Another haunted restaurant in the Witch City? Let’s act surprised!
The History: Much of Salem is steeped in history, dating back to the infamous Salem Witch Trials, and Rockafella’s is no different. During the witch hysteria, those who were condemned to hang were carted down Essex Street to Gallow’s Hill on the western side of town (according to some stories, along the way, they would stop at the church where Rockafella’s now stands to be excommunicated), making Essex Street one of the most haunted streets in America. Today Rockafella’s is found in the Daniel Low building which was constructed in 1826 and acted as the home for Salem’s First Church. The church was situated on the second floor and the ground floor was rented out to various tenants. Over the years it was a crockery, glass and china shop, a dry goods store, and a ladies’ furnishing store. In 1867, Daniel Low opened his jewelry business which remained until the mid-1950s. Today, Rockafella’s is one of the most popular places to eat and drink in Salem offering comfort food, seafood, and an array of cocktails.
The Haunting: Like so many places in Salem, Rockafella’s claims to be home to several spirits, however, none of its apparitions have any connection to the Salem Witch Trials. Their most famous apparition is the Lady in Blue (so famous, they made a cocktail after her). No one knows who she is, but some suspect she is from the time when Rockafella’s was Daniel Low’s jewelry shop. Another apparition is the man in black who appears in the upper floors of the building. According to claims, the man in black does not like women and has lashed out against them in the past. It is also believed that he is a former minister. Phantom noises and footsteps have also been heard in the basement where tunnels are left over from the time of the Underground Railroad.
Rockafella’s is not going out of its way to advertise its ghostly inhabitants, however, if you ask any of the staff members, they will have stories to tell you. When I asked our waitress if the restaurant was haunted, without missing a beat, she asked me, “You want me to tell you about the Lady in Blue?” She had a slew of stories to share as well as some experiences she had herself. Unfortunately, that is where the spookiness ends.
They didn’t have lobster rolls. It’s Massachusetts and they didn’t have lobster rolls. Nothing on the menu really jumped out at me aside from the lobster roll (I had never had one and I figured this was the best place to order one), but sadly, they were out of lobster and I ended up ordering one of their flatbread pizzas. The food wasn’t anything special but their drink menu is to die for. I was about to order the Lady in Blue when I saw that their Bloody Mary came with a meat straw. Say no more. They also have something called the Helltini. After you sign a waiver, you’re free to try this little bad boy filled with Vodka, Fire Water Schnapps, Jagermeister, Ginger Ale, and their Secret Hell Sauce. If you manage to finish it, you’ll get bragging rights and a T-shirt… and you’ll be $20 in the hole.
Type of Experience: Bar and Restaurant
Dining Style: Casual
Price Range: $3-24
Address: 231 Essex St Salem, MA 01970
Phone Number: (978) 745-2411
Hours of Operation:
Monday -Thursday: 11:30 am- 11:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30 am- 1:00 am
Sunday: 11:30 am-11:00 pm
If you own a haunted bar, cafe, hotel, or restaurant and you’d like us to check it out, reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If you have a favorite haunted hot spot with great food and atmosphere and you’d like to share it with us, hit us up on social media or leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you… Thanks for joining us, and Happy Haunting!