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Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

Illustration for article titled Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

Wanna grab a drink with someone who's passed beyond the veil? Then we've got the perfect list of watering holes for you. We've rounded up some of the more infamous haunted gin joints (still operating today), for everyone who's looking for a paranormal drinking experience.


Whether it's partying with dead sex workers, or watching ghost children run around the dancefloor, here's the ultimate guide to the best places to see ghosts through your whiskey glass.

Illustration for article titled Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

Excalibur Nightclub, Chicago

Once a historical building, this giant castle structure is now home to hundreds of fist pumping tourists and underage drinkers. But when the club's not blasting dance music the three ghosts that dwell in these halls are busy freaking out guests and employees. Rumor has it the cold basement in the Excalibur was used as a makeshift morgue for victims of the SS Eastland tragedy, a boat accident that killed 844 passengers in 1915 (however some historians have refuted this urban legend). People have reported seeing a small girl darting up the stairs and hearing odd sounds. And one bouncer was allegedly locked in a bathroom stall (it felt like something was holding the door shut). Many a ghost hunter reality TV show has tried to contact these lost souls, but to no avail. [Editor's Note: Hand-over-the-heart, we have a friend who worked there and came home furious that someone had brought a "little girl" into the bar. She went looking for the girl, but lost her. She had never heard of the hauntings].

Seventeen Black Cirencester, United Kingdom

Caught on tape! According to the bar's website, this nightclub was built in 1896 as a bakery and turned into a club in 2008. And apparently, after some construction, they discovered a "10ft Victorian oven was discovered behind a wall with what looked like noose hanging above?" There are no pictures of said discovery. However, they did manage to catch this weird bobbing light thing, on tape. From the youtube page:

CCTV Footage of what appears to be a GHOST in Cirencester Night Club 'Seventeen Black'.
Staff have complained of strange noises, doors slamming and chills up their spine but nothing was taken seriously until this footage was recorded! Ghost??? Make your own mind up...........

Illustration for article titled Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

Landmark Tavern
, New York

Landmark Tavern and the White Horse Tavern are among the two most haunted drinking locations in NYC. But we picked Landmark, because it still has the bathtub in which one of its haunts died in. Legend has it, a Confederate soldier was shot in a barfight and died in this very tub. And he's apparently still there looking for a fight, by tipping over glasses and books on the second floor.


Image by Kitra Cahana/The New York Times

Illustration for article titled Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

This is the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining (which plays on an endless loop in the hotel TV on channel 42.) The staff has reported hearing parties from the ballroom late at night, even though it was empty. Guests have also heard music from the ballroom piano while the room sat empty. Pair that with the rumors of ghosts hovering over at the foot of people's beds, and you've got one haunted party hotel.

Illustration for article titled Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

Bobby Mackey's Nightclub, Kentucky

A Haunted Honky Tonk! Possibly the bar with the most demented backstory that we've got on this list. Before it was bought by Country singer Bobby Mackey, it was a slaughterhouse, and was used by a "Satanic Cult" for a human sacrifice.


Here's the whole story from About Haunted Places (and that's just the beginning!):

The old building that now houses Bobby Mackey's was a slaughterhouse for over 40 years during the 1800s. The ample spilled blood from the slaughterhouse and its location on the banks of the Licking River – one of two rivers in the world that flow north – attracted a hoard of satanic worshippers who used the site for sacrificial grounds.

In 1896, the building became entangled in a sensational and grizzly murder when Pearl Bryan's headless body was found nearby. The young lady's head was never found, but speculation abounded that it was likely disposed of in the slaughterhouse's basement well that was used to drain blood into the river when two local men who were active in the occult confessed to the murder. Alonzo Walling and Scott Jackson became the last two people hanged in Campbell County when they were sent to the gallows on March 21, 1897 for the murder of Pearl Bryan. With his last words on the gallows behind the Campbell County Courthouse — located near the slaughterhouse — Walling vowed to return to torment his executioners.

According to the Kentucky Post articles at the time, Walling and Jackson were offered life in prison instead of death, if they told authorities where Bryan's head was located. People familiar with the two murderers claim that they refused because they were terrified they would spark the wrath of Satan if they exposed the site of his sacrificial grounds. Reportedly, they offered Bryan's head as a sacrifice to Satan, most likely in the slaughterhouse well. Local believers claim the well is a "gateway to hell" of sorts, a gruesome legend that lives on to the present day.


YIKES. Next io9 party? Yes?

Illustration for article titled Where the Dead Go To Drink: The Best Haunted Bars, Clubs and Pubs

Shaker's Cigar Bar, Wisconsin

This bar has so much carnage tied to it, it's almost too good to be true. Before it was a Cigar Bar, it was a brothel. And sadly, one fair lady was hacked to bits in her bedchamber. The owner also found a collection of animal and human bones hidden in his house, when he was doing some remodeling (which he reported to the police immediately). Patrons have reported cold spots, hot spots, feelings of dread, fire crawling up the walls and objects being moved. You can actually pay to stay in the "dead hooker's" bed.


I have no idea where this is, but I've been playing it for friends all week. Fake or fact? We still can't tell. But we really believe that is exactly how an actual person would react to a ghost coming up for last call.


What did we miss? Is there an awesome haunted bar or club in your town? Please, please tell us in the comments!

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I can't believe you only found one haunted pub in the UK. We've been drinking in pubs far longer than you guys, and a fair few of us have died in the process. Surely you can do better than a converted bakery?