With Halloween quickly creeping up, local establishments are getting decked out in spooky decor to put their patrons in the holiday spirit. However, there are a few Northwest bars and restaurants that don’t need to. Historic buildings, Victorian-era houses and secret underground passages all have a story to tell, but sometimes the history that’s revealed can make way for a haunting present.
Not intended for the easily frightened, British Columbia boasts a number of haunted, modern day establishments, including two restaurants that have been known to startle guests. BC locals and tourists can head to Victoria’s The Bent Mast, where patrons often feel as though they are being watched or followed by an invisible presence. A good place to grab a few locally brewed pints, don’t be surprised if you feel your chest tighten walking through the cold spots that surround the entrance to the bar.
Patrons hungry for a plate of spaghetti and a glass of wine might get more than they bargain for if planning an outing to historic Gastown’s Old Spaghetti Factory in Vancouver. Many have claimed to see the ghost of a tram conductor inside the 1904 British Electric trolley that sits front and center inside the restaurant. Outfitted in a classic conductor uniform, staff and patrons alike have shared their accounts of sighting this specter. Lady patrons beware: be on the lookout for a small, redheaded ghoul dressed in long johns, as he is notorious for pranking women in the washroom. Also sighted have been the spirits of two children, a boy named Edward, who likes causing mischief, and a young girl in search of her mother.
On a dark and rainy night in Seattle, you may find yourself trudging down the cobblestone road of Post Alley in Pike Place Market. After finding refuge inside nearby Kell’s Irish Restaurant & Pub and warming up with some suds, don’t be alarmed if you notice a young girl sitting at the top of the stairs. Formerly Butterworth & Sons Mortuary, corpses used to be hauled through what is now the front entrance to Kell’s, and carried up the stairs to the morgue where they were embalmed.
Head to the Capitol Hill neighborhood to find Canterbury Ale & Eats, and it’s no wonder why this place is haunted–it’s located next door to a cemetery! A seemingly friendly place to enjoy the intoxicant of your choice, the basement bodes good stomping grounds for ghouls. It is said that the ghost of their former cook, Greg, dwells in the shadows of the basement, as well as the spirit of an unnamed and mysterious woman.
Portland is also a poltergeist’s paradise. The White Eagle Saloon, a McMenamins pub, has delightfully haunted customers for years, so much in fact, that there are 11 rooms in the upstairs available for patrons to rent out for the evening. Once a brothel and opium den, one of the former call girls who was murdered inside the building during the 1920s is believed to haunt the premises. But the White Eagle isn’t the only McMenamins location known for hosting ghosts. Visit McMenamins ghost blog to learn more about spooky happenings at their multiple locations.
While in town, a can’t-miss haunted destination in Portland is Old Town Pizza. Once the Merchant Hotel, this building, dating back to 1880, has retained its historic character as evident when you walk inside. While enjoying a slice of pizza and some of Old Town Brewing beer, you may have a face-to-ghost experience with Nina, Old Town Pizza’s resident ghoul.
Get in the spirit and heighten your haunting by downloading a ghost detecting app on your phone, or bringing along a Ouija board. It doesn’t have to be Halloween to enjoy getting spooked at any of these locations, but the ambiance of the season sure does help.