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27 Nov 2012


Paranormal Corner: Salem City Cafe

Kelly Roncace/South Jersey TimesBy Kelly Roncace/South Jersey Times 
on November 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM, updated November 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM Salem City CafeSalem City Cafe

South Jersey has rich history that can be experienced, almost felt, when you walk through the doors of some of the historic structures that still welcome visitors today.

One of the most iconic and historic buildings in Salem is the Salem City Cafe.

Built in 1737, the building has been a private residence, a hotel, a Steamboat Hotel and Stage Office, a cigar manufacturer and finally the Garwood House which it remained for many years before closing, leaving the building empty for approximately seven years.

In 2006, Debra and Michael Foglietta bought the building and began the long process of renovating the nearly 300-year-old building.

Finally, the Salem City Cafe, with a bar, dining room and banquet rooms, opened to the public on New Year’s Eve 2008.

Countless people have visited, slept and, perhaps, died in the building and according to investigations by Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society (JUMPS) founder Doug Hogate Jr., some of those people may have never left.

In October 2010, after speaking to Debra Foglietta about the history of the cafe, Hogate gathered his team and went into the building to see what he could find.

“One of the claims she first told me about was about a cook who worked here,” Hogate said. “He stayed late one night doing some prep work and no one else was in the building.”

The cook reported that he had locked all the doors after everyone left.

At the end of the night, before he left, he went up to Debra’s office on the second floor where the bank of security televisions are located.


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“He said he went up to the office on the second floor before leaving and noticed someone walking around in the bar area (on the television screen),” he said. “He said it walked in a circle, then just disappeared.”

The cook said the figure then appeared on a different screen showing the dining room area where it walked around some more, and again disappeared.

“He was never a believer, but after he saw that, he was afraid to go back downstairs,” Hogate said.

Other claims were of shadows in the basement, footsteps on the upper floors and strange sounds and feelings.

During the investigation, Hogate and his wife Laren went up to the third floor hallway and were set up towards the back of the building.

“We heard two footsteps walking along the hallway and fortunately captured them on the recorder,” he said. “That goes along with the claim of what Deb and her assistant heard, and it happened right over top of her office.”

Toward the end of the investigation, a team went to the fourth floor with one member equipped with an EMF (electromagnetic field) meter.

“The meter started to go off and there’s not even any power on the fourth floor. All that’s there is a sprinkler system for fire code,” Hogate said. “Cooper has been said to give off high EMFs. It lasted for about a minute to a minute and a half then it stopped.”

However, during the same time, one of the digital voice recorders captured an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) of a male voice.

“We couldn’t tell what he was saying, but definitely heard a voice,” Hogate said.

Less than a year later, in July 2011, Hogate contacted Foglietta again to see if he could bring his team back to the cafe.

“This time, one person actually heard whispering, but there weren’t too many personal experiences,” Hogate said.

However, when he reviewed audio recordings, he discovered an EVP of a woman saying “Hello” that was captured in the basement.

With the evidence captured and activity experienced by team members, Hogate concluded that the cafe is “home to some interesting residual presence or presences.”

residual haunting is energy left behind that remains as an impression in time. Residual activity plays over and over like a recording, and is not considered an intelligent haunt.

“The building is just about as old as the Old Salem Courthouse and with the history of what all the places it used to be, I definitely think there is some residual activity,” he said.

Hogate said he hopes to return to the cafe some time this winter to further investigate continuing claims within the building.

For more information about JUMPS, visit www.jumps.2fear.com or emailjerseyuniqueminds@gmail.com.

Contact Kelly Roncace at 856-845-3300 orkroncace@southjerseymedia.com.

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