Paramount Joe - Paramount Arts Center

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Originally called the Paramount Theatre and opened in 1931, the Paramount Arts Center is said to be haunted by a ghost locals call Paramount Joe. According to Joe’s legend, as the theater was being built, four workmen were in the auditorium. Three went to lunch, and when they came back, they found the fourth dead, hanging from the curtain rigging. Joe is said to make himself known by cold drafts, missing objects, strange sounds, and on occasion an apparition.

Folks at the center have many stories about Joe, one of which involves country star Billy Ray Cyrus, who filmed his “Achy Breaky Heart” video there. Billy Ray was said to have chatted with Joe and gotten his advice during breaks. When he left, Billy Ray gave autographed posters to all the female staff, and also left one for Joe. All the posters were hung on the wall, as was the custom of the center. But as time went on and more and more autographed posters filled the wall, staff were asked to remove their Billy Ray ones, since there were so many, all alike. None of the staff wanted to remove theirs, so instead they removed Joe’s. The next day, so the stories go, all the other Billy Ray posters were strewn about the floor, many with their frames shattered as if someone wiped them all off the walls. Now, Paramount Joe’s Billy Ray poster hangs in a special place in the building, in what is now Paramount Joe’s Rising Star Café.

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Geographic Information

1300 Winchester Ave
Ashland, KY 41101
United States

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38.4801047, -82.64293420000001
Boyd County, Kentucky
Nearest Towns:
Ashland, KY (0.3 mi.)
Westwood, KY (1.5 mi.)
Coal Grove, OH (1.6 mi.)
Bellefonte, KY (2.7 mi.)
Ironville, KY (3.1 mi.)
Russell, KY (3.9 mi.)
Ironton, OH (4.5 mi.)
Flatwoods, KY (5.0 mi.)
South Point, OH (5.3 mi.)
Catlettsburg, KY (5.7 mi.)

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Comments (7)

  1. Rebecca Madfox  |  

    Joe does visit the coffee house often. I work in there. I can fell cold around me from time to time. He also was out in the lobby area once when a school show was over. I was on the stairs and saw both the inter lobby doors open then the outer lobby does open . Staff said the wind does that sometimes. I said I don’t think so because my hair didn’t move.

  2. Forrest Sizemore  |  

    I live close by and been there multiple times but never seen or heard anything like that but every time ive been it was crowd so I dont know.

  3. Elizabeth Hetzer  |  

    I have heard knocking when I was the only one in the area, and I have felt the eerie cold draft. There is also another ghost that resides in the Paramount, she is know as Sally.

  4. I’m an actor at the paramount and i can definitely say it’s haunted. I’ve felt cold breezes and the volume on the speaker/ intercom system turns itself up and down, but my biggest story took place in the banquet hall bathroom. It was tech week so i was in costume and in this particular show i was a fairy and my huge wings made it difficult to go fit in bathroom stalls so i had to use the handicap stall in the banquet hall as it was the only one i could use without taking off my wings. Well there’s only two stalls down there and i was alone when the temperature in the room dropped and then the toilet next to me flushed on it’s own. Needless to say i booked it out of there and still to this day won’t go to that restroom alone.

  5. I usually don’t believe in ghosts but the Paramount exception.I en preforming here since I was very small. Very weird things have happened to me. For example lights being on when they are suppose to be off, very loud noises, distorted voices, the feeling of being watched, or even doors being opened without anyone there. To make a long story short the Paramount Arts Center is haunted by a multitude of entities.

  6. GreenupParanormal  |  

    I am a Lead Investigator of a paranormal team out of Greenup County. We held a public hunt here a few years back and those who didn’t believe left a believer. We captured some odd stuff, guests saw a woman in the mirror standing behind me. We captured a picture that possibly could be “Paramount Joe” … The staff saw it and stated that looks like the picture they’ve seen of him

  7. Ok, idk if this is an actual event. But my daughters for years have been with the Ashland Regional Dance Theater. So for many years they have done shows there and all have gone off without any problems. Maybe some of you were at this particular show, not sure exactly the show. Well, all was going well when all of a sudden the whole sound system went down for some time. I am fine thinking just a technical issue. But at the time I did think of Joe for a minute. Was anyone else there thats reading this? Is it just me?

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.