As a bartender, you get the privilege of seeing and hearing a lot of crazy off the wall stories from time to time. Most of those are fueled by alcohol, but perhaps the most memorable one for me happened to be told by a completely sober man. Before I get to that, however, I’d like to mention that I work at the bar of an old Inn and Tavern located on the east coast in Maine. The building itself has been here for hundreds of years and operates as a historical sight and restaurant now after they made the decision to stop allowing guests to stay overnight.
Like many old buildings in this area, it’s said that there are spirits who live here, though I suppose “live” wouldn’t be the right thing to say about them. I’ve been an employee here for a bit longer than ten years and have never experienced anything strange or unusual, but a lot of my fellow coworkers over the years have apparently had run-ins with the ghosts who haunt the building. I don’t personally believe in ghosts, but I do enjoy a good story, so I always humor them and listen to their tales.
The story in question wasn’t told to me by an employee, but rather a guest to the restaurant. Before I get into his story, I should mention that the tavern is located in the basement area of the building and the restaurant upstairs. Sometime ago they put in an elevator so that people with disabilities would have an easier time access both areas, as the original stairs are rather narrow and hard to navigate. The guest in question wasn’t a regular that I knew, but due to the area having a lot of tourism, it wasn’t unusual to see plenty of new faces every shift.
This man in particular came up to the bar sometime in the evening on a weekend in which the place was crowded with a mix of regular customers and tourists. He was dressed like a lot of the traveling bikers that we’d get during the warmer months, including a full beard, tattoos, and motorcycle club vest. Most of them were just older guys who enjoyed getting out on the road and weren’t really all that tough as the appearance that they gave off. This guy, though, seemed like the kind of motorcycle rider you wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of. But when he approached my bar, it looked as though something had given him a pretty big fright. His forehead was sweaty, face pale, and eyes bugged out.
I asked him if everything was okay and he responded by ordering both a shot of liquor and a beer. I got him his drinks and before he said anything else, he pounded the shot back and chugged half of the bottle of beer. Then he let out a pretty big over exaggerated breath and said “Boy that is one realistic looking hologram you guys have in the elevator; scared the shit out of me when it popped up!” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, though I thought he might have been talking about something relating to the museum part of the building and suggested as much to him.
He was adamant about seeing it in the elevator though and not in the museum area at all. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we didn’t use any modern kind of presentation for the museum anyway. I asked him what the hologram looked like and he described it as being an older woman in period clothing with a bonnet and holding some kind of basket with fruits or vegetables in her arms. It apparently appearead from thin air in front of him as he took the ride down. I didn’t mention this to him, but that was often the description of the ghost woman that people claim to see in the basement tavern. He had another drink and we talked a bit about the history of the building, but I never brought up the fact that we didn’t have holograms with him. I figured it was probably best if he just left that night thinking that is what he saw.
I keep hoping that I never have my own run in with that “hologram” when I’m working alone after hours ever since talking with that biker about his own experience. I’m not saying that I believe in it, but I could tell that he indeed see something in that elevator with him. I’d rather just go on my business without ever having that sort of interaction of my own and especially not in some dingy old elevator of a haunted building.