The Haunted Spaghetti Company
There’s a restaurant in Phoenix, AZ that is haunted. It’s called the Spaghetti Company and it’s on Central Avenue. There are quite a few tales about this place, so if you have the time to read, here they are!
The restaurant is in what used to to be two old homes that had been converted by knocking out two side walls and joining the two houses together to make one big building. Inside, some of the walls were torn down to make for larger spaces and some were kept the same to keep that feeling that one is in a home and not a restaurant.
When I was 20 I was hired as a hostess there to help pay my tuition through college. My first day on the job I was told by many fellow employees that the place was haunted but I thought I was getting razed because I was the new kid. I was assured by everyone they were not kidding, I should give the place a month until the ghosts were comfortable with my presence and I would see for myself.
To make the story a bit clearer I will give the reader a brief description of the layout of the restaurant. This place is big and the front door was located in what was known as the lobby. The lobby consisted of a huge living room with comfy chairs and tables and lamps. At the far end of the room were the bathrooms and a fireplace. The lobby was filled with rooms that had most of the walls removed so one could see all the way down to the fireplace at the far end. After passing through the lobby, a customer would come to the hostess stand in another large room. Off the hostess room was the bar straight ahead and through a large doorway and the main dining area, through a large doorway on the left. Both areas required the customer to go down steps to enter these areas. Off the main dining area were two more large rooms for dining. In the main dining area there was a trolley car in the middle of the room and against the far wall there were cubicles containing four or fewer tables per cubicle. The decor was street lamps around the trolley car and old rugs on the hardwood floors. The tables were mismatched as well as the chairs. The place looked great, very homey and warm, but what is important to the story is the place is quite large and if a person was standing in the lobby, they would not be able to see into the dining room or bar. Only if they were standing by the front door in the lobby would they be able to see the room with the hostess stand, and not until they went into the hostess stand room would they be able to see the other rooms.
To continue, a month went by, maybe a bit longer, when I had my first experience. I was closing hostess that evening. This meant that when the clock struck 1 a.m. I was to lock the front door so no more customers could enter. I was also suppose to go around and turn off each lamp in the lobby. This was creepy, not only because of the hour but there were only a few employees on the premises. A hostess, (me), one busboy, one waiter or waitress, one cook, one bartender and one manager. Only seven employees in a huge building and I was the only employee in the front of the building. Anyway, I had gone around turning off the lamps and went to lock the door when I heard my name quite loudly in my ear. The funny thing was I couldn’t tell if the voice was male or female. I turned around and said "yes" thinking it was my boss or another employee who had come up into the lobby to tell me something but there was no one there! Remember this is a big place so if there had been a flesh and blood human being, there is no way that person could move away fast enough through these large rooms where I wouldn’t have been able to see them go. To cover my bases, I checked behind the chairs to make sure some smart butt fellow employee wasn’t playing a trick on me but found no one. So I made my way back through the hostess stand, no one, the bar, no one, the main dining room, no one, and finally the kitchen in the back of the building to find every one of my remaining fellow employees talking. I asked if anyone had been up in the lobby looking for me and they said no. I didn’t mention I had heard my name, but I was a little weirded out.
A few weeks later, I had another experience in the lobby. Once again I was closing and was going around turning off the lamps. Near the bathrooms was the circuit breaker and I had the option of throwing that breaker which would turn off all the lights in the lobby instead of doing each by hand. I usually didn’t do this though, because the lobby gave me the creeps and I had a long way to go from the circuit breaker to get back to the hostess stand room. However, occasionally I would do just that and run like heck to get back to the lighted room.
This particular night I was turning the lamps off by hand when I came to the circuit breaker. Suddenly, I thought, what the hell? I opened the panel and threw the switch. What happened next nearly made me faint. Right next to my head was a white spirally thing floating in the air. I gasped and it vanished instantly. Well, I ran and vowed never to hit the circuit breaker again.
After these two incidents, I decided to start asking questions of my fellow employees and did I get a lot of answers. I found out that management could not keep a cleaning crew for any length of time and sometimes these crews would quit without notice. When this would happen, the manager would ask the male employees, (bartenders, waiters or busboys) if any of them would stay late of come in early and clean for extra money. One busboy, Fred, was asked to do this frequently and he had many stories to tell me. He told me that quite often, when management opened up in the morning, all the tables and chairs would be stacked in one corner and Fred had to put them back. The upper floors of the restaurant were used as storage for furniture and such and the door leading up there was double locked and bolted, yet every morning, without fail, the door would be wide open. The restaurant had a laser security system across the floor and at least several times a week, the system was activated in the middle of the night and the police would have to come out as well as the manager, only to find nothing.
One morning Fred had an interesting story to tell me when I came into work. He and another busboy, John, had been asked to stay and clean when yet another cleaning crew refused to work there any more. Fred had been in the lobby and John down in the bar. Both too far from each other to see or hear the other. Fred reported that the lights suddenly began blinking off and on repeatedly when they suddenly went off and stayed off. He looked out the windows from the lobby, thinking the power may have gone off but saw that all lights besides the Spaghetti Co. were on along the street and at the buildings surrounded the restaurant. Then he began to hear his name being called over and over. Thinking it might be John as he couldn’t see well in the dark, he answered but there was nothing but someone repeatedly saying his name over and over. Scared, he said he ran to find John and found him in the bar back by the cooler where John told Fred he had also heard his name being called over and over. The two guys were so freaked out that they locked themselves in the manager’s office and refused to come out until the manager came down to lock up and let them go home.
Another time, I talked to the manager’s wife, who used to come in and clean late at night to help out when the cleaning crews bailed. She told me one night she was cleaning one of the dining cubicle in the main dining room when she heard a woman crying. The sound seemed to come from the basement of the building. Most buildings in AZ don’t have basements, but the two buildings that made the Spaghetti Co. were two very old homes and they both had basements. She went to her husband, the manager, and they both went into the basement but found nothing. The basements were kept completely empty and she said there was nothing down there, only cobwebs.
It wasn’t long after that incident, that a bad smell emitted from that cubicle. There was a fireplace in that cubicle, the fireplace of the first house. (The fireplace in the lobby was the fireplace of the second house.) Anyway, the smell became so bad that customers could not be seated in that section. The owner became quite concerned because empty tables meant a loss of income and he was eager to try and rectify the situation. The cubicle had books lining the walls and all the books were removed, thinking they might be mildewing. That did not take away the smell. The fireplace was bricked up and the bricks were removed thinking a rat may have die behind the bricks and was rotting, but nothing was found. The fireplace went down into the basement so the base was torn open in the basement, once again looking for animals that may have become trapped and were decomposing, but nothing was found. A wall adjoining the fireplace wall had a section that had been covered so that was torn open only to find an underground passage that went under Central Ave. No one knew it was there and no explanation for what it was once used for was ever found. Never the less, there was nothing decomposing in this passage way either. The owner was beside himself as he could not get rid of the smell and simply could not find out what was causing it, when one day, it just stopped.
Another time, I was working lunch when I seated two young women on the trolley car. Half way through their lunch, one of the women jumped up and pointed at a lamp post in the dining room. She started yelling about a man leaning against the post and watching the people at the tables. She kept saying "Do you see him? Does anyone see him?" But none of us did, it gave me the willies!
Then there was the time, a family came in for lunch, over six people, and one of the women had a small child around one years old. I sat them and all of sudden the child began screaming and crying. The mother tried to comfort the child but the child could not be comforted. Realizing she was annoying the other diners, she came up into the hostess area and began pacing back and forth with the child who still would not stop crying. Finally, she went back to the table, said something to her husband and the entire party got up to leave, not having a chance to order or eat. I walked them to the front door as she apologized for the disturbance and I assured her it was no trouble. I opened the door for them and watched them step down the steps and into the bright sunshine. The second the women went out the door with the child, the child stopped crying abruptly and began smiling and cooing. Yikes! I was a bit freaked!
After working there for a while, one of the bartenders, Mary told me she wanted to get to the bottom of the history of these buildings as she had a few experiences herself. She went to records to find out the history about the place and this is what she told me she found. The first house, the one with the lobby, had once belonged to an older gentleman a long time ago. He had been sleeping by the fireplace (the lobby one) when someone had apparently broke in and murdered him by bashing in his skull. The second house was a little newer, but not much, and apparently in the 1930’s a women had been shot and killed in the basement. (The fireplace in the cubicle) Her assailant had never been found. Mary’s findings seemed to explain a lot about the hauntings!
If you’re ever in Phoenix, go check out this restaurant. It is still there, though the rooms have changed a little bit. There are tables in the hostess stand room now, but it’s still pretty much the same and I would imagine it’s still haunted!