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Top 10 Haunted Bars and Restaurants in America

author image Jodi Thornton O'Connell
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.

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Top 10 Haunted Bars and Restaurants in America
Photo Credit: Lelia Milaya/Twenty20

Calling all thrill seekers! We dare you to spend this Halloween dining at one of the country’s haunted bars and restaurants. But be prepared when you step through the doors: You just might spot a ghostly face in the mirror or feel cold fingers brush against your skin. We’ve rounded up 10 of the most popular haunted establishments throughout the country, in order of eeriness, from least to most. And if you're a healthy eater who loves to indulge now and then, read on for our picks of the best menu items … hair-rising experience included.

10. Salem, Massachusetts: Turner’s Seafood
Photo Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

10 Salem, Massachusetts: Turner’s Seafood

You might not expect the fragrance of apples to waft through a seafood restaurant, but that’s exactly how the spirit of Bridget Bishop, the first woman executed for witchcraft in 17th-century Salem, sometimes reveals herself. The apple orchard where she allegedly performed her spells lies directly beneath Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall. You may catch a glimpse of an apparition in windows, mirrors or on the stairs. Feeling a sudden chill? It could be Bridget. Warm yourself with a steaming bowl of classic New England-style clam chowder, or order the Portuguese fish stew, which brims with vegetables, seafood and chourico sausage (both soups are gluten-free). And for even more adventure, sit at the oyster bar to see your food shucked and cooked before your eyes.

Read more: Turner's Seafood

9. Jerome, Arizona: The Asylum Restaurant
Photo Credit: The Asylum Restaurant

9 Jerome, Arizona: The Asylum Restaurant

You’ll be the life of the party as you join 9,000 ghosts for dinner at The Asylum Restaurant. The restless spirits were mostly former patients in the hospital-asylum that served the rough-and-tumble 1800s mining community. Now part of the Jerome Grand Hotel, the restaurant is tucked into the former admittance area. Historic furnishings and white tablecloths give the restaurant a romantic ambiance, interrupted only by a ghostly tapping on your shoulder or a faint whisper in your ear. Try the prickly pear barbecued Pacific king salmon swimming on a bed of tomatillo salsa, fried leeks, brown rice and veggies. Need to walk off your meal? Sign up for an after-dinner spirit tour of the hospital. You’ll even be able to use modern ghost-hunting equipment to locate and communicate with the spirits.

Read more: Asylum Restaurant

8. Chicago, Illinois: Red Lion Pub
Photo Credit: Red Lion Pub

8 Chicago, Illinois: Red Lion Pub

You might think you’re in the wrong place for a haunting when you see the modern brick facade of the Red Lion Pub. But don’t be fooled: While the 19th-century building that previously stood in its place has been torn down, that hasn’t kept away the ghosts. In 1934, federal agents ambushed and gunned down mobster John Dillinger in an alley across from the restaurant. You might sense his presence still lingering in the area. Or you might get locked in the ladies’ room by a 1920s flapper or come face to dead face with the current restaurant owner’s deceased father. Still have an appetite to eat? Enjoy the restaurant’s English fare, which includes a smorgasbord of hearty soups and salads. The Lion’s claim to fame is its fish-and-chips, featuring tender, ale-battered pollock. Pair it with a side of Brussels sprouts tossed with bacon and cooked in a malt vinegar reduction.

Read more: The Red Lion Pub

7. New York, New York: One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Photo Credit: One if by Land, Two if by Sea

7 New York, New York: One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Back in 1813, 29-year-old Theodosia Burr sailed from S.C. intending to visit her father, the infamous U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr, at his New York City estate. Although her ship never made it, Theodosia didn’t let her watery grave stop her. Her spirit, along with that of her father, are two of the most active of about 20 spirits said to haunt One if by Land, Two if by Sea in Burr’s former carriage house. Others make their presence known by the usual ghastly high jinks -- flicking the lights on and off, breaking plates and tilting pictures. The white-tablecloth restaurant is one of the most romantic in the Big Apple. Savor mouthwatering entrees like duo of venison, accompanied by a baked sweet potato, brandied cherries and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Read more: One if by Land, Two if by Sea

6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: J. Bruner’s at the Haunted House
Photo Credit: J. Bruner’s at the Haunted House

6 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: J. Bruner’s at the Haunted House

J. Bruner’s at the Haunted House has all the makings of a scary night out. Only open for dinner, you’ll likely navigate the mile-long dirt road to the 1930s stone mansion in fading light (if not total darkness). Branches from giant oaks reach like giant claws toward the second-story windows, casting spooky shadows on the occasional stormy night. The manse saw a string of murders on its two-and-a-half-acre grounds in the 1960s before beginning its new life as a restaurant in 1964. If you hear a disembodied voice whisper, “Bad,” rest assured it’s certainly not talking about the food. Enjoy USDA choice rib eyes, filet mignon, prime rib and strip steaks. If you prefer seafood, you’ll find lobster, shrimp, sea bass and mahimahi on the menu.

Read more: J. Bruner's at the Haunted House

5. Portland, Oregon: Old Town Pizza
Photo Credit: Old Town Pizza

5 Portland, Oregon: Old Town Pizza

Brimming with antiques and rustic decor, Old Town Pizza in downtown Portland is a charming place to visit. Add in tales of a murdered prostitute and unfortunate sailors shanghaied in tunnels below, and you’ve got a recipe as toothsome as the restaurant’s famous Ghost Pie. It includes black-peppered chicken, peppers, mushrooms and basil, along with a cream-based sauce. Wash it down with a Green Ghost martini, consisting of lime, gin and Chartreuse liqueur. But don’t forget to keep an eye peeled for Nina, the prostitute who met an untimely end there. She floats around in a black dress and smelling of perfume. She may even spell out a message using a bowl of Scrabble tiles.

Read more: Old Town Pizza

4. New Orleans, Louisiana: Brennan’s
Photo Credit: Brennan’s

4 New Orleans, Louisiana: Brennan’s

White tablecloths, crystal chandeliers and cheery pastel decor make Brennan’s one of the last places you’d expect to find ghosts. But considering its location in the French Quarter of New Orleans, perhaps it’s not surprising. Two spirits are former employees. Former chef Paul Blange’s ghost often touches the kitchen staff as he makes sure the food meets his standards. Order wine and you might get a recommendation from the deceased wine master Herman Funk, who clinks bottles in the wine cellar to communicate his choice. Savor the ghost chef’s namesake recipe, Poisson Blange: It’s a slow-baked Gulf seafood served in a savory sauce with fennel-potato puree. And kick off your meal with Death in the Afternoon, an Ojen cocktail with sparkling wine and a lemon twist.

Read more: Brennan's New Orleans

3. Savannah, Georgia: Moon River Brewing Company
Photo Credit: Moon River Brewing Company

3 Savannah, Georgia: Moon River Brewing Company

Head to the bar at Moon River Brewing Company, and you just might find yourself rubbing elbows with a ghost. Built in 1821 as part of the City Hotel, the bar has witnessed four devastating city fires, epidemics, military battles and an array of bloody barroom brawls. And, in fact, it’s one of the most haunted sites in the most haunted city in the nation. Watch out for the lady in white -- she might try to shove you down the stairs. There are also malevolent shadowy figures and an array of mischievous children’s spirits. Shake off your nerves by building your own burger from eight ounces of organic grass-fed beef. Or savor wild North Atlantic salmon nestled atop the haricot vert salad (it includes mandarin oranges, red onion and goat cheese).

Read more: Moon River Brewing Company

2. Key West, Florida: Captain Tony’s
Photo Credit: Gary S./Yelp

2 Key West, Florida: Captain Tony’s

A morgue, a hanging tree, a natural disaster, murder, suicide. Any one of these would be enough to make a place haunted. And Captain Tony’s has bore witness to all of this -- and more. Once an icehouse and morgue, it soon included a hanging tree where pirates and a murderess met their doom. Sixteen graves lie under the poolroom floor, evidenced by a protruding headstone. Ernest Hemingway frequented the bar daily in the afternoons. Try to summon his spirit by ordering one of his namesake drinks, the Papa Doble. It’s a lower-sugar daiquiri that combines grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur.

Read more: Captain Tony's Saloon

1. Long Beach, California: The Queen Mary
Photo Credit: The Queen Mary

1 Long Beach, California: The Queen Mary

There’s few things more romantic than dinner at Sir Winston’s Restaurant aboard the permanently docked Queen Mary. Unless, of course, you hear screams from the ghost of a chef cooked to death in his own oven. Savor the sea view and nourishing menu options, such as Vegetable Wellington. And once you’ve had your fill, head off to meet the ship’s numerous ghosts on the after-dark tour. But be warned: The Queen Mary wasn’t dubbed the “haunted ship” for no reason. You may feel an icy touch or hear unexplained laughs or whispers as you move around the ship. Keep your eyes peeled for ghosts that include a child who drowned in the pool, a sailor crushed by a door and 338 sailors sliced up by the ship’s propeller when the Queen Mary once sheared her escort ship in two. And with such an eventful past, it’s no wonder the Queen Mary tops our list!

Read more: The Queen Mary

What Do YOU Think?
Photo Credit: kichigin19/Adobe Stock

What Do YOU Think?

Do you believe in ghosts? Would you dine at one of these places? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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