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The Keg

Frosty, BC, Canada
August 2004

In the early 80's while I was in high school, I had a part-time job at a restaurant in the old part of town in Brampton, Ontario. My first night in the dish-pit was a long one; learning where everything goes, and, recovering from a heel wound made things slow-going. I was pretty much the last person working, and the manager was doing his cash-out, upstairs. Working away, I saw an older man in an old, worn brown jacket wander in to the back kitchen area, right by the dish pit. He walked past, and turned the corner. I just figured it was some guy there to pick up his son/daughter from work.

The second time he came by (there's an exit at the other end of the long, narrow kitchen, so, in essence, you could do laps), I became suspicious that perhaps this was just a lost, drunken guest. As he turned the corner, I put down what I was cleaning and stepped back the two steps to see down the kitchen to ask the guy if I could help him. Gone.

This kitchen is a good 20-25 feet long to the other exit to the broiler bar in the dining room. Fast bugger, I thought.

The third time I saw him walk by, I got a better look at him (through the dish racks), and he seemed to be in a foul mood. Now, I was suspicious, and stepped back to talk to him, just as he rounded the corner.
There was no physical way that guy could have left my sight! I wasn't scared. Just baffled. That was the only time I saw the old man, although, many more people talked about seeing him, and feeling creeped out, or just plain frightened.

Over the next few shifts there, I started getting to know the people and the place. The staff started chiding me with stories about "George". Seems that was the pet name given to the ghost in the restaurant. Naturally, I thought they were having me on in that "Initiation ceremony" kinda thang. They described him as being about 6 feet tall, black hair, moustache and sideburns, wearing an old-style 3-piece grey suite, with a black derby.

Well, over the 3 years that I worked there, I saw that guy no less than 35 times! Often, he'd be seen standing in a corner by a table, watching people. There were 2 instances that I know of where guests commented to their waiters about "the tall gentleman in the old grey suit and derby".

Several times, while cleaning out the salad bar at the end of the night, I'd hear someone walking by in the raised dining area. Looking over, I saw George walk by, but, as he passed by the waist high divider, he'd have no legs! Just the top half of him that faded to nothing.

A few other times it was a different version: I'd hear footsteps walking along, but see nothing. Then, as the footsteps walk clear of the waist-high divider, there'd only be his LEGS walking by!

The Legend behind the ghost (as repeated by staff) was that, before the restaurant, there was a department store, which was built on the burned foundations of a hotel that used to be on that site. The popular story was that 8 people had died in the fire that destroyed the place.

Not content enough to accept the story at face value, I went to the library and started hunting through the local archives. I found a picture of the place burning, in a book of local history, taken from old newspapers. However, there was no mention about it. After a number of phone calls, I actually got hold of the original hotel owner (surprisingly, still alive!), and asked him about the fire. He reassured me that no one was killed or harmed in the fire.

To this day, I kick myself for not asking about the other legends of the ghosts' deaths. The story was that "George" died in a gun duel in a dining area referred to as the "Bedroom", and that the old man died of a heart attack in one of the rooms. So much stuff has happened there to so many people. Many staff quit on the spot after experiences.

I once watched a dishwasher turn on by itself (you have to hold the switch over for a count of "3" before it engages in a cycle), while myself and another guy were telling the new girl in dish pit about the ghost.
I watched a clothes dryer turn on, by itself, with a co- worker with me.
After closing, there were 4 of us sitting at the "staff" tables, waiting for the manager to finish up (he always bought us drinks to make sure someone was with him while he closed). We heard a great amount of thumping about, like someone was kicking the chairs around, coming from a dining area on the other side of the room. Thinking that maybe we missed a drunk guest who was waking up, we investigated, but found nothing out of place. Returning to our card game, we were joking about George, when, as we sat down, an ashtray at the corner of the table broke in two and half of it spun into the centre of the table. We waited for the manager by the back door.

Especially among the day staff (prep, clean, office) people would hear their names called out from empty areas ALL THE TIME! So often, people would pop their head either from the kitchen to the dining area, or, from the dining area to the kitchen, asking who wanted them. No one would have called that person.

The last time I talked to someone with contact with the restaurant (just over a year ago), I was told that people are still reporting activity there.

Living in another province, I've not been there for a long time.But, I'm always interested in what others have experienced.

I've grown up with this kind of stuff, all my life, and have hours of stories, but, because this place is still open, and still active, I chose this one to share with the readers, in case anyone happens to want to visit it.

Frosty, BC, Canada
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