Happy Halloween! This annual event originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would dress up in costumes and light bonfires to ward off ghosts. Today, Halloween is celebrated with trick-or-treating, costumes, pumpkin carving and more. But the essential ingredient – ghosts – hasn’t vanished.
For some, these chilling apparitions don’t disappear at the stroke of midnight. In fact, quite a few restaurants around the world have some chilling tales which will see your skin crawling no matter what time of the year.
Read on if you dare.
The idea of ghostly apparitions haunting old and dilapidated buildings has been present throughout history. But, as building renovations hit sky-high levels, we have seen a spike in ghostly sightings and spine-chilling events. Whether it’s cutlery going missing, doors opening by themselves or howls coming from the kitchen, restaurant hauntings have been present throughout history.
With the spooky season hitting its peak, we’ve done some soul-searching and found six of the most haunted restaurants around the world.
1. The Savoy Grill - USA
The Savoy Grill was located within the Savoy Hotel, said to be the oldest continuously operating hotel in the USA west of the Mississippi River. Rumor has it that the Grill was haunted by the ghost of Betsy Ward who died in the hotel during the 1880s. The tale goes that she committed suicide in the bathtub of room 505, but this has never been confirmed. Staff and guests reported of hearing voices and seeing and hearing doors slam all near room 505. Today, the hotel has been transformed into a contempoary art museum, boutique hotel and restaurant. Time will tell if the ghost of Betsy Ward will continue to haunt the building.
2. Buma Inn - China
Located in Beijing, the Buma Inn is famous for its in-house dining venue where it serves up some of the most delectable Chinese food in the city. But, while you dine, you may find yourself with a rather unwanted guest. It is said the Inn is haunted by the spirit of a diner who was supposedly poisoned by the once-head-chef. It is believed that the diner’s spirit haunts the restaurant and Inn, looking for the head chef in order to seek out revenge.
3. Marsden Grotto Restaurant - England
Built in 1782, the Marsden Grotto Restaurant sits in the limestone cliffs of Marsden Bay. Originally run as a tea room it is now a successful pub and restaurant. But you may find yourself feeling a bit of a chill while admiring the Bay views. It’s said the venue is haunted by one or more ghosts. Staff have reported strange knocking noises coming from the cellar, chains rattling on their own accord and whispering when no one is there. There have also been reports of bare footprints appearing on the floor which could not be washed away, the ghost of a man appearing in the lower cave bar area and dark shadowy figures lingering in the Bay area.
4. Nottingham Road Hotel - South Africa
Sat on the crossroads where the road to the interior met the road to Fort Nottingham, the Nottingham Road Hotel is said to have been a popular stop for British soldiers during the 1800s. It’s believed that a single ghost, known as Charlotte, resides in the building. One story claims she was told her lover, a British solider, was killed in a battle and due to a broken heart threw herself over the balcony. Another version claims Charlotte was entertaining a client who refused to pay, a fight broke out and she was beaten and flung over the balcony. Either way, Charlotte only appears to certain individuals, perhaps still looking for her lost love.
5. Auberge Saint-Gabriel - Canada
Dubbed the first ‘auberge’ (French for ‘inn’) in North America, this dining establishment was built in 1688 by a French soldier. The venue was also the first establishment to have an alcohol license, issued in 1754. However, as you enjoy the wine and food, you may find someone hovering at your shoulder. Apparently, the building is haunted by a small girl who was burned to death during a fire in the 19thcentury. Guests and staff have claimed to hear the ghost play the piano on occasion.
6. Heritage Hotel - Australia
Once known as the Bulli Family Hotel, the Heritage Hotel is said to be haunted by its previous owner Edward ‘Ted’ Cullen. Ted and his wife Lavina were granted the license for the Bulli Hotel just as the Great Depression was about to hit which saw sales plummet due to lack of customers. On the day of his death Edward went to the bank to apply for an overdraft but was unsuccessful. When he got back to the Bulli he asked his wife to ensure she put all the lights out before going upstairs and hanging himself. It’s said that today, Edward haunts the halls of the Hotel where stock goes missing only to mysteriously return days later, cutlery gets re-arranged, locked doors are found wide open, guests and staff receive eerie taps on the shoulder and odd sounds are heard throughout the night.
Many restaurants around the world claim to have a resident ghostly matter residing somewhere – in the cellar, the kitchen, and even the bathroom. Have you seen something unexplainable happen in your workplace?
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