This is an account of the events that were related to me by our student and waitress at Anima. I have already mentioned in my previous story, The Mirror at Anima, that Elisabeth (one of the bartenders) had claimed to have felt a presence passing almost through her at some point, as well as heard glass breaking, and I was soon to discover that there was a broken mirror and what looked like broken glass in the kitchen when nobody had touched either. Elisabeth had finally admitted that she was too scared to keep working on weekdays and preferred to work on Fridays and Saturdays when the rest of the staff were there. She would be working as a waitress since John was our weekend bartender. We agreed and all was well for a while.
She later went on to tell me that even during our busy nights, she would still feel something passing right by her and that the speed with which it passed was so fast, that on some occasions, it would knock off things right next to her or that she would feel as if a gust of cold wind had hit her. I asked her how come she didn't tell me right away or how come she was able to remain calm and continue serving drinks, to which she admitted to having confessed everything to the bartender who promised he would be watching out for her. She also told me she was afraid we wouldn't believe her as the experiences were pretty intense and felt very uncomfortable because my husband was not only her employer but also her college professor. I was a little disappointed she chose not to trust me but I said nothing further.
Another time, after finishing work on a Saturday night, she went on to have a few drinks at another bar but at around 4am, she realized she had forgotten her cell phone at our bar. She asked her friend to drive her back so she could retrieve it and, when she entered through the main door, she found all the table napkins scattered all over the place. She knew and I knew that the bar had been cleaned before we left that night and, since there were no windows open, there was no logical explanation for what she was seeing. Needless to say, she had told that one event to my husband who refused to allow any space for any kind of supernatural explanation and tried to rationalize it. That provided the clue as to why she chose not to speak to us about it again, I suppose.
And yet, one other account she related to me was even more disturbing especially because that particular time I was at the inner bar talking with a friend and I didn't have a clue about what went on "back stage". I remembered right away that I had seen the cook coming out of the kitchen (which is right next to the bathroom door), and, after entering the bathroom for a few moments, she came out to whisper something to the bartender. I asked if there was something wrong but when I saw that neither of them was eager to provide explanations, I let it go for the time being as I didn't want to stir up things in front of our guests.
Elisabeth told me that she was in the bathroom when she heard someone knocking on her door. She thought it must have been a customer and answered "occupied" only to make whoever was out there angry as "he" was now knocking so hard, she thought the door would crumble down. She said she had yelled once trying desperately to remain in control of herself and, at that, she heard the entrance door open (that was the cook) who had heard her yelling as well as the banging on the door. Unfortunately, none of us heard anything since there was loud music playing. The cook could not, though, open the door which seemed jammed somehow, and it was then when she called the bartender. The explanation I was given that night was that Elisabeth could not open the door and "she kind of freaked out". In addition, when I later asked her why she thought it was a "he" banging on the door, she told me she could hear him breathe and it sounded like it had been a man.
Even worse, some time after that event, and during a very busy night, John (the bartender) asked Elisabeth to go outside in the garden and fetch him more ice from the outdoor freezer. (Now that, to me at least, sounded like he had not believed the paranormal nature of her previous account as he wouldn't have asked her to go out alone in the garden to bring him anything). Elisabeth initially refused but since John was too busy to do it himself, she finally agreed, reluctantly.
Now, just to give you a picture of what the garden looked like at night, I would tell you, it wasn't dark. It never was dark because I would always insist that they keep all the lights on but turn the dimmer low to make the garden look more romantic. Therefore, once inside, you could see the whole garden, and when outside, you wouldn't stumble onto something. So, Elisabeth walks outside, goes to the freezer fills the cooler with ice but when she turns around to come inside, she spots somebody looking at her from inside MY STUDY! (I had the lights on in there too-dimmer at low). She told me it seemed as if it was a man, not tall but of medium height. No features could be detected since she fled the scene. I was again not informed immediately but then I have to wonder. Would have I gone to check it out? Probably no, would have I asked anyone else to do it for me? No!
Then we come to Elisabeth's last night at the bar, as she quit the next day. It's early in the evening when the first quests arrive, wishing to try our middle-eastern dishes. John is again inside the bar. Elisabeth takes the order and rushes inside the kitchen to inform our cook. She forgets to write the number of the people sitting at the table and, just goes back outside to serve them the wine they had ordered. Our cook without asking her to specify, comes out of the kitchen, counts the dinner guests and, places the appropriate number of cutlery and dishes on her tray.
Some time after that, and as soon as the first dishes were ready, she calls back the waitress to serve them on the table. Elisabeth soon goes back returning what she called "the extra dish and cutlery" to the cook who was puzzled at first since she was sure she had counted 5 and not 4 people. Elisabeth insists and finally the cook presumes that the 5th person must have left. The girl at first (as she told me) was not sure what to make of it, we all make mistakes but, having experienced what she had until that moment, she rushed back into the kitchen to inquire further. Now, our cook didn't believe in spirits or the paranormal or so she claims, and Elisabeth told me that every time she would go to her for comfort, the cook would try to "bring her back to her senses", but that evening, as soon as she returned to the kitchen, the cook's face was rather pale.
After her persistent questioning, the cook admitted to have been certain that she had seen 5 people at the table. El went back outside to ask the bartender if he had seen anyone leaving while she was in the kitchen, and John had said no. Needless to say, when I asked her if she could describe the person the cook had seen, she told me it was an elder man who was sitting at the end of the table, two seats away from the rest. I later double checked it with our cook but to my surprise, she had now changed her mind and wasn't sure whether she had actually seen him. The bartender claimed he wasn't paying attention to the door so, anyone could have left without being seen (he was busy preparing the tray, he told me.)
Finally, that same night Elisabeth, unwilling to sleep alone at her apartment, takes up the cook's offer and sleep at her place. When the bar closed and we all left (a bit earlier than usual), Elisabeth stayed behind with our cook to help her with the next day's preparations (we had a large number of guests coming in for some kind of celebration).
In the meantime, the cleaning lady was cleaning the rest of the bar. She was the first to finish and the cook told her to leave as she would lock up for the night. As they were locking up a few minutes afterwards, and got in their car, the cook received a call from the cleaning lady telling her that she had forgotten to take out the garbage. Elisabeth was asked to go fetch it as the cook was behind the wheel and the bag was left right behind the door two feet from the street. The poor girl had obviously felt it was inappropriate to insist that her elder friend go instead of her, and reluctantly set off.
She said that when she opened the side door, she found the plastic bag "carefully opened" not torn, and half the garbage scattered around it as if somebody had been looking for something. She told me that the cleaning lady had sworn that she had tied the bag well and that nobody had any access to the bar since all the doors were locked behind us when we left.
After El had quit, I approached both John and the cook and inquired further into El's accounts. John admitted to have felt strange sometimes but then he thought it was because of El's allegations, and that a few of the "accidents" like the knocking off of various objects and such, were a bit too coincidental but he wasn't convinced there was something there. He quit shortly afterwards.
As for my good friend the cook, she told me that she had, indeed, heard the noises from the bathroom that night and she had, at times, found my study room door open when she had previously locked it. But, of course, it couldn't possibly be a ghost! Now, the bathroom incident could easily be explained provided that one wasn't present when the knocking on the door was taking place. I mean, one can simply suggest that El was in panic and wasn't aware that she was the one banging on the door. One can also believe that a closed door can open on its own without the interference of a ghost but, a LOCKED door?
Now, as for our cleaning lady, that is a different story...