Haunted Restaurants exist in every part of the world. Sometimes they’re in the form of an old Inn or Tavern or situated in a space that’s been renovated from its original purpose. Whatever the original use of the space, there are beings or remnants of memories that keep replaying themselves in time. Sometimes the ghosts manifest themselves by breaking bar glasses, other times they communicate by stacking or un-stacking chairs—the variables are endless. At any rate, this list is created for those who might want to spend some time visiting an eating establishment. If you choose to visit one, may the linguine be with you!
New Orleans, Louisiana – New Orleans is like no other place in the world as far as I am concerned. The city is full of dichotomies and paradoxes. Elegance and sleaziness, the sacred and the profane, high culture and the lowest of the low down all seem to coexist with a surprisingly ease that truly defines the city and its culture. So many different cultures, ethnicities and nationalities are crammed and mixed up together that their individualities become mish-mashed into what can only be called the “Big Easy” vibe—a unique and peculiar culture with a life of its own.
New Orleans was a haven for pirates, gamblers, musicians, rogues, rascals and any other disreputable misfit one could think of. A whole section of town called Storyville was devoted to bordellos. Corruption and graft were the order of the day where every politician, city employee, town alderman or police officer expected his obligatory “gratuity” in return for any favor granted. Even if that “favor” just happened to be part of his/her normal, day-to-day duties!
With a background, history and cast of characters as this, it’s no wonder there are a ton of ghosts all hanging around New Orleans. Probably where this culture is at one of its highest and most evident manifestations is in the cuisine of the city. New Orleans is a place you go to “eat, drink and be merry” and for many years, THE place to do that was Arnaud’s.
Arnaud’s was built in 1918, and as the years wore on, was constantly added to until it covered about three square city blocks. Its owner and originator, Arnaud Cazenave, was a French Bon Vivant who can still be seen lounging about the bar or mezzanine, drink and cigar in hand, surveying the goings on and making sure that it meets his approval. If anything is out of place, a table setting not to his liking, a salad fork out of place, he will correct the error himself. There is only one problem with this. Arnaud Cazenave died in 1948.
Prior to his death, he turned the ownership and management of Arnaud’s over to his daughter, Germaine Cazenave Wells, who also is known to linger about, ensuring that the place is being run to her liking by the current owners and operators. Germaine passed away in 1983.
New Orleans, LA – In 1745, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan purchased a mansion built in Jackson Square. He lost the opulent residence in a gambling bet and subsequently committed suicide in the house. The home is the site of the famous Muriel’s restaurant today. The owners say that Pierre never left the premises and has been seen, as a sparking white light, moving through the lounge area. Glasses have been thrown by unseen hands and a female voice has been heard when nobody is around.
The Savoy Hotel and Grill
Kansas City, Kansas-The Savoy Hotel and Grill was built in 1888 and is the oldest restaurant in Kansas City. It became part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and designated an historic landmark. Harry Truman, Warren Harding, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford have all been known to dine in Booth #4, known as the “Presidents Booth.”
A few ghosts have been sighted at the Hotel in room 505. The first, Betsy Ward, probably committed suicide in the bathtub in the late 1800s. Another occupant of room 505, Fred Lightner supposedly haunts the hotel as well. Orbs and mysterious lights have also been reported as well as a young girl in Victorian dress on the 4th floor.
Saint Augustine, Florida – Scarlett O’Hara’s is basically a trendy hangout for twenty-somethings in Saint Augustine, on the Atlantic coast of Florida. It consists of two houses, both built in 1879, that have been joined together to create several bars and a restaurant.
The original builder and owner of one of the houses, a Mr. Collee, is said to habituate the bars and loves to play practical jokes on the patrons, like following you into the men’s room, then tapping you on the shoulder and breathing down your neck. Supposedly he was drowned in his own bathtub by his ex fiance’s husband at her behest. The theory being that she was enraged by Mr. Collee’s recent marriage to another woman.
The current owner acknowledges Mr. Collee’s ghost and basically puts up with him, even leaving him a Christmas stocking every year.
Catfish Plantation Restaurant
Waxahachie, TX – Levitating objects, items moving on their own accord, glowing lights in empty rooms. Paranormalists agree there are several spirits haunting the place, but fortunately, they’re all friendly. Some of them have been known to manifest and have been visible to the staff and patrons.
Manor House Restaurant
England – Built in thirteen century and restored in the mid 20th century, this is one of the places featured on Travel Channel’s show Most Haunted, Here at the Manor House, lights go off on their own, disembodied voices and mysterious footfalls are heard. Apparitions at the place include a man with a black beard, someone in a black cape and and old woman have been seen.
McCarthy’s Publican Restaurant and Undertaker
Ireland – Built in 1840s, this inn provided supplies, liquor and groceries as well as transportation services to its visitors. The paranormal activity here includes glimpses of mists and apparitions that vanish when you look at them directly. It is rumored that when someone dies, a picture falls inexplicably off the wall followed by three disembodied knocks at the front door.
Furnace Creek Inn
Death Valley, CA – This is part of an old borax mining town that was a hot spot in its heyday. The Furnace Creek Inn opened in 1927. The ghost there may be an ex-employee who opens and closes doors, moves equipment around and makes lots of weird banging noises. Located inside Death Valley National Park.
Skirrid Mountain Inn
Wales – This is the oldest Pub in Wales dates back to 1100. Part of it was used to hang people convicted of crimes. Many of the original features still remain at the inn, and in fact, you can still see the marks from the hangman’s rope on the rafters. Some visitors claim that welts on their neck appear after visiting the inn, while others have seen their glasses move along on the bar when nobody’s touching them. People claim to have been pushed or touched at the inn and eerie apparitions have been spotted, among other phenomena.
Richmond, VA – Another “oldest” building is situated in Richmond. This former weapon shop is now the site of an elegant restaurant serving up some amazing gourmet food. However, Scott and Whiskey aren’t the only spirits inhabiting the building. It seems that a former gunsmith’s apprentice has been detected there decades after dying there. Apparently, the stairs he “fell” down have been walled up and folks have heard ghostly noises coming from inside.
New York, NY – A woman was murdered and thrown down a well on this property, over 200 years ago. The well still exists in the basement of this building and the woman is said to haunt the restaurant that exists there.
Captain Tony’s Saloon
Key West, FL – This haunted inn is actually a former morgue. On the premises is a hanging tree that was used to execute a woman accused of murdering her family. The ghost haunting the place is known as the Lady in Blue and is thought to be the restless spirit of the murderess hung there.
The Jury Room
Columbus, OH – Most people have enough respect and manners to avoid building on Native Indian burial sites. However, back in 1838, Steven Spielberg hadn’t made the chilling thrill Poltergeist, so obviously they didn’t know that building there would cause trouble. Well, they found out the hard way. This popular watering hole has had trouble for a long time. Glasses move about and some ghosts even pour their own beer. :Gulp!: