By January of 2004, my grandmother was finally given the opportunity to celebrate her retirement after many years of working almost tirelessly for the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) of Ontario. Her career was dedicated to contributing to workplace safety. My parents had reserved a spot at a German restaurant called Northumberland Heights to celebrate her long-awaited and well earned retirement. Northumberland Heights has since been demolished, but at the time, it was located within a heavly forested area within the small town of Baltimore, Ontario, where we resided. In addition, it also served as a hotel, in which many visitors had reportedly encountered sightings of apparitions in the hallways and in the basement.
During the party, I remember conversing with one of the waitresses. Her name was Lucy, a fairly young woman with short, dark hair and dressed in a traditional German dress known as a dirndl. She mentioned one particular common occurence involving the spectral image of a woman in a white gown that she and many other guests had spotted through their peripheral vision. Upon turning to face the mysterious woman, she promptly vanished every time.
Northumberland Heights was decorated to resemble an authentic Bavarian restaurant. Several advertisements for popular German lagers were mounted to the walls. We reserved an extended room at the back of the restaurant with an oversized window. The window provided us with a beautiful view of the forested hillside and the adjacent town of Cobourg on the horizon. The hillside was completely blanketed with fresh snow. The ambiance was enough to make visitors feel as if they were actually in Germany.
Being only sixteen at the time, I became restless very easily and was tempted to leave the restaurant and wander the grounds several times during the party. I noticed a vintage television set in the lobby and I decided to turn it on out of curiosity. I turned the dial, yet nothing happened. After three failed attempts, I surmised that resturant staff kept the television on display merely for decoration. I turned the dial back to the off position and made my way to the front door. I stood by the door and waited for my brother to join me. Soon after, the television had suddenly switched on to reveal the live broadcast of a major golf tournament. The lobby was completely unoccupied.
I immediately headed back to our table, as everybody was getting ready to leave. I ran into Lucy on her way to serve another table. I informed her of the strange incident involving the television. She mentioned that such incidents within the restaurant were fairly common. Now that Northumberland Heights is no longer standing, I will most likely never learn the truth behind this perplexing encounter.