There are no shortages of ghost stories, people report sightings of mysterious apparitions, noises in the attic, and a plethora of other strange phenomena, but some of the most notorious for lingering on after death, are musicians. In no particular order, here are some of the most famous ghouls still performing in the afterlife.
Jim Morrison (The Doors)
Jim Morrison has allegedly refused to break on through to the other side. Before Morrison’s death, he claimed that the spirits of a few Native Americans jumped into his body when his family witnessed the aftermath of a terrible accident. So essentially, if we’re to believe this, he was already a ghost before his death. His presence has appeared wandering at numerous locations around the world, from Paris to Los Angeles, and he has the nasty habit of hanging out in bathrooms. There’s no denying that the Lizard King was a total babe, and one lucky lady has even gone to bed with his ghost. According to Haunted Rock & Roll, Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends, Morrison climbed into bed with Rhonda Baron at his childhood home in Washington, D.C. on three occasions. One of the most famous sightings was by rock historian Brett Meisner during a visit to the departed singer's gravesite in Paris. After reviewing pictures after his trip, Meisner spotted a ghostly figure raising their arms up in the background. The photo has been deemed authentic but is it actually that of Morrison or is there a natural explanation?
Jim Morrison drowned in the bathroom of a Paris apartment on July 3, 1971, at the age of twenty-seven.
Elvis might be the most widely reported musician still booking gigs after his grisly overdose. He’s been spotted in Vegas, alongside the countless impersonators, at his Nashville home of Graceland, at the Ryman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry), and even haunting balconies in New Orleans where he filmed the movie Kid Creole. One of the coolest stories is that of a young girl who was on a Graceland tour and disappeared from the Trophy Room away from her parents. According to Haunted Rock & Roll, she was later found far away at the sight of Elvis’ grave in the Meditation Garden. The girl told her parents that a man in a white suit had taken her hand and given her a tour of the property and disappeared into thin air when they reached the garden. Conspiracy theorists think he is spotted so often because Elvis is indeed still alive and kicking, having faked his death to get out of the spotlight.
Elvis Presley died after falling off the toilet into a pile of his vomit at his home of Graceland on August 16, 1977. The cause of death, while initially reported to be from cardiac arrhythmia, was actually from an overdose of an insane cocktail of narcotic drugs.
Mama Cass Elliot (The Mamas and the Papas)
Though she may be famous for the rumors of choking to death on a ham sandwich, Mama Cass is also famous for being one ghost that Ray couldn’t bust. Former Ghostbuster Dan Ackroyd, who owned Cass’ former digs, alleges that she did some odd things while he resided there. She reportedly would turn the stair master on and off, move jewelry around, and even once climbed into bed with Ackroyd (I’m sure to his wife’s displeasure). Ackroyd’s reasoning for believing the haunter was that of Cass? He told iVlillage in 2003 that “I’m sure it’s Mama Cass because you get the feeling it’s a big ghost.” Real nice, Dan. But he’s not the only one that’s had an encounter with the singer. Beverly D’Angelo (Vacation) also had a few run-ins with Cass herself when she purchased the property in 2007. She detailed her experiences in an episode of Celebrity Ghost Hunters, which she described as “really freaky.”
While choking on a ham sandwich would be an interesting way to go, coroners ruled that her passing on July 29, 1974, at the age of 32, was due to heart failure from an undiagnosed condition.
Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
The legendary master of grunge, Kurt Cobain has been reported to appear in a handful of places and even left investigators with some curious EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). But the most notorious spot is that of a bench. Real exciting, a haunted bench. But it’s the spot where witnesses sighted the musician hours before his death. It’s located in Viretta Park in Seattle, Washington and is directly in front of the front man’s former home. The bench turned into a makeshift memorial with thousands of fans visiting each year. The lonely ghost of Cobain is reportedly spotted here more often than you might think.
Kurt Cobain died of an apparent suicide by a gunshot wound to the head on April 5, 1994, at the age of 27. While a suicide note was found next to the body, many people strongly believe that he was murdered by his wife, Courtney Love. Seattle Police recently revealed previously unreleased evidence which strengthened this belief for some.
John Lennon (The Beatles)
Lennon was no stranger to the paranormal when he was alive, with sightings of ghosts, conducting séances, and even spotting UFOs, so it should come as no surprise that this iconic musician wasn’t amped on leaving the love of his life Yoko Ono quite yet. People have reported his ghostly apparition all over the world, but his most famous haunts is the Dakota Building in New York City where Lennon lived and was also gunned down in front of. Both Paul McCartney and Oasis front man Liam Gallagher have reported Lennon’s ghost made appearances while they were recording one of his unfinished symphonies. Obviously, the dearly departed Beatle wanted to leave his mark on the piece as well.
John Lennon was tragically shot by Mark David Chapman with a .38 Special revolver on December 8, 1980, at the age of 40.
Sid Vicious (The Sex Pistols) . . . And Nancy
One of the most famous punk bands for both their music and the controversy surrounding the band is that of the Sex Pistols. On October 12, 1978, Nancy Spungen, the girlfriend of Sex Pistol’s bassist, Sid Vicious, was found dead from a single stab wound to the abdomen in the bathroom of their room at Hotel Chelsea. Vicious was arrested for the crime but died of a Heroin overdose before it went to trial. Sid and Nancy are said to still reside in The Chelsea. Sid’s most often spotted near the first-floor elevator opening and closing the doors. He’s also doing a lot of weird things in room 100, his former residence. People have reported loud music, hearing an arguing couple, floating orbs, and temperature changes when no one is in the room.
Many have their doubts that Vicious was Nancy’s killer, there is reason to believe that it was a crime involving one of the drug dealers who frequented their room. Perhaps, Vicious is still trying to plead his innocence to this day.
Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose while out on bail on February 2, 1979, at the age of 21.
Other famous musical ghosts include the likes of Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, Hank Williams, Brian Jones, Gram Parsons, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, and a whole score of others. Can we attribute their ghostly presence to struggling with letting go of fame? Or are these spirits hanging on due to their untimely and unfortunate demises?
Which ghostly musician would you most like to encounter? Tell us in the comments below!