St. Petersburg, FL – September 30 & October 31, 2008
Update: November 2010; November 27, 2015; May 8, 2016
Postcards found by Christine Crews. These show the building in the 1930s (left) and the 1940s (right). She also supplied this information from her research on Florida Postcards: In 1931, Earl Gresh started selling wooden buttons, wooden bracelets, and wooden tackle boxes out of his garage. In 1939, he opened the Earl Gresh Wood Parade which was a museum of wood craftsmanship and novelty gift shop. The museum showcased wooden murals, furniture, and unusual gifts such as a wooden purse.
Rumors have long swirled that the Melting Pot was haunted. As it is just a short jaunt away from my own home, I have been there several times. (It is not a nightly occurrence as the Melting Pot, which serves fine Rumors have long swirled that the Melting Pot was haunted. As it is just a short jaunt away from my own, is haunted. As it is just a short jaunt away from my own home, I have been there several times. Admittedly, this is not a nightly occurrence as the Melting Pot, which serves fine fondue, is reserved for special occasions.
The building housing the restaurant is, itself, fascinating. It is made from two older buildings, one a craft house/barn from near the turn of the century and the other a residence built in the 1930s. During World War II, it was the home residence of wood carver Earl Gresh, famous for his carved wooden purses. During the war time conservation efforts, his pieces sold for mere dollars. Today, according to the Melting Pot staff, they can be found housed behind glass in museums. They are a marker of the period and a unique part of St. Petersburg’s history.
In a unique twist, this building “is even thought by some to be haunted” (http://www.pinellascountybizlist.com/business/5085435.htm). To date, this is about the only statement I have found in existence, other than local word of mouth, relating to the haunting. The urban legend relating to this place is that the part of the restaurant built from the house is haunted. A man found his wife in bed with another lover, killed both of them and then hung himself in his workshop. Since then, his ghost has haunted the area. Phenomena includes mysterious hand prints that appeared on table tops, no matter how many times they were wiped away, cold drafts, tipped pictures, and alarms being tripped in the middle of the night. Though I have gone to the Melting Pot several times, including those documented here, the response to the ghost story varies. Some wait staff claim to have seen the hand prints on the table, or sometimes on the mirrors of the back room. Others say that nothing has happened in quite some time.
My own equipment yields few results. Photographs do not produce much more than reflection or dust orbs. The EMF meter readings can be explained by the currents running to the table. I have not been able to bring in any more equipment beyond a camera, a compass, and an EMF meter. (As of May 2016, EMF readings are 2.0 and go to 3.0 or a little above when the burners are on).
Past inquiries: In September 2008, as a celebration for passing comprehensive exams, Mom and I went to the Melting Pot. I asked to sit in the “haunted room”. I did bring a camera though nothing showed up on pictures. We were the only ones in there (5:30 – 7:30 on a Saturday evening) and nothing unusual was felt or sensed. However, I did talk to the GM about an investigation. He said he would check with corporate offices, but in the meantime a Halloween event was scheduled to take place in the haunted room. It was in an interactive murder-mystery in which those who came to dinner also had an assigned part. Mom and I both decided to come out.
October 31, 2009: The dinner, itself, was actually a lot of fun. This event was a dinner mystery event in which members of the audience/dinner were also characters in the play. The play was about a mob boss who was killed in a hotel in 1927. The family and various characters gathered to try to figure out who killed him and why. He had two sons and one son was being set up for the murder. Since I went with the Great Maternal One, we both played parts. Her role was that of a social reporter (which she played to the hilt) while mine was that of “Slinky Sara” — the hotel manager. Nothing too unusual was felt that night (though my character was accused of murder at one point during the night). However, of the images taken with my camera, one has an unusual green image to it. Several have orbs — especially at the end when the killer is revealed.
November 2009: Asked the server about any haunted activity. She said that she felt that the energy there increased around the holidays. The manager did recall that I had come in a couple of years prior with a group of paranormal investigators. We had gotten orb images, and that was about it. Apparently, he got the creeps with that report.
November 27, 2015: So, ate at the Melting Pot tonight (Thanksgiving meal). Got two stories from our server. 1) When he first got there and was in the haunted room (fireplace room), on his first night he had just finished setting a table. He turned around to move across the room when one of the glasses simply exploded, pelting him with shards (no damage to him, though). That same week, his manager told him to go into the “haunted room” (fireplace room) and to write his name with his finger on the mirror. They left together. The next day, the server got to the place first. He went in and discovered that above his name was a smeared word “don’t” along with two enormous hand prints.
They are remodeling the place (and are still remodeling it), but he hasn’t experienced anything recently. Just an FYI.
One item of note is that tonight I ended up with a massive headache. I was fine going in, but the headache developed as I stayed in there. There was only one other family that joined us later in the evening. I did take a few photos but nothing showed up.
May 8, 2016: The Great Maternal One and I had the Mother’s Day special there tonight. It was wonderful — great management, service, and food. I did get two stories from one of the employees. He has been there alone late at night and heard muffled conversations in the building. He also had heard that a prior manager called the morning shift supervisor and apologized for not completing the prior night’s paperwork. He had been so unnerved by feeling watched (or possibly hearing the conversations) that he simply got up and walked out.
November 22, 2017: So, tonight was dinner at The Melting Pot. It was a really excellent meal. I did ask our server if he had any paranormal experiences there. This time I got a hit! So, if you are not familiar, The Melting Pot is in a former house. The house belonged to Walter Gris who was a famous wood carver in this area. He found out that his wife was having an affair and killed both her and, I found out tonight, their daughter, Tiffany. I had never heard that a child was also killed, nor that she is the most often cited ghost at the premises. The server told me that many years ago The server told me that many years ago a group of employees were experimenting with one of the Ghost Radar apps. They asked the question near the managers office if the ghost had killed his wife because of the affair. In response, the server said that a ladder that was standing in the room fell over hit the door and closed it. He did say that he wasn’t sure if it was the ghost, or a badly placed the ladder. The story is pretty interesting, even if it is coincidence with the ladder. So, I was excited for that story.
4/27/18: There is another haunted Melting Pot in Littleton, Colorado. The original building is from 1917 and started as a Carnegie Library. When a new library was built in 1965, the building was converted into a police station and jail until 1977. It became a nightclub/night spot in 1979, and eventually became the Melting Pot (date unknown).
“It is considered the most haunted location in Colorado and has been investigated by a number of paranormal research teams over the years. Legend claims that many of the spirits are victims of a major flood of the Platte River in 1965 which claimed 21 lives. Employees, guests and paranormal researchers have reported cold spots, glasses moving across tables by themselves and strange noises in the walls. Research teams have recorded EVP’s and witnessed doors opening and closing by themselves. One paranormal investigation team witnessed the door to a bathroom stall suddenly burst open and a cold breeze came out with enough strength to part the hair of person standing in front of the stall.”
More information via a news article here: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/some-claim-several-colorado-sites-haunted
As a paranormal investigator, I’m always thankful for all the “boos” (ha!). So, tonight my mother and I had our second annual pre-T-Day meal at the Melting Pot. It’s just the two of us and we are both vegetarian, so this is actually simpler for us. And….there were ghost stories. Hooray!
The Melting Pot is still interested in an event with the SPIRITS. The manager who contacted me went to a new store in Sarasota (wow!) but spoke with the new manager. Very nice man! He reports several things, such as personally hearing voices (described as conversations heard as if one has thin walls and can hear the neighbors speaking, but not what is said). He has heard that a few times when the place is closed, locked up, and he is alone. He’s even brought up the security footage to make sure there is no one else there with him — and nothing is found. He also reports feeling a cold breeze go by him, like someone walking past very fast. And one manager was so spooked that he left all of the paperwork after being “chased out” one night. He came back the next day, on his own time, to finish it. (Good work ethic!)
Also, they did try to sage the place and the manager said that would never happen again. Apparently, within 1 month there were $12,000 worth of items that broke (a/c, water heaters, etc. — things that should not have broken all at once).
It was also really neat to hear the history of the place. This manager described the house as being built in 1096. The part that we were sittin gin was originally the stable and the room next to it was the coach room (with fireplace). As they have refurbished the building over the years, they are able to determine when parts were built due to date stamps on the plumbing (clever!). All in all, a very good night.