The Most-Haunted Restaurant in Every State
Ever been joined by an uninvited guest at dinner or swore you saw something out of the corner of your eye? It could be that your favorite local watering hole or eatery is haunted. These spooky haunts across the country are serving up spirited hospitality with a side of thrills and chills.
Photo By: Kathy Vaillancourt
Photo By: Ben Fink
Photo By: Monty Milburn
Photo By: Grayson Shelton
Photo By: Samantha Parquette
Photo By: Denise Gratia
Photo By: Sativa Miller
Photo By: Leigh Martin of Great Expectations LLC
Photo By: Pips Ink Media
Photo By: Michael Slear
Photo By: Dragana Harris
Photo By: Jason Robinson
Photo By: Heather McKinnon
Photo By: Rowena Salanga of RA Grinds
Photo By: Michael Picone
Photo By: Jon Lakoduk
Photo By: Buffalo Chamber of Commerce
Photo By: Courtesy Travel Channel
Photo By: Ryan Campor
Photo By: Chelsea Mitchell
The Walker House (Wisconsin)
The Walker House started as a cave carved out from limestone and sandstone rock by Cornish miners who used the space to live and work in the 1820s. In 1836, the miners expanded it into a small stone house then a 15,0000-square-foot block-long, three-story building in the late 1850s. The Walker House fed and lodged travelers coming off the train at the Mineral Point Depot across the street; these days, diners can stop in for lunch on Fridays and Mondays in two of the original caves, the front patio and the restored Cornish Pub. Sup on Cornish beef pasties (a hand-held meat pie that traditionally sustained miners through long workdays) or modern interpretations such as a gyro-inspired pasty. Be sure to leave some pasty crust on your plates to appease the Tommyknockers, elf-like ghosts who purportedly live in the caves. But they’re not the only specters here. Co-owner Kathy Vaillancourt says that psychics and paranormal investigators have identified 22 ghosts throughout the Walker House’s colorful history. There’s William Caffey, who has been sighted looking for his head (he was legally hanged nearby); the Lady-in-Black, who helped President Lincoln write his Gettysburg Address; the Little-Girl-In-Blue running in the hallway looking for her room; and the Ghost-Cat sunning himself in the west windows.
The Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn (Missouri)
The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis is a popular lunch spot as well as a dinner destination, when it exudes its full Victorian charm and classic soiree feel. But the mansion’s dark side is a well-known phenomenon among St. Louis locals and ghost hunters alike. Paranormal investigators have reported disembodied voices, sightings of otherworldly figures and EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recordings of all kinds. The origins of the activity are unknown, but many speculate that a series of Lemp family tragedies might have something to do with it. Visitors have also reported feeling overcome with uneasiness and melancholy and discovering unexpected figures, orbs and shadows in photographs that weren’t present at the time they were taken. Despite all this, the Lemp Mansion remains a beloved St. Louis treasure and dining spot. Several dishes on the menu are named for Lemp family members. Try the Steak Charles, (named for Charles Lemp), which rolled in Italian breadcrumbs is topped with the city’s beloved Provel cheese, mushrooms and a white wine-lemon butter sauce. Wash it down with a Lavender Lady Martini, a blueberry vodka and black raspberry liqueur number named for Lillian Lemp, the first wife of William "Billy" Lemp Jr., who gave her the nickname due to her penchant for wearing purple.
King’s Tavern (Mississippi)
When chef Regina Charboneau’s husband and son opened Charboneau Rum Distillery in their hometown of Natchez, the property included King’s Tavern, an original tavern in a 1789 building. She loved the building’s bones and rustic brick floors and after restoring it, added her own touches, like communal picnic tables and a bar made from used whiskey barrel staves. When she bought the building, she hoped that her tavern would be known for its craft cocktails and scratch-made fare, not the myth of Madeline the ghost. Still, she concedes that there must be something to it; folks have gotten locked in the upstairs bathroom (which has no lock) and refrigerator doors have opened on their own accord (Ricky Woolfolk, the tavern’s bar manager, has the video to prove it). Charboneau’s signature dishes are earning a cult-like following of their own. Try the peppered brisket flatbread or the chicken pot pie with bacon-thyme biscuit crust — Natchez is the biscuit capital of the world, after all.
The Whitney (Michigan)
The Whitney, a palatial building on Woodward Avenue, is a portal to the past in midtown Detroit. It was built as a private residence in 1893, and after various uses over the years, was transformed into The Whitney restaurant in 1987. On the mansion’s first floor you can sup on the signature beef Wellington in the Music Room or head upstairs to The Ghostbar for dessert and clever cocktails such as The Witching Hour, a martini with a touch of sweetness. Despite its moniker, paranormal activity isn’t limited to The Ghostbar. The elevator has been known to move from floor to floor with no riders, and several guests have spotted a crying woman dressed in white in the third-floor ladies’ lounge. Even the owners’ son had an unexpected memento from his bachelor party here — a ghostly apparition caught in a group photo. Can’t get enough thrills and chills? Check out The Whitney’s monthly paranormal dinners or special ghost adventure events during Halloween week.
The Golden Lamb (Ohio)
Jonas Seaman founded The Golden Lamb in 1803 in the newly settled town Lebanon with a $4 license to operate a "House of Public Entertainment." He couldn’t have fathomed that two centuries later it’d remain a community gathering place that’s earned the nickname "Lebanon’s Living Room." But living locals aren’t the only fans; several spirits are still said to roam the rooms of the restaurant and hotel. There’s Clement L. Vallandingham, a renowned U.S. congressman from Ohio, who accidentally shot himself in the room that now bears his name; Ohio Supreme Court Justice Charles R. Sherman, who suddenly died at the Inn at the age of 41; and a little girl who is believed to be either the spirit of Sarah Stubbs, who lived at the Golden Lamb as a child, or Eliza Clay, the daughter of politician Henry Clay, who fell ill and perished here. The Golden Lamb’s signature dishes are just as storied. Try the locally famous Sauerkraut Balls, a nod to the region’s German heritage in which pork and beef are combined with savory kraut, seasoned with a proprietary blend and roasted, then served with cocktail sauce and house mustard for dipping. Be sure to save room for a slice of Sister Lizzie’s Shaker Sugar Pie, a buttery-brown-sugar-nutmeg number that’s been served here since 1927.
Four Quarter Bar (Arkansas)
Though dive bar Four Quarter Bar opened in 2016, it’s housed in a North Little Rock building that has been home to bars at various points since the early 1900s. Four Quarter Bar quickly earned a reputation for its live music, bar food and strong drinks, but the libations aren’t the only thing that are spirited here. Bar-goers have glimpsed women in old clothing who then disappear and have overheard someone in the bathroom speaking in an ancient-sounding dialect. Even delivery drivers have had encounters, witnessing chairs move and sinks turn on by themselves. Staff can also attest to the place’s spookiness, observing shelves fly off behind the bar during service and an old whiskey bottle that has repeatedly come crashing down. Happily, the creative comfort food menu is more thrills that chills. Dishes featuring local pork, such as pulled pork hash and cheese stuffed smoked meatloaf, are a sure-bet, but come late night (the kitchen’s open till 1:30 a.m.), you can’t beat a Spam, egg and cheese sandwich or a greasy-in-the-best-way-possible burger.
Chicago Chop House (Illinois)
Before it became a tony steakhouse, The Chicago Chop House’s historic brownstone building was a single-family residence to the Minier family. Robert Minier was an electrician who first made local headlines when he was credited for keeping the Alice Stafford, a steamer ship he was working on, from exploding in the middle of Lake Michigan. Though he prevented one tragedy, his family wasn’t spared — in 1906, his nine-year-old daughter Florence passed away, and her spirit is said to still roam the building. Staff and diners alike have heard a child crying, witnessed wine glasses flying off the bar and shattering on the floor, and seen lights turn on and off on their own. Sightings have taken place all times of the day on all three levels of the restaurant, but staff say your best bet for a sighting is in the evening on the third floor. For a guaranteed spirit-forward night, snag a seat in the first-floor lounge during happy hour and pair an Old Fashioned with a round of prime rib sliders topped with horseradish cream. For a full-on steakhouse experience, opt for the wet-aged, 42-ounce porterhouse or a luxe surf-and-turf starring a hand-cut tomahawk ribeye paired with a Maine lobster tail sautéed in black truffles. Be sure to peruse some of the 1,400 photos hanging on the walls, depicting iconic Chicago sports, entertainment and political personalities.
Brick & Ash (Massachusetts)
Since it opened in 2016, Brick & Ash has quickly earned legions of fans among Newburyport locals for its creative bar food, live music and games. But Lucinda was here long before any of that fanfare. Rumor has it that back when the building was a brothel, she was pushed down a flight of stairs to her death. She has haunted the place since at least the 1970s, when the building housed a restaurant called Ten Center. Its employees still recall experiencing glasses randomly shattering and temperatures drastically dropping in certain parts of the building. Brick & Ash's bar manager, Shaun O’Connor, has reported getting the chills inexplicably, seeing lights flickering and dimming on their own and hearing footsteps on the infamous stairway. Despite these eerie escapades, Brick & Ash maintains a warm, family-friendly pub atmosphere with an inviting courtyard patio and an upstairs game area outfitted with shuffleboards, dart boards and pool tables. From the menu, don’t miss shareable appetizers like soft pretzels with beer cheese or the smoked chicken wings. Raise a glass and toast the lady of the house with The Lucinda, a bracing riff on a gin-and-tonic punctuated with fresh lime and basil.
Old Town Pizza & Brewing (Oregon)
Old Town Pizza & Brewing was founded in 1974 in the lobby of the Merchant Hotel, one of Portland’s oldest buildings. Place your order at the window (formerly the hotel’s reception desk) for signature pies like the O.G. house special, which stars pepperoni and homemade Italian sausage. But don’t be surprised if Nina (pronounced "Nigh-na") joins you for a slice. She’s been around for over a century and is often spotted donning a black dress. She’s been known to wander the basement (one delivery driver asked to be taken off the brewery’s route after seeing her here) or observing diners (if she gets really closed, you might catch a whiff of perfume). Despite the Merchant Hotel being an upstanding institution in town, it was also known for its prostitution. Local legend has it that one of the working girls, Nina, was murdered and left in the elevator shaft (which is now the backdrop of one cozy booth in the back of the restaurant). Pay homage to Nina with the ghost pie, in which beer-marinated chicken sits atop an alfredo-sauced base scattered with roasted red pepper and mushrooms.
Ear Inn (New York)
Established in 1817 in the historic James Brown House, the Ear Inn is one of the oldest operating bars in New York City — even during Prohibition, when it became a speakeasy. By the time it reopened post-Prohibition, it had earned a reputation as boys club for sailors to eat, drink and gamble. The upstairs was known as many things over the years, including a boarding house, brothel, and doctor’s office, but the ground floor still upholds the Ear’s tavern tradition as a gathering place serving up food, drinks and merriment. A few friendly specters have been known to make their presence known too, including "Mickey," who, for the last century, has been waiting for his clipper ship to come into the harbor. The Ear is best known for its burgers, but there’s plenty more on the stepped-up pub grub menu, including dishes such as smoked rainbow trout and confit duck legs.
The Cruise Room (Colorado)
Located inside the iconic Oxford Hotel, The Cruise Room is a slice of classic cocktail culture in downtown Denver. It was founded after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, making it Denver’s longest-running bar. It’s well known for its expert preparation of martinis and Manhattans, but The Cruise Room’s ghost, a mysterious postal worker, seems to prefer beer. On multiple counts, bartenders have reported seeing a man walking into the bar wearing an old post office uniform. He orders a beer, mutters "the children, I have to get the gifts to the children," then appears to drink his beer and leave. When the bartender goes to clear the beer bottle, it’s still full. Legend has it that back in the 1930s, there was a postal worker on his way to deliver Christmas presents to Central City, but the gifts were never delivered; that spring, his body was found with all of the Christmas gifts still with him. That beer at The Cruise Room may have been his last.
When Muriel’s opened in 2001 in New Orleans’ French Quarter, its mission was to be more than just a restaurant. Co-owner Denise Gratia says they wanted it to be a venue that excites all the senses, and the restaurant has since lived up to its name with some hair-raising happenings. Book the Ghost Table, which is set each night with bread and wine to appease the spirit of its resident ghost, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, who just might join you for supper. The spooky vibes continue upstairs — in the back corner is the Séance Lounge which is mysteriously chillier than the rest of the place. Many diners have experienced such bizarre paranormal activity here that they’ve emailed or messaged photos of ethereal images to the owners. Regulars and employees alike have witnessed glasses falling off the shelves when no one is around and wine bottles inexplicably falling out of their storage bins. But it’s not just about the ghosts at Muriel’s. Seriously good eats include the fan-favorite crepes, stuffed with goat cheese and topped with a creamy crawfish sauce, or the wood-grilled double-cut pork chop, served with a duo of Southern sides including pecan sweet potatoes and greens. If you’re dining in October, wash it all down with the Vampire’s Kiss, where lemon vodka mingles with a cranberry-balsamic reduction that gives it just the right bite.
The Horse You Came in On Saloon (Maryland)
The Horse You Came in On Saloon, locally known in Baltimore as "The Horse," was established in 1775 and is America’s oldest continually operating saloon (even during Prohibition). Over the centuries, it’s become a Fell’s Point institution known for its live music and lively atmosphere. The energy levels are high, which perhaps explains why floating orbs — believed to be a form of spirits’ energy — have been spotted at the bar. The most famous ghostly legend is that of writer Edgar Allen Poe. The Horse was the last place he was seen before he mysteriously passed away in 1849. There have been rumors of his ghost walking down the street on his way to the saloon and bartenders even used to leave out a glass of cognac for him (though the bar no longer serves it). These days, the bar is known for its house-infused spirits such as tequila, in which flavors like jalapeno, pineapple and strawberry make for a very spirited margarita indeed. This is Maryland, so crab is king: opt for signature snacks such as the crab pretzel, a soft pretzel topped with warm crab dip, or the crab cake sliders.
Billy’s Bar & Grill (Washington)
Built in 1904, the Crowther-Wooding Building is one of oldest buildings in Aberdeen. It was home to the Red Cross, then a drug store, before turning into a series of taverns. Since 1980, it’s been home to Billy’s Bar & Grill. Despite taking name inspiration from local serial killer Billy Gohl and its reputation as a brothel in the 1950s (you can even still see a bullet hole in the wall that’s alleged to have come from an enraged madame who shot her pimp), Billy’s is a family-friendly spot with gourmet pub grub. It’s hard to say who’s responsible for the paranormal activity, which includes the smell of mysterious cigarette smoke, music suddenly blaring, the sound of a child giggling and running up and down the halls, and coffee cups flying off the wall, to name but a few occurrences. From the roster of creative burgers, opt for the Big Cheese, in which two grilled-cheese-and-bacon sandwiches stand in for the bun, or the aptly named Ghost Burger, topped with ghost pepper cheese, jalapenos and chipotle-Sriracha. Pair with the Red Snapper Bloody Mary crafted with local gin and house made bloody Mary mix.
Finn’s Tavern (Tennessee)
Finn’s Tavern is a recent addition to the Knoxville dining scene, but The Baker Peters House, the two-story antebellum home it occupies, dates to 1830. And it seems that some ancient spirits still call it home, too. Two days before the restaurant opened in 2018, owner Jon Ferrie was locking up and headed down the stairs by the kitchen door. Suddenly, he felt a cold spiral of air surround his body, move up to his head then back down to his waist before evaporating. Other spooky shenanigans include lights flickering, music changing mysteriously and glassware and kegs moving on their own. Even so, the restaurant maintains a cozy vibe with a roaring fireplace and low lighting. From the Irish-leaning comfort food menu, don’t miss signatures like fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and chicken tipperary, an almond-and-apple-stuffed chicken breast paired with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.
Double Eagle Restaurant (New Mexico)
Though its located in the small town of Mesilla, Double Eagle boasts a classic, big-city steakhouse vibe, completed with Baccarat crystal chandeliers and a pressed tin ceiling layered with gold. It has earned raves from diners near and far, though staff are as likely to hear about the signature ribeye and chile relleno as they are paranormal activity. The crew from Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures even dubbed Double Eagle the most-haunted building in Mesilla. The restaurant was once a house that dates to 1849; the first owners were a wealthy family who employed servants. The story goes that one of the sons, Armando, fell in love with one of the servants, Inez. When his mom found them together in his bedroom, she attacked Inez with sewing shears and killed them both in a bloody skirmish. The star-crossed lovers are said to still haunt the place, making the lights flicker on and off and even wearing out the upholstery on a pair of overstuffed chairs. Quell your nerves with the turquoise margarita, which gets its hue from blue curacao, and is garnished with a keepsake turquoise stone.
The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro (South Carolina)
The Brentwood, located in Little River, a sleepy fishing town in low country, is known for chef Eric Masson’s top-notch takes on local seafood. To wit, Shrimp & Scallop Chardonnay teams up dayboat U10 scallops and shrimp with angel hair pasta in a creamy leek fondue and Chardonnay wine sauce. The intimate space and subtle lighting set a romantic mood, but you may be joined by some uninvited guests. The most famous is a spirit known as the Shadow Figure, who typically haunts the stairwell and the second floor’s front dining room (and has been sighted by owner Kim Masson). Then there’s the Civil War soldier who parades in front of the window in the back room. It’s believed that he came to the restaurant with the wood that was used as the flooring here, which originally came from a cotton mill in Georgia that was used as an armory during the Civil War. Hold on to your earrings — if you lose them, they could’ve been taken a small boy with a penchant for shiny objects (though he’s been known to return them when offered a different pair left overnight on the bar in the bistro).
Decker Hotel (Iowa)
Commissioned in 1875 by James Decker, the Hotel Decker is a historic property in Maquoketa, a town known for its wood-based industry. In fact, Maquoketan artisans crafted much of the hotel’s woodwork and original furniture, including the lobby’s walnut staircase. Though Decker had grand visions for the property, at its core, he wanted the hotel to endure as a local landmark and gathering place. It has lived up to that intention, having been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and over the years, hosting salesmen, fur traders and politicians. Famous guests to grace the property include modern musicians like Norah Jones and well-known names from the past such as Ulysses S. Grant and John Deere. But some no-name spirits are rumored to haunt the place. Though staff and guests have heard or seen unexplained sounds and sights, an investigation by a group from the Paranormal of Wisconsin came up inconclusive (as reported by the Dewitt Observer). One thing’s for sure: the hotel’s restaurant and Trevin’s pub still embody the Midwestern charm and hospitality that have helped the Decker Hotel retain its popularity. For a taste of the region, opt for the pork tenderloin sandwich.
Brava’s, a restaurant in a historic building in the heart of downtown Lewiston, is known for its pub grub and creative riffs on Moscow Mules. But spirits of another realm are known to frequent the bar here. Maybe it could be explained by the series of underground tunnels connecting downtown’s oldest buildings, but staff and patrons have reported cold spots and hearing disembodied voices. The most recent tale comes from general manager Kris Maxey, who, along with a few late-night patrons, heard glasses shattering and someone yelling, "Get out!" But when they went to investigate, there was no one in the bathroom, kitchen or dining room, and no broken glass to be found. Even with these creepy stories, Brava’s remains a homey spot to sup up on scratch made seasonal fare and craft cocktails, both of which showcase fresh herbs grown at the restaurant.
When brothers Peter and Tien Tran found the location for Ambrosia, their Southeast Asian-inspired Houston restaurant, they knew there was something special about the building’s ambiance. The mood lends itself to the sultry design, outfitted with iron lanterns, a backlit fountain anchored by a roaring lion and lush tropical plants. It also sets the scene for a vibe of another kind — a spooky one. Staff often report feeling like they’re being watched and when alone, they hear things moving around and see kitchen utensils moving around out of the corner of their eye. Some have even heard their names being called out, despite being alone. There’s even a video of the frozen margarita machine’s toggle switch flipping on by itself. It’s more ambiance than the Trans bargained for, but you scan score a bargain of your own during Ambrosia’s daily happy hour specials. From the food menu, don’t miss the Tom Yum shishito peppers with hot and sour sauce or the tamarind salmon with pad Thai glaze and cucumber ribbons.
Kendall's, located in a century-old building in downtown Noble, exudes the kind of charm that can only be found in family-run, small-town eateries. Owner Kim Lock, who took over the restaurant her mother founded in 1986 (and named for her first grandchild), continues the tradition of serving homestyle food, (try the signature over-size chicken-fried steak) and welcoming diners of all generations. She also embraces the spirits that gather here, including the ghost of a young boy who has been known to play with the toys in the kids’ room. There’s also a hall table that is often requested because of the frequency of paranormal activity, and another ghost is fond of female staff and has been known to tug on their hair. The restaurant also serves as a living piece of history; with its location just three miles south miles south of Norman and the University of Oklahoma, it serves as a de facto pop-culture museum housing more than 500 pieces of Sooner State memorabilia. And in November 2018, it opened a gallery paying homage to the women of Oklahoma music in conjunction with the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
La Golondrina (California)
With its brick-and-wood interiors and dreamy paintings from local artist Esau Andrade, La Golondrina exudes a homey warmth. Consuelo Castillo de Bonzo founded the restaurant in 1924, making it one of Los Angeles’ oldest Mexican restaurants, and it’s said that La Consuela’s spirit remains. One night, staff who had stayed late to do some paining, saw the heavy bathroom door open for them; another time, staff had their equipment moved from one end of the kitchen to the other during city-sponsored work. Though La Consuela’s presence isn’t a sure-bet, the signature Mole Poblano is. The sweet-spicy sauce is made from a complex blend of 40 different ingredients, including ripe plantains, raisins, raw nuts, chiles and Mexican chocolate. For a refreshing tipple that won’t leave you weak-kneed, try the La Cubana, in which a Pacifico beer and freshly squeezed lime juice is served on ice in a salt-rimmed glass.
Black Woods Bar & Grill (Minnesota)
Black Woods Bar & Grill has three locations in the North Star state, but its Two Harbors location tends to feel a little more spirited. Prior to the restaurant’s opening in 1994, the building housed an orphanage. Supposedly, a young orphan named Sarah fell down the stairs here; local lore has it that her restless spirit is the cause for some of the restaurant’s haunted happenings. Diners and staff alike have reported seeing a woman in a white gown who suddenly appears and then vanishes just as quickly; hearing phantom footsteps and disembodied voices; and feeling a cold chill as if someone is breathing down the back of their neck. Just about everyone on staff, many of whom have worked here for over 15 years, has their own Sarah story. Fan favorites include late-night shenanigans, when filbert nuts went flying off the bar top, and one long-time chef reported seeing a saltshaker being repeatedly knocked off a ledge during a solo cleaning session. When it’s not charged with paranormal activity, Black Woods exudes a classic steakhouse vibe with oversized booths, low lighting and Frank Sinatra on the speakers. Feast on signature dishes like Bulldog Bites, seared beef cubes tailor-made for dunking into the accompanying horseradish sauce. Or for a taste of the region, opt for the Minnesota wild rice patty, smothered with Gouda and sandwiched between slices of cranberry wild rice bread.
Bernerhof Inn (New Hampshire)
In the town of Glen, in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, lies the The Bernerhof Inn. The charming three-story Victorian inn was a stopover point for horse-drawn carriages en route to Crawford Notch in the late 1800’s and early 1900s. In 1955, Claire and Charlie Zumstein, who were part of a Swiss musical troupe, took over the inn. The dining room’s menu melded American and Swiss cuisine, and Claire and Charlie were known to play accordion and Alpine horn tableside, making it a popular date night spot. Claire passed away in the dining room (now the inn’s room 2) and it’s said that her spirit haunts the inn. She’s been spotted straightening curtains and folding laundry, and though owner Nick Panno says he hasn’t seen her, he has felt her presence. To pay homage to the Zumsteins, Swiss signatures such as wiener schnitzel and fondue will soon make a comeback to the menu. In the meantime, you can count on hearty breakfast signatures such as eggs benedict over asparagus.
The P.I. Bar & Grill at The Partridge Inn (Georgia)
Many cocktails have a story behind them, but few can rival the chilling tale behind The Emily, a gin number served at The P.I. Bar & Grill at The Partridge Inn in Augusta. The hotel has been part of the town’s history for more than a century, and one of its most famous guests, Emily, has been around just as long. Legend has it that on her wedding day, Emily was getting dressed in the bridal suite at The Partridge Inn, when she received news that her fiancé had been shot in a case of mistaken identity while riding his horse through town. Emily was so grief-stricken that she refused to take her wedding dress off for weeks. And though she was pursued by many suitors, she never wed — some say she eventually died of a broken heart. To this day, hotel guests and employees have reported seeing a beautiful girl with long, dark hair wandering the halls and staircases, and she is often spotted in The P.I. Bar & Grill in her wedding dress awaiting her groom’s arrival. Toast Emily with her namesake cocktail, which gets its signature purple hue from a mix of butterfly pea flower tea and blueberry-and-lavender simple syrup.
Gaines Ridge Dinner Club (Alabama)
When Camden native Zach Kennedy and his father took over Gaines Ridge Dinner Club from his grandmother, they knew what they were in for. The stately Southern mansion was built by a Methodist preacher in the 1830s, and local lore has it that he still resides in the house. Diners have even been known to smell the preacher’s cigar smoke (There’s firm no-smoking policy in place.). From time to time, diners also hear a baby crying; it’s said that one cold night back when the house was still a residence, a mother accidentally smothered her baby in the upstairs bedroom. Despite these eerie occurrences, the stately Gaines Ridge is a local favorite for weekend dinners, special-occasion lunches and large-format celebrations like weddings. It’s a beautiful setting, with delicious food. Anything with shrimp is a sure-bet — be it fried, grilled, boiled or as a bisque — but be sure to save room for the signature black bottom pie, with chocolate pudding in a gingersnap crust.
Metlen Hotel Bar & Café (Montana)
Joseph C. Metlen, a local businessman, built Hotel Metlen in 1897; since then it’s been a Southwestern Montana landmark. The three-story hotel still boasts many of the period furnishings and original woodwork, and is home to 42 guest rooms, a restaurant and two bars. The back bar, which weighs nearly one-and-a-half tons and is made completely out of oak with a 22-foot mahogany bar top, comes from the nearby ghost town of Bannack. It’s no wonder that this is the area most guests frequent — whether or not they’re in the realm of the living. Ghost sightings include a man donning a cowboy hat and a woman in a bonnet behind the bar, and a lady in a white dress floating around the bar and on the dance floor.
Oyster Bay Restaurant (South Dakota)
Back the late 1800s, Oyster Bay was a Victorian brothel, bar and gambling hall in Deadwood known for its singing servers and oysters. The oysters, which were packed in sawdust and ice to keep them fresh, were shipped from Louisiana up the Mississippi River to Oyster Bay in Deadwood. Today, Oyster Bay carries on the fresh oyster tradition (don’t miss its locally famous beer oyster shooters) though in place of singing waitstaff the place transforms into a karaoke bar on weekends. Oyster Bay has also earned a reputation for its ghost tours, particularly since the building, the Fairmont Hotel, has been investigated on shows such as Ghost Adventures and the Dead Files. There were purportedly several murders within its walls, and creepy carry-ons include sightings of strange apparitions and objects moving on their own, particularly on the third floor.
White Horse Tavern (Rhode Island)
White Horse Tavern is a quintessential example of colonial Newport architecture, with its clapboard walls, double-sloped roofs and cavernous fireplaces. Since 1673, the White Horse Tavern has operated as a restaurant, making it America’s oldest restaurant and earning it a National Historic Landmark designation. With such a lengthy history, it’s no wonder that the tavern is rumored to be haunted. Newport Buzz reports that one of the most frequently seen ghosts is an older gentleman who died while renting a room upstairs, another, a small girl whose cries can be heard near the restrooms on the second floor. Feeling chilled? Warm up with a bowl of the signature Rhode Island clam chowder, in which a clear-broth chowder is brimming with chopped clams and fresh thyme.
Helen’s has been a Richmond institution for decades, known for its refined yet contemporary takes on American cuisine, such as chef Clay Hosteler’s duck breast with sumac-roasted carrots. But sometimes the food is upstaged by Helen herself, the former owner and restaurant’s namesake, who purportedly haunts the building. Employees feel her presence most frequently in the dining room’s booths or the dish room. Reports including seeing items in front of them disappear and reappear elsewhere, hearing whispers or knocks when no one else is around, faces in the dish room’s double doors and cold spots throughout. Many report hearing swing music—a nod to when Helen’s was a well-regarded juke and swing joint — or seeing apparitions in the late hours of the evening. Some skeptics on staff were recently converted to believers after a conversation about haunting provoked an extremely loud crashing sound; when they went to investigate, nothing was found.
The Empty Glass (West Virginia)
Dozens of famous musicians have graced the stage at The Empty Glass, a dive bar in Charleston named after a Pete Townsend album. The walls are covered with pictures and stickers from bands that have played here since the place opened in 1985, and it’s easy to see why it’s been included in such tomes as the Rock Atlas and 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. The pub grub menu has its own hits, including personal pepperoni-and-cheese-pizzas slicked with a spicy marinara sauce, as well as baked chicken wings, which are dressed in house hot sauces ranging from mild to "flaming zombie hot." No zombies have been spotted here, but the bar has been investigated by several paranormal groups who have captured EVP. Employees have reported hearing unexplained strange noises after hours, chairs moving across the floor on their own and items from the bar going missing and then mysteriously reappearing. Hold on to your beer.
AV Restaurant (Pennsylvania)
If you’re curious what the AV stands for in AV Restaurant in Scranton, know that it is short for ‘altra volta’ which translates to 'another time' in Italian. It’s apt for a few reasons: It was originally chosen to reference the next generation of the Ghilardi family, who started a restaurant of their own after growing up in their parent’s restaurant the Alora Room. When Patrick Quinn, who had been on kitchen staff for nearly a decade, took over and moved the restaurant to its current home on historic Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton in 2017, it became an especially fitting moniker. In 1910, the building housed a wholesale dry goods company and, because of its proximity to area hospitals, was also used as a temporary morgue space during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Details from the late 18th-century architecture remain, like original brick work and lofty tin ceilings, but with such a diverse group of previous tenants, it’s no wonder there are some ghoulish goings-on. Staff have felt hands on shoulders despite no one being behind them, seen glasses randomly breaking and heard tables moving on the second floor (despite no one being there). Thankfully, there’s nothing scary about AV’s freshly made and timeless pastas, including pappardelle with wild mushrooms or ricotta cavatelli with slow-simmered ragu.
The Stockyards Restaurant & 1889 Saloon, Arizona’s Original Steakhouse (Arizona)
The Stockyards Restaurant & 1889 Saloon, aka Arizona’s Original Steakhouse, was originally built as Stockyards Café in 1947 to feed the cowboys working Phoenix’s actual stockyards. After a major fire destroyed most of the original building in 1953, the restaurant was rebuilt in 1954 as a steakhouse called Stockyards Restaurant and Bar 1889, complete with oversize cushy booths, a hand-carved mahogany bar and cattle-brand chandeliers. The classic steakhouse spirit remains — as do actual spirits. In the Saloon, many bar patrons have seen an apparition of the "lady in the red dress," who is also depicted on one of the wall murals behind the bar (pictured above). And one cleaning crew vowed never to come back after they saw a ghost crouching in the corner. For a slice of history without the spooks, ask for booth 26 in the Gold Coast room, beloved by John Wayne and Barry Goldwater, who were regulars. Feast on signature dishes like slow-roasted prime rib or Paloma Ranch calf fries, lightly breaded and deep-fried veal testicles. It’s a nod to the Stockyards circa 1950 when bulls were converted to steers and cowboys traded testicles for whiskey across the bar.
Norwich Inn (Vermont)
For over two centuries, Norwich Inn has been a dining and lodging destination, dating back to its original owner, Colonel Jasper Murdock. Famous people who spent time at the Inn include fellow Dartmouth student Theodore Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), but the one with the most-spirited reputation is Ma Walker. Walker owned the Inn in the 1920s and purportedly maintained the Inn’s tavern tradition during Prohibition by selling bootleg from the basement. Guests and diners alike have heard or seen Walker coming down the main staircase, and one gentleman, sleeping alone, felt firm, gentle hands shaking him awake. Whether you need to revive your own spirit after a spooky night at the Inn or refuel after a day on the Connecticut River or hiking the Appalachian Trail, stop by Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, the Inn’s on-site brew-pub. Try the Cabot cheddar-topped burger or the Whistling Pig Red Ale beer-battered fish and chips, and wash it down with craft suds like a Seussian-inspired IPA called Hops on Top. For a more formal dining experience, book a table in the Terrace which boasts a fireplace, plenty of windows and historic charm in spades.
Hilton Hawaiian Village (Hawaii)
Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, island hospitality and tropical R&R vibes. Honolulu’s Hilton Hawaiian Village has all of that in spades. But you might catch the chills if you spot "the lady in a red dress," a spirit who has purportedly been seen in the hotel and along nearby Waikiki Beach. Local lore has it that she’s the ghost of someone who died on the property, while other theories suggest that it is volcano goddess Madame Pele (as reported by CBS News). Happily, you can still get your fill of island hospitality at one of the property’s eateries. Try a top-notch steak at Bali Steak and Seafood, each seasoned with a proprietary blend of Kona sea salt, local herbs and spices, or toast the night with a Mai Tai at Tropics Bar & Grill.
The Live Oak on Howe (North Carolina)
For fresh Southern coastal seafood with a side of spookiness, look no further than The Live Oak on Howe. It’s located in Southport, a historic town in N.C.’s Brunswick Island, inside a charming turn-of-the-century home complete with original pine floors and antiques such as English pub tables and chairs. It’s also home to a few spirits, including a young girl who once lived in the home, as well as wandering spirits passing through town. Chef-owner Sean Mundy has experienced his fair share of strange happenings, including witnessing the side door opening and closing on its own, items falling off the cabinets, and a clock springing from the wall. The Live Oak operated as a restaurant for 15 years, showcasing Mundy’s fine dining flair imbued with a Cajun twist (think shrimp and scallop salad or blue crab dip and alligator bites). These days, Mundy is focused on events and catering, but often hosts special dinners — including ones that honor the house’s paranormal activity. Book a seat for one of the Ghost & Gourmet dinners, which even includes a personal reading with a psychic medium.
The Twisted Vine (Connecticut)
If you’re wondering why The Twisted Vine’s wine collection is housed in what appears to be an old bank vault, it’s because the Derby-based building, which dates to the late 1800s, used to house the Birmingham National Bank. It was converted into a restaurant in the late 1970s. Since Twisted Vine’s inception in 2005, staff and customers alike have witnessed strange happenings, like lights flashing randomly (particularly when a question is asked) and furniture moving on its own. Portions on the Italian-leaning menu are hearty — think Tuscan salmon and penne alla vodka — so it’s doubtful that you’ll leave hungry. But if you can’t get your fill of spooky shenanigans, dine on a night when the restaurant has live music, which is when paranormal activity has been known to increase. Or book a spot for Thursday evening’s paranormal dinner and ghost tour, which includes a multi-course dinner, a lecture and discussion of the building’s history, architecture and paranormal findings, and concludes with a tour. Diners often return home to find unexpected images and photos of orbs captured on their phone’s camera roll.
Slippery Noodle Inn (Indiana)
Established in 1850, the Slippery Noodle Inn is Indiana’s oldest bar and remains an Indianapolis institution, known for both its live music and history. It was first a traveler’s inn called Tremont House; individual rooms on the second floor were rented to travelers before becoming part of a working brothel. The basement has rooms that were used by the Underground Railroad, and some that contained Prohibition-era stills. With such a storied past, it’s no wonder that the Noodle has attracted the attention of psychics and paranormal groups. Many have investigated the bar and identified ghosts, including the Madam who ran the upstairs brothel (aka "the woman in red"), and Sarah, one of the working girls (aka "the woman in blue") who was purportedly killed here by one of her clients. Another figure who’s frequently spotted is an older man named George, who was purportedly the Inn’s handy man. He spooked a beer delivery driver so badly that the driver requested a different route. You might be just as likely to see a celebrity here — Peyton Manning, Jimmy Fallon and Robert DeNiro have all stopped by. But you can always count on signature dishes such as the jumbo tenderloin, a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet that’s a Hoosier State specialty.
Saul’s (North Dakota)
Before Saul’s became a 1920s-style speakeasy in the heart of downtown Minot, the building housed a menswear store owned by a man named Saul. Former employees have said that he would be thrilled to have a bar in the basement, and local lore has it that he haunts the bar that bears his namesake. Bargoers say his presence is most often felt near the back, where stools have been known to move spin around on their own. Ask staff about Saul and the history of the building, and it just may cause lights to flicker on and off — many believe this means Saul is listening or even present in the bar. Though Saul’s is in the basement of a craft beer bar called The Tap Room, and it bears a speakeasy vibe, the drink focus (for now) is wine — and the best glass to drink it out of. There are hundreds of glasses for staff to choose to pair with say, a fruity Sauvignon blanc or full-bodied Bordeaux, including more than ten Riedel varietal-specific glasses on display. Just don’t touch the glass that’s left out for Saul every night — when he’s in the mood for a drink, some of the beer or wine will be gone the following morning.
The Occidental Hotel (Wyoming)
Imagine walking the same floors as Old West characters such as Butch Cassidy, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill. It’s easy to do so on a visit to The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, where those famous Old West figures, along with a young Teddy Roosevelt, set foot. The hotel’s Saloon is just as historic: the back bar is the original, which was transported here by wagon more than a century ago. Look closely and you’ll also notice original bullet holes in the walls, which explain why the Occidental Saloon’s high-stakes poker games earned it a reputation as a debauched gambling den. In 1908, the rough-and-tumble barroom was transformed into an elegant saloon, with a pressed tin ceiling, period furnishings and stained-glass accents. The timeless elegance vibe persists, but a visit from the Dead Files team provoked several scary spirits. it’s no wonder, as the property was once the site of a bloody skirmish and brutal murder. One past employee was so frightened, she quit her job. Fortify your own spirit with a drink from the Saloon or sup on classically prepared steaks at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Virginian.
Mizpah Hotel (Nevada)
The Mizpah Hotel, which opened in 1907 in Tonopah during the Nevada Gold Rush, was one of Silver State’s first luxury hotels. It added a casino in the 1940s, and together with its plush setting, the Mizpah Hotel became a gathering place for the mining town’s residents as well as prospecting politicians. Key Pittman, a U.S. States senator from Nevada, was a frequent guest. Local lore has it that he died of a heart attack on the eve of the 1940 election and that his body was kept on ice in a Mizpah bathtub until the election was over and a successor could be appointed. The story has been contested but the hotel pays homage to him with The Pittman Café, where you can feast on burgers such as the Mizpah, topped with pepper Jack cheese, smoked bacon and caramelized onions. Another mystery centers on the "Lady in Red," who was stabbed to death in the hotel; years later, a mysterious stain surfaced in the hallway where she was found. The Ghost Adventures team even had their own shocking experience at the hotel when they witnessed a defunct elevator’s doors spontaneously open and close.
Lately, Faceless Fred, Speakeasy’s resident ghost, has taken to breaking glass — specifically the glass shelf holding all the restaurant’s glassware, which leads to quite a mess. And one unsuspecting bargoer had the top of his martini glass fly off and shatter. Before owner Ryan Puls’ father bought the restaurant in 1980, it had been a series of other businesses in Sacramento dating to the 1880s, including the General and Seed Store, Bar and Restaurant, owned by a man named Fred. Rumor has it that Fred had a reputation as a philanderer; his wife found out about his antics, offed him and dumped his body either out front or in the well outside the shop. Besides the colorful stories of its resident spirit, Speakeasy is known for its spirited cocktails — try the best-selling barrel-aged Manhattan. From the steakhouse-leaning menu, start with the house-cured bacon before moving on to the signature Sacramento strip steak, where a grilled New York strip is accompanied by a mushroom cream sauce spiked with brandy and mustard and topped with Danish bleu cheese.
Jameson Tavern (Maine)
As one of the oldest operating taverns in Maine, Freeport’s Jameson Tavern is steeped in history. It’s even known as the "Birthplace of Maine," as commemorated by a plaque that was donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The building was first the family home of Dr. John Anglier Hyde before Captain Samuel Jameson and his wife took it over in 1801. For the next two decades, it was a well-known meeting place for prominent businessmen and luminaries such as the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Its taproom also earned a reputation for its convivial atmosphere and fine spirits. These days, spirits aren’t only of the quaffable variety. There have been sightings of a tall gentleman in a top hat, the trail of a little girl’s dress disappearing around the dining room corners and objects falling off the counter. You never know when you might encounter something off-kilter, but you can always count on a taste of super fresh Maine seafood. There’s the daily lobster roll and clam chowder special, a lobster stew — which Bobby Flay has called one of the best he’s ever tasted — as well as the lobster-studded Down East fondue.
Crabby Dick's (Delaware)
Back in the day, the Delaware City Hotel was a weekend destination for off-duty Union soldiers on leave from Fort Delaware, a Civil War prison on nearby Pea Patch Island. These days, locals and tourists alike flock to the hotel to dine at Crabby Dick’s, a mid-Atlantic seafood restaurant that specializes in dishes like jumbo lump crab cakes and fried crabs. It’s fitting that the crab cakes get top billing, given that the restaurant’s original location is in Fell’s Point in Baltimore, MD, but in Delaware City they share the spotlight with a few resident ghosts. Hotel guests have heard children running down the hallways at night and seen brooms stand up on their own and then suddenly drop, and diners have spotted a mysterious woman in white. Feeling spooked? If weather allows, get some fresh air on the outdoor deck overlooking the Delaware River, then chase your nerves away with a Crabby Mary, a Bloody Mary topped with jumbo lump crab.
Scarlett O'Hara's (Florida)
Scarlett O’Hara’s is a beloved a St. Augustine restaurant known for its live music and a menu of smoked meats and fresh Florida catch. It was named for the leading lady of Gone with the Wind, but these days, the restaurant’s starring role goes to One-Eyed George. Before it was transformed into a restaurant, the building was home to George Collee, who earned his nickname after losing an eye fighting in the Seminole wars. Staff have reported seeing picture frames moving and feeling as if they’re being watched while closing at night. Some employees have even quit from the spookiness. For a less-chilling vibe, head upstairs to the Ghost Bar and settle into the cozy lounge to sip on cocktails such as The Scarlett O’Rita or The Southern Gentleman, a play on an Arnold Palmer, using sweet tea vodka, lemon juice and tea. Be sure to save room for the key lime pie, a made-to-be-shared behemoth featuring a toasted-coconut-graham-cracker-crust, Key lime filling and a toasted, whipped meringue toping.
Shandies, a restaurant housed inside the old Cohen building in downtown Paducah, wants guests to abide by their motto, "Relax, savor and enjoy." With an eclectic pub menu and warm ambience, it’s easy to do. Until your salt and pepper shakers tip over on their own accord and chairs start moving by themselves. The building is purportedly haunted by the spirit of Stella Cohen Peine, who died in the upstairs apartment. Her two dobermans, who guarded the building while she was alive, were found guarding her body when she passed away. On opening night, a party goer swore she saw a doberman ghost walk through the room. Other mysterious happenings include glasses falling from the bar, flickering lights and unexplained "cold spots" in the room. Ease your jitters with chef Karla Lawrence’s creative comfort food signatures such as her sweet-savory-spicy deviled eggs or the smoked Gouda mac n cheese, but don’t sleep on specials like peach barbecue chicken or the Tijuana-inspired street tacos. Wash it all down with one of "the Shandies," like the Kentucky Shandy, which teams up Goodwood Brewing Co.’s Louisville Lager with Select Stock Bird Dog Bourbon.
Dublin House (New Jersey)
Located in the heart of downtown Red Bank sits Dublin House, a family-friendly Irish pub in a historic Victorian building. Candlelit tables and a cozy fireplace set a warm and inviting tone — which could be why Dublin House’s resident ghost, Mrs. Patterson likes to come out to play. She is believed to be one of the building’s former owners and though friendly, has been known to cause a ruckus by knocking liquor bottles off shelves, unlocking locked doors and following diners around and whispering names in their ears. Feeling spooked? Order a perfectly poured pint of Guinness and a hearty plate of hearty Irish comfort food such as bangers and mash or shepherd’s pie.
The Underground Saloon & Bar (Kansas)
The historic Wolf Hotel was founded in 1894 as a bank and hotel with an underground library and speakeasy. In 2013, Ellinwood native Christopher McCord took over and restored it to its full glory. With over a century’s worth of history, including an embezzlement scheme that led to a suicide in 1908, and a suicide in the dining room in 1927, it should come as no surprise that some of the building’s spirits remain. There have also been sightings of a small girl, and it’s not uncommon for staff to hear random footsteps or see doors opening and closing on their own. Don’t miss Sunday brunch, when fried chicken and chicken-fried steak dinners are served in the dining room by staff dressed up in period attire. (You’ll also notice a place setting in honor of the man who committed suicide in the room.) After dinner and a slice of homemade pie, you’ll get to go on a tour of the underground tunnels, where the ghosts are said to spend most of their time. Friday and Saturday nights are your chance to soak up the speakeasy vibes — don’t miss the signature cocktail, Miss Sally’s hard cherry limeade.
The Red Onion Saloon (Alaska)
Back in the 1800s, Skagway was known as a goldrush town, with stores, lodging and saloons everywhere to keep up with the boom of new aspiring miners. The Red Onion Saloon was founded in 1898 and quickly earned a reputation as the finest saloon and dance hall in Skagway. The classic saloon vibes remain, with soaring ceilings, pendant lighting and plenty of wooden accents, and waitresses even wear corsets or period costumes. On the restaurant’s second floor is a museum dedicated to the saloon’s history as a brothel. With such a sordid history, it’s no wonder there have been unusual happenings. Bar goers have witnessed items flying off counters at random, seen a woman hanging above the dress case and heard disembodied voices. Some male employees have felt a shove on the stairs. Besides the spirited company, The Red Onion Saloon has earned its status as a favorite local bar for its equally spirited drinks and comfort-bar-food menu, including fan-favorites like nachos and chili.
Leslie’s Family Tree (Utah)
Leslie Broadhead, the owner and matriarch of Leslie’s Family Tree, says her Santaquin restaurant has been haunted for years. But since the place was investigated and featured on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, the portals that were opened have caused over 100 spirits to show up at any given time. She says they come to visit loved ones and then go back home. Broadhead herself has seen seven different spirits that look like regular people (not a transparent apparition). One time she says she saw a delivery man but when she turned on the lights he disappeared. Besides its haunted nature, Leslie’s Family Tree is known for its oversize scones, which can reach up to 14 inches in length and six inches in width. The scones are served with homemade honey butter, and accompany homestyle dinners like chicken-fried steak, a regional specialty.