Hidden away in the outskirts of Walton, KY, past the notorious Bobby Mackey’s Music World, exists a small farming compound comprised of numerous generations of families. Houses in this small area range from current modern-day architecture and new buildings, to old dilapidated wood and stick frame barns, and houses from the early 1900’s. Inside of this compound lies the original farmhouse, which was the framework of the current day Benton Family Farms.
The original farmhouse was constructed around 1901, but paperwork was never fully completed, so the date of its actual finalization is fuzzy. It is believed that this ground was sacred Native American ritual grounds, although there is not enough written history to support that claim.
Originally, the house was just built to support Dr. Ryle’s family and medical practice. The house was not necessarily built to act as a farmhouse, as it would eventually become. Early on in his practice, Dr. Ryle had lost 3 patients, succumbing to their injuries and passing away in the farmhouse, including a young girl.
Fast forward to 1941, the first generation of Benton’s moved into the house. John Benton Sr. and his wife, Ora Lee, brought their three kids to the home, John Benton Jr., Louise, and Hazel. This family was the first to establish the farm. Dr. Ryle’s son, William C Ryle, stayed on the farm to work, as he had grown attached to the property. However, in 1943, William was killed in a farming accident and was crushed by an unattended tractor.
In 1962, John Benton Jr. took control of the farm and introduced tobacco as their main crop. His sheep and cattle counts were nearly 100 each. That same year, he married his betrothed, Rosemary.
The farm began taking in visitors in the early 1990’s, with their main hope to teach and inspire youth from around the state. They were able to give schools and children hands on farming experiences.
Benton Family Farms made a transition toward eco-friendly and renewable energy in 2010 and broke ground for additional specialized buildings to function for special events like weddings and banquets. A year later in 2011, John Benton Jr. gave control of the farm and property to his daughter, Mary. Mary’s three children, Cody, Jarred, and Josh will usher in the 4th generation of Bentons to work on the farm.
The farmhouse itself has long been abandoned, and the house is now used as a haunted house fundraiser to help support the Ryle High School Future Farmers of America. The haunted house attraction is only open September and October, but the remnants of the attraction can be seen throughout the house, only adding to the eerie feel inside of the building.
Even though this property resides close by to the notorious Bobby Mackey’s Music World, many of the experiences at Benton Family Farms are more docile and playful. There are many different types of hauntings that have been documented to take place at this location, including everything from sounds like banging and doors opening and slamming shut, to full body apparitions, even to shape-shifters.
Stemming from the mythology that the land that the farmhouse stands on was of Native American descent, there are sightings of a shape shifting type of spirit. This would have been a shaman or spiritual deity from the Native American culture that has been attached to this mystical land. This shape shifting spirit has been said to have the ability to transform from a human form to animals, even to another being. This entity has been spotted and documented as a dark figure standing throughout the hallways and on the exterior of the building, sometimes peering through the windows.
Throughout the farmhouse, there have been a few full-body apparitions noted. It is believed that one of these entities is the spirit of Dr. Ryle, who is still in search for his son and his lost patients. He is most notably spotted on the second floor. Another spirit is said to be that of a previous slave, one who is dressed in a full white gown and turban-like wrap around her head. She can be spotted mostly on the exterior of the building and the attic. In the basement is mainly where a former owner, Mr. Benton, can not only be seen, but also felt.
Outside of the house, there is also said to be a spirit animal, or some sort of Native American entity that can be heard growling or hissing at visitors.
The most common types of experiences though, are spirit lights and orbs, as well as the giggles and laughs of a young child. Those who have heard these giggles usually feel a tug or pull at their paint leg, almost as if that little girl is trying to get their attention.
Some of the more renowned paranormal experiences in the farmhouse are EVP’s. However, on occasion, spirit boxes and recorders aren’t even necessary. It is said that some of these voices can be heard in the dead silence and dark of night without any need of modern day technology.
Our investigation will follow…