Dinner, Drinks and Ghouls: America’s Most Haunted Restaurants
We all have our favorite haunts, but did you know that some restaurants are actually haunted? Imagine you’re enjoying a lovely meal when the lights flicker uncontrollably or wine glasses start floating in the air. What if you’re greeted at your table by the owner, who’s been deceased for decades, or are trying to clean up after a busy night when you hear strange voices and feel a hand on your shoulder — even though you’re the only one left at work.
If these kinds of spooky tales put you in the spirit, then bring along your EMF detector and a hearty appetite as we journey to the country’s most haunted restaurants.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
As one of the most haunted cities in the world, New Orleans is filled with many spooky spots. This renowned French Quarter restaurant is said to be inhabited by “Count" Arnaud Cazenave, the original owner who died in 1948.
Eternally stylish, Arnaud can still be seen clad in his favorite tuxedo as he keeps a watchful eye on the place. Sometimes, he likes to rearrange the furniture and silverware, but you can’t blame a ghost for still wanting to be a perfectionist in the afterlife, right?
Location: Lewiston, Idaho
Disembodied voices, inexpiable cold spots and a female ghost who likes to hang out at the bar are some of the paranormal happenings staff have experienced at this regional fave, which specializes in creative bites and craft cocktails.
One person reported hearing a voice scream “Get out!” as glass shattered around them. Some ghost experts believe the hauntings may be linked to a series of (also haunted) tunnels that run between the restaurant and Lewiston’s other historic buildings.
28. Billy’s Bar & Grill
Location: Aberdeen, Washington
Though this Washington eatery is family-friendly, some of the events that occurred here are for mature audiences only. Billy’s Bar and Grill is housed in the historic Crowther-Wooding Building, which dates back to 1904 and was the stomping grounds of a local scoundrel and serial killer named Billy Gohl.
Some believe Billy still haunts the place (it is named for him, after all), where he appears as an apparition, sends glasses flying across the bar and smokes cigarettes, which are smelt but never seen. Others believe to have seen the ghosts of some of Billy’s victims or other spirits lingering from the 1950s when the site was a brothel.
27. AV Restaurant
Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania
AV is short for the Italian phrase “altra volta” (another time), which is befitting because the building has had numerous incarnations, including being used as a morgue during the 1918 flu pandemic.
With that kind of history, it’s no wonder dark stuff happens here, including staff feeling a hand on their shoulders despite being alone, random glasses shattering and furniture moving on its own. Thankfully, customers mostly just enjoy some ghoulishly good pasta without feeling the full force of the spirits that surround them.
Location: Noble, Oklahoma
This beloved restaurant is filled with Sooner State memorabilia and prides itself on being a welcoming spot to a generation of families — living or deceased. Spirits who haunt the place include a young boy known to play with the toys in a kids’ room and an unidentified spirit that pulls on female staff’s hair.
Some diners request a special hall table, due to its reportedly high paranormal activity. Regardless of how you feel about ghosts, the chicken-fried steak here is an otherworldly experience in itself.
Location: Richmond, Virginia
At this Southern institution, you have a chance to meet the ghost of Helen herself. The former owner likes to hang out in the dining room and freak people out by flashing her face in its double doors. Verbally doubting her existence has sometimes resulted in unexplained loud crashes.
The staff has also claimed to hear random swing music playing, which they think is Helen feeling nostalgic for when the restaurant was a juke and swing joint.
24. Dublin House
Location: Red Bank, New Jersey
This Irish pub, set in a historic Victorian building, has a resident ghost named Mrs. Patterson. One of the building’s former owners, she likes to join diners at their candlelit tables or hang out near the roaring fire, sometimes whispering in their ears or causing a commotion by knocking liquor bottles off the shelves.
The restaurant is considered to be one of New Jersey’s most haunted locations and is a must-see stop on the Jersey Shore Ghost Tours, much to the delight of Mrs. Patterson (and the current owners, too)!
23. Jameson Tavern
Location: Freeport, Maine
It’s only (super)natural that Stephen King’s home state would have some creepy happenings. At the historic Jameson Tavern, which dates back to 1779, you might encounter the ghost of a tall man in a top hat or see a little girl’s dress inexplicably floating around the dining room. Paranormal experts think this is the ghost of Emily, who used to live in the building.
In one particularly strange occurrence, a kid playing by herself under a table screamed, “Give me back my ball, Emily!” According to the restaurant’s manager, neither she nor her parents had any prior knowledge of the ghost.
Location: Houston, Texas
With an atmosphere that’s sexy, dark and chic, this Asian-inspired eatery is a ghost’s delight. The staff has reported feeling perpetually watched and seeing kitchen utensils inexplicably moving around. They’ve also heard voices, including ones that have called out their name when there was no one else in the restaurant.
Also, the margarita machine has been known to turn on and off by itself, so clearly the spirits are thirsty for the good stuff. Order a margarita and maybe they will make you one, too. Who wouldn’t want a spirit made by an actual spirit?
21. Black Woods Bar & Grill
Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota
Like many other restaurants on our list, Black Woods Bar & Grill wasn’t always a place to wine and dine. Its building was formerly an orphanage, where a young woman named Sarah fell down the stairs and sadly lost her life.
Some believe she now haunts the restaurant and is known to evoke cold chills by breathing down necks, sending nuts flying from the bar and knocking a salt shaker off its ledge. The staff has also reported phantom footsteps and strange voices, so Sarah is not to be messed with.
20. Chicago Chop House
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Some come to this famed Windy City restaurant for mouthwatering meats like tomahawk ribeye and wet-aged porterhouse, while others are interested in the equally juicy hauntings. The Chicago Chop House is housed in a brownstone that once belonged to Robert Minier, an electrician who famously prevented a steamer ship from exploding in Lake Michigan but faced a horrible personal tragedy when his daughter, Florence, died at the age of 9.
It’s believed that Florence haunts the property, with staff and patrons claiming to hear a child crying and the lights going off and on without anyone flipping a switch. Sightings have been reported all throughout the restaurant, but experts claim the third floor has the best paranormal activity — dine there if you have the chops.
19. The Melting Pot
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Get your cheese and chocolate fondue with a side of fright, as this Colorado restaurant has a long history of hauntings. First constructed in 1916, this charming brick building was first used as a library, which was reportedly haunted by the spirit of a little girl who’d drowned nearby and had a penchant for making books fly from the shelves. Later, it became a town jail, and a botched escape attempt resulted in the death of a prisoner and police officer.
Of course, some believe the spirits still linger. Odd occurrences have included bathroom urinals flushing one by one, chairs flipping over, staff feeling someone being close to them and whispering in their ear and espresso machines moving on their own.
18. Casey Moore's Oyster House
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Fresh oysters and even fresher ghosts are on the menu at this popular Irish pub. Before it became a restaurant, the building was occupied by William and Mary Moeur, who — you guessed it — died here. Years later, they’ve been seen dancing in the upstairs window in the middle of the night.
After William and Mary passed, the house briefly became a bordello, and some of those spirits are still here, too. Customers and staff have reported seeing lamps swaying, forks flying off the tables and a young woman with bright eyes and dark hair who gives you a stare and then disappears. Check, please!
17. Patrick’s Roadhouse
Location: Santa Monica, California
Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks are among the Hollywood A-listers who love this greasy spoon that is always decorated like St. Patrick’s and offers delicious comfort food like burgers and overstuffed omelets. Not on the menu is the ghost of Bill Fischler, the restaurant’s former owner, who is now an ornery ghost and can often be spotted with a displeased pout on his face. And don’t even think about complaining about the food, unless you want Bill to come out and ridicule you in front of everyone.
But Bill’s not all bad, according to the Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles, who believe that he watches over the place to ensure customers have the best food and service. Of course, not everyone agrees. One cook was reportedly so fed up with Bill’s extreme close-ups that he walked off set for good.
16. Earnestine & Hazel's
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
People come to this beloved dive bar for the delicious “Soul Burger” (often voted as the best hamburger in the state and one of the best hamburgers in the country) and for the creepy happenings like the Haunted AF jukebox, a dead machine that decides to come alive when it feels like it.
Before becoming Earnestine and Hazel’s, the building was a pharmacy, brothel and concert hall, and over the years, 13 people reportedly died there. That may explain why customers and staff have reported hearing footsteps pounding at all hours of the day and night and feeling like invisible hands have grabbed them. Thankfully, the spirits aren’t known to bite into customers’ burgers or swipe their fries.
15. The Twisted Vine
Location: Derby, Connecticut
Things have been a bit, well, twisted at this restaurant since it opened in 2005. Housed in what used to be a bank, you can order a nice bottle of wine from the vault to calm your nerves as the lights flash uncontrollably, furniture randomly moves all on its own, or you see an orb or two in your selfies.
Though for most people, the restaurant’s hauntings are part of the fun, and the Twisted Vine readily plays up the paranormal with dinner/ghost tour combos and psychic readings. Especially brave souls can partake in dead-of-the-night spirit searches with professional ghost hunters.
14. The Whitney
Location: Detroit, Michigan
This huge mansion-turned-restaurant was constructed in 1894 by lumber baron David Whitney Jr. as a present for his wife, Flora. Sadly, she died before it was finished, and the grieving widower would go on to marry her sister, Sara. Yet Flora was determined to live in the home one way or another and decided to haunt it. After the married couple joined her in the afterlife, the house became a hospice for tuberculosis patients.
Today, it’s believed that David, Flora, Sara and some other spirits linger. Frightening events have included the elevator moving from floor to floor with no riders and a woman dressed in white crying in the bathroom. If you experience one of these things, you can calm your nerves at the Ghostbar, which serves fun cocktails like The Witching Hour.
13. Old Town Pizza & Brewing
Location: Portland, Oregon
Sitting above the infamous Shanghai Tunnels (an alleged secret underground network where sailors were kidnapped and other shady dealings occurred), this popular pizza restaurant opened in 1974 in the lobby of the Merchant Hotel. Some come here for a delicious pie, like pepperoni and Italian sausage, while others hope to see Nina, a ghost who has roamed the building for over 100 years.
Wearing a black dress and said to have very strong perfume, Nina was a prostitute who was tragically murdered and left in an elevator shaft. So, the least you can do is offer her a slice of your pizza!
12. White Horse Tavern
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
As America’s oldest restaurant (established in 1673), the White Horse Tavern has seen a lot of patrons come and go, but its ghosts are here to stay. As legend has it, in the 1720s, two drifters rolled into the tavern (but probably not on white horses) and, the next day, one was found dead.
Today, you may encounter his spirit warming himself by the fire and challenging you to figure out how he died. Patrons have also reported hearing the ghost of a small girl, who cries near the bathroom. Good thing the restaurant serves some awesome clam chowder to help you cope with those chills!
11. The Walker House
Location: Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Located in what feels like a Cornish Village stuck in the 1800s, The Walker House was once the home of the Cornish miners who settled here. The skilled workers initially created a cave from limestone and sandstone, then expanded it into a small house where travelers could find a bite to eat and a place to sleep.
Joining the miners and the travelers in the cave were elf-like ghosts known as Tommyknockers, who still hang out in the restaurant today (diners are encouraged to leave a bit of crust on their plates as an offering). Other lingering spirits include William Caffey, who was hanged nearby and comes in looking for his head, and the “Ghost-Cat,” who can be spotted getting some sun in the windows, making this the only restaurant on our list with a frightening feline.
10. One If by Land, Two If by Sea
Location: New York, New York
One of New York’s most romantic restaurants has delicious food and a stunning dining room with a shimmering chandelier and exposed brick. Unfortunately, your dining experience may be interrupted by the 20 apparitions who lurk here, floating the silverware and knocking things over.
The most famous of them is Aaron Burr, the guy who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in their famous duel (and in the even more famous Broadway musical — dinner and a show anyone?). But If Mr. Burr does show up and scare you, at least you’ll be in the room where it happened.
9. Poogan’s Porch
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
This Charleston charmer is housed in a beautiful Victorian home that was built in 1888 and once belonged to a woman named Zoe St. Armand, who suffered a mental break in the early 1900s after the death of her sister. Sadly, one night she fell down the stairs while looking for her and met her own tragic demise.
Today, Zoe prowls the dining room, still in search of her sister. Sometimes, Zoe is joined by the restaurant’s namesake, the spirit of a Wheaten terrier who likes to run under tables and tickle children’s feet.
8. Stone's Public House
Location: Ashland, Massachusetts
Named after the original owner, John Stone, this popular restaurant and watering hole was the site of a gruesome murder in 1845. After one of his houseguests beat Stone in a big card game, the enraged loser allegedly killed the man and forced other men to help him bury the body in the basement.
The men were supposed to take the secret to their grave, but they decided to ditch the cemetery and haunt the restaurant instead. They’re mostly harmless, except for making the occasional mess, but avoiding playing cards in their presence is surely a good bet.
7. The Horse You Came in on Saloon
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
America’s most continuously operated saloon (established in 1775) serves comfort food like wings and fried pickles and loads of spirits, both the kind you can drink and those that may terrify you. The most famous ghost is a meanie who enjoys breaking glasses and swinging the chandelier.
Locals named him Edgar, as in the famous author Edgar Allan Poe, who was spotted drinking here a few days before he died. To appease the moody writer, staff will sometimes leave a glass of whiskey out for him. While we can’t confirm this restless spirit is the infamous writer, the story sure does capture our (Tell Tale) heart.
6. The Golden Lamb Restaurant and Inn
Location: Lebanon, Ohio
This restaurant is such a local favorite that it’s nicknamed “Lebanon’s Living Room,” but “Lebanon’s Living and Dead Room” might be more befitting.
Its ghosts include Clement L. Vallandingham, a former U.S. congressman who accidentally shot himself on site (the room is now named after him); Justice Charles R. Sherman, an Ohio Supreme Court justice who mysteriously died at the inn when he was just 41 years old; and a little girl named Eliza Clay, who fell sick while traveling with her family and passed away at the inn.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Another New Orleans haunted hotspot, Muriel’s is one of the most famous spirited-inhabited restaurants in the country. Built as a mansion in 1718, the building fell on hard times but was lovingly restored a century later by Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan. Unfortunately, he lost the house in a poker game and was so distraught he killed himself on the second floor.
The good news is that he never actually had to leave, as Pierre’s spirit lingers, and every night a table (complete with bread, wine and silverware) is left open for him. Sometimes, he appears as a shimmering spirit or decides to knock on walls, but all in all, he’s just happy to still be home. You can even try to speak to him or contact other spirits with a post-dinner seance.
4. Scarlett O’Hara’s
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Despite being named after "Gone with the Wind’s" leading lady, the star of this popular St. Augustine hangout is the ghost of George Colee. Also known as “One-Eyed George,” Colee was the building’s original resident — until his fiancée left him for another man, and he was so upset that he drowned himself in the bathtub.
George now haunts the upstairs (where the tub was located), which has been dubbed “The Ghost Bar.” The staff has also reported seeing picture frames moving and feeling like someone is always watching them, especially at night. Some were so scared that they quit. Frankly, my dear, we do give a damn!
3. The Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
In the 1870s, the Lemps were one of the wealthiest families in St. Louis, owning the largest brewing companies in town and one of the most well-known in the country. But, even their money couldn’t protect the Lemps from a dark fate. In 1901, one of the kids, Frederick, died by suicide. His father and family patriarch, Charles, died in the same room three years later. After prohibition forced the brewery to close, five more deaths occurred in the house between 1919 and 1949.
Today, the mansion’s tragic history brings both professional and amateur ghost hunters in search of spirits, with many reporting hearing disembodied voices and seeing shadows and orbs moving about.
2. Double Eagle Restaurant
Location: Mesilla, New Mexico
Known for its great steak and ornate atmosphere that includes crystal chandeliers and a gold-layered tin ceiling, the Double Eagle Restaurant has never been shy about its hauntings. In fact, it was called the “most haunted building in Mesilla'' by the Travel Channel’s "Ghost Adventures." Its ghosts are Armando and Inez, star-crossed lovers who were gruesomely murdered in 1849 — and by Armando’s mother, no less! You see, she didn’t approve of her wealthy son falling for one of the servants and, upon finding them in his bedroom, attacked them with sewing shears.
Despite their brutal death, Armando and Inez are mostly friendly ghosts. Sometimes, they make the lights flicker or rearrange the furniture. Perhaps the oddest story: They were blamed for wearing out the upholstery of two chairs that were hardly ever used. They are most often seen in the Carlotta Saloon, which used to be Armando’s bedroom.
1. Moon River Brewing Company
Location: Savannah, Georgia
The American Institute of Paranormal Psychology deemed Savannah the most haunted city in America in 2003, and the Moon River Brewing Company is among its top spirited spots. Used as a hospital during the Civil War and during Yellow Fever outbreaks, hundreds of people reportedly succumbed to sickness and injuries here.
Today, paranormal activity has been reported on almost every floor of the building. A ghost named Toby allegedly haunts the basement and likes to push people playing billiards, while the third floor is frequented by a mysterious woman in white, and staff members have reported spooky sounds like children running up and down the hallway. Ghost hunters have also reported “dark energy” on the top floor. Moon River is a must-see stop on Savannah’s ghost tours and has been featured on numerous television shows.