When you decide to dine out, you might also crave some entertainment while you eat. But in some establishments, the entertainment isn’t just music, dancing, TVs above the bar, singers, or piano players. It’s of the paranormal kind, through spirits who have made the venue their home.
If you like this kind of thing, or are intrigued by the possibility of seeing a ghost or witnessing some type of mysterious occurrence, you can actually visit a number of restaurants that are believed to be haunted yet still open to the public.
Some restaurants capitalize fully on the tales and history, offering up ghost tours while you wait for your meal. Others simply revel in having visitors come and ask questions about the history and reports of ghost sightings.
Up for a scare? While there’s no guarantee a spirit living there will come out when you’re visiting, here are 10 haunted restaurants that you can actually eat at.
10 Muriel’s (New Orleans, Lousiana)
New Orleans is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., period, so it’s fitting that a restaurant on this list is located there. According to legend, the former owner, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, committed suicide there after losing his home in a bet. Now, his spirit haunts the venue.
The restaurant, which is just off Bourbon Street, has multiple levels, giving the ghost plenty of room to roam. For regular paying patrons, you can enjoy traditional Creole cuisine, jazz brunches, and explore the lovely decorated rooms, including Séance Lounges. But beware that you might get an eerie feeling upon entering.
9 The Brass Rail (Hoboken, New Jersey)
Travel to Hoboken for happy hour at this restaurant, which is more than a century old, and apparently has a pair of ghosts living there who don’t seem to know when it’s closing time.
According to the story, in 1904, a bride-to-be fell down the spiral staircase, breaking her neck. Her fiancé, unable to deal with the loss, hung himself in the upstairs area, which is now a separate dining area. It seems the wedding they never had might be happening in the afterlife, as several guests and employees also swear they’ve seen apparitions seemingly wearing wedding attire descending the staircase.
8 Poogan’s Porch (Charleston, South Carolina)
Eat here and you might see the former owner of the Victorian home that was built in 1891 and turned into a restaurant in the ‘70s, along with the neighborhood dog who loved to hang out on the restaurant’s porch and take food scraps. His name was Poogan.
The woman was reportedly a schoolteacher who never married, and in her death, apparently still didn’t want to leave the comfort of her home. Meanwhile, Poogan sadly passed away in 1979, but his spirit is also believed to be present. It is his porch, after all.
7 Catfish Plantation (Dallas, Texas)
It’s a wonder guests even dare go here much less the owners are able to find staff willing to accept jobs. The spirits purportedly in this restaurant are not happy, as people have reported everything from dishware flying into walls, to food being thrown, ghost sightings, and even physical contact, like something tugging on a ponytail.
Many paranormal investigations have taken place at the 1800s Victorian structure, located just outside of Dallas, and it is considered to be the most haunted restaurant in the state. It’s tagline even reads “serving soul and spirits!” And they mean the latter in more ways than one. Get really freaked out by viewing some of the paranormal encounter videos on the restaurant’s website.
6 Casey Moore’s Oyster House (Phoenix, Arizona)
It seems the spirits here just want to have a good time. People have reported seeing a man and woman apparition in old-fashioned clothing dancing in the dining room. Some say a young woman was strangled by her boyfriend on-site, so perhaps she found real love in the afterlife and is having a grand ol’ time now. There are also pranksters doing things like pulling on guests’ ties, hitting cutlery off the table, and more. This could be the little boy some patrons have also reported seeing, a picture of whom was discovered during renovations.
Despite these added guests, the Irish pub still allows for a good time. You might just encounter some unexpected teasing.
5 Earnestine & Hazel’s (Memphis, Tennessee)
This building has been everything from a brothel to a concert hall to a café. So it could be all types of spirits haunting it. The story goes that over the decades, an unlucky 13 people died within those walls, and, well, they have all remained there since.
From hearing phantom sounds of a piano playing to footsteps at all hours, a jukebox that seemingly turns on by itself (playing a tune that fits what’s actually happening at the time!) and even being touched, you never know what you’re going to get. But this restaurant reportedly has the best burger in America and is known to be the best dive bar in Tennessee. So a few extra names on the guest list are worth the price of admission. Plus you can take a ghost tour if you want.
4 The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro (Little River, South Carolina)
There was even a documentary about this Southern Gothic restaurant. Built as a Victorian home in 1910, it has been the location of plenty of paranormal activity. Some guests and employees have reported seeing faces in windows, orbs in photographs, or hearing odd and unexplainable sounds, like sighs and mutters.
Head to the bathroom upstairs and you might get an unsettling feeling, as many have reported. It’s so clearly haunted that you can opt to get a package that includes a ghost tour and three-course dinner.
3 The Keg Mansion (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
This Mansion, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, was built in 1867 by a prominent businessman who lived there with his family. But tragedy struck there. Reportedly a maid killed herself by hanging above the foyer, and there are several other stories floating around.
So much so, in fact, that when you dine there, you can ask to see a book full of reported paranormal encounters by staff and patrons and get a guided tour. Some things people have reported include feeling cold wisps across their arms, light touches, the image of a woman in a bathroom mirror, a little boy sitting on the staircase, and the sound of children’s feet running about.
2 The Horse You Came In On Saloon (Baltimore, Maryland)
Some believe the ghost who haunts this restaurant is Edgar Allan Poe, given that he was a regular there, and was rumored to have been drinking there the same night he was found delirious in the streets. He, as any historian knows, died a few days later.
Whether it’s really the spirit of the famous poet or not, the staff has nicknamed their unwelcome friend Edgar anyway. Whoever he is, he likes to cause trouble by doing things like breaking glasses, swinging the chandelier, and opening drawers.
1 Auberge Saint-Gabriel (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Head out to Quebec, Canada in the tourist-friendly city of Montreal and visit this 300-year-old restaurant for some delicious French-Canadian cuisine, nightlife, and a few spooks. In the 19th century, a little girl reportedly died in a fire that destroyed part of the building, and some believe to have seen her walking about. Meanwhile, others say a piano on the second floor has been known to play on its own, and have reported feeling cold chills inside, even when it’s hot and humid outside.
Reportedly the oldest inn in all of North America, having been built in 1688 by a French soldier, there’s tons of history in the building. And likely more spirits lurking around, too.