Beyond The Barrel: The Legend of Kentucky’s Haunted Bourbon Distillery
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is home to dozens of distilleries, and almost as many ghostly tales.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Kentucky is known for being the Bourbon Capital of the World, and rightfully so. It's said that the Bluegrass State produces about 95% of the world's bourbon. Kentucky has a rich history with bourbon dating back to the late 1700s. Many settlers that immigrated to the Kentucky region were from Germany, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and they brought with them a wealth of whiskey-distilling knowledge from their homelands. History.com has an in-depth breakdown of Kentucky's bourbon-producing history here if you're interested in learning more.
With a bourbon legacy dating back more than 200 years, many distilleries have found their home in Kentucky. In 1999 the Kentucky Distillers' Association created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail which is a road trip-style experience that will take bourbon lovers across the state to more than 40 different distilleries. Of course with learning about the art of distilling bourbon along the trail, you may also hear about some of the ghosts that haunt along the bourbon trail. Like the legends of the Wild Turkey Hauntings.
Wild Turkey Distillery
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky is the home of Wild Turkey Bourbon. In 1869 the Ripy brothers opened a family distillery on Wild Turkey Hill. Eventually, their bourbon would go on to become one of the premier bourbons in the state when it represented the state of Kentucky at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. We now know it as Wild Turkey Bourbon.
As you can imagine, with a history that dates back more than 150 years, there are now a few legends that surround the historic distillery. According to KYBourbon.com, there's more than just the spirits you would expect to find at a distillery inside Wild Turkey. Locals believe some Ripy family members are still hanging around the distillery.
Booze Meets BOOs
According to KY Bourbon, Olivia Ripy is the grandaughter of Wild Turkey founder T.B. Ripy, and she has been very open about her paranormal experiences within the distillery.
From hearing the sound of her uncle Roger Ripy’s voice to seeing cabinet doors move and dishes fall from shelves, it’s clear that someone–or something–at Wild Turkey is trying to communicate with the living from beyond the grave.
Employees have reported hearing footsteps, voices, the sounds of typewriters typing, and doors opening and closing.
Maybe they're these past Ripy family members are still around to ensure quality control of their bourbon. Either way, if you love ghost stories and bourbon, a trip to Wild Turkey Distillery may just be the perfect getaway for you!