From Hank Williams’ grave to Tootsies Orchid Lounge, musical ghosts abound

Hank Williams' grave in Montgomery, AL ; photo by Carol M. Highsmith, US Library of Congress
Hank Williams’ allegedly haunted grave site in Montgomery, AL. (Photo: Carol M. Highsmith; US Library of Congress)

Have you ever seen something you couldn’t explain, something others might call a ghost? Or maybe had an uncomfortable moment when something you couldn’t explain happened? I have—it’s a family tradition where I come from. Just in time for Halloween, there’s a nifty list of country music’s most haunted places, and one of them is Hank Williams’ grave. That grave in Montgomery, Alabama was memorialized in a song by none other than Alan Jackson.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, haven for country musicians since the early 1960s, is also included on the list created by Wide Open Country. Hank Williams is among the ghosts some people claim to have seen there.

Williams’ grave is also allegedly haunted. Williams died at 29 years old, months before his birthday in 1953. His grave is a very popular site for tourists and others who still admire the historic legacy Williams left, not just to country music fans but to all types of fans. Alan Jackson paid homage to Williams with his song about the grave in “Midnight in Montgomery.” Jackson even spent the night at Williams’ grave.

Tales of ghosts and spirits are an oral tradition in my family on both sides. Spiritual kinship runs deep, and to this day, my mother sometimes knows, with eerie accuracy, when something bad will happen. I personally experienced strange phenomena on several different occasions, and on a couple of those occasions, there were witnesses. I still remember, years ago, when my family was going through a tough spell.

I was sitting in the downstairs den with a friend. We were watching TV and having coffee. Both of us were startled when a tall lamp began to sway back and forth. No windows were open, and no draft was coming into the room. I have no idea what caused it, but the property had been occupied by native American tribes in centuries past, and there was a deep creek down the hill from our house. We often heard the strangest sounds at night coming from the area where the creek ran.

Who knows what causes unexplained happenings? Or why spirits choose to reveal themselves to some and not others.

I had another strange experience—Rebecca and I—yesterday. She’ll reveal it tonight on her music page on Facebook. It’s a doozy.

(Kay B. Day/Oct. 29, 2019)

Tips and purchases in our Arts Market can help us continue to publish!

Something to say? Do it here.