"Spirits” of the Windham Restaurant
Photo by Bruce Preston

The sign over the door of The Windham Restaurant says “Food & Spirits” and that may be truer than you think. The restaurant occupies an old house built around 1812 by The Dinsmore Family. The house was home to Isaac and then Horace Dinsmore for many years. But who else has lived in this house, and more importantly, who is haunting it now?

Three Restaurants have occupied the house. The first was a Thai restaurant, then a French, and finally The Windham Restaurant. The staff of each has experienced some “unusual” events. The “spirits” singled out the blond waitresses of the French restaurant. They would feel their hair being played with by some unknown entity. “It” would also unclasp their jewelry. The New England Ghost Project witnessed one such event. While an investigation was underway, one of the waitresses experienced a cold chill, and then her necklace just fell off her neck for no apparent reason. She became hysterical and began to cry. This was not the first time it had happened and she was getting tired of it. However this wasn’t the only game “it” liked to play.

Sometimes, when the staff would come in early in the morning they would find the chairs on the second floor turned around facing the window like someone was watching a parade. The place settings would also be moved so the forks and knives were crossed like an “X”. Perhaps the most dramatic example of moved objects happened to a bunch of empty boxes wrapped like Christmas gifts. They were once found suspended from wall to wall (in mid air) above the staircase on the third floor. Another time the mock Christmas boxes were stacked like towers. And on yet another occasion, a key to the third floor door disappeared only to turn up later - jammed in a window frame.

This is all very interesting, but had anybody seen the “spirits”? The answer is an astounding “Yes”! In addition to the staff, several customers also reported seeing the spirits. A little boy was seen in the second floor wait station. A girl was seen wandering around the restaurant, and “Jacob” a name given to the spirit by
the wait staff, was seen several times. These strange happenings continue to plague the current owners of the establishment, now known to its patrons as The Windham Restaurant.

When Vess and Loula opened The Windham Restaurant, strange things continued to occur. On one occasion, Vess looked on in shock after a shrimp disappeared from a plate he was preparing in the kitchen. At other times, expensive dishes flew off the kitchen shelves and shattered. Wine glasses in the bar sailed across the room and smashed onto the floor. Windows that were closed would later be found opened. Lights would turn on -seemingly of their own accord. Electrical problems plagued the restaurant. These spirits were getting costly. Once again, the staff, as well as patrons saw “Jacob” or the “man in the blue suit”. In fact, one time, Loula saw what she thought was a man falling down the stairs, but when she ran to help him, he had disappeared. Footsteps and little children’s voices can sometimes be heard reverberating from the second floor, but when the staff goes upstairs to investigate, there is no one to be found. No floor of the restaurant is free from paranormal activity. Even in the cellar, a man’s voice has been heard by the employees calling out to them.

The New England Ghost Project has investigated the restaurant several times and what have they discovered?

Maureen Wood, the NEGP’s psychic investigator has had several run-ins with the “spirits” of the Windham. She discovered that the boy’s name is William and that Jacob died of a heart attack and possibly fell down the stairs. Through trance medium ship it has come to the team’s attention that Jacob’s unrest may be contributed to papers buried somewhere within the confines of the cement cellar. Several EVP’s (“the electronic voices of the dead”), photos and videos have captured the strange phenomena at the restaurant, including a photo of a little boy, whose image disappears into a beam of light. There is also video taken of a door opening- by itself!

Is The Windham Haunted? All evidence points to three or four spirits, but the investigation continues. For more information on the investigation of the Windham Restaurant go to: www.neghostproject.com.