When it comes to dining experiences, they say the ambiance matters as much as what’s on the plate. And for those who crave a spooky side or a touch of weirdness with their entrees, several restaurants in the valley serve up spooky vibes in healthy portions.
From silverware flying off tables to beer bottles falling from bars untouched, brewing equipment that mysteriously moves from room to room, and paranormal after-hours activity that scares people away. cleaning crews, these haunted restaurants are more than a little spirited.
Here are the stories behind the Phoenix Metro’s most haunted restaurants.
Casey Moore’s Oyster House
This popular neighborhood bar and seafood restaurant a few blocks from Tempe’s Mill Avenue and Arizona State University is famous for decades of paranormal sounds and sights.
The most common sighting is of a man and woman dressed in vintage clothing dancing on the second floor after closing time, usually in the wee hours of the morning before sunrise. Neighbors even called the police, but officers arrived to find an empty space and an undisturbed alarm system.
The couple are said to be ghosts of William and Mary Moeur, the original owners of the historic home and part of the influential Moeur family responsible for much of Tempe’s early development.
Others report a vision of a woman wandering around during office hours.
According to legend, the apparition was a resident when the building was used as a boarding house (and possibly a brothel). She was strangled by a bitter ex-boyfriend and is now said to be making her presence known by sending pictures on the walls and throwing silverware at the tables in the second floor dining room. The opening staff were also greeted by tables and chairs which were mysteriously rearranged overnight.
Details: 850 S. Ash Ave, Tempe. 480-968-9935, caseymooresoysterhouse.godaddysites.com.
A former meat-packing house owned by “Cattle Baron” Edward A. Tovrea, this East Phoenix steakhouse has been around since 1947 and is known for its huge steaks and veal fries.
But, over the decades, it has become known for other characteristics that sometimes scare unsuspecting customers and employees alike.
In 1953, a fire ravaged the restaurant, forcing a temporary closure. By this time, Tovrea’s son, Phillip, had taken over operations after his father’s death. Phillip’s wife, Helen, spearheaded the redesign and new look of the restaurant, which reopened a year later.
In the Rose Room, one of three on-site banquet halls, a painting of the “Lady in Red” pays homage to Helen, whose spirit wanders the restaurant in her distinct scarlet dress. She sometimes visits the saloon or surprises the women in the bathroom. Flickering lights and a flickering chandelier are apparently also his work.
The clean-up crews fled and refused to return after experiencing paranormal activity after hours and there have been many staff stories over the years about hearing voices when no soul – at least that can be seen with the naked eye – is only around.
Details: 5009 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-273-7378, stockyardssteakhouse.com.
Lon is at the Hermosa Inn
Not only are the living drawn to this luxurious resort, famous for its elegant food and idyllic outdoor dining space nestled against the mountains and lush surroundings of Paradise Valley.
Famous cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee III was the original owner of the inn. It also served as the home of Megargee, where he created some of his larger pieces.
Since his unexpected death in 1960 at the age of 77, customers and staff have reported seeing his unique, gangly shadow and the silhouette of his Stetson brand around the restaurant.
Unlike other spirits, however, Megargee’s presence has rarely scared regulars.
In life he was known to be fun and jovial and this seems to have continued even in death.
The random dropping of glasses and beer bottles from the bar, the jars falling from the kitchen shelves, and the occasional, inexplicable toilet flush are believed to be his way of bringing the good times away.
Details: 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley. 602-955-7878, lons.com.
Four Peaks Brewing Company
The original location of the iconic beer house on Eighth Street predates the state of Arizona. Built in east Tempe in 1892, the imposing brick building opened as an ice factory, then served as a dairy before becoming the home of beloved ales, lagers and porters in 1996.
Train wrecks just outside the building and at least one fatality inside reportedly led to haunting that resulted in strange noises coming from the rafters, tools that inexplicably move to other parts of the brewery during at night and employee appearances.
His haunted persona has been adopted so much that he’s become the fodder for the annual Four Peaks Haunted Brewery Tour which runs Monday through Wednesday through October 27.
For $ 25, guests receive a commemorative t-shirt, a Pumpkin Porter pitcher, and a full tour with all the stories, including the story of a conversation one of the founders had in the 1990s with a man who died in the 1970s.
Details: 1340 E. Eighth Street, Tempe. 480-303-9967, fourpeaks.com.
The ostrich bar at Crowne Plaza Phoenix Chandler Golf Resort
This resort, formerly known as San Marcos, is home to Crust Simply Italian, AJ’s restaurant and a sweatshop, The Ostrich Bar. It remains to be seen if the ghosts that float the property make their way into the restaurants. But the 109-year-old Chandler Downtown Hotel has long been the source of spooky events.
In the 1960s, two girls named Monica and Henrietta were playing in the irrigation tunnels when they were suddenly inundated by flood waters. The two drowned, and to this day the girls’ laughter can be heard in the hotel and the basement.
Guests have also reported seeing an image of a woman floating through hallways and doorways, receiving internal phone calls from rooms and extensions that no longer exist and hearing moans coming from empty hotel spaces. .
Details: 10 N. San Marcos Square, Chandler. sanmarcosresort.com.
Centrico at Hotel San Carlos
The Centrico restaurant has taken up residence at the Hotel San Carlos since the Mexican restaurant opened in 2017, but the building itself has been around much longer.
Shortly after the doors of this historic downtown Phoenix hotel opened in 1928, a young woman – who was reportedly in shock after a heartbreaking breakup with her boyfriend – jumped to her death. His ghost is said to be the woman guests see standing at the foot of their beds and on the wandering stairs.
She, however, does not appear to be a lonely soul.
There have been other reports of a little girl crying in empty rooms and the noises of children running through the hallways or in the basement – possible supernatural remains of the town’s first school, which was built at the end of the 19th century on the land where the hotel and restaurant are now located.
Details: 202 Central Avenue N., Phoenix. 602-253-4121, historichotelsancarlos.com.