Post by Graveyardbride on Jul 4, 2018 9:20:26 GMT -5
Haunted Eateries of New England
At the Sea Glass Restaurant in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Deb Wojcicki tried the Mediterranean Scramble and learned the story of Lydia Carver, the young bride-to-be who died when the schooner Charles wrecked off the coast on July 12, 1807. After more than 200 years, her wraith still walks the nearby beaches in search of her bridegroom. At The Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont, it was Eggs Benedict and Boots Berry, the tap-dancing ghost. At the Haymarket Café in Northampton, Massachusetts, a delicious plate of black beans and rice was accompanied by the tale of Jason, the sometimes-sticky-fingered bathroom sprite.
Wojcicki, inspired by her love for good food and spirits of the ectoplasmic variety, started the website Haunted Eateries of New England* four years ago. “I’m a super foodie and I love a good ghost story,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in western Massachusetts. “My sister-in-law and I had stayed at a few haunted inns, some of them had restaurants, some of them didn’t. We thought, ‘Hey, you know what would be really cool, if we ate our way around New England looking for ghosts!’” And that’s what they did.
She has hit four Maine restaurants and pubs and there are many more on her “to-eat” list. Each location gets a review, photos and a recap of the its best ghost stories, most often relayed by staff. Wojcicki has been on hiatus compiling close to 20 reviews of Massachusetts spots that she may turn into a book or which may end up on the website around Halloween.
A geologist and environmental consultant, Wojcicki scours the web, asks ghost-hunting groups and relies on word of mouth in her search for places to visit. “Some people own their ghosts – they’re comfortable with them, they’re happy talking about them,” she explained. “And others are like, ‘Oh, no, this place is not haunted,’ but you start snooping around talking to the bartender and you realize, ‘It might be, there might be a good story here.’”
Two criteria necessary to make the website: First, the restaurant has to be open to the general public. “It can’t be a B&B, where you have to stay there to eat there,” Wojcicki added. And, “if you have a ghost that just hangs out in a room upstairs, that doesn’t count either. It has to be something near the restaurant, because otherwise, you’re not eating with the ghosts.”
She has yet to have a personal experience, but in chatting up staff – bartenders seem to be particularly forthcoming – she has “heard some really, really awesome stories from people who really seem to believe that the place was haunted.”
At the Green Mountain Inn, she heard about Boots Berry, a black man born to an inn chambermaid in 1840. He learned to tap dance in a New Orleans jail and died rescuing a young girl from the roof of the inn. In her review, Wojcicki wrote that people today report cold spots, being touched and sometimes, the sound of tap dancing on the roof. A lot of ghosts you hear the same things: They turn off and on the lights, they like to play with the faucets in the bathroom, but Boots is unique,” she asserted.
At Sonny’s Restaurant in Portland, she heard about a large-nosed older spirit, crashing dishes and unexplained noises, but could not get the bartender to talk. “Apparently,” she wrote, “he had witnessed some weird things, but never spoke of them while inside the building. … Perhaps he was afraid of being overheard.”
One of her favorite stories is that of the aforementioned Lydia Carver, who was returning from Boston with her wedding dress. “There’s a little, itty-bitty cemetery right next to the inn that has her gravestone (above),” Wojcicki related. “It’s a heart-tugging story. It’s one that’s had a lot of people who have said they’ve seen her ghosts, or a ghost has been in their room moving stuff around. Stories like that, you can get the feeling for the history of it and you can get the feeling for who this person really was. Those are my favorite, I love those.”
Two places she wants to check out in Maine are The Lucerne Inn in Dedham, where some claim a long-ago double-murder and suicide took place, and the Kennebunk Inn. The Kennebunk “apparently [has] three ghosts that have broken glasses at the bar, Wojciki, said. “Patrons eating outside have seen a ghost staring out the window at them and it sounds like a great restaurant. The chef/owner was on Chopped, on the Food Network. Right there, that’s got everything I need. They mention it right on their website. These are people who own their ghosts.”
In addition to the Sea Glass and Sonny’s, Wocicki’s site features two other Maine restaurants: The Jameson Tavern in Freeport is an eatery where the lobsters are plump and sweet and you may catch a glimpse of “Emily,” a playful ghost, or the apparition of a man in a top hat. The other is Bull Feeney’s, “a comfortable old-style” Irish pub in the heart of Portland where the apparitions of women in period dress have been mistaken for waitresses.
Source: Kathryn Skelton, The Lewiston Sun-Journal, June 17, 2018, and Haunted Eateries of New England.
*The site hasn’t been updated since 2015, so before you visit one of the restaurants, make sure it’s still in business.
See also “The Ghost of Benton, Maine, Resurrected”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/467/ghost-benton-falls-resurrected
“Haunts of Maine’s Haynesville Road”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/2622/haunts-maines-haynesville-road
“The Ice-Shrouded Ghosts of Maine”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/3235/ice-shrouded-ghosts-maine
“Lydia Carver: Ghost Bride of Cape Elizabeth”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/4127/lydia-carver-ghost-bride-elizabeth
“Maine’s Ship from the Fleet of the Dead”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/2296/maines-ship-fleet-dead
“Maine Murders, Gallows and Ghosts”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/6190/maine-murders-gallows-ghosts