GHOSTS, HEADLESS AND OTHERWISE
Bryan (often a headless figure), Walling and Jackson reportedly have been seen on numerous occasions at Bobby Mackey's over the years, along with other spirits whose lives were entangled with the building in some way. In fact, several people have died unnatural deaths inside the building, which was alleged to be the site of several murders at the casino. During the 1950s, it became the Latin Quarter, another popular nightclub whose owners were arrested several times on gambling charges.
Later, the building became yet another rough-and-tumble nightclub, The Hard Rock Cafe (no relation to the restaurant chain), which was closed in 1978 by police request after several fatal shootings on the premises. Bobby Mackey purchased the building in 1978 and opened his Music World shortly thereafter.
One of the most frequently seen spirits is a young girl named Johana, a cabaret dancer during the club's casino days, who reportedly poisoned herself and her mobster father inside the building after he murdered her boyfriend, club singer Robert Randall. Other spirits who have appeared at the club regularly are Johana and gangster Albert "Red" Masterson.
According to sworn affidavits, other witnesses and local legend, paranormal activity in the club is often preceded by the strong smell of rose perfume. The juke box at Bobby Mackey's also has come on suddenly and played old tunes from the 1930s and 1940s – songs that were not loaded into the juke box! "The Anniversary Waltz" is a particular favorite, heard numerous times by many people. Chairs have moved inexplicably, rooms have gone cold and people have heard their names called, only to turn around and have no one there in the club.
CASES OF POSSESSION
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the Bobby Mackey's saga are the claims by several people that they have had spirits enter their bodies while in the club. Some of the sworn affidavits claim they felt cold chills run through their bodies, while others claimed to have taken on different personalities and even facial features while inside.
The most celebrated case of possession at Bobby Mackey's is Carl Lawson, who lived upstairs above the nightclub as a caretaker for the club. Lawson, one of the main subjects of Hensley's book, claims to have been attacked by several of the resident spirits and actually possessed by some of them as well, including Alonzo Walling. A supposedly successful exorcism of Lawson and the entire building took place at Bobby Mackey's on August 8, 1991. It was performed by the Reverend Glenn Coe and witnessed by Hensley, who also recorded it all on videotape.
For a time, it appeared that the exorcism was successful, but in recent years, strange occurrences have begun once again at the old building. Bobby Mackey, who has refused to believe the paranormal activity was true from the beginning, nevertheless made plans to tear down the building and construct a new club on adjacent property after viewing the videotape of the Carl Lawson exorcism. However, a piece of the ceiling fell on him one day when he was discussing the demolition, and the adjacent property he purchased for the new club was rendered useless by the sudden appearance of a fissure about six inches wide and 60 feet deep that runs from the old slaughterhouse well to the middle of the adjacent property.
Mackey has never built the new club, and he continues to operate at his original club where he regularly performs a special song he wrote, "The Ballad of Johana."