35 years ago on this date, the famous Grand Ole Opry country music radio program relocated from its home of over 30 years, the Ryman Auditorium, to the recently constructed Opryland USA theme park. It appeared to be the end of the Nashville, Tennessee landmark as it was left vacant and not maintained. Interest in restoring the Ryman's glory emerged in the 1990s and in 1994 it was reopened as a performance hall and museum.
Given that the auditorium dates back to 1892, the Ryman Auditorium has many fascinating stories, but perhaps one of its more intriguing legends is tied back to that famous radio show. The legend is known as the "Curse of the Grand Ole Opry" and it emerged following the untimely (often violent) deaths of several people that performed in its halls. Among its reputed victims are such names as Patsy Cline, Ira Louvin, and Jim Reeves. Death has come in the form of plane and automobile accidents, drugs/alcohol, murder, fire, and more. In fact, there are names like Hank Williams Jr. and Jack Greene that have suffered near-fatal accidents but survived - though the accidents are still attributed to the "Opry Curse." Apparently, the supposed curse continued despite the move from the Ryman. It has been reported that 14 people died in a three-year period at Opryland following the move and the deaths just fed the stories of the curse.
The so-called "Curse of the Grand Ole Opry" may have moved on to other grounds, but that is not to say that all of its stories have. In addition to its past ties to the reputed curse, the Ryman reportedly continues to be haunted by no less than three ghosts that still to make their presences known. Among them are the building's original owner, a spirit simply known as the "Gray Man," and a country music legend.
Read more tales about the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Hurst Public Library Halloween 2013
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