This Halloween, Why Not Eat In A Restaurant With A Resident Ghost?

Every year, in the weeks preceding Halloween, "haunted houses" start popping up in storefronts, parking lots, and school gymnasiums — all of them staged and featuring costumed spooks lying in wait around every corner to jump out and give you the fright of your life. There are other real haunted houses, however, that may feature less active manifestations, but their resident spooks don't tend to disappear after Halloween is over. Yes, we're talking about the real deal frights, the kind that "Ghost Adventures" loves to investigate.

Unless you have your own TV series, however, you probably can't go barging into any old private residence rumored to have a resident ghost and check it out. But you can get your amateur ghost hunting on by visiting one of these haunted locations that are very much open for business. And, even better, you can enjoy a spooky good meal as you keep your eyes peeled for anything uncanny. While we can't guarantee you'll experience any orbs, EVPs, or otherworldly manifestations at these possessed restaurants (as corralled by Food Network), you may just experience a meal that's to die for!

Baltimore, Maryland: Bertha's

Fell's Point in Baltimore may be the city's spookiest neighborhood, as even the Maryland Office of Tourism admits that it's home to ghosts ranging from pirates to Poe (as in, Edgar Allan, who had his last drink in one of the town's numerous taverns). While there's no shortage of haunted bars if you'd like a few boos with your booze, if you want a meal in a haunted restaurant, Bertha's is a can't-miss destination on any gastronomic ghost tour.

In one of Bertha's previous incarnations, it was a brothel (Fell's Point is a port town, after all), but the resident ghost's origin story dates back to earlier times when the location served as a boarding house. The ghost is purportedly that of a little girl, aged about 8-years-old, who appears in a frilly dress of a style that may date back to the turn of the 19th century. While no one seems to know her name or story, CBS Baltimore notes that yellow fever was endemic in Baltimore boarding houses at that time and children as well as adults often fell victim to this disease.

In addition to the haunting, Bertha's is best known for its mussels, seen in the numerous "Eat Bertha's Mussels" stickers adorning many a car bumper in the greater Baltimore area. While the rest of the menu is pretty seafood heavy, non-pescetarians can enjoy burgers, braised pork shank, and butternut squash ravioli.

Sudbury, Massachusetts: Longfellow's Wayside Inn

If your favorite kind of ghost story is one that dates back hundreds of years, you won't want to miss Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The inn has been offering hospitality since 1716, something New England Today says makes it the oldest still-operating inn in the U.S. The original name of the establishment was Howe's Tavern, but the spot changed its name in the 19th century, wanting to capitalize on their newfound fame once Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it as the setting for his 1863 "Tales of a Wayside Inn." 

If you're wondering what's up with all of the other historic buildings on the grounds, you can thank Henry Ford (of the Ford Motors empire) for those. He purchased the property in 1923 and did his best to turn it into a living history museum of sorts.

Per New England Today, Wayside Inn's resident ghost is a woman named Jerusha Howe whose fiancée sailed home to England before the wedding and, well, ghosted her. She died of a broken heart, although not too promptly, as it took her until she was 45 to finally succumb. Her spectral presence makes itself known primarily in Room 9, though she's also been known to manifest in Room 10 and on the stairs as well. The drinks menu pays homage to her with a "ghost martini" made of Captain Morgan's and ginger brandy, but the main menu sticks to non ghost-themed New England classics like clam chowder, Yankee pot roast, lobster rolls, and baked schrod.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Shaker's Cigar Bar

Shaker's Cigar Bar in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood couldn't have a spookier location. The land it was built on was originally a cemetery, and the bar was once owned by Al Capone. During its Scarface era, Shaker's operated as both a speakeasy and brothel, with the illicit activities leading to at least a few bodies reportedly buried in the basement. If that's not enough haunted history for you, the bar was also once one of the hangouts of cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Dahmer himself doesn't haunt the premises (actually, according to The Lantern, the Milwaukee Monster may be spending his afterlife in Ohio instead), but Shaker's does have quite a few other resident spooks. According to author D.L. Marriott, one of the best known ones is an 11-year-old girl named Elizabeth who broke her neck by falling out of a tree on the premises back in the 19th century and now hangs out in the ladies' room. Another ghost is said to be that of young Molly Brennan, murdered while working in the brothel. Several other brothel girls were said to have taken their lives on the premises and could be the spirits now lingering.

Shaker's is known for its pizza and Cajun cuisine, while the "Spirits" menu includes an extensive whiskey selection as well as several beers created exclusively for the establishment by local brewery Sprecher's, including a Ghost Ale and Shadow People. In-house ghost tours are held every night for an additional charge, and the restaurant also holds special events such as a recent autumnal equinox dinner.

Denver, Colorado: Brass Tacks

Denver's Brass Tacks isn't the city's oldest restaurant, but the Nightly Spirits Denver ghost tour (via the Denver Post) dubs it the most haunted. The establishment first opened as a saloon back in the 1860s, and at one point in those early days it also served as a boarding house and/or brothel. 

Per the article, most of that history has long been forgotten, except in the case of a lady now known as Lydia. It seems she died under mysterious circumstances that might have involved being push down the stairs at the hands of an angry customer. Lydia's shoes can sometimes be heard clicking on the restaurant's wooden floors and she has been known to put in the occasional ectoplasmic appearance on the staircase. Judging by her nicknames, "brown ghost" and "lady in red," we're guessing she was dressed in one or both colors at the time of her death and subsequent reappearances.

As for Brass Tacks' food menu, it's pretty typical upscale bar fare, including New American style dishes with a southwestern spin. Think sweet corn beignets, roasted bone marrow with shishito chimichurri, and lime panna cotta. They also get creative with the bar menu, which features a line of draft cocktails including a vodka elderflower lemonade and a rosé-based pink sangria with pineapple, cucumber, grapefruit, and a Pisco kicker.

Moss Beach, California: Moss Beach Distillery

If you're located on the West Ghost — er, Coast — you should definitely plan a trip to the not-so-bustling metropolis of Moss Beach, California. The Moss Beach Distillery may be a little bit out of the way, perched high atop a cliff above Half Moon Bay, but this secluded spot served in good stead during Prohibition when Canadian rumrunners could bring their illegal hooch directly to the speakeasy, then known as Frank's Place.

One of Frank's customers, as legend has it, was a beautiful (though anonymous) lady who fell in love with a man who wasn't the one she'd married. As all such stories do, this one ended unhappily, with the lady and her lover being violently attacked on the beach below their favorite getaway spot. He survived, she didn't, but to this day she returns to haunt her former haunt. The woman's ghost at least has a name now, as they call her the Blue Lady. Most of her manifestations are the usual kind — levitating objects, locked rooms, phones ringing when no-one's on the line — but she seems to have a penchant for stealing earrings from female diners.

Despite Moss Beach Distillery's name, it's a full-service restaurant offering a menu featuring what they describe as California Coastal cuisine. Specialties include pesto-stuffed salmon and seafood sliders, while the bar menu includes a Blue Lady martini made with vodka, triple sec, blue curacao, and lemon juice.