Appalachia Ghost Stories Ghosts - Haints - Spooky

The Club

Today’s Spooky October entry was written by Ethel.


Haunted bar


The Club written by Ethel
When I was in my mid-twenties, I reluctantly put in an application to work in a private club here in town. I wasn’t happy about the prospect, not being a drinker myself; and the Club is located in the once-thriving manufacturing district of the town, an area that by then was mostly empty factory buildings -and bars, some with less than savory reputations.
Despite my reluctance the interview with Freida, the bar manager, went very well and I got the job. After the interview, Freida told me that the place was haunted. I could tell she was watching closely for my reaction. I told her that I absolutely believe in spirits, having encountered a few minor incidents of a ‘was it or wasn’t it?’ nature that would be difficult to explain in any other way. While these things are a bit unsettling, I’ve never been particularly afraid of spirits – folks are folks, as far as I’m concerned!
This wasn’t a hoity-toity club, it was only private to keep the rowdies out, and our members were very nice to work for. Just about every member of the Club told me ghost stories about the place in my first couple of weeks; the television in the pool room would go on and off by itself, and pool balls were frequently heard rolling and clicking together on the pool table when there was no one back there. Well, that didn’t sound too terrifying to me, and I did experience the clicking pool balls on a few occasions. If it happened when I was alone I would say out loud, “Yes, I know you’re here. Clean up after yourself when you’re done back there!” Nuts, maybe, but pretty soon it would get quiet again. After several months, I began to experience things that were a little more disturbing.
I always dreaded having to stock coolers at the end of the night. The hallway to the stockroom gave me the shivers, like someone was following me, and I had to make several trips up and down that hall every night. As time went on, the creepy feeling in the hall began to be felt around the long end of the bar near it.
One evening business had been very slow. I’d finished most of my side work early and was alone doing crossword puzzles when two of my favorite older gents came in. I always loved listening to the old timers tell stories and this night I had plenty of time to indulge myself. As we sat at the short end of the bar, the gents spun tale after tale of old scandals and tragedies of the town. I was completely absorbed when I distinctly heard a woman’s voice at the long end of the bar call my name. She sounded rather cross. It sounded so real that I actually turned to see what she needed, even though I knew there was no one there. The men went on with their storytelling, obviously I was the only one to hear the voice, so I just acted as though nothing had happened. When the men left I locked up and started closing out the cash register when I heard a loud rap on the long end of the bar behind me, where the phantom voice had come from earlier. Startled, I spun around and saw one of the bar stools very slowly swivel 360 degrees, then stop. I will admit to being more than a little rattled by this, and I wasted no time getting out of there.
I had a friend with ‘sensitivities’ come in and give me her impressions. The pool-player was harmless, my friend told me, and only wanted to keep doing something he’d found relaxing when he was alive. Then she said she sensed a stern-faced older lady from the 1880’s in the hallway, who said her name was Ida. Ida thought drinking was evil and she didn’t think it was proper for a young woman to be working in a drinking club. (The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was quite strong in this town during the later 1800’s.) My friend also said that Ida came in at the end of my shifts and tried to prevent me stocking the coolers, figuring no one would want to drink if there was no cold beer.
The final straw came a few months later. The uneasy feeling at the long end of the bar and down the hallway seemed to get more and more bothersome with every day. One night I had closed and was sweeping up behind that end of the bar. There was a shelf under the cash register where we barmaids kept hand lotion, aspirin, and other little necessities for working. As I swept, something caught my attention and made me look up. To my amazement, I saw the lotion bottle move off the shelf horizontally about two feet into the walkway, hover for a second, then fall to the floor!  For the first time in my life I was well and truly scared by a spirit. You know; it made me kind of mad. I threw down my broom, turned to where Ida seemed to sit, and informed her that I didn’t like working in a bar any more than she liked me being there. I said that I was looking for other work, but meanwhile I had two babies to support, and the work was hard enough without having to be scared witless like that! Shaking like a leaf, I finished my work and got out as fast as I could move. I never had another problem with Ida (though that hallway was still uncomfortable), and shortly after that night I got a job at our local fancy restaurant. I miss the old timers and their stories, but I sure don’t miss Ida!

I hope you enjoyed Ethel’s tale as much as I did!



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  • Reply
    October 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

    What a story! Love it, Ethel!!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Good story, Ethel. I’m glad you found another job.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Really well written tale of scare! Thanks for sharing the experience

  • Reply
    October 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Great story and well told! Glad you explained to Ida why you were working there….and that she seemed to accept the reason.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Thanks to All for the kind words! I’m glad if you enjoyed my story, I loved sharing it with you all! Now I am looking forward to reading YOURS!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    October 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Great story, Ethel! I have had a few experiences, having lived in two haunted houses. I always told the kids the dead had no power to hurt them, that was a habit of the living.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Ooooh, I love that story!
    When we were kids we had a recor album called, “The Golden Arm” about a guy that digs up a grave to get the gold and is then haunted by the owner of the arm. My cousins and I would turn all the lights out and gather around the record player and listen to it over and over.
    I’ve looked at my parents house several times for this album but have never been able to find it. I remember distinctively the scariest line, “Whheeere is my golden aarrrmm? pause…You have it!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
    Happy Halloween:)

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    What a neat story. I know I would have been pretty scared. I’m glad she got another job after that last big scare!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Great story, Ethel, and very well told.
    Like you, I know there are spirits around and occasionally experience their presence.
    There was a spirit in my house when I first moved here in 1987. I told a friend about it but she didn’t seem to believe me, until she spent the night here one night. Following that she said “your right, I heard him on the steps”
    I spent some time trying to make him go away….with no success. Seems he was here in this spot before this house was built and considered it his and he wasn’t going anywhere. Ultimately we made peace. I don’t bother him and he doesn’t bother me. I’ve been able to live with that.
    Truth is stranger than fiction!

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    October 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Ethel: Your story is more scary than the HAUNTED HOUSE which my high school age students and I conducted one year in the ‘old hospital’ upstairs above the loacl drugstore in the town! We made $600.00 in three nights but I was so scared of those students I would NOT do the walk through the ‘receieving of friends in a make believe funeral home (we got the casket from the local funeral home!, the morgue, cemetary, and other scary scenes those creative students designed and built! I did NOT do the haunted house project BUT ONCE! Happy Halloweeen! Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    October 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Clubs are nice but they often end up asking for more than you can give.
    Being haunted though is a added plus.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    October 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    This was a great ghost story. I recall my grandfather used to tell spook tales. This was a good one for Halloween!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Ethel did a terrific job re-living
    her past for us. I thought any
    minute she was going to see Ida’s
    shadow. That would have made me
    give ’em the place. I enjoyed this
    story very much. Thanks…Ken

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Now that’s a scary story. I’d have been out of there!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 12, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Great story. I really like ghost stories. We used to scare ourselves silly when we were kids.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I think I would have had the bejeebeeies scared out of me also. I enjoyed the story! Of course, now I am looking over my shoulder!!!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Thanks Ethel and Tipper. Great tale!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

    great story, i have heard tales like this one, but never had anything like that happen to me. it would have spooked me so much the cooler would have been empty

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 12, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Wow, what a scary and interesting story…I think I would have been outta there the first time something happened..or by the second anyway..Thanks Ethel for the ghost story..Even though I don’t frequent bars, I would love to know where this building was located…LOL Did you ever do any research to find out if there was a lady named Ida that was involved in the WCTU in your town?
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Having grown up in the Catskill Mountains with the Legends of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Can Winkle, I thoroughly enjoy a good ghost story — thanks to you and Ethel for this one! Fun blog!

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