Life after 60 – Adventure

Voodoo Village in Memphis TN

by on Apr.08, 2010, under Paranormal

If you know about Voodoo Village, then you must have lived in Memphis, TN. I took a road trip this week with a colleague who used to be a police office for Memphis PD. She asked me if I had ever heard of Voodoo Village and my mouth opened so wide that my bottom lip hit the gas pedal and the car went into G-force mode. I had not heard Voodoo Village mentioned since leaving Memphis in 1973. I grew up in Memphis and not only knew of Voodoo Village, but had visited several times as a teenager because I one of the lucky ones to have a car.

Voodoo Village is a very strange place and there were many tales told in the 1960’s and 70’s about this place. I remember this as being one of those infamous dark roads. It is located at the end of Mary Angela Rd and is now alleged to be haunted. I can’t tell you how many times I was told to “be sure to back down the street to Voodoo Village because you’ll be surrounded and they won’t let you leave.” Well, that was enough of an incentive for me to check it out.

Voodoo Village is a fenced in compound that consisted of very colorful buildings.  The building are unique and have all kinds of odd things nailed into or attached to them. We visited Voodoo Village as teenagers to try and see the people who lived on that road. The people were unique to Memphis and no one could figure out who the were or why they were there.

After I was asked if I know about Voodoo Village and told my colleague “Why yes I know about it,” we became very interested in knowing if it was still there or if anyone else know of the place. Curiosity almost killed me so here I am writing this blog post and looking up Voodoo Village on Internet. Both of us were about ready to change our McAllen, TX road trip into a Memphis, TN road trip so we could try and find Voodoo Village once again.

I remember the thrill and chills we got as teenage daredevils plunging down Mary Angela Rd in drive and not in reverse. We never were surrounded, but I have never seen any place like Voodoo Village. Even then it was a place that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. This place has its own “feel” and it’s one that is hard to describe. My colleague talked about seeing old people waling around with goats when she would get a call from the area. She drove in with a patrol car and remembers no one would talk to her. She also got that “creeped out” feeling when she went to Voodoo Village. At the time I heard a lot of stories and of it as a haunted place. It was not a place I went to alone.

Instead I chose to Google it and was surprised to find out there is a lot of Voodoo Village online. I have added some of the links to my post should you decide to look for the information. calls Voodoo Village “A MYSTERIOUS LITTLE CORNER OF HAUNTED MEMPHIS.” They describe Voodoo Village on their website as, “The hoodoo empire of Walsh Harris’ Voodoo Village, (a fenced compound of brightly colored houses and signs in deep South Memphis) Home to a variety of artistic and intellectual practitioners. ” also says on its website, “It first gained attention in the early 1960’s when conflicts between gangs of white youths and the black residents of Voodoo Village made headlines. Ever since, Voodoo Village has been a site of many teen dares and initiations, and its reputation for weirdness has only grown over the years.”

I don’t remember much about gangs of youths having conflicts there in the 1960’s, which is when I was visiting, but maybe this is why we were told to back in so we could drive out if we were surrounded. I have slept a few nights since then and only remember bits and pieces about the place. Some things you never forget and this place is one of those memories I will never forget. I rarely think about the place, but now I may have to visit it and see if I get the same odd feelings I did as a teenager.

What really got me is that there were several places in Memphis with nuttsy stories that were just too wild to believe – except for Voodoo Village. You can find out more be reading the Voodoo Village information at Urban Legends.

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28 Comments for this entry

  • MarDeck

    Yes, I write all my articles.

  • jock

    i was born and raised in mephis but now reside in ohio, a product of the 70’s actually. but i regret not ever hearing of such a place till a friend of mine some how heard about it and immediately texted me asking questions. i grew up in what was hurt village as a young child then later in the klondike area. so basically all my childhood to young adult yrs were in north memphis until i graduated from northside high and joined the navy. but my quandry is how is it a women who has lived in the dayton ohio area her whole life hear or know about something in my hometown that i never knew existed? i looked it up and it led me here, did more searching and found out the village was only 15 minutes or so from where i grew up in fabled hurt village. now i’m so curious it hurts, being college educated, i now want to find out as much as i possibly can so 1…i can learn more about it and 2 i don’t look like an idiot for having no clue as to this place even being in my hometown let alone so close to where i lived as a lil kid. there are so many fond memories of memphis like the building of the pyramid downtown, harbor town, mud island, the larain motel, and the river front for memphis in may…fondly remember riding my bicycle with friends on i-240 into frayser just to play football. if you are reading this and you are also from or living in memphis now, u know wha i mean when i say memphis is a great place to b and live. i’ve been home several times since moving in 02, and it has changed sooo much. espcially where i grew up on 7th street, a stones throw from downtown. thus bringing me back to the reason i’m here, i need more info on this voodoo village please. i love my city too much not to know anything about this place at all. please, can someone help this displaced true memphian (901 tattooed on my forearm as well as north memphis going down both my arms) learn more about the history of voodoo village in the city i will forever love till the day i die?

    • MarDeck

      Hello, if you do a Google search using Voodoo Village and Memphis there will be plenty of material to read. It’s a fascinating place and now I would love to go back and write a documentary article about the people. Attitudes were so different in the late sixties and early seventies. There is so much more to it than we knew as teens.

  • itsme

    I was searching around for info about voodoo village.I remember it from my youth also and the many trips down that street day and night.At the end of one driveway about midway down the road was a shed like maybe 4 feet tall with like a white fiberglass corrugated door on the front with a light inside and you could a a figure inside that appeared to be a panther pacing back and forth,and the driveway with the 2 wood coffins on stilts with something similar to smiley faces painted on the end facing the street.So much more I could go on and on.

    • MarDeck

      The community has quite a history, from the myths to the truth. what was said and done depends so much on the time period you visited. I look at the community different today than I did as a teen in the sixties. Now I would so much love to be able to be allowed the visit and interview the people who live there to learn about the history.

      • Evelyn

        Yes, my first visit to Voodoo Village 1967 in Dad’s Plymouth Fury, I drove as my male friend was afraid. It was a sight out 1940’s horror movie, bonfires, altars with ? shrunken heads, chicken,feathers, crosses and other artifacts and it was very still, no one was in sight. We continued to the end of the road and turned around(no bricks were thrown). Gary was in the floorboard and my heart was racing. I have visited 3 more times and each time there was many changes, now 2012 there are 3 houses still lived and the remainder are dilapidated shacks. E

        • MarDeck

          It’s interesting how perceptions change as we grow older and hopefully wiser. What was once a spooky and unusual place becomes something of an interest as a possible historical location. I would like to go back now and document the history of the location and people. I can only imagine what they endured when some many of us went there uneducated thrill seekers. I remember it was quite the achievement to been able to say you were brave enough to go down the road in the sixties.

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