The Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky  
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The Old Talbott Tavern has always been known for the ghostly stories told by the locals and some guests. The most famous ghostly visitor is supposedly Jessie James. Another is the lady in white. They always appear as apparitions. The other stories include round balls of light (orbs) moving around the room in the middle of the night, or flashes of light without cameras. More stories include movements of objects without any cause, such as forks and glasses on dining tables moving without anyone touching them, keys disappearing from the front desk and showing up down the hall on the floor later that day. Furniture has been known to start jumping up and down without any reason. Some have seen shadows walk out of dark corners into the light before disappearing. The sounds that are most heard are music, clocks chiming out during late night hours, doors opening and closing when no one else is in the building , and lots of footsteps all hours of the day. Knocking at doors with no one there when you open to see who is knocking. An old piano that was heard playing by its self, and voices calling out from empty areas.

The Old Talbott Tavern
107 West Stephen Foster Avenue
Bardstown, Kentucky, 40004

Contact Phone : (502) 348-3494
Email :

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A former bookkeeper tells this story. One night while closing she started up the stairs to take the money to the safe and was frightened when she saw a man standing in a long coat walk across the top landing. About the same time the cook came long from the kitchen and also saw the stranger. They both were surprised because no one else was supposed to be in the building. They went upstairs carefully to see if they could find the stranger and as they reached the top of the stairs a nearby door closed. They open this door to see if he was inside and just the back door to this room closed. They thought he had passed through this room and was leaving out back. They followed to the back door and when they open it they again saw the strange man walking down the hall and he went out the fire escape door that was locked. When the bookkeeper and cook went close behind and open the door to see if he had gone down the fire escape he was standing on the landing. He turned around to face her and started a hideous laugh and then disappeared right in front of their eyes. About three weeks later she was watching a special on TV and they showed a picture of Jessie James. She grabbed her husband’s arm and said “Oh my God! That is the same face I saw the other night when the man disappeared!” Since then they call him Jessie James. Two other employees have claimed to have seen this man walking in the halls at different times.I’m not disputing her word, but I can’t figure out why Jessie James would haunt this old building. He did come to Bardstown to visit family and his cousin Donnie Pence, who was the local sheriff at the time. Local lore has it Jessie stayed at the Tavern and he left bullet holes in the walls to prove his visit. These bullet holes did survive the fire. In 1886 George Talbott bought the Tavern (Known as the Newman House then). He soon married and moved in with his bride. While they lived there they had twelve children. Only five was survived, and one or the five was a surviving twin. They were plagued with all types of childhood diseases so they died at different ages. In 1912, George himself died at the Tavern. Shortly after his death, his wife Annie changed the name from Newman House to Talbott Hotel. Several people, including myself, have seen the lady in white. On one Occasion a couple left in the middle of the night because of the terrifying experience with the lady. Later they called back to tell us why they left. They both woke up at the same time to see a lady in white hovering over them. She was looking down at them and then she turned and floated out the window beside the bed. That was enough for them. During the day when I have been getting the dining room ready for the dinner hour, I have seen on three occasions a lady walk through the Audubon Dining Room. When I would go check to see who was there, I could never find her. She was always dressed the same. She was thin, long brown wavy hair, and had on a long white 1800’s dress on. A few months before the Tavern burned, I was told that one of our guests was asking to speak to the manager. I was afraid I was going to hear a complaint. When I met with the guest he asked me if our rooms are haunted. I asked him why. He told me that during the night, balls of light hovering over his bed and then bounced around the room awaken him. He said that some of them were different colors, like red, yellow, and white. At one point, he tried to get up but felt as if something was holding him down. He said it was like electricity was running through him without pain. I told him that he wasn’t the first person that happened to. More than one guest had complained about that room being haunted. Sometimes they told me the TV would come on and off all night and the heater was constantly turned up so hot they couldn’t sleep. They would get up and turn it down and then wake up again with it too hot to breathe. He was so excited about it being haunted that he stayed another night, hoping to see more of the same the next night. Unfortunately, he was disappointed because nothing happened. Later his came by to view the room. She was a writer of some type and thought it would make a great story. If you have an experience with our ghostly residents please let us know so we can pass it down to those who follow.


The Old Talbott Tavern does not have special tours our haunted event packages. If you are interested in learning more about the haunted guests or ghosts that reside at the hotel please call or visit their website to make a reservation. What better way to get in touch with them than to spend a few nights in the same room... - Louisville (45 miles) Take I65 South to Bardstown/Berheim Forest Exit. Turn left off exit. This is highway #245. Go approximately 15 miles. Turn right at 3rd traffic light. You will come down thru center of town. Court House sits in the middle of Court Square. Talbott Tavern is on the southwest corner. McLean House is on the southeast corner. Lexington (60 miles) Take Bluegrass Parkway to Bardstown. Take the first Bardstown exit. Turn right off exit. This is highway #150. Go approximately 2.5 miles. You will approach Court House which sits in the middle of Court Square. Talbott Tavern is on the southwest corner. The McLean House is on the southeast corner. Northern Kentucky (150 miles) Take I75/I71 to Lousville. Take Gene Snyder Freeway to I65 South. Take I65 South to Bardstown/Berheim Forest exit. Turn left off exit. This is highway #245. Go approximately 15 miles. Turn right at 3rd traffic light. You will come down thru center of town. Court House sits in the middle of Court Square. Talbott Tavern is on the southwest corner. McLean House is on the southeast corner. Nashville (120 miles) Take I65 North to Elizabethtown. From Elizabethtown take Bluegrass Parkway to Bardstown. Take the first Bardstown exit. Turn left off exit. This highway #31E soth. Follow this into town (about 1.5 miles). As soon as approach St. Joseph Cathedral the road will "Y". You bear right. Go 2.5 blocks. Talbott Tavern will be on right corner as you approach our Court House. McLean House is on the right corner as you semi-circle our Court House.

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