The Infamously Haunted Earnestine and Hazel’s

Posted by junketseo in Nashville Ghost Tours
The Infamously Haunted Earnestine and Hazel’s - Photo

Located in Memphis, Tennessee, Earnestine and Hazel’s has seen it all. It’s been the site of various businesses, paving the way for the spirits of a bygone era to call this place home. They roam the upstairs rooms, mess with the jukebox, and play the piano. Their faces plaster the walls and send people running for the hills. And that’s just the light stuff.

Tennessee is filled to the brim with great music, history, and haunts. Looking to experience it all for yourself? Join us for a Nashville ghost tour and get to know the spirits of the Music City in a whole new way!


Fun Facts about Earnestine and Hazel’s

Earnestine and Hazel’s is one of the most popular spots in Memphis.

  • Earnestine and Hazel’s was voted “Best Dive Bar” in Nashville. It was also a Mid-South Semi-Finalist for “Garden and Gun Best Bar.”
  • The bar has been featured in 9 movies and covered in publications such as Playboy and Esquire. 
  • A bag full of money went missing inside the bar once, only to mysteriously reappear 5 years later.
  • People who stand by the jukebox report feeling as if someone were touching them.
  • A former employee claims to have been able to communicate with Earnestine. According to this former employee, she received messages from Earnestine from the other side.


Hauntings in Tennessee


Earnestine and Hazel’s might be one of the most haunted locations in Tennessee, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Nashville has maybe more haunted spots than it does country singers, and we all know that is saying something.

The Walking Horse Hotel is one such example. Located just an hour outside Nashville, this is where Union soldiers used to release moribund Confederate troops. Many of the captive soldiers were seriously ill and on the brink of death, so most of them died while on the property. Their ghosts are said to still linger at the hotel –– ask any guests who have seen ghostly figures peeking at them from their rooms. Guests also report hearing horse hooves on the ground floor and the upstairs hallway.

Then there’s the Hermitage, President Jackson’s resting place and his former residence. According to public records, as many as 482 deaths have occurred on the property, not including the slaves who were worked to death on site. Visitors report all kinds of ghostly phenomena, but what particularly spooks people is a whistling sound that makes them feel surrounded by very sinister energy.


The Backstory of Earnestine and Hazel’s


Earnestine and Hazel’s has been a centerpiece of Memphis from the beginning. Before it was a bar, however, the building was a church. Then, in the 1930s, it became a pharmacy until the owner invented a gel-type hair product that made him rich. Satisfied with his new fortune, he generously gave the building to two hairdressers using his product, Earnestine and Hazel.

Earnestine and Hazel’s turned the building into a cafe that was frequented by the celebrities who performed at a nearby music joint owned by Earnestine’s husband. Fast-forward to 1992, and the bar became what it is today. But the bar has its own dark history as there used to be a brothel upstairs where people used heroin with abandon. According to the rumors, many prostitutes were killed there, and their spirits still haunt the upstairs section of the building.

Now just a regular, local bar, Earnestine and Hazel’s bring the town together. People drop by to find great music, food, and, most importantly, a good time –– even if it means hearing weird noises and feeling strange sensations.


Hauntings at Earnestine and Hazel


Earnestine and Hazel’s has a long history of strange happenings. It is believed that in addition to the prostitutes who were violently murdered there, a previous owner by the name of Ray Charles committed suicide upstairs. Today, most employees avoid the area and mainly work in the lower levels, doing their best to ignore everything they hear above their heads, including the sounds of people walking around and even having conversations.

Downstairs is hardly any better. Employees report that the jukebox will often turn on by itself, sometimes to a song related to the conversation. On the day of James Brown’s passing, for example, two co-workers were talking about his death when “I Feel Good” started blasting. The lights are also known to play tricks on people—sometimes, they dim very low, and other times, they brighten up almost enough to blind people in plain daytime.

Tourists who come looking for evidence hardly leave empty-handed. Weird orbs and shapes are captured in almost every photograph as well as human faces on the walls. Most terrifying, however, are all the voices and chatter.


Haunted Tennessee


It’s hard to summarize Earnestine and Hazel’s. Part of what makes the place so frightening is that it is simply hard to pin down. What exactly haunts the old dive bar? That’s hard to say. It’s likely the spirits of the prostitutes and other people who died there. The one thing we can all agree on is that you shouldn’t go upstairs for any reason, especially if the piano music is luring you.

For more haunted places in Tennessee, book a Nashville ghost tour with Nashville Ghosts!