The Haunting at Cain’s Ballroom

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 8 December 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.


Step into the haunting realm of Cain’s Ballroom nestled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a legendary venue with a dark and eerie past.

Beyond the stage’s spotlight, whispers of paranormal mysteries beckon, inviting you to explore the chilling encounters and ghostly tales that have left an indelible mark on this historic establishment.


Cain’s Ballroom, a cultural icon of Tulsa, Oklahoma, boasts a rich history that dates back to its opening in 1924. Originally established as a garage and dance hall by entrepreneur Tate Brady, the venue quickly evolved into a thriving entertainment hub, hosting live music, dances, and social gatherings for the community.

During the height of the Swing Era in the 1930s and 1940s, Cain’s Ballroom became renowned for its swing dance events, drawing large crowds and famous bands from across the nation. The venue’s unique and spring-loaded wooden dance floor earned it the nickname “The Home of the Texas Playboys,” as it became the favored venue for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, pioneers of Western Swing music.

Throughout the decades, Cain’s Ballroom has played host to countless legendary musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Sex Pistols, solidifying its status as a cornerstone of American music history. Its storied past as a speakeasy during Prohibition and a pivotal venue for various music genres have embedded it in the hearts of music enthusiasts worldwide.

Cain's Ballroom
Cain’s Ballroom | Credit: timlandesjr

As the years passed, Cain’s Ballroom underwent renovations and expansions, preserving its unique architectural features while accommodating the growing demands of modern music events. However, amid its vibrant history, the venue’s reputation for paranormal activities has woven an eerie thread into its narrative, captivating visitors with chilling encounters and unexplained phenomena.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Step into the enigmatic world of Cain’s Ballroom, where the veil between the living and the paranormal grows thin.

Over its storied history, this iconic venue has become a playground for the supernatural, with chilling encounters and ghostly tales that have left guests and staff alike in awe and trepidation.

Cowboy Spirit – Hank Williams Sr.

Legend has it that in the quiet shadows of Cain’s Ballroom, a mysterious cowboy spirit roams the darkened halls. As recalled by a former bar-back, Standingwater, the ghostly figure materializes by the main bar, waiting in the periphery of vision.

On several eerie nights, as Standingwater hurried through the bar’s walkway, he caught glimpses of the cowboy silhouette leaning against the bar, as if expecting service. Yet, the moment he tried to focus on the apparition, it dissipated into the darkness, leaving behind an unsettling sense of the supernatural presence. The image bore an uncanny resemblance to the photograph of Hank Williams Sr. that graced the wall, suggesting a slender, jacketed cowboy from a bygone era.

Cain's Ballroom
Cain’s Ballroom | Credit: ithinkyourgreat2023

Phantoms Distressful Voice

In the haunting depths of Cain’s Ballroom, a spine-chilling encounter unfolded for French, a former visitor. As he ventured to the old restroom behind the stage, the air turned heavy with unsettling sorrow. The unmistakable sound of a woman’s cries, moans, and sobbing filled the air, as if she was trapped in distressing pain. Concerned, French called out, only to be met with silence, discovering he was seemingly alone.

The ghostly cries echoed through the corridors, leaving a lingering sense of anguish and mystery that lingers in the memory of those who have experienced the haunting presence. The old restroom stands as a portal to the unexplained, and the apparition of the tormented woman continues to add an air of enigmatic sorrow to the storied history of Cain’s Ballroom.

Woman Spectral – Bar Area

On a fateful night within Cain’s Ballroom, a young lady’s world collided with the spectral realm. As she worked diligently behind the bar, her eyes widened in terror as a transparent woman materialized before her very eyes, donned in an ethereal ballgown. The apparition’s presence defied explanation, leaving the witnesses to ponder if it was the spirit of the long-gone 80-year-old woman who once called the ballroom her home.

The haunting encounter left an indelible mark on those who experienced it, forever entwining the ballroom’s history with the enigmatic tales of apparitions from another time. The venue’s walls whispered of the spectral secrets they hold, and the stories of the otherworldly inhabitants continue to weave a tapestry of intrigue and mystique within Cain’s Ballroom.

As you leave Cain’s Ballroom, the echoes of haunting apparitions linger in the air, reminding you that the realm of the unexplained coexists with the vibrant energy of live music and lively crowds. The venue’s walls carry the secrets of a timeless enigma, beckoning you to return and immerse yourself in the chilling tales of paranormal activities that have forever etched their mark on this iconic landmark.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

Celebrated for its storied history and mysterious allure, Cain’s Ballroom has garnered attention in various media, exploring the realm of the paranormal. Featured in the gripping series “Phantoms of Sound: Unraveling Haunted Music Venues,” investigators have delved into the venue’s ghostly tales and chilling encounters.

In the realm of literature, Cain’s Ballroom has etched its legacy in books like “Haunted Oklahoma: Stories Of Paranormal Activity In Oklahoma ” by Marsha Hubbard Keith and “Haunted Oklahoma: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Sooner State” by Jeff Provine. These literary works unravel the supernatural stories surrounding the venue, presenting captivating narratives of its enigmatic past.

Today, Cain’s Ballroom remains a must-visit destination for music enthusiasts and paranormal aficionados, drawn to its enigmatic presence in popular culture and media. This iconic landmark exudes an aura of intrigue and the unknown, inviting all who seek an immersive experience in its captivating and spectral ambiance.


As you leave Cain’s Ballroom, the echoes of its haunted history linger in the air. The spirits of the past seem to weave through the very fabric of this iconic venue, leaving an enigmatic aura that captivates all who dare to venture within.

Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, the chilling stories and unexplained phenomena make Cain’s Ballroom a place where the line between reality and the paranormal blurs, forever drawing you back into its eerie embrace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Cain’s Ballroom located?
A: Cain’s Ballroom is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. The address is 423 N Main St, Tulsa, OK 74103.

Q: Is Cain’s Ballroom really haunted?
A: Yes, Cain’s Ballroom has gained a reputation for being haunted, with numerous reported encounters of supernatural phenomena.

Q. Who is the mysterious cowboy spirit that haunts Cain’s Ballroom?
A. The mysterious cowboy spirit that haunts Cain’s Ballroom is believed to bear an uncanny resemblance to the photograph of Hank Williams Sr. He materializes by the main bar, and witnesses have caught glimpses of his silhouette leaning against the bar.

Q. What is the distressful voice heard by visitors in Cain’s Ballroom?
A. Visitors have reported hearing the distressful voice of a woman crying, moaning, and sobbing in the old restroom behind the stage at Cain’s Ballroom. Despite calling out to her, the source of the ghostly cries remains a haunting mystery.

Q. Can guests or staff request to encounter the spectral presence at Cain’s Ballroom?
A. The encounters with the spectral entities at Cain’s Ballroom seem to be spontaneous and unpredictable. While guests and staff may not be able to request specific encounters, the ballroom’s enigmatic history continues to fascinate those who step into its haunting depths.

Q. Are there any guided tours or activities that explore the haunted history of Cain’s Ballroom?
A. Cain’s Ballroom is known for its haunting legends and enigmatic tales. While specific guided tours may not be mentioned, visitors can inquire about activities or events that delve into the venue’s haunted history to learn more about the spectral inhabitants and the mysteries that surround the historic ballroom.

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