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DINNER & SPIRITS The History & Hauntings of the McMackin House Restaurant

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Author Topic: DINNER & SPIRITS The History & Hauntings of the McMackin House Restaurant  (Read 221 times)
Keira Kensington
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Posts: 4700

« on: October 19, 2008, 10:49:52 pm »


Built in 1910, the McMackin House has managed to weather several generations of the family, use as a funeral home and finally, service as the restaurant that it is today. Hal Harrison, and his son Justin Harrison, purchased the business in July 2002 but theirs was not the first eating establishment to be based in the house. The place had originally been converted into use as a restaurant not long after the death of Flora Jane. However, neither this business nor the one that followed it, managed to last. The new McMackin House appears to be thriving however and one has to wonder if it might be the affinity of the spirits toward the current owner that has given the place its success. The ghosts of the place seem to wish Hal the best and are not above offering some not so subtle suggestions when they want him to do things their way!

The portraits of the Virginia ancestors whose presence in the house caused strange things to occur!

 Not long after the Harrison’s opened the place, members of the McMackin family gave him portraits of their Virginia ancestors to hang inside. Too busy with getting the restaurant open though, the portraits were set aside and Hal didn’t get around to hanging them. He was startled shortly after to discover that other pictures that were hanging on the walls were falling. Once the portraits were hung though, nothing else out of the ordinary happened - until a similar event occurred a short time later. Not long after, two more pictures were given to Hal by the family and once again, they were set aside until time could be found to put them in place. This time, it was not just falling pictures that plagued the restaurant though. In the room where the pictures had been placed, two tables with glass tops mysteriously shattered without explanation. Hal quickly hung the pictures and nothing else strange occurred.

“Now, whenever the family gives me anything to hang,” Hal told me during an interview in November 2002, “I always hang it up right away.”

Who the ghost might be that so bedeviled Hal over his failure to immediately hang the portraits in anybody’s guess but family members believe that it might be that of Aunt Helen McMackin. She was fiercely devoted to the house during her life and she had other attributes that lead some to believe that it might be her ghost who lingers behind. “Aunt Helen was always mischievous,” her great-niece Merry Gay informed me during an interview. “She was a prankster and loved practical jokes. That runs in the family too because we all love to play jokes on one another, but they’re never malicious or mean.”

And that seems to fit right along with some of the reported incidents in the house. During the renovations of the place, many of the workmen scoffed at the reputation the house had gained for being haunted, until their keys, tools and other items began disappearing and turning up again in various places. It’s common for small items, especially keys, to vanish, as if someone is having a good laugh at the expense of the beleaguered property owner. And even the McMackin family members are not immune.

“Shortly after my mother died,” Merry Gay recalled, “I came to clean her belongings out of the house and left a bag of things in the hallway outside of her room.” After much of the work had been done, she returned to the hallway to retrieve the bag. To her surprise, it was missing. But rather than be upset or unnerved, she called out loud to her late aunt. “I yelled at Aunt Helen to bring the bag back and you know what, she did.” Merry Gay left and came back the next morning to discover that the bag was now back exactly where she had left it. There had been no one else in the house during the intervening hours and besides that, she knew that no earthly hands had replaced the parcel. It was simply Aunt Helen, playing another practical joke!

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