revival under the direction of evangelist Sam Jones. The big tent revival is three blocks away from where the Ryman sits today in Nashville, Tennesee. Ryman and Jones decide they want to build a more permanent revival tent. 1892, Union Gospel Tabernacle opens its doors to the public.
  • 1901: The famous Ryam stage is built in order for the Tabernacle to host more music events.
  • 1904: Thomas Ryman passes away and Rev. Sam Jones renames the Tabernacle "Ryman Auditorium."
  • 1943: The Grand Ole Opry moved from War Memorial Auditorium to Ryman Auditorium.

Now that you know how the Grand Ole Opry came to be, you might be able to understand why some of the ghostly theories are rumored.

Read More: The 12 Most Haunted Hotels in America

From the timeline above, we know that Thomas Ryman built the auditorium as a place for revivals to take place-- not country music concerts. According to patrons of the Grand Ole Opry, the ghost of Ryman haunts the Opry and will interrupt the performances he doesn't agree with by making loud noises and messing with the lights.

Another ghost that is said to roam the Opry is the soul of Hank Williams. His spirit has been spotted backstage, on stage, and in the back ally of the Opry that leads to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, a place where he would frequent before he performed. Why would Hank Williams Sr. haunt the Ryman, though? The time he spent there was very limited and he was never inducted as a member. Maybe that's why? Could it be out of spite?

The ghost known to most frequently haunt the Ryman is the "gray man." A man in a gray uniform sits alone in the balcony, an area of the Ryman historically known as the "Confederate Gallery."

Another ghost that frequents the Opry house is known as "The Lady." She doesn't just sit and watch, she performs. The staff enjoys her tunes every night while shutting down. "The Lady" is thought to be the ghost of Patsy Cline, a country performer who was tragically affected by an alleged "Opry curse."

The 'Opry Curse'

As we know, from 1943 to 1974, the Ryman Auditorium hosted the Grand Ole Opry, a radio show that featured country music artists. Several stars with ties to the Opry have lost their lives or encountered tragedy --overdoses, car accidents, fires, murders and plane crashes. Among the artists believed to have succumbed to the curse are: Stringbean Akeman, Ira Louvin, Patsy Cline, Texas Ruby Fox and more. Some say the curse isn't real and the artists who passed just befell terrible tragedy, but others believe that there is a direct connection to the Ryman Auditorium.

What do you think? Need a closer look? The Ryman Auditorium hosts tours year-round. You can buy your tickets here:

Don't say we didn't warn you.

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Is The Legendary Ryman Auditorium Haunted?