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Aug 24, 2006 11:45 PM

Haunted Restaurants?

In a thread on the L.A. board there is mention of a supposedly "haunted" restaurant. It brings me back to a small restaurant where I worked in the early 90's.

Early one Sunday morning I was alone in the dining room. The chef was in the kitchen and the owner was in his office. I was enjoying a pre-shift cup of coffee when I heard the distinct sound of a woman in high heel shoes walking across the hardwood floor. I looked up expecting to see an early guest but no one else was there. The sound did not immediately stop. It went on for five or six more steps and then faded away. Very weird.

I later asked other employees if they had any experiences like that and several admitted that they did. I did some checking into the history of the place and found out that it was constructed in the early 1900's as a summer beach resort. There was no known history of violence. I figure that any building that old and in almost continuous use as a restaurant has had to pick up some impressions iver the yeard.

My question are as follows: Have you ever worked at a supposedly haunted restaurant? Or dined at one? Did you know it at the time? Or did you choose the go there because you heardi t was haunted? How was your experience? And how was the food? (Hey, this is Chowhound, after all!!)

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  1. The Willow Saloon and Steakhouse in Jamestown CA is suposed to be haunted... and there have been so many freak fires, sitings, etc that TV crews have spent time filming there. I think it was built (in the 1800's) over a mine shaft where a number of miners were trapped and died. I've never seen any oddities, but have talked to credible, sober adults who have experienced odd things there.

    It's a gorgeous old building, and food is terrific. It's one of our favorite restaurants in Tuolumne County. If you're ever in the area, ask to see their scrapbook related to the's pretty interesting!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kmr

      We visit our relatives in Sonora all the time so we're going to have to stop there for food sometime. Thanks!!

    2. I dined at a haunted restaurant fairly recently near my home, but had no idea going in. I visited the ladies' room in the basement, and as I reached the foot of the stairs to go back up, I heard the men's room door swing open and someone exit. I heard and felt medium-heavy footsteps as they followed closely behind, up the stairs. When I got to the top, I opened the door and turned to hold it open for the person behind me, but...I didn't see anyone there, of course. Pretty weird.

      I've been back a couple of times, but I haven't gone into the basement again, yet. Not scared or anything, I just hadn't had a need to--really! I haven't heard that anyone else has a ghost story about the place.

      Generally, the food there is not all that great. Our return visits have been mainly for the delicious margaritas.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gina

        the margaritas didn't have anything to do with hearing footsteps, of course...

        1. re: tuqueboy

          Oh yes, I forgot to mention they were mezcal margaritas, with extra worm. ;)

      2. Landmark No. 78 in Ventura, CA is supposedly haunted - a friend "saw" feet swinging in the air in an upstairs bathroom - before she knew the story. Wooo-eeee-oooo

        From their website: Legend has it that the Carlo Hahn House is the home of Rosa, a young daughter of one of the many Italian families that immigrated to Ventura County in the late nineteenth century.

        Bound by customs of the day, Rosa was forced into a loveless marriage to a man much older than she was. Unhappy and lonely, Rosa found solace in the company of a young Italian man. When her infidelity led to pregnancy; Rosa, acting in desperation, unfortunately hung herself.

        Although it isn't known for certain where Rosa hung herself, it seems quite certain that she made the Carlo Hahn House her final resting place. She has been seen on numerous occasions staring longingly out of the round window on the second floor. But most often, Rosa is seen on the staircase, walking mournfully in a long, elegant dress. Many also claim to feel her presence in what are now the banquet room and woman's restroom.

        Whether you cross paths with Rosa or not, we hope you enjoy your experience at the Landmark No. 78. Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions with us, the next time you come by.

        1. I worked at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto which had one ghost for sure and possibly several more. In what was the Cafe Victoria / Victoria Room there were several sightings of a tall man with dark hair dressed in period clothing circa 1920's, including a tall hat.

          I have not personally seen him but spending many late nights in the dining room, often alone, it often felt distinctly like I wasn't alone.

          The Crystal Ballroom on the top floor is an amazing place as well. It was closed, I believe, in the late 60's or early 70's. It looks like the guests left, the band put down their instruments and the staff just closed the doors and it has remained the same ever since.

          I actually found a picture of it on the net. There are several there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mila

            Is it just me, or is that image reminiscent of the ballroom in Kubrick's The Shining?

            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              no but it is used as the narrator's set on some cable show about personal ghost stories now (2010) in reruns.

          2. The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, supposedly has a number of ghosts, including in the dining room (although I don't think any of them are of LBJ or Lady Bird Johnson, who had their first date there). By the way, the Concrete Blonde song "Ghost Of A Texas Ladies' Man" refers to the singer's encounter with one of them during her stay, possibly even that of Col. Jesse Driskill, who built and named the hotel after himself in 1886; some guests say they have seen him smoking cigars and turning on lights in their rooms.