Dining with Ghosts at The Windham Restaurant

It gives the catchphrase "food and spirits" a whole new meaning



Photo courtesy of Visions of the Paranormal

When Lula and Vess Liakas opened the Windham Restaurant in a home built in 1812 by the Dinsmoor family and once occupied by former New Hampshire Governor Samuel Dinsmoor (1931-33), they did not believe in ghosts.

 “They sure do now,” says Leo Monfet, a paranormal investigator who founded Visions of the Paranormal in Salem.

At the Windham, where the telling catchphrase “Food and Spirits” is written over the front door, ghosts mingle with guests.

“Customers have seen full glasses slide across a level table,” says Vess. “Once, the check came and two parties split it and put in the same amount of cash. Each saw the other put the money in the folder and it was handed to the waitress. But when she opened it right in front of them, it was short 20 dollars. They were all beside themselves.”

The culprit could have been one of three spirits Monfet and his team have found evidence of through multiple voice and video recordings. It is believed that “Jacob," known as the man in the blue suit, once lived in the home and suffered a fatal heart attack that sent him careening down the steep front staircase. A little boy identified as “William” told of being struck by a horse-drawn carriage and carried into the house, where he died. There is a nameless “little girl” there too.

The abundance of spooky phenomena over the years includes a row of Christmas packages somehow stacked horizontally in midair over the staircase and full place settings vanishing from tables.

The ghosts are mischievous but not malevolent.

“They are welcome and have become part of the family,” says Vess. “They help business because people are very interested in them, especially in the fall and around Halloween.”

“Jacob," “William” and “little girl” are so intriguing that the restaurant hosts a popular series of “Dining with the Dead” evenings, where a presentation is served with a prix fixe meal. The one scheduled for right before Halloween includes readings by a well-known psychic for participants.

“You can expect the unexpected,” says Vess. “The paranormal is normal here.” For more information, visit windhamrestaurant.com.

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