Dark Side of Memphis

Backbeat Tours

Zerve Seller: Backbeat
Activity #2871

The Dark Side of Memphis is no longer available. Please see the "Calendar of Other Activities" for the Memphis Walking Ghost Tour and other great alternatives!

You may view a calendar of other activities from Backbeat.
Or for more information, please contact Backbeat.


Before Memphis was the home of the blues, it was a rowdy river town full of rogues and gamblers, crooks and con men, voodoo queens and ladies of the night.  Is it any wonder that more than a few spirits remain?  Explore the darker side of Memphis history as we search for ghosts and apparitions from the distant and not-so-distant past. 
Some of the highlights on this one-hour tour include:
  • The Gayoso House, site of a brutal murder and several paranormal phenomena
  • The bloody Civil War hospital (and former slave market) of Howard’s Row
  • The cobblestone river landing, stalked by a serial killer in the 1970s
  • Barboro Alley – also known as “Deadman’s Alley” – site of a gruesome chapter in Memphis history during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 
Please note, this tour is entirely outside.  The buildings on this tour are private residences and businesses, so we are not able to go inside them. 

This tour is appropriate for all ages. Join us today to experience the darker side of Memphis history.

The Dark Side Tour is offered Thursday and Sunday nights, March through October (as well as the last Friday of each month, March through October). 
Dark Side Tour unavailable?  Try our Memphis Ghost Walk, a two-hour walk to haunted locations, with an exploration of one of the most haunted locations in the city.   The Memphis Ghost Walk is offered Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, March through October; Saturdays only in November.

What Is Not Included?

Admission to the haunted locales is not included; the tour is entirely outside. Food and beverages are not included on the tour. Feel free to bring your own!

Meeting Location

Corner of 2nd and Beale Streets, Downtown (Memphis, TN) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)


38 Reviews Rating: 4 4 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
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# of Reviews Positive
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% Positive Average
Last 3 months 0 0 0 = 0 0% 0.0
Last 6 months 0 0 0 = 0 0% 0.0
Last 12 months 1 1 0 = 1 100% 4.0
All 38 67 7 = 60 91% 4.2
38 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 4
Definitely Spooky
Meghanull Sun, Oct 27, 13  8:00 PM Female 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
We had a great time on this walking tour - it was the perfect time of year to go (Halloween weekend). Our tour guide was very thorough, very knowledgeable, and we were definitely spooked! It is a fun experience for those who want a little insight into the Dark Side of Memphis - worth the money, and I would do it again.
Rating: 4
Fun and spooky
lkatsman Sun, Oct 13, 13  8:00 PM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
This night tour was both creepy and historical - our tour guide Erica was very fun and high energy!
Rating: 4
Great evening entertainment!
Almckee81 Sun, Oct 13, 13  8:00 PM Female 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
The walking Dark Tour was very interesting and our tour guide, Erica, was great!!! Perfect end to our girls weekend!
Rating: 4
6 year old loved it!!
swavada Sun, Sep 1, 13  8:00 PM Female 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Family With Children
My 6 Year Old Daughter Loved This Tour So Much She Tipped Her Own Money. Great Stories And An Easy Walk. I Would Do It Again.
Rating: 5
Informative and fun
gearyg Sun, Jul 28, 13  8:30 PM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
Our guide, Erica, was a little late but more than made up for it! She knew the history of the city and area and she made it come alive! We even had a little interaction with little Mary at the Orpheum on our way back to our car. We had stopped and were chatting with Erica. I checked my phone to see what time it was and my phone showed a few minutes after midnight. We were all surprised as it didn't seem to be that late. When we got back to the car, we checked the clock and it was showing a little after 11:00! So we checked my phone and it was also showing a little after 11:00! We think little Mary was just having some fun with us! It made a nice ending for a very enjoyable evening! Erica was amazing!
Rating: 4
It was good
jsteele0810 Fri, Jul 26, 13  8:30 PM Female 20-29 Local Group of Friends
It was good stories and fun to hang out with the group we went with. We have continued to talk about some of the stories even after the tour!
Rating: 5
The right amount of spooky!
randalhanes Thu, Jul 11, 13  8:30 PM Female 20-29 Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
This tour was very interesting! I loved the information...murder, mystery, ghosts...just the right amount of spooky! The tour guide, I believe his name was Dylan or started with a D, was fun, interesting, and very knowledgeable. I would definitely do this tour again! One of my favorites from the week!
Rating: 4
Was a nice evening walk and enjoyed the stories
twall01 Sun, Jun 9, 13  8:30 PM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
The guide we had was Erika and she was great realy enjoyed the tour and the time we spent with her.
Rating: 2
I was expecting a ghost tour... didn't get it
saraalderman Sun, May 26, 13  8:00 PM Female 20-29 Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
This shouldn't be called a ghost tour. The experience wasn't bad, but we did not get what we anticipated. This was more like a few stories of murders. Told on a happy beat. The tour guide didn't make anything seem scary at all. I'm from Galveston, TX and I'm used to ghost tours that make you jump. Make you want to tell the story over again to friends. The only story I'm telling my friends is how much this tour was NOT worth it.
Rating: 5
Very informative tour
Travishar Thu, May 23, 13  8:00 PM Female 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Family With Children
The tour guide enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Would recommend the tour
Displaying 1 - 10 of 38
Ratings and Reviews for:
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
Tickets must be purchased in advance in order to guarantee your spots on the tour. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, book well in advance!
Can children go on the tour?
We love children and this tour is appropriate for all ages. Children between the ages of 7 and 12 have a reduced priced ticket. Children under 7 can come on the tour for free but must secure a ticket.
What happens if it rains?
The tour will run in most moderate weather conditions. In the event of unsafe or severe weather, we would have to cancel the tour, and you would be allowed to reschedule subject to availability or receive credit for a future event.
If the tour is sold out can I get on a waiting list?
Unfortunately we do not have waiting lists for our tours. Check another date and time, or check out our other offered tours!
How early should I arrive to check in before the trip?
Please arrive 10 - 15 minutes early as the tour will be starting right on time.
What places will we visit on the tour?
We will visit many haunted sites in downtown Memphis, including the Orpheum Theater, Cotton Row, the Gayoso House, Howard's Row and Barboro Alley.
Are there any stops during the tour?
We will stop briefly at each site to hear detailed stories about the ghosts and spirits at that place. We will not go inside any of the buildings that we see, however.
Will we go into any of the stops on the tour?
No; we will not be going into any of the places we pass on the tour.
How much walking is involved?
You will be on your feet for the duration of the tour (1 hour), but we will be walking at a leisurely pace. The tour will cover approximately a half mile.
Where does the tour begin?
The tour begins at the Backbeat Tours ticket window at Blues City Cafe (140 Beale St.). The cafe is located on the corner of Beale and Second Streets.
Where does the tour end?
The tour will end approximately a block away from the starting location. Your tour guide will be available to walk with you back to the starting point or give you directions to your car or hotel.
Who will my tour guide be?
You will not be guaranteed to have any particular tour guide on the tour. All of our guides are certified professionals and will provide you with a fun, unforgettable experience!
Should I tip my tour guide?
If you enjoyed the trip, tips are highly appreciated!
What is the difference between your tours?
The Dark Side of Memphis tour and the Walking Ghost Tour both visit Memphis after-dark and explore its haunted history, but differ in the sites they see and the length of the tour. The Historic Memphis tour includes sites relating to the city's founding, early cotton trade, Civil War, and 19th and 20th century events. We also have several sightseeing bus tours: a general Memphis Mojo tour (that includes on Friday and Saturday mornings a guided tour of Sun Studio), an Elvis - based Hound Dog tour that includes a guided tour of Sun Studio, and a tour that visits Graceland with a Platinum Pass included!
Are there any foods or beverages on the tour?
There are no foods or beverages included on the tour; however, there are some beverages available at the meeting location. Water and sodas are $2, and beer is $4.50.
Can I bring my own food and beverages on the tour?
Yes! You can bring any foods, alcoholic, or non-alcoholic beverages you would like on the tour. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages need to be kept in a closed container in a paper bag.
What should I bring with me on the tour?
We recommend that you bring cash in case you decide to purchase drinks at the meeting location or tip your hard working guide! Other than that, bring any essentials you may need, and most of all - good spirits!
Is the tour wheelchair accessible?
The tour follows Memphis city streets and sidewalks, and should be accessible to most wheelchair users.
Do you offer private group tours?
Yes! If you are interested in chartering our bus or our guides for a private group event, please click on the "Contact Backbeat" link for more information.


Backbeat Tours

Founded in 2006 by owner Bill Patton and a group of Memphis musicians who all share a common passion for Memphis music and history, Backbeat Tours has already gained a reputation for being one of the city’s most unique and entertaining attractions. Experience the music and high-energy fun while you see the sites where modern popular culture began.

Backbeat offers several walking tours and several bus sightseeing tours. Check out all these one-of-a-kind tours today!
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
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