It’s that time of year again---your heart races, your palms sweat and the past haunts you. No, it’s not tax season. It’s Halloween---the celebration of costumes, candy and scary, well, just about everything. Halloween is big business for the food processing industry, with this year’s U.S. confectionery sales expected to top $2.5 billion dollars.
The food service industry also capitalizes on the holiday, often holding special promotions celebrating the time of year. However, Halloween is essentially year-round for some restaurants, with ghost sightings and paranormal activity always a daily special.
In the “spirit” of the season, here’s a list of some of the most haunted eateries in the U.S.:
Arnaud’s, New Orleans, LA: One of the most haunted places in one of the most haunted cities in the world, Arnaud’s is haunted by its founder, “Count” Arnaud Cazenave. His ghost occasionally appears in the dining room, seating “guests” who then disappear through walls.
Beardslee Castle, Little Falls, NY: Featured on the TV show “Ghost Hunters”, the two resident ghosts have been known to shatter glasses, close doors, reset tables and move objects.
Bodega Brew Pub, La Crosse, WI: This pub’s original owner died on the premises in 1901. His ghost has been seen by patrons and employees, occasionally tapping their shoulders. Unexplained chills have also been felt, and bricks stack and restack themselves in the basement.
Casey Moore’s Oyster House, Tempe, AZ: Patrons have reported seeing ghostly couples dancing in the upstairs room, as well as flatware flying through the dining room. An eerie glow often radiates from the second floor.
Catfish Plantation, Waxahachie, TX: Known as the “most haunted restaurant in Texas”, this Cajun restaurant occupies the former home of a deceased woman. Coffee brews itself, dishes and cups have been stacked in odd places and a ghostly “bride” has been seen by the windows.
Ear Inn, New York, NY: Built in 1817, the building has been a bar and restaurant over most of its life. Spirits who died during Prohibition, when the Ear Inn was a speakeasy, are said to still frequent the bar. The fireplace often ignites by itself, and cell phones die for no reason.
Hooters, Chicago, IL: Housed in a building that served as a morgue to the victims of the 1915 Eastland disaster on the Chicago River, the downtown Hooters is also near the site of a 19th Century bodysnatching operation. According to staff, there have been many strange sights, sounds and other paranormal activity in the restaurant.
The Jury Room, Columbus, OH: Opened in 1831 and built on a Native American burial ground, The Jury Room once operated as a bordello. Featured on "The Dead Files", objects often move by themselves and a tall, shadowy figure occasionally appears behind the bar. Women also report being attacked by unseen forces.
The Melting Pot, Littleton, CO: Formerly the town jail, both an inmate and a jailer are said to have died on the premises. Candles light themselves, machinery moves around and voices are often heard behind the sealed back staircase.