Spirit Hunters: The Haunting of the Green Beetle

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The Green Beetle on South Main is the oldest tavern in Memphis. Customers and workers say it’s also haunted. 

Local 24 News reporter Caitlin McCarthy joined the Memphis Ghost Investigation and Spirit Rescue team to find out if there are any spirits at the tavern.

The Green Beetle in downtown Memphis was opened in 1939 by Frank Liberto. His grandson runs the place now and one of the bartenders says it’s not uncommon to sense a certain vibration, and we’re not talking about the music.

“I don’t know what it could be, but there is something that can move things without humans touching it in this building,” said Ian Burnett.

He has noticed things like the lights flickering. But it was when things started flying across the bar that gave him a chill.

“We’re going through a lot of wine glasses because whatever hangs out here likes to throw them off my wine rack,” said Burnett.

 Three members of Memphis Ghost Investigation and Spirit Rescue went to the Green Beetle to see if they could help. Their mission is to help people’s spirits “crossover” to the other side and make peace with their life on earth.

Kayla Bayles is a spiritual rescue medium. 

“It always starts with listening or what you can do to let them know they are heard, how to understand where they’re at, and how they can get past where they are,” said Bayles.

Jennifer Brooks is also a spiritual rescue medium.

“They’ll show me what they look like, what happened, and how they passed,” said Brooks.

Stephen Williams has been clearing haunted locations since 2002. He is an intuitive investigator.

“If I feel it higher, I know that’s a spirit that has crossed over. And if I feel it lower that means it’s someone who is earth-bound, which means they’re still lingering here for some reason,” said Williams.

The team got to work after the tavern closed on a Friday night. Bayles and Brooks were drawn to a bathroom mirror and see a young woman with long blond hair and a theatrical personality, and a vision of her possible death.

“She definitely hit her head,” said Brooks. “Because when we were talking about it, she actually made me feel dizzy and I had to grab this, so I definitely feel like she fell and hit her head.”

The women also met an older gentleman who they say had gray hair and a lively personality.

“He’s charming and he’s very handsome.” Bayles points to old photos on the wall. “Maybe him? I’m drawn to him,” says Bayles.

Williams explains the man is the original owner who has “crossed over” but returns to the Green Beetle because it is still special to him. His presence is even stronger in the basement.

“I feel the older gentleman might come down here a lot to be with his grandson.” 

Williams finishes their investigation with a tuning fork that he strikes on rose quartz. He says the ritual increases the vibrations in the room to help the spirits cross over and find their peace.

They shared their findings with Burnett. They started with the original owner of the bar.

“He’s already crossed over, but this is his retirement,” said Williams.

Burnett says that fits because he often has the feeling of being watched when he was in the basement office.

Bayles then told Burnett who was causing the problems at the bar.

“We picked up a female, that’s at the bar a lot and she hates the music, especially when it’s loud. She messes with the kitchen, she throws the glasses.”

They explain the woman’s name is Marilyn and they believe she died from hitting her head. They think she might have lived in one of the apartments above the tavern. They say Marilyn is something of a barfly who likes being around people at the tavern.

“She likes to tap people on the shoulder for fun,” said Bayles.

Burnett looked surprised. “That’s really weird. That happens all the time,” he said. “I didn’t tell you guys that at all.”     

Williams said Marilyn had a message for Burnett.

“So basically, you need to set her out a wine glass and pour her a little drink and give her a little respect. That’s all she’s looking for. And play some nice music.”

That’s what Burnett did. And for now, Marilyn is a little more at peace at the Green Beetle.     

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