The Brown Hotel

The Brown Hotel was built in 1923 on the corner of west Broadway and 4th street in downtown Louisville. The hotel was built by J. Graham Brown who lived on the fifteenth floor with his French Poodle, Woozum. Brown called the hotel home until his death in 1969 and some believe he never left.

The clock outside the hotel at 4th & Broadway – Courtesy: The Brown Hotel

I stayed at the Brown Hotel when I was interviewing for a job in 2016. It is a beautiful building. The interior design is primarily English Renaissance style with lots of marble and chandeliers hanging all around the lobby.

The lobby stairs – Courtesy: The Brown Hotel
The lobby bar – Courtesy: The Brown Hotel

I talked to the bartender while I was there about the alleged hauntings in the hotel. They told me that many guests and staff members have reported hearing footsteps and the sounds of furniture being moved around on the fifteenth floor, even though no one stays on that floor. The bartender also told me about the freight elevator will often stop on the fifteenth floor, even though the button for that floor isn’t pushed. Mr. Brown has also been seen on the mezzanine looking over the guests and employees

The gallery of the hotel – Courtesy: The Brown Hotel

Wanting to know more, I went on a ghost walk with Robert Parker, also known as “Mr. Ghost Walker” in downtown Louisville. The tour starts outside the hotel next to a statue of Mr. Brown and Woozum. Parker told the group that the smell of cigar smoke is also associated with the spirit of Mr. Brown. It may have been suggestion, but at that moment, as I was staring at the statue I could have sworn I smelled that sweet smell of cigar smoke…even though no one in the group was smoking.

Statue of Mr. Brown & Woozum on 4th street

During the day the hotel is full of guests and employees and is the birthplace of the Hot Brown. The lobby of the hotel was even featured in the 2005 Cameron Crowe film Elizabethtown. At night it is a little different. My interview was early in the morning, it was for an overnight shift, and as I walked through the lobby there were only a few employees around and it felt like someone was watching me from the balcony. The feeling was so intense, I had to look and see if there was, in fact, someone up there looking at me. There was not.

The Brown Hotel from the south side of Broadway

If you are ever in Louisville and want to spring a little extra money, why not book a room in the Brown Hotel – you might even get a special welcome from Mr. Brown himself. You can get information about booking a room HERE. If you want to learn more about some of the ghost stories in downtown Louisville, Mr. Ghost Walker still does tours – you can find that information HERE.

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