When I was searching for things to do and places to see on the Sunrise Coast, I read about the John A. Lau Saloon. It's located in Alpena's Old Town. It's basically your bar town grub food, and has more than 12 selections of different beef. But the biggest reason I wanted to visit is because local legend has it that the historic saloon is haunted by Agnes, John Lau's wife, who died following childbirth.
There are stories of a woman dressed in period clothing that appears, strange knocking noises, odd unexplainable odors and glasses that appear to move on their own. They've had ghost hunters in to investigate and they have officially sworn off the myth, proving that the saloon is haunted. The new owners said they've had employees quit because of the hauntings and staff who won't go into the basement because they're scared.
For a bit of history, the saloon opened in the 1800s. It temporarily closed during the Prohibition Era, but re-opened as a soda pop shop that sold bootleg liquor. Once the feds found out, the saloon was permanently shut down. Over the years, it's been used by several businesses, one including an antique shop but is now back to a pub and steakhouse.
Story has it, one of the current owners said a ghost hunter came to the saloon and saw Agnes sitting in a rocking chair at the top of the stairs. Apparently, there is a window hidden in the wall that is now boarded up and covered by an antique mirror, shelves and decorative items. When the ghost hunter walked into the shop, she said she saw Agnes looking out over the bay through the window. Only... the ghost hunter didn't know the window existed. Freaky, right?! Still today, wait staff will say they see someone walk upstairs out of the corner of their eye. They'll tell someone to go wait on them, but when the staff goes upstairs, there is nobody up there.
Of course, when Eric and I were visiting, by the end of the evening, we were the only two in the saloon along with the wait staff. There was an eery feeling in the saloon, like Agnes was watching over us while we ate. Haha! Gosh, okay, I'm such a sucker for a good ghost story. I even had chills typing this out! But honestly though, it was a super fun experience. We both had great meals and drinks (the garden iced tea kicks your butt and you get to keep the glass!) and I got a chance to wear my horse print skirt! Also, I got my story and details from The Alpena News
. Must be fact, right? ;)
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