We’ve all occasionally overstayed our welcome in bars and restaurants, but some establishments have bothersome patrons who have never left… even after centuries. These ten spooky establishments offer much more than just a fantastic whiskey selection.
10 Turner’s Seafood in Salem, Massachusetts
Turner’s Seafood in Salem, Massachusetts, is notable for its tasty options like lobster bisque, crab cakes, beer-battered fried fish, and french fries. The New England coast is filled with numerous fish shops; however, Turner’s has a fascinating history that makes it genuinely extraordinary. First off, the restaurant is situated in a historic structure that used to be known as the Lyceum Hall. Modeled after the well-known lecture halls of Europe, Salem’s Lyceum Hall held readings, debates, and music performances—and, surprisingly, was the location of the first public long-distance telephone call by Alexander Graham Bell in 1877. However, the property’s fascinating past has one more aspect associated with perhaps one of the darkest periods in American history.
Before the Lyceum Hall was built in the 1840s, the property was a private apple orchard. However, this was no common apple farm: it was owned by Brigette Bishop—the first woman to be hanged during the illustrious Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Bishop was known around town for dressing provocatively and getting into heated arguments, which might have led residents to call her a witch during the trials. Bishop denied the accusation; however, her claims of innocence were disregarded. She was charged and convicted of witchcraft, condemned to death, and hanged. Today, people claim Bishop still haunts the location and report seeing images of her ghost in windows and mirrors. The smell of apples is also said to linger in the air.
9 Scarlett O’Hara’s in St. Augustine, Florida
Contrary to appearances, this location doesn’t have a ton of Southern belles that need to get over Ashley Wilkes, but it does feature a love triangle from the 1800s. According to folklore, George Colee started work on the first house on the property for his fiancée, but before he could complete it, she ran off with a soldier. Eventually, Colee fell in love again and married another woman. A few weeks later, Colee’s body was discovered in the upstairs bathtub, drowned. Legend has it that his first fiancée—a jealous, unstable woman—had her new man murder Collee.
Currently, that floor is home to the “Ghost Bar,” where Colee allegedly still remains. He often harasses men in the restroom and continues to splash around at night even though there is no longer a bathtub. The staff believes there is at least one more ghost, though, as he has caused so much trouble for the downstairs bar that ropes have been strung in front of the liquor shelf to prevent bottles from falling randomly.
8 The Walker House in Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Mineral Point, Wisconsin, is home to the historic Walker House. The property has seen some significant changes throughout the years, just like many historic structures do. What began as a small stone lodge constructed in the 1860s for a nearby miner eventually grew into a much larger structure that comprised a fine-dining restaurant, a luxury inn, and a pub. Eyewitnesses claim that multiple ghosts have been seen inside the building.
Rumor has claimed that William Caffee, a man who was hanged nearby for murder, is one of these spirits. Thousands of people arrived for a picnic as they morbidly watched Caffee’s public execution and moment of death. A group of paranormal investigators rented out the building structure in 2009 to identify ghostly activity. Unfortunately, neither the audio nor the video equipment managed to capture any ghosts; all that was captured was the sound of the creek and the outside traffic. That didn’t stop rumors of a haunting from spreading, and now the current owners appear to be distancing themselves from the building’s eerie reputation.
The Walker House now has a few hotel options, lunch specials, and private event space. The Food Network named the restaurant’s beef pasty the best in the region. Filet mignon, spaghetti primavera, and slow-cooked baby back ribs are all offered.
7 The Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, frequently referred to as the most haunted city in America, is renowned for holding voodoo ceremonies and housing many paranormal entities. The Court of Two Sisters is a historic building in the heart of the French Quarter that has a shadowy past. It was founded in 1726 and bore the names of two sisters who shared ownership of a shop there in the late 19th century. Visitors to the site have still described seeing the sisters’ ghostly images seated side by side on the patio off the dining room.
With the tale of James Cooper, a previous owner of the building, the legend of this old home becomes even more sinister. Ghost City Tours claims Cooper’s wife was discovered dead, strangled, above the restaurant. Cooper was charged with her murder and appeared in court, but the jury ruled him innocent. Strangely, a short time later, Cooper’s body was also discovered dead from strangulation in a room above the restaurant.
Also believed to have taken place in the courtyard were late-night voodoo rituals and a deadly pirate duel. The restaurant’s excellent food, including dishes like eggs Benedict, mouthwatering gumbo, and shrimp etouffee, more than makes up for its spooky atmosphere. One thing is certain: The Court of Two Sisters has you covered whether you’re visiting for the ghosts or the delicious food.
6 Shaker’s Cigar Bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The most well-known ghosts at Shaker’s are two girls who come from quite different backgrounds. Eight-year-old Elizabeth, who fell from an apple tree on the property in the 1800s, now spends her days giggling in the women’s restroom or sticking her tiny feet out from beneath the stalls. Molly Brennan, a young hooker from the 1920s, was killed in the third-floor penthouse because she knew a little too much. People who have been in her room have reported having visions of water pouring from the ceiling and burning walls, which is far scarier than the usual after-drinks hallucinations.
Then there’s the basement. But actually, you ought to avoid going down there. Since the “Shadow People” live there, we’ll assume you’d prefer to avoid running into one of their eerie, fully-formed black bodies. The property originally housed a Schlitz factory, which manufactured the barrels it used to brew its beer. In the 1020s, the building was bought by Al Capone to become one of his speakeasies. With drinking and gambling on the lower floors and a brothel on the second and third floors, who knows what else went on there. Its current incarnation followed a long line of pubs and bars that also called the building home.
5 The Grill House in Allegan, Michigan
The Grill House, built in 1836 and resembling a barn house, has a traditional country aesthetic that nevertheless feels friendly even if it is actually haunted, as many claim. The Grill House is well-known for its innovative concept that lets diners grill different pieces of meat themselves on sizable griddles. The restaurant’s entrees come with an endless number of sides, including loaded baked potatoes, Texas toast, and salad.
But The Grill House is renowned for something else as well, something much darker. According to legend, a local lumberjack was killed with a knife during a brawl on the property and was laid to rest in an unmarked cemetery outside. The good news is that witnesses say they have seen the lumberjack’s ghost about the property and that he has a welcoming vibe. Conclusion: The Grill House is not just among the most unusual eateries in the nation, but is also among the most haunted. After all, where else can you make your own ribeye and perhaps even encounter a ghostly lumberjack?
4 Twisted Vine in Derby, Connecticut
Twisted Vine is a restaurant that offers haunted meals and ghost tours, and it is located in a former bank that dates back to the late 1800s. The Twisted Vine actually hosts a variety of eerie events, such as tours of nearby haunted cemeteries and a psychic fair with tarot readings. But where does Twisted Vine get her interest in the paranormal from? It turns out that some really unsettling things took place here.
A terrible flood that swept over the area in 1955 and killed nearly 100 individuals is a nightmare scenario that will undoubtedly haunt us. In addition, the rising water uncovered the coffins of dead bodies in a nearby cemetery, bringing them floating to the surface like that dreadful and fabled moment at the conclusion of Poltergeist. The bank was one of the few buildings left standing after the flood at the time; therefore, the basement served as a makeshift morgue as the city rebuilt following the destruction.
We believe it is safe to say that the Twisted Vine has earned itself a good haunting or two thanks to the cemetery pool party and the dead bodies it piled up in the basement. Knowing that hordes of water-logged human corpses once floated in the same general area as you have a delicious meal like chicken marsala is definitely a little strangely morbid. But hey, life can be really twisted sometimes.
3 Ernestine & Hazel’s in Memphis, Tennessee
The storied Earnestine & Hazel’s is the best dive bar in Tennessee and the place to get the best burger in the country, but it also has a complicated history. The two-story, labyrinthine pub was originally a church, then a pharmacy, but has also served as a brothel and a jazz cafe. These are businesses that frequently have very devoted patrons. According to rumors, 13 separate people allegedly met their end within Earnestine & Hazel’s walls— but none of them actually departed.
When no one is around, the ghostly piano upstairs starts to play music. Steps can be heard day and night. Periodically, the jukebox will start up with a needle drop that seems disturbingly appropriate for the current situation. One employee tells a story about when she and a coworker were discussing James Brown when the jukebox started playing “I Feel Good” out of the blue. There are apparitions among the people. Both customers and staff claim to have experienced ghostly touches. Tragic events frequently occurred there, which likely kept some former patrons lingering. Today, it appears that the burgers are what keep customers coming back.
2 White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island
Let’s start this narrative off with a pair of drifters, just like pretty much every ghost story you told during sleepaway camp. In the 1720s, two guys entered the pub searching for a bed for the night. The owners discovered one dead by the fireplace the following morning and the other utterly gone. Now a ghost chills by the fireplace, daring people to explain his mysterious demise. Additionally, there have been sightings of a man with a colonial appearance in the upper bathroom and eerie footsteps everywhere.
Surprisingly, there is another White Horse Tavern in New York City that attracts a lot of paranormal enthusiasts too. Dylan Thomas died not long after drinking too much whiskey at the bar and still frequents the same table occasionally, proving that he hasn’t learned his lesson.
1 Muriel’s in New Orleans, Louisiana
In a city like NOLA, haunted buildings are commonplace. Although Muriel’s doesn’t have the most horrifying history, it has witnessed some sinister acts. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan purchased the abandoned mansion in the late 1700s and brought it back to life. Then, in a classic future-ghost move, he lost a poker game where he bet the entire house. On the second level, close to where the Seance Lounges are now, he committed suicide because he couldn’t bear to leave the building.
Jourdan spends the majority of his time there. Although he only seldom manifests as a full-fledged apparition, such as a shimmering light, he nonetheless bangs against the brick wall with all the vigor of one. He also has company. There is probably another spirit in the Courtyard Bar who enjoys shattering glassware, and paranormal investigators have heard the voice of a woman in the Seance Lounges. They probably enjoy a delicious dinner at Jourdan’s designated table—which the staff provides with bread and wine each night—after they all finish their nightly spooky antics.