Chattaways – Business

Original Date Unknown – St. Petersburg with recheck April 3, 2011

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St. Petersburg

Date Unknown

April 3, 2011

I recorded about 1 hour of EVPs. This is where I got my one piece of data. There is a small clip that takes place during a SPIRITS discussion. The members were talking about seeing a shadowy figure in the back of one room, and if this was caused by a natural or supernatural cause. At this juncture, a small child is heard on the EVP saying “Daddy” (I think). There were no children present and I do not know what this means.

Since Easter is coming up, this month we feature the family owned and family friendly restaurant, Chattaways. This lovely establishment is a beloved institution in the greater St. Petersburg area. It has indoor and outdoor dining as well as an eclectically decorated tea room filled with British mementos. 

Chattaways’ history dates back to 1922. The property was once the Four Corners Grocery, run by Mrs. Klinger. As she was an older woman, she would doze off in the store. It was her pet parrot’s job to awaken her when customers came in. The building was expanded to include a porch where peanuts were roasted and sold. They were bought and eaten by customers, who often left the shells behind to mix with the dirt floor. In the early years of the grocery, the owners lived in a one room home where the kitchen and store room now are. 

The store sold soda and candy as well as other items. Mr. and Mrs. Franks, retired trapeze artists who worked for the Ringling Bros Circus, ran the soda counter. When a man attempted to rob the store, Mrs. Franks, who stood under 5 feet tall, attacked him by throwing anything she could grab at the robber. She succeeded in forcing him off the property and sent him running for the hills. 
When Prohibition ended, the store expanded to sell beer and wine. At this time, it became the Chattaways Drive-In and employed 2 car hops. In the mid-1940s, the Younts took over and hamburgers were put on the menu. However, the store slipped through the hands of several owners, each bringing change to the store. The grocery was replaced by a recreation room with tables, chairs and two shuffleboards. When Helen Lund took over in 1951, she altered the menu and introduced the Chattaways’ staple dish, the Chattaburger. Her son Everett, a singer and local little theater actor, joined her in 1954. Patrons were encouraged to sing with Everett and his ukulele accompanist, Johnny Pourtless. 

At one point, the building, owned independently of Chattaways, was put up for sale. Everett and his wife, Jillian, purchased the land with the help of donations from patrons. The recreation room was transformed into a dining room that reflects Jillian’s British heritage. 

With all of this history and love, it is no wonder that some sense an unusual energy at Chattaways. Since the SPIRITS of St. Petersburg are always interested in local historic hot spots, and with recommendations via word of mouth that we should check it out, a group of members met to have a casual lunch there. While there, one person sensed a rapidly moving energy, someone who paced back and forth and watched over the establishment. A short time later, we asked permission to investigate the restaurant. Though we have an idea of who might be there, our results were not as solid to point to a single individual. It seems that the history has left behind the memories of many who visited, owned, or worked in the building. 

Add your own energy to Chattaways and check out this long running restaurant for lunch or dinner. The food and fun is worth it!

Investigation Notes:
The Paranormal Puck did not come up with anything unusual.  EMF was consistently higher in the dining area, kitchen, and bar areas.  The likely cause is the kitchen equipment — the EMF is also not unusual for an older structure.  

Brandy’s update:  11-5-09

Had dinner there with friends. Asked staff about any changes or updates to the haunting.  None reported.  Pictures in the dining room showed nothing.  However, I did get a good shot of the Hallowe’en decorations (which are creepy! 😉

SPIRITS Update, 4-3-11

We had our member’s meeting at the Chattaways.  When I asked Peter, a management consultant for Chattaways, if he had heard about any activity, he did say yes.  He pointed out a picture of an older woman hanging in the wall and said, “It’s either her or her son”.  Earlier, SPIRITS members had picked up an older female in the area.  Indeed, during the lunch one of the members present sensed the older woman as well as a man who was doubled over from a stomach issue (wound?).

I did put out the EMF meter on the 0 – 100 scale.  It stayed at a constant reading of 8.

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