They’ve seen it play out thousands of times, a ghost running rampant, chased by a quartet of heroes, but when the ghouls left their games, life at Boards N Beans took a turn for the unexpected.
It started in 2016.
“Right after we opened I was sitting at a table doing some paperwork, and I looked over and there was a little girl standing with her back to me looking out the window,” Carole Carman, one of the owners of Boards N Beans, said.
Carman hesitated before continuing.
“I actually spoke to her, because I thought it was my granddaughter. Then I heard something from the other room and I looked over and my granddaughter walked out and I looked back and the little girl was gone.”
The little girl isn’t the board game café’s only apparition.
“I’ve had customers complain of hearing some things. I’ve had customers tell me that they’ve been touched, and we’ve actually had customers come and ask who the new employee is, because they’ve seen a man behind the counter,” Stephanie Smith, one of Boards N Beans other owners, said.
Carman said she has seen him as well.
“I definitely think we’re haunted,” Stephanie Smith said.
Smith said she’s heard the man, and seen him walking through the hallways before vanishing.
“I didn’t even realize it was a ghost, or whatever it is, until it disappeared,” she said. “I definitely think we’re haunted.”
The café is home to more than just a selection of ghost-sightings, the pair claims the ghosts have been causing mischief as well.
“It was very shortly after we had opened. I came in and our dishwasher was open,” Smith said.
“We have an industrial dishwasher – you have to really pull on it to open the door. I looked back on the cameras and it had opened by itself about two hours after we had left,” she said.
“Another time, we were doing the baking, getting it all ready, we had put it on the little shelf for it, and about an hour after we had all left the top one off the pile just goes flying off the pile across the room,” Smith added.
Moving objects, vanishing kids, even voices have been heard in the cafe.
“A couple weeks ago my husband and I were sitting at one table, we had two tables of customers and right in the middle of the silence, there was a voice that just said “thank you,” right in the middle of the store,” Carman said.
“We laughed it off, that’s what happens sometimes here,” she said.
But the mother-daughter duo, the most convincing piece of evidence was when they finally caught the ghost on camera.
“We have one clip,” Smith said. “We asked several camera people – it almost looks like a glitch – but they said it shouldn’t glitch that way.”
“I’m walking and it almost appears in front of me, I go blurry walk through it, and then there’s an image, a black and white image behind me,” she said.
What “it” was is up for interpretation; for her mother, it was proof.
“That’s what happens sometimes – here,” Carole Carman said.
“Seeing that image stay there on the camera – after she had walked away – that was the one that made me say I think we should call an investigator,” Carman said.
Who ya gonna call? PAST, the Paranormal and Supernatural Team.
“We were sent the video and it was really intriguing so we wanted to get into the space as soon as possible,” Alyson Ford, a PAST investigator said.
She and the two other investigators that comprise the team spent the night at Boards N Beans, trying to uncover anything that could prove the existence of their phantom friends.
“We did catch a few interesting pieces of information, the one was really interesting. Carole was in the kitchen and we heard a loud – well we didn’t hear it at the time, but on the review we heard – I thought it was help – but after review it was more like hello,” she said.
Ford said the voice was caught on three separate cameras, and added they also heard audio that sounded like someone saying “curious,” and audio wasn’t all they found.
The evidence may not be concrete, but it’s enough for Smith and Carman, who have been doubting their minds for nearly two years.
“Every time I think I’m not crazy. Cause I think I’m crazy when I see shadows and when I see this little girl that’s not really there, but then you see something on the video and then you think, oh, I’m not crazy,” Carman said.
Ultimately, Ford’s early reticence was replaced with acceptance.
“I do believe that there’s something going on here, there’s too much evidence to say there isn’t,” Ford said.
“I believe that there would be multiple entities here. There’s no demons, we never encountered any malevolence, but ghosts? Definitely,” she said.
So what’s it like living with ghosts?
“I’m not scared at all,” Smith laughed.
“They’re friendly, they’re playful; that’s about it.”
I’d prefer them to play with the games rather than the equipment,” her mother said. “Hopefully that’s somewhere we can work towards in the future.”