Some of America’s Haunted Restaurants
by Jane Walsh
Dining Out At One Of America’s Haunted Restaurants
A third of Americans eat out at restaurants every single day, but often they are unaware of the history or the people that once lived inside that old converted house.
You may be drawn to a restaurant for the cuisine and the atmosphere, but supposing the ambience includes supernatural beings? You might be surprised at the characters that you’re dining with – from mischievous sailors to lost ladies of the night who met a tragic end.
Next time you fancy a steak, why not dine with some spirits too. Visit one of the most haunted restaurants in America.
Muriel’s, New Orleans
Every night at Muriel’s Restaurant (801 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA), a table is set for a very special guest: Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan.
In the early 1800s, he restored the building back to its former glory after a fire that had swept through the French Quarter. He loved his beautiful home, and was very proud of what he had achieved. But Jourdan had expensive tastes and a very risky habit – gambling.
In 1814, he played his last poker game in Muriel’s, where he made a wager that would destroy the lives of him and his family – he bet his home and lost. Such was the depth of Jourdan’s misery, before he left, the man committed suicide in one of the rooms, later becoming the seance lounge.
To this day, every night a special table is reserved for Jourdan. On the table, crusty white bread is paired with a deep, red wine as a tribute to the man that has never left his love. Diners can raise a glass to him, and even try to communicate across the spiritual plains.
Restaurant 1833, Monterey
Fancy pairing a Californian Malbec with a spirit who betrayed a town?
Then head to Restaurant 1833 (500 Hartnell St, Monterey, CA 93940). Here you can rub shoulders with the spirit of Mr James Stokes. He was an English sailor who managed to convince the residents of Monterey that he was a doctor.
The governor of the town, Jose Figueroa, trusted him so much that Stokes was appointed his personal physician. Figueroa died within the year. Stokes killed the majority of his patients. It was only after his sons found him up to suspect behavior with his own daughter that Stokes committed suicide.
He haunts Restaurant 1833, along with former resident Hattie Gragg, who died there in 1948. The pair have been rumored to put salt in the wine glasses, and have even been heard whispering, “Excuse me, can you help me?”
Old Town Pizza, Portland
If you want to pair a classic pepperoni pizza with a supernatural presence, then head to Old Town Pizza (226 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209).
The building itself is on top of what was once the Portland Shanghai Tunnels. A secret underground cavern that housed kidnapped sailors at the beginning of the 1900s.
Old Town Pizza is haunted by a prostitute called Nina, who was sold into a life of slavery. She was found dead in the hotel that became the pizza restaurant – apparently thrown down a lift shaft.
Today she haunts diners, floating through in a black dress. She’s fond of the Dragon Lady pizza with sun-dried tomatoes.
Dining with spirits can give you a real sense of the history of a restaurant. You don’t need a ouija board to feel their presence – talking, sounds and hot and cold air are frequently experienced by diners. You can raise a glass of wine to those stuck on their mortal life; just watch out if it tastes salty – it could be James Stokes up to mischief.