In 1886, a respected attorney and future President of the L&N Railroad built the mansion on South Fourth Street for his family. Since Mr. Houston was a wealthy man, who spent a lot of time traveling for his job. He started interviewing women to see after his children.
In 1891, Annie Whipple arrived in Louisville still grieving over the loss of her husband. Annie was married to the captain of a ship that had gone missing at sea. Needing something to do, she met with Mr. Houston and got the job to be a nanny/tutor to his kids.
The Houston children were just what Annie needed at this time, in her life. She watched over the children and loved them as they were her own. However, in 1897 a Yellow Fever outbreak killed a dozen people in Louisville. Mr. Houston’s youngest daughter, Mary became ill and was told by doctors that there was nothing they could do and it was only a matter of time before the child died from Yellow Fever. Annie was heartbroken and stayed with the child doing her best to comfort her in her final days. While sitting bedside one night, Annie came across a story in the newspaper about a local doctor that could treat deadly diseases named Dr. Wayne Anderson.
The following morning Annie rode a horse into town to find Dr. Anderson. After asking around, she learned of his address and rode over to his house to talk to him about Mary’s condition. However, when Annie arrived, she was told by someone in Dr. Anderson’s family that he passed away the night before and they were in the process of making arrangements for his burial. Heartbroken Annie went back to the Houston home and put on a brave face for Mary.
At night when Mary was asleep Annie began to read the paper as she routinely did. She saw an article about a local mystic who communicate with the dead. Annie thought if she could communicate with Dr. Anderson from beyond the grave, he could surely tell her a way to cure Mary.
The next morning Annie walked down the street to the Witches Tree. There she met with Josephine, a local woman that dabbled in voodoo and the dark arts. After receiving some money, Josephine gave Annie the directions on how to summon the spirit of Dr. Anderson.
Annie raced back to the house and did exactly as Josephine had instructed. Sitting at a table, Josephine felt something come over her, and she began to write frantically on some paper. When she came to Josephine, she looked at the paper and realized she had written down some herbs and went to a local apothecary to buy them. When she got home, i.e., mixed the ingredients together and fed them to Mary. As Annie waited, Mary started to cough, and her condition began to worsen. Within a few minutes, Mary had fallen into a coma.
Not knowing what to do Annie followed Josephine’s instructions once again. Surely she had done something wrong the first time. Maybe if she summoned Dr. Anderson again, he would tell her what she could do to make Mary better. This time instead of writing, Annie began shaking and started to stab the table with her pen. When Annie awoke, she looked down and saw what she had done. The table was beaten up, and the paper was strewn everywhere. Annie began to straighten the papers when she noticed something strange scribbled on one of them. It reads: ‘You foolish woman. I am not Dr. Wayne Anderson.’
Annie started to feel ill and fell to the floor as she began to cry. Mr. Houston walked into the room and demanded to know what had happened. Annie confessed everything as he helped her to bed. As Annie struggled to breathe, she saw Mary walk into the room. The color had returned to Mary’s face and, she looked better than she had in months. Unfortunately, it was the last thing Annie ever saw. She died a few minutes later.
Guests today at the Bourbon Inn claim to see an apparition of an older woman on the stairs of the building. It’s thought that the spirit is Annie. The evil spirit she inadvertently called spared Mary’s life, but it took hers, and it is doomed to spend eternity in the house.
For more info check out the Louisville Ghost Map in the iTunes App Store for only $1.99.