Unlike burgers, the American public is not in agreement on the topic of ghosts. A 2013 Harris poll reported that 42% of Americans believed in some sort of paranormal presence. Regardless of your previous paranormal predilection, a visit to Earnestine and Hazel will change you. It is a persuasive apparition essay in the form of a bar.
E&H is ghost tourism famous. “We get all sorts of people in here looking for ghosts,” Brownlee told us, “all them shows and tours.” It’s true. Peruse the World Wide Web and you’ll see video investigations and stories from places like “Paranormal Incorporated” and “HauntedHouses.com.”
Earlier this year, Brownlee even penned her own essay about supernatural experiences she’s had at the bar. Many revolve around the jukebox, like, say playing James Brown’s “I Feel Good” out of nowhere on the day he died. But she also tells the heartbreaking story of sitting at the bar crying on the day her 24-year-old son was shot and killed in 2007. I’ll let her tell the rest here:
“It used to be when I got freaked out in here that I would just start talking to Earnestine. I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes you’re in here by yourself, and it can get a little creepy. I said, Earnestine, please give me a sign that my kid’s alright. Out of nowhere, this little baby bird came walking up to me right over from one of the booths. I looked down, and the little bird walked over to an iron gate, where the door was open, and it flew off. That was my sign that my kid was OK, when I started talking to Earnestine and the bird appeared and flew off. It was weird, man. And just then, this little lady came in that I’d never seen before in my life. She walked in and said “Hey lady, are you OK?” I don’t know where she came from, never saw her again, but I started talking to her a little bit about everything. And you know, that lady left my bar and she came back about an hour later, and she had bought me a sterling silver necklace with a bird on it. I don’t know what her name was or anything. She gave me that necklace and a big old hug and left. I never saw her again.”
In this story, what (or who) is the ghost? Is it Earnestine, heeding Karen’s cries and sending a signal? Is it the bird, who stands in for her son? Or is it the woman who appeared out of nowhere, gave her a bird necklace and a hug, and was never seen again?