Harrodsburg was the first town in Kentucky. It was also home to a notoriously haunted tavern that’s long been forgotten. The tavern was on the farm of Mack Cecil at the end of the Nineteenth Century, and after a prolonged ordeal with the Yocum family, was deconstructed.
The structure was just an average hostelry, much like so many others that followed the as travelers came through the area. It was built in 1798 and operated successfully for years. The atmosphere changed in the 1810s, when the place developed a reputation for dubious characters. By 1815, a wealthy traveler was murdered there for his gold.
In 1820, a woman from a nearby house grew irate with a young boy slave. He was terrified of his mistress’s anger, so he fled into the empty house. He ran all the way out onto the roof and refused to come down. The mistress marched back to her house and returned with a rifle. She shot him through the head. His body rolled down the roof and onto the ground. It remains unknown if this was her decision, or if she were somehow influenced by the structure.
Another decade passed when a Dr. Harry Thomas purchased the structure. He renovated the place into a building for both home and office. The upper story was used as a dissection room and laboratory. Neighbors were often uneasy about the doctor’s experiments. They weren’t particularly surprised when he suffered a horrible death in 1832. He was killed in the chamber, an accident with one of his own experiments.
The old tavern again fell into disuse as owners came and went. It would’ve continued rotting if not for the Yocum family. They attempted to make it a home in the 1890s. They tried to live there for two years, but it was a futile effort.
Mr. Yocum was outside with his two sons shortly after moving in. They were “shucking” corn at the end of the yard. Something red that moved like flowing fabric appeared from the weatherboarding on the side of the house. It moved in the air several times and retreated. This happened several times during the family’s occupation of the home.
They investigated the home’s exterior, but could never find a source of the object. They tried checking inside during and after the event, but nothing was abnormal. There was no evidence of its appearance inside the home, in any way. The display always happened on one side of the home that didn’t have any windows. It also always appeared during the daytime. No one inside the home ever witnessed the red substance when it was clearly visible to those outside.
The family was always dismissive of the displays. They assumed the home was strange, but nothing more. They were not afraid, but they were curious. There was no alarm until the physical disturbances manifested inside. Chairs and furniture “walked” of their own accord at night. Noises started. There were footsteps and sounds of murderous struggle. They tried to live with the peculiarities, but couldn’t. The family not only moved out of the home, they nearly moved out of the county.
The old tavern was abandoned again by the middle of the 1890s. Mack Cecil decided to sell parts of the tavern since no one wanted to live there. He sold the kitchen to his brother-in-law, “Uncle Billy” Overstreet. Overstreet deconstructed the kitchen and used the materials to add on his own home. The activity that existed in the house followed him.
He walked home one evening when he encountered a massive herd of cattle. He estimated there was a thousand head in the group. He noticed it was being driven by a familiar face, a neighbor. He walked away from the group and suddenly recalled the neighbor had died years earlier. He returned, but all trace of the cattle and the drivers had vanished. He also endured a number of strange events, but did not record the majority of them. Overstreet himself died in 1910 and what became of the tavern remnants is unknown