12 Most Haunted Restaurants In America

There's something about a good ghost story that really captures the imagination. Maybe we just like the suspense and excitement of a good scare. On a deeper level, maybe it makes us feel more connected to the past. Perhaps the notion of an afterlife helps distract us from the reality of our own mortality. Or maybe we just want to believe that some level of mystery will always remain in the world — that some things can never really be explained. Whatever reasons we have for our interest in the supernatural, there's no doubt that our fascination with the spiritual realm is ancient and ingrained in cultures across the globe (via History). The United States is certainly no exception, with plenty of our own hair-raising, American-spun horror stories that have haunted us for generations. Sometimes these thrills and chills spill beyond the graveyard and into unexpected places — like some of our favorite restaurants.

Whispers in the shadows, a glimmering presence in the periphery, unexplained glowing orbs of light — all kinds of paranormal phenomena have been reported in restaurants around the country, particularly on historic properties that have endured various mysterious tragedies. Are there logical explanations for these ghostly encounters, or is there something more otherworldly at play? We'll let you be the judge — if you dare. Here are some of the most haunted restaurants in America.

Sinatra's Ristorante - Cassadaga, Florida

Located on a quiet plot of woods in central Florida, Cassadaga is known for being the world's largest historic spiritualist camp (via Encyclopedia.com). Founded in 1868 by a psychic named George Colby who believed he was guided there by a spirit, Cassadaga is now home to a village of mediums and clairvoyants who make a living by channeling the dead and providing readings to the public (via Orlando Sentinel). Cassadaga is also infamous for a nearby grave dubbed "The Devil's Chair," where legend has it that if you sit down at midnight, you'll hear the devil's speak to you. In the center of this small, eerie town sits Hotel Cassadaga, which houses the town's one and only restaurant, Sinatra's Ristorante.

There have been numerous hauntings reported on the property through the years. The owner of the property, Diana Morn, claims that she saw a ghost there the first night after she bought it (via Thrillist). Even though there are no children allowed in the hotel area of the building, guests have reported hearing children playing in the hallways and the sound of tricycle bells at night. But don't let that stop you from checking out the food at Sinatra's Ristorante, which offers delicious Italian classics like eggplant rollatini and manicotti. One thing's for sure — Cassadaga might be haunted, but the food at Sinatra's Ristorante is truly to die for.

Turner's Seafood - Salem, Massachusetts

Turner's Seafood in Salem, Massachusetts is well-known for delicious grub like lobster bisque, crab cakes, and beer-battered fish and chips (via Toast Tab). The New England coast is cluttered with countless seafood shacks, but Turner's has an interesting history that makes it truly special. For starters, the restaurant is located in a historic building that used to be known as Lyceum Hall (via Atlas Obscura). Modeled after the famous entertainment halls of Europe, Salem's Lyceum Hall held readings, debates, and musical performances — and even hosted the first public demonstration of a long-distance phone call by Alexander Graham Bell in 1877. But the property's interesting past has another claim to fame that's connected to one of the darkest moments in American history.

Before Lyceum Hall was constructed, the property was a private apple orchard (via Salem Ghosts). But this was no ordinary apple orchard: it was owned by none other than Brigette Bishop — the first woman to be executed during the infamous Salem witch trials. Bishop was known around town for dressing provocatively and getting into heated arguments, which may have led other colonists to target her as a witch during testimony. Bishop always maintained her innocence, but her pleas were ignored. She was found guilty of witchcraft in 1692, sentenced to death, and hung from the branch of an oak tree. To this day, people in the building claim it's haunted by Bishop and report seeing reflections of her ghost in windows and mirrors. 

Old Town Pizza & Brewing - Portland, Oregon

Long before Portland was known as a foodie paradise, the city had a secretive underground network of tunnels below the streets during the 19th century (via Portland Travel). Known as the Shanghai Tunnels, it's been rumored that this subterranean labyrinth was used for all kinds of criminal activity, ranging from transporting illegal goods to kidnapping people from the streets above for enslavement aboard nearby ship — a horrific act that spawned the term "shanghaiing," which is a reference to victims being forcefully displaced to the other side of the world by boat. Old Town Pizza & Brewing is located directly above this infamous sunken web of passages. And the company says there's a relic of the past on the property in the form of a spirit named Nina (via Old Town Brewing).

Legend has it that Nina was forced into a life of prostitution and slavery, and when missionaries promised to free her in exchange for more information about her captors she cooperated. Shortly afterwards, Nina's dead body was found at the bottom of an elevator shaft in the building. The original brick wall from the elevator shaft is now alongside a booth at the back of the dining room, and if you look closely, you'll see Nina's name etched into the stone. The company claims that Nina's presence has been felt in the building for more than a century, and it even holds haunted tours with beer tastings.

The Walker House - Mineral Point, Wisconsin

The Walker House is a historic building located in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Like many historic buildings, the property has seen some major changes over the years. Built in the 1860s, what started as a modest stone lodge for a local miner gradually evolved into a much bigger building that included a fine dining restaurant, luxury inn, and pub (via Haunted Houses). According to eyewitnesses, several spirits have been encountered inside the building.

One of these spirits is rumored to be William Caffey, a man who was executed nearby for murder (via Driftless Road Trip). At the time of Caffey's death, thousands gathered to picnic outside as the crowd morbidly awaited his public execution. In 2009, a team of paranormal researchers rented out the building to hunt for paranormal activity. Unfortunately, the video equipment didn't capture any ghosts and the audio equipment only recorded the sound of the creek and traffic outside. That still didn't stop stories from circulating about the property being haunted, and now the new owners seem to be distancing themselves from the building's spooky reputation (via The Walker House).

These days, The Walker House offers a handful of rooms for lodging, lunch specials, and hosts private events. The restaurant's beef pasty was chosen by The Food Network as the best in the state. Other dishes on the menu include slow-cooked baby back ribs, filet mignon, and pasta primavera.

Jameson Tavern - Freeport, Maine

Built in 1779, Jameson Tavern has become known for being haunted (via Jameson Tavern). One common sighting is the ghost of a little girl named Emily who burned to death in the attic when a fire spread through the tavern in the early 19th century. Today, people say that the trail of Emily's dress can be seen gliding around corners of the tavern. At one point, the restaurant's host saw a young girl playing alone underneath one of the dining room tables. When it was time to go, the host heard the young girl talking to an imaginary friend under the table that she called Emily — even though the young girl and her parents had never heard the story of young Emily dying in a fire upstairs.

There have been multiple accounts of supernatural encounters, including a psychic who felt the presence of a child. The good news is that several people have said that Emily's ghostly presence feels more playful than threatening, so you should feel more than comfortable to stop by for some food. As expected for a restaurant near the coast of Maine, there's tons of delicious seafood on the menu, including lobster rolls, fried clams, and golden brown scallops. And if you happen to suddenly feel some mysterious magic in the air, you might find yourself wondering if it's coming from the kitchen — or the great unknown.

Court of Two Sisters - New Orleans, Louisiana

Often referred to as the most haunted city in America, New Orleans is legendary for hosting voodoo rituals and all kinds of supernatural entities (via New Orleans & Company). And located in the middle of the French Quarter on a historic property with a mysterious past is the Court of Two Sisters. Established in 1726, it's named after two sisters who ran a shop together on the property in the late 19th century. To this day, guests on the property have reported seeing the ghostly figures of the sisters sitting together in the dining room courtyard (via Ghost City Tours). 

Tthe legend of this historic property gets even darker from here with the story of James Cooper, a past owner of the building. According to Ghost City Tours, Cooper's wife was found strangled to death above the restaurant. Even though Cooper was accused of her murder and brought to court, the jury found him innocent . Strangely, just a few years later, Cooper's body was also found strangled to death in a room above the restaurant. 

The courtyard is also rumored to have hosted deadly pirate duals and late night voodoo rituals. Good thing the restaurant has such good food to make up for its spookiness, with dishes like eggs benedict, delicious gumbo, and shrimp etouffee. One thing's for sure: Whether you're coming for the ghosts or the good eats, the Court of Two Sisters has got you covered.

The Brentwood Restaurant - Little River, South Carolina

Located in Little River, South Carolina, The Brentwood Restaurant has been rated in the top ten most haunted restaurants in America and has even been featured on the Travel Channel for its ghost stories (via IMDb). This charming Victorian home was constructed in 1910 and at one point in the '40s was a bed and breakfast for fishermen. Now run by a French chef and his wife, The Brentwood Restaurant has published a list of "strange happenings" on its website that describe various eyewitness accounts of paranormal activity that has occurred on the property.

According to the restaurant, several diners have seen moving shadows in the hallways, ghostly faces in the windows, floating orbs of light, and mysterious whispers coming from the walls. If you want to experience everything The Brentwood Restaurant has to offer, then you're in luck. It offers a dinner package that includes a ghost tour that's bound to leave your blood chilled and your belly filled. The ghost tour dinner is a three-course meal that comes with a wide range of dishes to choose from, including beef short ribs, salmon béarnaise, and chocolate fondant. With such amazing food, beautiful architecture, and interesting history, there's no doubt that The Brentwood Restaurant is one of the best haunted eateries in America.

Monteleone's Ristorante - El Paso, Texas

Monteleone's Ristorante is located in an El Paso, Texas building that's more than 100 years old (via CBS). The owner of the Italian restaurant, Gary Monteleone, says that at one point in time the property was home to a spiritualist church. Monteleone claims that he's had a lot of terrifying supernatural encounters, including seeing a burned, ghostly hand reach through the crack of a closing door. Scared and unsure of what else to do, Monteleone turned to a psychic named Diana Calamia to hopefully get some insight.

According to Calamia, Monteleone's Ristorante is home to at least four spirits, with one of them being particularly aggressive. After performing a cleansing ritual in the restaurant, the psychic reported that the negative energy on the property had been cleared, but also ominously warned that the property has been transformed into a portal for lost souls. If you ask us, it kinda sounds like the psychic made the situation even worse when you think about it.

Once a month, the restaurant organizes a "Dining with the Dead" dinner party that includes hours of food, tales of supernatural encounters, and a séance. With tasty dishes on the menu like fettuccine alfredo and baked rigatoni, Monteleone's Ristorante is serving up more than just some ghost stories: It's serving up some classic Italian comfort food.

The Grill House - Allegan, Michigan

Built in 1836 and with its barnhouse-like appearance, The Grill House has an old-fashioned country aesthetic that still feels welcoming even if it really is haunted, as many claim it to be (via Only in Your State). Well-known for its unique concept that allows diners to grill various cuts of meat themselves on huge griddles, the entrees at The Grill House come with unlimited sides that include loaded baked potatoes, Texas toast, and salad. 

But The Grill House is also well-known for something else, something far more sinister. Legend has it that a local lumberjack died in a knife fight on the property and was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in the yard. Witnesses claim to have seen the lumberjack's spirit around the property, but the good news is that they say he has a friendly presence. Bottom line: The Grill House is not only one of the most haunted restaurants in the country, it's also one of the most unique. After all, how many other places can you cook your own ribeye and possibly see a phantom lumberjack?

Old Talbot Tavern - Bardstown, Kentucky

Built in 1779, several famous people have visited Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky, including Abraham Lincoln and the notorious outlaw Jesse James (via Talbot Tavern). Apparently during James' stay, he left some bullet holes in the wall to mark his territory, which can still be seen today. Another frequent sighting is the so-called "lady in white," who's been known to eerily drift around the tavern. One guest who stayed the night in one of the tavern's rooms claims that he saw colored balls of light hovering around his room at night, and that when he tried to get up out of bed, some invisible force pinned him down on the mattress.

The good news is that Talbott Tavern's food is good enough to wrestle a ghost for, offering a menu with plenty of local comfort food classics like fried catfish, pot roast, and southern fried chicken. The restaurant also has desserts like bread pudding with bourbon sauce and seasonal cobbler. All things considered, no amount of hauntings can take away from Talbott Tavern's southern charm or culinary finesse.

The Stockyards - Phoenix, Arizona

The Stockyards in Phoenix, Arizona, started out as a meatpacking plant in 1919. In fact, its beef operation was so massive, at one point it housed more than 300,000 cattle every year and became the world's biggest feedlot. Now a well-respected steakhouse, The Stockyards claims to be haunted by the otherworldly presence of a woman named Helen, the wife of a previous owner (via AZ Central). A painting of Helen, also known as the "Lady in Red," adorned in a lavish scarlet gown is currently on display in one of the restaurant's banquet rooms. Visitors at the Stockyards have experienced all kinds of paranormal activity, including lights randomly flickering on and off for no apparent reason and a quivering chandelier. Overnight cleaning crews have been known to abruptly abandon their jobs due to hearing voices after hours, after everyone has already left the building. 

But anyone running away from The Stockyards is sure to regret it, considering how tasty its meat-centric menu is. Bison meatloaf, roasted chicken, and expertly grilled elk medallions grace the menu along with wild boar and venison sausage with apple-cranberry chutney. If you're on the prowl for some killer prime rib with a side of poltergeists, The Stockyards is the place you want to be.

Twisted Vine - Derby, Connecticut

Housed in a former bank dating back to the late 1800s, Twisted Vine is now a restaurant that hosts paranormal dinners and ghost tours. In fact, the Twisted Vine organizes a wide range of spooky special events, including a psychic fair with tarot readings and tours of local haunted cemeteries. But where does Twisted Vine's fascination with the supernatural come from? As it turns out, some extremely creepy stuff happened here.

In a nightmarish scenario that will surely haunt our dreams, a disastrous flood in 1955 swallowed up much of the surrounding city and killed nearly 100 people. The rising water also resurrected the caskets of rotting corpses in a local cemetery, sending them floating to the surface like that terrifying and legendary scene at the end of "Poltergeist" (via US Ghost Adventures). At the time, the bank was one of the only structures still standing in the aftermath of the flood, so the basement was used as a makeshift morgue while the city recovered from the devastation. We think it's safe to say that between the graveyard pool party and the piles of dead bodies it shacked up in the basement, the Twisted Vine has rightfully earned itself a proper haunting or two. It's definitely kind of weirdly morbid to enjoy a delicious dinner like chicken marsala knowing that bundles of water-logged human carcasses floated around the same general space once upon a time. But hey — sometimes life can be pretty twisted.