Truth Seeker: Tragic ‘love story’ provides Bobby Mackey’s backdrop

Bobby Mackey’s Music World is a possible haunted location in Wilder, Ky.

Each year couples give flowers and chocolates to show their love for each other for Valentine’s Day. Some will even take the other out for a dinner at their favorite restaurant. But a few tend to do things a little differently. They will make plans to go out of town to spend time alone with that special someone, which is exactly what I chose to do after finding out my fiancee’s favorite author was going to be in Cincinnati.

I began making plans for our trip with places to visit for the weekend — but not just the normal places. I also looked for allegedly haunted locations that were within the area. I found several but I chose a few because I did not want this to be all about places that I wanted to visit. On top of my list was Bobby Mackey’s Music World. It was just across the river in the town of Wilder, Ky., which was not too far from where we were going to be.

After a long day of shopping and meeting with her favorite author, we made the trip to Bobby Mackey’s and purchased our ticket for a tour of the building. The tour guide informed us about the history of the building as we made our way through each room of the basement. We were able to be in the rooms where the performers used to get ready to go on stage, and even what they called the silent room. But the one area I liked most was a small area with an arch entrance. Once inside you could tell there used to be two doors going in and the center wall was removed, which would have made two rooms of about three feet by five feet. Perfect for what they believe were holding cells. Why holding cells? Because it is believed to have been owned by the mob at one time and said to have had several people killed in the basement.

But another story he told us about this location was a “love story.” It was about a young lady by the name of Johanna, who was the owner’s daughter. She had fallen in love with a performer at the night club. But after her father found out she was pregnant, the performer was killed. She blamed her father for his death and attempted to take his life before committing suicide in the basement. This was another love story that did not end well. However, it is believed that Johanna still haunts the building. Some claim to have even seen her and shadow figures in certain areas. While visiting we even had one employee state that she would not go back in the basement after seeing one of the tall shadow figures.

Is Bobby Mackey’s Music World really haunted? Does Johanna still make herself known? These along with other questions are still a mystery but one day I would like to return with my team to spend the night to find out. And for those who have been there, I will answer the question that is on your mind: Yes, I did ride the mechanical bull.


Tom Moore is a founding member of Mid-Ohio Valley Ghost Hunters and has been conducting research for 14 years. He can be reached at