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16 May 2012



Watch for ethereal visitors and enjoy some solid food

May 16, 2012 10:23 am
By Gail Ciampa


Restaurant staff members have reported strange happenings around Tavern on Main and paranormal experts have backed up their claims of a haunted building.

Got ghosts?

The Tavern on Main in Chepachet surely does, according to paranormal experts Thomas D'Agostino and Arlene Nicholson. In fact, D'Agostino says it may be the most haunted restaurant in the state.

So why not work with what you have and create specialty dinners? That is just what tavern owner David Lumnah has done. Anyone can offer a wine dinner, but a Paranormal Dinner? Well you just don't see those too often.

The next one at The Tavern on Main is Tuesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. It will be led by D'Agostino and Nicholson, who formed the New England Paranormal United Research Society. D'Agostino is the author of nine books on the subject.



I attended one such dinner last fall just before Halloween. Not only did I enjoy the tavern's food; I was interested in the paranormal investigation. I'm not saying I'm a believer in ghosts, but I lost a wee bit of my skepticism that night.

The building at 1157 Victory Highway was constructed in the early 1700s and became a tavern later in that century. In the mid-19th century, it became a battleground. Shots were fired through a locked door and the tavern keeper, Jedediah Sprague, was forced into the longtime lodging of state troops seeking to quell Dorr's Rebellion. Led by lawyer Thomas Wilson Dorr, it was a voting-rights movement that sought to replace Rhode Island's Colonial charter with a constitution that would give all male citizens -- immigrants and aristocrats alike -- the right to vote. It was put down.

Whether that battle plays a role in the spirits who remain is anyone's guess.

D'Agostino prefers to focus on the evidence of the paranormal, which includes a video showing an apparition moving from right to left in the dining room. You can see the light change on the wall as it is obscured by the moving figure. Filmed by a student, D'Agostino has been unable to re-create the look of the video or find any evidence that it can be anything but a ghost on the video.

He also tells of many diners who have reported seeing an apparition of a woman in Colonial dress by the same corner dining room table.

Then there are the electronic voice phenomena or EVP in which voices are recorded, but not heard by those in the room at the time. EVPs are part of the tavern's paranormal profile. Other stories include the case of a television flying off a shelf in the bar one night and apparitions of a young boy. Staff members have also reported setting tables and returning to find them moved.

So with tools as simple as cassette recorders and dowsing rods, and some heat sensitive equipment, diners will explore the corners of the tavern with help from D'Agostino and Nicholson. Working in teams, the whole group will investigate and then gather to discuss their findings.

Since no one can ghost hunt on an empty stomach, dinner is served first. Next week, the choices for dinner are Roast Sirloin or Crab-Stuffed Haddock. The tavern can also accommodate special requests for vegetarian, gluten-free or allergy-free meals. The cost is $45. The number to reserve is             (401) 710-9788      .

Should you want to see a little apparition, check out the video on the New England Paranormal United Research Society site at Nepurs.com/purs/investigations/   tavern_on_main.htm  .

If ghosts aren't your thing, the Tavern on Main has a new spring menu on Wednesday and Thursday featuring the following shrimp dinners for $14: Seafood Stuffed Shrimp; Shrimp Florentine (five jumbo shrimp tossed with baby spinach, roasted garlic, diced tomatoes in olive oil over spinach and roasted garlic tortellini); Tavern Shrimp Scampi (five jumbo shrimp in a garlic butter cream sauce with broccoli served over shrimp ravioli); and Spring Shrimp (five jumbo shrimp wrapped in proscuitto and served over arugula with a tomato and mozzarella orzo salad on the side); and Parmesan Encrusted Shrimp (served over penne with the house pink vodka sauce).

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