"A brothel full of them in Memphis went into a religious trance ran naked into the street"
Ernestine and Hazel’s, a former brothel on S. Main Street, Memphis, popularly believed to be haunted by the ghosts of its erstwhile employees.
Creative Commons AttributionErnestine and Hazel’s, a former brothel on S. Main Street, Memphis, popularly believed to be haunted by the ghosts of its erstwhile employees. - Credit: Allen Elliotte

At this time, brothels and Memphis were almost synonymous. After Unionists seized control during the Civil War, the city introduced regulated prostitution in order to address the growing problem of venereal disease. Though this was abandoned shortly after the war, prostitution continued to flourish and the area surrounding Beale and Mulberry Streets became a notorious red light district.