There’s nothing Carla McQuade likes better than a good ghost story. Just as well because as the owner the Broadway Saloon for 13 years and she says she knows a thing or two about the ghosts who inhabit, or inhaunt, its premises.

It’s not uncommon to hear voices and McQuade herself has seen shadows of things that weren’t there.  “It’s pretty crazy,” she says but she’s quick to assure guests that these phantoms are more mischievous than malevolent.

Thought I’ve heard voices from down the hallway and in the liquor room after we’ve closed,” says Jessica Mahar, an employee,“ I go and look and nobody’s there.”

It can be pretty unnerving. Karmen Knutsen, another server, says the encounters gave her shivers. “The ghost pulled my hair every night (when) I clocked out. . . I could feel it behind me when I was alone.”

The source of the unusual events is thought to stem from the building’s origins. It was at one time a set of holding cells where accused citizens awaited the visit from the traveling circuit judge to determine their fate. Although most of the physical evidence of the cells are gone now, there are still bars in the women’s bathroom that date back to that era. 

Patrons enjoying a quiet Fall afternoon
Patrons enjoying a quiet Fall afternoon

Jessica Mahar, who also works at the Broadway Saloon, says she can tell when the spirits come to call.  “I’ve gotten a sense of feeling cold and the hair on the back of my neck will raise and I’ll get goosebumps.” she says.

The evidence of eerie events is fleeting but the resident spooks seem to have a particular affection for the electric system. “The lights go on and off, electrical issues just happen at random times,” she says.

Though she doesn’t know every wraith that tarries between her walls she is certain she knows one of them..  “There’s a little gal who worked here for the previous owners from the day they opened their doors. Maybe 30 years. And then she worked for me,” she says, “That’s Angie. I know she’s here.” 

Misty Nelson also works at the saloon. She remembers calling on Angie for help after having the jukebox turn on when she was cleaning up and then having a stack of pans fall off a shelf in the kitchen. “I jumped out of my skin,” she recalls, “I yelled Angie, you got me!”

“One of our staff, she says a prayer before coming to work,” says McQuade, “she isn’t afraid of them but she doesn’t want them following her home.”

As usual, the Broadway Saloon will be throwing a Halloween party and people are invited to turn out in costume with prizes to be awarded. The appearance of the resident apparitions cannot be guaranteed but in anycase, the more the merrier.

Broadway Saloon

12434 SW Broadway 

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