Patrick Robinson
Melissa Watson turns the faucet on the sink that sometimes seems to move all by itself...or does it?

The ghost at the Heartland Cafe is still haunting

Is cleanliness next to ghostliness?

The Heartland Cafe has a ghost. That's the report from multiple witnesses and while this isn't new (a brand new ghost might be creepier) the haunting continues as it has for years now. The Heartland Cafe at 4210 Southwest Admiral Way is a Wisconsin themed restaurant that moved into the space once occupied by the long time West Seattle landmark, the Admiral Benbow Inn. Their motto is "Serving Midwestern Comfort food like mom used to make."

But it's doubtful that your mom had a ghost in the bathroom.

Jeff Loren, a co-owner said, "I've heard from two of our waitstaff that they've seen the faucet actually move while they were standing there. I haven't seen the ghost but I've been told the ghost is a long time story."

Waitress at the Heartland, Melissa Watson said, "For the longest time we'd go up into the bathroom and the faucet would be on and we just figured it was someone being lazy or maybe somebody who had too many drinks but it has happened since this place opened. Rosemary, she went in one night (it's always the hot water on the left hand sink) and she turned it off and then she went to the other sink and she was rinsing her face off and the faucet that she was using turned off and the faucet next to her turned back on."

Jay Wergin Co-Owner of the Heartland shared this with the Herald about the ghost:

There have been some odd happenings around the Heartland Café. I’ve been told about flying spoons in the dish pit, beer cans that move on their own in the Benbow Room, but more importantly ...the running water in the ladies room. As the story is told on HistoryLink.org (see below) the ghost had a thing about turning the water on in the ladies room. So without ever telling my employees about this story, suddenly they are recalling incidents of running water. In one case, it was our late night server Nicole who works until 4:30am on weekends. Well she is the only female working during this time and she would enter the ladies room and find the faucet running. In another more recent occurrence the faucet moved on its own.

I’ll tell you (speaking for myself) that it is downright spooky to be alone in that building late at night. Maybe it’s just the age of the building, or maybe the fact that it was a building full of haunted soles for so many years as the Admiral Benbow, Chart Room? You can only imagine over the course of 50 years what might have transpired in there? After all ...Frances Farmer once drank there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Farmer

...also taking into account that the building is made up of so many rooms + an attic space and a unfinished basement. There are plenty of hiding places for a ghost or whatever you might dream up, to be hiding behind. Hell, I see shadows casting across the floor all the time when I'm up there alone, not to mention sounds that I can't identify too.

Neysa Longmire on the Ghost at the Admiral Benbow Inn from HistoryLink.org

“Oh, we have a ghost right here at the Admiral Benbow Inn. It’s hard to explain. How do you explain a ghost?

"We first realized there was something unusual going on when I had my office upstairs and I’d hear footsteps and walking around. I thought it must be crows on the roof or something that were walking around. I thought, 'Wow, that’s a lot of noise. I better go up and take a look to make sure nobody’s up on the roof.' There was no one there. So I thought maybe it was coming from next door.

"But I finally realized that it had to be somebody walking around up there that I wasn’t seeing, but I was hearing. So, one Sunday we were closed and I came back down to work and was here in the back where the safe was. And I heard somebody out in the hall. I thought I had left the door unlocked and maybe a customer had walked in. And so I called out, 'Who’s there? We’re not open.'

"And I came out in the hall and I saw this long skirt. I didn’t see a head, but I saw the shoulder. I saw the long skirt. Long dress, black shoes, just go around the corner. And I thought, 'Well, my goodness, who in the world is that?' So I hurried real fast to look and she had disappeared. I thought, 'Well!' So I went to the back door and looked up and down the alley. Nobody there. I thought, 'Well, must have been the footsteps I heard upstairs walking around. There’s somebody in here that’s not here when we’re around.'

"So another Sunday I came down here and the cleaning man was here. I said to him, 'Will you quit turning the water off and on in the restrooms.' He was out front cleaning where the coffee shop was and he says, 'I’m not in the restrooms, what are you talking about?' I said, 'Well, why is the water going off and on all the time?' He said, 'I don’t know. Is someone in there?' So he went down and looked and there was nobody there. He said, “There’s nobody in here. What are you talking about?” So I thought, 'Well, I’m losing my mind.'

"Pretty soon, the water starts again, off and on, off and on, off and on. Finally he said, 'What’s going on?' I said 'Well, we’ve got a ghost around here. Evidently it is playing a game with us.' The cleaning man was Lithuanian and he was from Europe. He finished his cleaning and didn’t stay around. He got out of there real fast. It bothered him quite a bit. The girls who work here have heard it too and one of the girls swears up and down that the ghost pushed her down the stairs because it doesn’t like her.

"Sometimes on Sundays when I’m here all by myself, I try very hard to be quiet to see if she won’t come around again. Nobody’s ever seen her from the head up. All that we’ve seen has just been part of the long skirt and the legs. So we don’t know whether she’s young or old. I’ve kind of wondered if on this space that the Benbow Inn sits, back in the early days, none of this was here. Did somebody die or were they killed or was there a house here? Maybe they just never moved on from this place so they’re still around here.”

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