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Dark Destinations > Locations - R > Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium Other destinations within a
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Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Historical Locations
Paranormal Hot Spots > Haunted Theaters
Personalities > Music > Johnny Cash
Added By: TheCabinet
Added On: May 31, 2007 - 07:23 PM UTC
Last Modified: July 10, 2007 - 09:52 PM UTC
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116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219, USA (Nashville, Tennessee)
The Grand Ole Opry
The Ryman Auditorium is perhaps best known for its run of hosting the Grand Ole Opry radio show from June 5, 1943 to March, 1974, when the new Opry House was opened at nearby Opryland, USA theme park.  It also hosted ABC TV show, The Johnny Cash Show, when it aired between 1969 and 1971.  Over the years, the artists that have played at the Ryman plays out like a virtual "who's who" of country music and other genres as well.  Among them: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, James Brown, The Byrds, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, Porter Wagonner, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, The Louvin Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson, Minnie Pearl and many, many more.  Though the Opry no longer is performed there, the building was re-opened as a performance hall and museum in 1994 to continue its legacy of music.

Other names that have graced its stage include Bela Lugosi (performing Arsenic and Old Lace), Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Gene Autry, Basil Rathbone, Orson Wells, W.C. Fields, President Teddy Roosevelt, Rudolph Valentino, Booker T. Washington, Tennessee Williams, Bob Hope, Doris Day, Charlie Chaplin, John Fogerty, and well... you get the idea.  The place is a historical landmark in the history of music and is now commonly referred to as the "Mother Church of Country Music."  Countless people have passed through its halls and the legend goes, some have never left...

Captain Thomas G. Ryman
The building's original owner and namesake, Captain Thomas G. Ryman, is said to still haunt his old building.  Though the Ryman Auditorium was originally built as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892, it soon shifted over to an entertainment venue after Ryman's death.  Legend goes that if his spirit disapproved of any of the performances that were held there, he would make his disapproval known.  In one early performance of the "risqué musical", Carmen, he created so much noise that patrons complained about not being able to hear the show.  Noise appears to be his usual weapon, but he has also been accused of turning lights on and off during the show.

The Gray Man
The balcony is the hangout for another ghost at the Ryman, known as the Gray Man, because he is dressed all in gray.  He can be found after shows or during rehearsals, sitting in a chair on the balcony and watching the stage.  When people go to investigate, they find no one there.  He is such a common occurrence that performers constantly are looking for him as they prepare for their set.

Hank Williams
Another ghost said to the haunt the Auditorium is that of the legendary country musician, Hank Williams Sr..  Staff members have reported being seen Hank backstage and even, at times, on the stage itself.  Another popular place for him to be spotted is in the alley in-between the Ryman and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, a place where Hank would go for a quick drink at breaks.  The Lounge is no stranger to Hank Williams sightings either and is one of many locations he is said to haunt.

The Opry Curse
One of the more compelling legends of the Ryman Auditorium is the belief in the "Curse of the Grand Ole Opry," because of the untimely death of countless of people who have performed at the Ryman, as well as Opry Land.  The curse has been executed as a couple of plane crashes (Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Randy Hayes, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Jim Reeves), car accidents (Ira Louvin, Jack Anglin), murder (Stringbean Akeman, Jimmy Widener), house fire ("Texas Ruby" Fox), and many more.  In total, the curse is said to have taken as many as 35-37 people over time.
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Related Sites
Historic Ryman Auditorium
The official site of the Ryman Auditorium, the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974, several ghosts and a history with the Opry Curse.
Prairie Ghosts: Ghosts of the Ryman Auditorium
Prairie Ghosts' entry on the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. This former home of the Grand Ole Opry is rumored to be haunted and part of the Curse of the Grand Ole Opry.
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See Also on
Blog: The Curse of the Grand Ole Opry (03/16/09)
Available from
City Ghosts: True Tales of Hauntings in America's Cities
Encyclopedia Of Haunted Places: Ghostly Locales From Around The World
Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground: Authentic Accounts of Restless Spirits, Haunted Honky Tonks, and Eerie Events in Tennessee
Nashville's Mother Church: The History of the Ryman Auditorium
Haunted Tennessee
More Haunted Tennessee
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Ryman Auditorium Sign
The sign on the entrance to the allegedly haunted Ryman Auditorium of Nashville in June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
The Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee during a rainstorm (hence the blurriness) in June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
Rain Soaked Photo of the Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium through the wet lense of my camera in June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
The Ryman Auditorium at Night
Dark photo of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, taken during Nashville Ghost Tours in June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

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