Haunted Places of Central Minnesota: Billy’s Bar and Grill in Anoka [VIDEO]
ANOKA -- An elegant hotel, gangsters hosting parties during prohibition, a french restaurant and a run down apartment complex, Billy's Bar and Grill in downtown Anoka has worn many hats since the late 1800s.
On this episode of Haunted Places of Central Minnesota we're doing a professional paranormal investigation. Founder of Anoka Paranormal Investigations (API) Ross Beard agreed to let us join his team of experts while they investigate Billy's Bar.
API comes prepared for each investigation. By using infra-red lights, night-vision cameras, laser grids, K2 meters, voice recorders, digital cameras and other ghost hunting equipment we started the investigation.
Before each investigation the team does a walk thru, through the area they are investigating. They check energy levels, check for rodents and other criteria depending on the investigation.
"When we're asked to come in and do an investigation, our first duty as investigators is to debunk everything we can," says Beard.
Beard says in order to conduct a successful investigation you have to be aware of the different types of haunts.
"Residual, happens whether you are there or not and has no affect on you what so ever. Number 2, intelligent interactive these are the ones that everybody loves, because when we ask a question we get an answer. Third type, poltergeist, movement, moves something, it moved the glass across the table. Forth one, demonic, don't like to talk about that one a lot but demonic is important. The last one is shadow people, it scares people to death."
Beard says a lot is still unknown about shadow people but they tend to take all the energy from a space which makes the space absent from light.
During the investigation of the bar we primarily dealt with intelligent interactive.
While exploring what used to be a room of the Jackson Hotel, Beard, investigator Carrie Mitchell and I (WJON Reporter Chrissy Gaetke) believe we experienced the spirit of a little girl. It's very faint, the little girl talks over Mitchell's voice. She says "sing it to me" this was in response to us asking her if she liked to play the game ring around the rosie.
Besides being the Jackson Hotel in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the building was also an upscale French restaurant. Mary Helen Cutter DeLong bought the building in the 1960s she put her heart and soul into the restaurant which was unsuccessful. DeLong lost everything when her business went under and the building was eventually turned into an apartment complex. The complex fell into disrepair after that the building was purchased and Billy's Bar and Grill has been the only occupant since 1987.
Many people have come and gone throughout the years and employees say some people have never left.
"The waitresses seem to get prodded with doing things correctly, at times they have left for the night, for the Saturday night, come back Sunday morning and all the tables have been set. Who did it?," says Beard.
There's some unwritten rules at Billy's, Beard says first off travel in twos.
"People will not go upstairs alone, people will not go down in the basement alone, they get creeped out."
The bar has many ghost tales but the case of the disappearing woman will bring chills up your spine.
"They see a lady in white coming through the dining room quite often. During the day, during the night, out of the corner of the eye all of a sudden a patron will be looking at a table and someone will be sitting there and then they will look over again and that person is gone. It could have been someone who actually was sitting there but with the history you don't really know," says Beard.
It seems like no one is ever really alone at Billy's. We found this out first hand while walking up the basement stairs. As Beard, Mitchell and I walked up one of the basement staircases we clearly heard something stomping the the steps and attempting to chase us up the stairs.
Mitchell has experienced paranormal events since she was child, she says she was taken by surprise by the event but she didn't feel like she was in danger.
"I was right about here [half way up the steps] and I felt the vibration, right behind me. At some point I fell forward. I don't feel like somebody pushed me per se but I felt like literally that someone was chasing me," says Mitchell.
What chased the three of us up the stairs was explainable. At the end of each investigation API goes over their findings. Beard says they provide all of their findings to the client.
"Everything that we cannot debunk, we cannot explain, we present to the client, now it's not up to us to make a determination of what that is, it's up to us to present that to the client and say this is what we found and either validate their claim or move on from there."
Anoka Paranormal Investigations was established in 2009. API never charges for any of its investigative services.
The organization conducts two different levels of paranormal investigating classes for those interested in the paranormal world. If you are interested in taking a class or like to learn more about API visit their website by clicking here.