BY SKYLER, DEB & TIM SMITH
I left you last week waiting for last call at Ye Mendon Tavern. The good news is you’ve made it in time for me to refill your mug one final time with Tavern Tales. Since his death in 1956, Harold Folts, original Tavern owner and grandfather of current proprietor Pat Freeman, has continued to haunt the building on a semi-regular basis. Be advised, I’ve saved the best for last so be afraid, be very very afraid.
Freeman, as I affectionately refer to her, recounts that one night after closing, the bartender, her sister Eileen, has just completed a thorough clean up with every last glass washed and put away. After turning to check the mirror behind the bar, she turns back around only to find an empty beer glass on the bar with foam still sliding down the inside, as if the beverage had just been consumed. But there’s nobody there.
In addition to this we have numerous examples of the paper towels unraveling by themselves in both the women’s and men’s bathrooms. There have also been multiple occurrences of lights turning on and off in the men’s bathroom, even though those lights can only be operated by a pull string within the bathroom.
One time a coaster holder sitting on the bar began to shake and rattle with increasing intensity, throwing the coasters, and eventually itself, off the bar and onto the floor. In another example of the supernatural, sometimes things go missing for weeks or months, and then show up, sitting out in the open, in plain sight.
And it’s almost like Harold knew I was doing this article and wanted to provide one final cherry to put on top of the story. Between my initial interview with Freeman and the publication of this article, the Tavern had the following event occur. A few weeks ago on a Saturday night the bartender, beginning her closing duties, washes the last two goblets and places them on the drain board to dry. She turns around and opens the cash drawer to exchange one dollar bills for tens, and hears a noise behind her. After turning around and finding both goblets back in the wash basin, she questions her own actions but rewashes the goblets and places them once again on the drain board.
Turning back to complete her task at the cash register, the noise is heard once again. This time one, just one, goblet was back in the wash basin. At this point she knows that she has not made the same mistake twice and supernatural forces are once again at work in the tavern. She is all alone, scared at this point, and cautiously pondering her next move.
Then it happens; the phone rings. Ironically, or perhaps it’s just part of the Tavern Twilight Zone vibe, it is Freeman calling to check on things. This is not something Freeman does every night; she just has an eerie feeling. When all her bartender can mutter into the phone is, “Harold . . . Harold . . . Harold!” Freeman hops into the car and dashes to the tavern. At this point I’ll let Freeman finish off the story as well as this week’s article. She says, “I arrived to find her shaking and quaking in fear. She explained the whole incident to me. I did my best to reassure her that it was just Harold and not to be afraid . . . easy for me to say. We haven’t seen or heard from Harold since then, but rest assured, he will be back.”
While we hope you’ve enjoyed our long night out at the Mendon Tavern, we’ll give you one week to sleep it off, shake off the cobwebs, and meet us for breakfast at Crabby Dan’s.