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For most people, nightlife and entertainment venues are places to go when you feel lively. They're the places where people dance, dine, and drink the night away. Yet, most places that serve up good food and memories have their fair share of dramatic moments.
Whether it's that one time a wife found her husband dating someone else, or the time the chef just had one too many arguments with a server, restaurants definitely see their fair share of tears. Sometimes, things take a turn for the more lethal.
Once in a while, you'll see a restaurant that has dramatic residue left from moments where things took a turn for the worse. That energy seems to give the entire venue a strange ambiance—and rumors begin to swirl that it's haunted.
Throughout the world, some restaurants seem to naturally gain a reputation for being spirited. These, for example, are regularly cited to be the most haunted restaurants in the world.
The White Horse Tavern—Newport, RI
Not only is the White Horse Tavern one of the most haunted eateries in the world, but it's also the oldest bar in America still standing today. Ever since 1673, people have been going to this Rhode Island homestead for great food and delicious drinks.
With over 300 years of history under its belt, it's clear that at least one or two tragedies probably happened here, and it's also clear that the venue attracted plenty of people who considered it to be home.
The patrons sometimes don't leave once they check in. One such patron, an elderly man in period clothing, still gets spotted from time to time by visitors and servers alike. People also hear the cries of a young girl echoing from the second floor.
By the sheer amount of activity alone, some would consider this one of the most haunted places in America.
One If By Land, Two If By Sea—New York, NY
Once upon a time, centuries ago, this venue was Aaron Burr's carriage house. Burr, of course, was famous for shooting Revolutionary war hero and politician Alexander Hamilton. So, it's both one of the most haunted locations in America and one of the most historic.
After Burr and his daughter were kidnapped and killed by pirates, strange things started to happen in his carriage house. Things began to move by themselves and people would swear that they felt a cold chill creeping up their spine.
The carriage house was converted into a brothel and bar, then soon evolved into the upscale establishment we know today. Though the food and fun may have changed, the paranormal phenomena sure as heck didn't.
Women regularly claim to have earrings pulled. Machinery has been turned on by itself, and artwork regularly gets misplaced by unseen hands. This restaurant is so haunted, servers have actually quit because they accidentally served specters that vanished the moment plates were set down.
Buma Inn—Beijing, China
The Buma Inn's story is one that definitely sounds like a classic ghostly tale—and to a point, its drama is what helps its reputation as one of the most haunted restaurants in the world.
The restaurant's haunted reputation stems from a man who died after being poisoned by the restaurant's chef. The chef later stabbed himself out of disgrace for what he did, and now, the restaurant has been haunted by the victim who still is looking for justice.
Poogan's Porch—Charleston, SC
On the outside, Poogan's Porch looks like a nice little slice of Southern beach life. Inside, the menu is as tasty as can be. The restaurant was named after a beloved family dog that used to live on the grounds... and occasionally still makes appearances after his death.
Poogan himself isn't the only ghost to haunt this venue. Another ghost that haunts the area is a woman by the name of Zoe St. Armand, and the stories behind her existence seem to change depending on who you speak to.
Some believe that she fell down the stairs while looking for her sister, and that her ghost remains distraught because she left her sister behind. Others believe that she went mad after the death of her sister and continues to haunt the venue in hopes that she'll come back. Either way, she's regularly seen rushing through the restaurant near the staircase.
Marsden Grotto Restaurant—South Shield, England
Leave it to merry ole England to have one of the creepiest restaurants in the world, right? This venue is known for being haunted by a guy named "John the Jibber," a violent smuggler who was killed while making a shipment.
Ever since he died, the Marsden Grotto Restaurant's servers experienced some seriously violent poltergeist activity. Cigarette ashtrays are known for slamming against walls by themselves, narrowly missing servers and patrons alike.
Others have seen dark shadows that flit from room to room at night. Outside of the restaurant, visitors have reported phantom gunshots, disembodied screams, and the rattling of chains that has yet to be fully explained.
Nottingham Road Hotel, Restaurant & Pub—Nottingham, South Africa
Yes, it's true! South Africa has its own fair share of paranormal activity, too. In this elegant country, the Nottingham Road Hotel is where to go for a serious ghost hunt to pair with your delicious dinner.
The restaurant is haunted by a single ghostly woman who had a seriously unfortunate fate. Her name was Charlotte, and she was involved with a soldier who was stationed nearby. War broke out and she waited for him, only to realize that he was never going to come.
Distraught, she jumped from the balcony to her death and has been spotted outside ever since. Once in a while, she will pull off photos from the walls and arrange them on the floor—or just rearrange flowers to her liking.
Arnaud's—New Orleans, LA
With New Orleans' natural proclivity towards voodoo, debauchery, and black magic, it's unsurprising that it became home to one of the most haunted restaurants in the world.
At the beginning of its life, the building that housed Arnaud's was an opium den that saw the end of many addicts' lives. Ever since then, the building had a naturally creepy vibe.
When Arnaud bought the building and converted it to a restaurant, it quickly became the talk of the French Quarter. He enjoyed excellent success until the day he died, and then continued to haunt the place thereafter.
At Arnaud's, it's very likely that you'll see the old owner walking through the place asking if things are to your liking. Once in a while, you also may see glasses fly off the bar or shadow people lurking in the background.
Brennan's—New Orleans, LA
If you thought that Arnaud's was the only Louisiana restaurant to make it onto this list, think again. Brennan's, a restaurant that's globally famous for their mouthwateringly sweet Bananas Foster, also happens to be a seriously haunted venue.
Chef Paul Blange, who was Brennan's first chef, loved the restaurant so much, he was buried with a menu, a fork, and a knife. Rumor has it, he never left. He bangs pots and pans to signal the end of the work shift.
Another worker, sommelier Herman Funk, also seems to be hooked on working at Brennan's after death. He signals his wine choices by clinking glasses together as the names are announced.
Skirrid Mountain Inn—Abergavenny, England
The Skirrid Mountain Inn has been in existence for over 700 years, so it's not surprising that it's seen some scary sights during its time. Prior to it being a restaurant and hotel, it was a courthouse and jail that witnessed the execution of hundreds of people.
Understandably, some of those spirits weren't particularly happy with the way they parted from this world. They stuck around, and now make their presence known in the restaurant.
Shadow figures, full body apparitions, and cold spots are regularly reported here. At night, it's not uncommon to hear disembodied voices begging for mercy and whispers in the wind.
Eerily, many people have claimed to see a ghostly horseman outside of the restaurant. After walking down a path close to the Inn, the horseman vanishes mid-step.
The Mermaid Inn and Restaurant—Rye, England
The Mermaid Inn, among foodies, is known for award-winning French and British cuisine. Among ghost hunters, it's known as one of the most haunted restaurants and hotels in the world.
Throughout the Inn's 900 years of business, it's been the setting of duals, smuggling, murders, and scandal. As the ages continued to march on, more and more ghosts started to find their home here. Every room in this building seems to have its own ghost.
A lady in white is often seen sitting in a chair, staring into nothingness in the middle of the night in The James Room. A man who walks near the Fleur de Lys room tends to disappear through a wall, shocking and surprising visitors.
In other rooms, visitors report seeing shadows move on their own, silverware moving on its own, or having their bodies be touched by unseen hands.
If you're really lucky (or unlucky) you also might see a ghostly dual occur on the grounds. The moment a man is seen being shot, both figures disappear right before your eyes.
Having a meal here gives many people the creeps. Staying overnight would make most haunted house movies look like a cakewalk.