Once while thumbing through a book of ghost stories, I randomly came across a write up on this restaurant. There were many first-hand experiences from both workers and customers of unexplained happenings. Wondering whether the ghostly accounts of this printed piece from 30 years ago migrated into the social media world we know today, I decided to “Yelp it”. While I did not see any comments involving the place being haunted, a Google search quickly turned up a lot of websites describing paranormal experiences from years ago to the present. I found at least one reference to a resident ghost named “Charlie” on Trip Advisor.
The Inn is not exactly en route to anything. Its in a town called Alburtis. This name always eludes me as I try to recall where the hell this restaurant is. If you think in broad terms, it is somewhat near Potts Grove and Macungie. You would take the Quakertown exit from 476. If you are still drawing a blank, I can only say that Allentown was about 15 miles away.
The restaurant’s website is very blunt about claiming the place to be haunted. Right on the homepage they mention ghost stories and rumors of lingering spirits. Then if you check out the “History” tab, it gets even more interesting. Supposedly, years ago, an “Indian” was hung in the common area (interesting choice of words…..I don’t think I have referred to a Native-American as an Indian since I was 15). Then another guest was “murdered in a second-floor closet”. Not sure who did the copy for this website, but subtlety was definitely not their forte. These two horrific events are the logical explanation for the Inn’s haunting, but apparently there has never been a clear enough sighting or interaction to determine exactly who the ghost belongs to. Without any way to distinguish whether it is from the long-deceased Indian (their words not mine), or the poor, unfortunate guest who was murdered on the second floor……. the management simply opted to name him “Charlie”; a composite ghost. Charlie apparently harbors no resentment towards his untimely death as the website clarifies that he is friendly to all who stop at the Inn.
Upon arriving at the Inn with my girlfriend Kate, the haunted aspect seems to be somewhat downplayed. I guess you could say they sort of embrace their haunted reputation with a somewhat distorted looking image of the Charlie ghost on the front page of the menu, but there are no other overt props to suggest the place is haunted. The darkly-lit dining area might come off a little spooky to some people, but if you had no clue the place was haunted before you got there, you would probably be just as clueless when you left. That totally makes sense if your goal as a business is to be taken more seriously for the food you serve, as opposed to creating a sideshow for ghost searchers. While I didn’t exactly come for the food, I did enjoy my Chicken Olivia and would be happy to stop in again. Kate thought her meal was bland, but “not the worst she ever had”.
As mentioned earlier, the Inn is very dark (but not too dark). We enjoyed a table right beside the fireplace. Our waitress was very pleasant, which made it easy for me to dig for some ghost details. She had worked there for 20 years, and sure enough in that span of time she had experienced some weirdness. She said there have been moments where plates she was carrying with a firm grip had been flipped in the air, creating a cyclone of flying food splatter. At times, there are unexplained shadows moving across the dining area, which I thought was especially creepy. I think she mentioned some flickering lights. I was also impressed that she dug up some pictures of various Inn guests which revealed images that had no relation to the subjects. One picture of a boy waving showed an infant in the background which had no relevance to the guests there at the time. Another picture showed a smoky image commandeering the foreground, which resembled their Charlie ghost logo. In this case, smoke would have had no connection to the subject (a man standing behind the bar), or anything else going on at that time.
I was glad to fit this trip in before the busy slate of October horror craziness. Worth stopping by if you are in that area.