Emmitt House Restaurant in Waverly,Ohio – Haunted Dining

Waverly,Ohio is a small town in Southern Ohio with a lot of history. Lots of which center around The Emmitt House Restaurant. The City of Waverly was founded in 1829 along the Ohio-Erie Canal which ran for more than 300 miles connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

Originally called Union, a name claimed by several other Ohio communities, the name of Waverly was suggested by an engineer on the Ohio-Erie Canal, Francis Cleveland. Cleveland had been reading Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly Novels. Waverly’s growth was closely tied to commerce on the canal, and James Emmitt, the town’s first entrepreneur, made most of his fortune from canal activities.

He first hauled grain on the canal. Then he built a grain mill, followed by a distillery to make whiskey. Emmitt added other businesses as well as many acres of farmlands. In the 1850’s he claimed to be the Scioto Valley’s first millionaire, reportedly was Pike County’s largest taxpayer and was said to employ half the men in Waverly. Perhaps Emmitt’s most lasting achievement was a successful campaign from 1859 to 1861 to move the Pike County Court house from Piketon to Waverly.

Emmitt’s influence remains today in several of the town’s historic buildings and Emmitt Avenue, the main street. Located on Emmit Avenue is, The Emmitt house it was constructed in 1861 when James Emmitt, one of Ohio’s early elitists, hired the illegitimate son of Thomas Jefferson to construct a hotel and restaurant that would rest on the banks of the newly completed Ohio-Erie Canal. Considered one of the finest hotels in the Scioto Valley, the Emmitt house quickly prospered and provided a place to rest to many notables of the era.

Standing on a corner along US 23 in Waverly, the Emmitt House looks every bit as historic and haunted as it is. Today it houses a fancy restaurant. We take are ghosts seriously there, too, even leaving a package of cigars out for the chief ghost and chief figure in the history of the building James E. Emmitt. His pipe smoke is the best known of the ghostly manifestations which have plagued this restaurant and inn for a long time.

Employees smell James E. Emmitt’s cigar smoke, and they sometimes see a woman in an old-fashioned “granny apron” cleaning things when no one should be there. Two ghostly children roam the building, possibly members of the Harper family (nearly wiped out by smallpox while staying at the hotel). And employees working in the basement often encounter the ghosts of slaves who may have died there en route on the Underground Railroad. They sometimes make loud noises or, more often, change the syrups on the soda fountain which any bar employee can tell you is a gross job.

Waverly residents who frequent the bar also say they have seen and heard ghostly things. Though most attribute this to their alcohol consumption. But…. could so many people be wrong? Visit the Emmitt House for dinner sometime and you might come face to face with one of the ghosts. And you will defiantly have a nice dinner. Please be sure to visit http://emmitthouse.com/ to find out all about the Emmitt House Restaurant as it is today.

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