Around this time of the year, we love to hear industry ghost stories. Here's one about spooky West Village old-timer One if By Land, Two if By Sea. Have any others, or horror stories from terrible meals? The lines are always open.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea is a lovely restaurant located in the heart of the West Village. Romantic, with rich woods, white tablecloths, paintings of people who are most certainly all dead at this point, a grand piano and ghosts—in fact, rumor has it 20 ghosts may inhabit this classic New York establishment and whether or not you believe, one can feel a bit on edge when sitting alone in the quiet side room on a dark evening.
Is the restaurant actually haunted? General Manager Rosanne Martino says yes. "I've had experiences. Inexplicable experiences. I've been here for eight years and I have seen a lot." Some of the paranormal activity she describes is pretty classic stuff: Picture frames tilting, machinery activating by itself, strange drafts especially by the bar, flying plates, flickering lights, staff members will occasionally be pushed and when they turn, no one is there. She explained that waiters have actually attempted to serve entities who are sitting at a table; the spirits craving life and maybe some Beef Wellington. Another Manager, Kirk Adair described the restaurant like the forest. You know there are creatures around you, but you don't necessarily see them, maybe out of the corner of your eye, but for the most part they remain hidden.
They say staff members have actually quit over these experiences, but no one believes the ghosts to be malicious. They seem to be more into practical jokes, like that period of time where night after night women were losing earrings at the bar but there was no earthly culprit to be found.
Who are these ghosts? A parapsychologist who has visited the restaurant believes that there are 20 ghosts active in the building, all from different time periods, but he says that they are all aware of each other. Some think that Aaron Burr haunts the establishment: after all, the building was Vice President Aaron Burr’s carriage house. There are also great stories about other spirits: a woman who dresses in a black gown who has been seen walking down the staircase, but never up. They theorize she broke her neck falling down the stairs. There's an entity who inhabits the office that a psychic claims to have had an encounter with, and there is a ghost who is believed to be a Ziegfield follies girl. The staff lights candles for her. There is a spirit of a man who likes to linger by the fireplace, one who likes to use the front door.
It is unclear what draws the spirits to this space, but if something strange occurs, staff is encouraged to leave and give the spirits space.
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