Kentucky is responsible for producing 95% of the world’s Bourbon Whiskey, and if you have not had the opportunity to go down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, we highly recommend the experience. One of my favorite locations in the distilling experience is the warehouse, where thousands of barrels of aging bourbon are stored. Traditionally, these warehouses have 4-5 floors stacked with 3-6 layers of barrels on each floor, totaling approximately 20,000 barrels in a typical warehouse. There is a beauty in the wood and the symmetry of stacked barrels lined as far as the warehouse stretches, and there is a beauty in the concentrated smell of aging Bourbon. Additionally, bourbon warehouses are traditionally dark and quiet places that can be a bit spooky when you are alone.
Olivia Ripy is the granddaughter of T.B. Ripy who operated a distillery in Tyrone, Kentucky. In this interview she discusses how she became involved in the bourbon industry when she began working at the Wild Turkey Distillery. Ripy was interviewed for our Kentucky Bourbon Tales Oral History Project on January 29, 2014, where she tells some stories about ghosts at the distillery. Olivia Ripy talks about her encounter with what she believes are the ghosts of former distillery workers at the Wild Turkey Distillery. She also talks about the paranormal investigations that have been done at the T.B. Ripy House.
You can access more ghost stories in our archive of over 11,000 interviews at www.kentuckyoralhistory.org. Just search on the word “ghost” and you will have plenty of stories to spook your Halloween this year.