Spooky Spots for Frightening Feasts

With Halloween coming up soon, it’s the time of year for those of us who like a good scare to enjoy the creepy season before it disappears. In celebration of the spooky spirit of the holiday, we’ve assembled a list of some of the most famously haunted restaurants in the country. If you like considering the possibility of breaking bread with an otherworldly specter, you might want to check out one of the restaurants below.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea – New York City

This iconic restaurant was founded in 1973, and is billed as the most romantic restaurant in New York City. Built in 1767 as a carriage house, the building was owned by Aaron Burr, a politician famous for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. The restaurant is said to be haunted by Burr himself, and some claim to have also seen his daughter Theodosia, who was lost at sea while trying to return from South Carolina to New York to visit her father. However, they have plenty of company; paranormal investigators claim to have experienced the presence of as many as 20 ghosts, one of which was a Ziegfeld Follies girl.

White Horse Tavern – Newport, R.I.

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White Horse Tavern was originally built as a home in 1652 and turned into a tavern in 1673, giving its owners a claim to operating the oldest restaurant in America. With such a long history, it’s almost inevitable that ghost stories would haunt the property, and the building’s legends don’t disappoint. While some have reported hearing a small girl crying upstairs, the building’s main ghostly tenant is an elderly man. The man attributed with making the inn his eternal home arrived with a traveling companion, rented a room, and died during the night. Perhaps fearing he’d be put in quarantine, the man’s friend fled before morning, so the unidentified man was buried nearby and supposedly still haunts the tavern.

Arnaud’s – New Orleans, La.

Arnaud’s Restaurant is a well-known institution in New Orleans that has been in operation since 1918. The restaurant was founded by “Count” Arnaud Cazenave, who earned his title for the regimented way he ran the restaurant. Those who work at the restaurant claim he still lingers there, watching over operations and fixing any table settings he is displeased with. Servers have also seen glasses of liquor appear on the bar when the restaurant is empty, only to turn back a moment later to see an empty glass. His daughter, Germaine Cazenave Wells, is also seen around the building, in both the restaurant and the Mardi Gras museum that bears her name and displays many of her gowns.

Poogan’s Porch – Charleston, S.C.

Poogan’s Porch is named after a friendly dog who was found as a stray when the original restaurant owners bought the property. The restaurant was opened in 1976, though sadly Poogan passed away in 1978. Children still claim a dog resembling Poogan steals their French fries, and guests often report feeling something brush against their legs under the tables. However, the pup isn’t the only specter guests have reported seeing.

Before the building was a restaurant, it was a home where two sisters, Zoe and Elizabeth St. Amand, lived. The sisters were very close, and when Elizabeth passed away, Zoe’s health deteriorated. Not long after, she was found wandering the streets and calling her sister’s name; she was taken to assisted living, where she passed away a few years later. Now, servers at the restaurant claim she can be seen wandering her old home, looking for her sister. More than once, unknowing onlookers have reported seeing an elderly woman in an upstairs window while the restaurant was closed and called the police, thinking she must need help.

Muriel’s – New Orleans, L.A.

The building that Muriel’s is housed in has a long history, dating back to the founding of New Orleans in 1718. One of the homeowners in the early 19th century was Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, who purchased the home after it was damaged in the Good Friday Fire of 1788. He repaired and rebuilt the home into a grandiose residence, but a gambling habit purportedly caused him to lose it in a bet, according to the official history from Muriel’s. Rather than vacate his beloved dwelling, he hung himself on the second floor where the eatery’s Séance Lounge is now located.

Those who work at Muriel’s have seen a shimmering light and heard knocking on walls, which has been attributed to the lingering presence of Jourdan. A woman’s voice is also occasionally heard downstairs, and glasses have been flung across the courtyard bar. The restaurant has been investigated by several paranormal investigators, who have recorded voices and seen unexplainable shadows. In an attempt to placate Jourdan, the restaurant has a table reserved for him each night that is set with wine and bread.

Gadsby’s Tavern – Alexandria, Va.

Courtney Barkley
Courtney Barkley

Courtney Barkley has lived in nearly as many southeastern states as most Americans have probably visited, settling in East Tennessee in early 2013. She and her husband Thomas were married during ShadoCon 2012 – an anime, gaming, and comics convention – in a ceremony that featured a reading about dinosaurs in love from a friend dressed as Doctor Who. She spends her free time chasing her brilliant and imaginative son Nathan, hanging out with friends, binge-watching shows, playing video games, and keeping up with the characters of the Marvel Universe. And, any chance she gets, she sneaks off to Florida to visit friends and the happiest place on earth – Disney World.

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