The Klondike Ghost
In 1988, Mike and Pam Dennis opened Klondike Café—now Klondike Pizza*
in the Arroyo Grande Village. Right away, several customers asked them if
they’d met the ghost yet. The Dennis’ thought they were joking (or nuts),
until one dark and stormy night….
They had young kids, so Mike and Pam took turns opening and closing. That fateful night was Pam’s turn. She’d finished closing the front, so she said goodnight to the crewmembers in the kitchen and went home. A few minutes later, they heard her calling from the dining room.
“Hey, guys. Come out here.”
They pushed through the swinging kitchen door and were stunned to find every chair and bench perched on top of the tables. And no Pam. Needless to say, they were spooked.
Through the years, the Klondike has had too many experiences to write about all of them in this short piece, so here’s just a few:
- A shadowy figure has been seen many times floating through the dining room and into the wall where the piano sits.
- “Someone” has been heard whistling in Nanooks (the side room) numerous times—of course, no one is there. Pretty good whistling, too.
- Garbled voices coming over the sound system—when it’s off.
- The Klondike administration office is located upstairs. A couple of years ago Pam found the hall bathroom door ajar. She pushed to open it, and it was forcibly slammed shut against her hand. Flustered, she said, “Sorry. I didn’t know you were in there.” After a few quiet minutes, she knocked. “Are you okay?” Silence. Finally, Pam opened the door—to no one.
- Not too long after that, their office door suddenly swung open and crashed into the wall so hard that a hanging mirror broke. You should’ve seen the bookkeeper’s face. She’d been hoping for a ghostly encounter, and she got one!
- A forty-pound block of cheddar cheese levitated in the kitchen while we were doing morning prep. Talk about crazy-scary-weird-surreal!
- One day a nasty drunk guy was harassing the crew, and the manager was trying to kick him out. Instead, the man went into the bathroom. Moments later, he ran out screaming, “There’s a ghost in there! I’m never coming back!” Does that mean the Klondike has a “ghost-bouncer?”
- Pam was doing some repair work in the dining room—by herself. She bent over and got soundly slapped on her derrière. Don’t know what to say about that.
- Customers asked if something weird was going on. They felt like someone “else” was sitting with them. When Pam explained about the ghost, she expected them to laugh—certainly didn’t expect them to believe her, but instead, they smiled and said, “We thought it was something like that.”
They’ve often talked about holding a séance, but have never followed through. Paranormal investigators have approached them—but they have passed on that, too. Why stir things up? Nevertheless, they have always wondered who the Klondike’s resident ghost is, or rather, was.
We hope former employees and customers who’ve had close encounters with the ghost will add their experiences in the comments.
*We changed the name to Klondike Pizza because we were tired of people getting mad at us for not serving what they considered “café” food. Mashed potatoes, meatloaf, chicken fried steak, liver and onions….
** The Village was endeavoring to make some drastic changes/improvements—depends on what side of the fence you were on. Many did not want any changes, and others wanted too much. We think we wound up with the perfect compromise.