The world knows Fort Lauderdale as a popular sun and sand destination. Many travelers embark on this East Coast destination in hope to find solace under its open blue skies. However little do we know that a large number of adventure travelers throng to the city in search of adrenaline rush. These travelers flock to the city hopes pinned high on the fact that it will provide them with the much-needed uncanny and spooky experiences. The ‘haunted’ character of the city pulls travelers across continents for a few minutes of thrill. Of the many known haunted places in the city, now abandoned River House Restaurant is a favorite destination for adventure tourism.
As the legend goes, the River House restaurant were originally two houses built in the 1900s by two brothers Reed Bryan and Thomas Ryan. These houses were under the ownership of the Bryan family until 1970s, when the charge was taken over by Chart House. The property was subsequently converted into a restaurant amid the scenic locales. The restaurant, which opened with much fan fare offered breathtaking view of the New River flowing in full glory nearby. Ever since its inauguration the wealthy, mighty, and the famous of Fort Lauderdale began to visit the restaurant to share their special moments. However, the restaurant has to shut shop in the year 2009 after the infamous stories about its being haunted started doing the rounds.
Meet the ghosts
The property is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Perry Bryan, who has appeared as a young boy even though he passed away when he was in his 40s. Many visitors have also spotted Barbara Estelle, one of the last occupants of the Bryan family who is believed to have died in her room in the 1970s.
A couple was enjoying their anniversary dinner under the romantic milieu of the cool breeze and the candle light, when a woman staring at them from across table 71 disrupted their privacy. As per the accounts of the General Manager J.R., the couple asked for his invention to dissuade the lady from staring hard at the. However, to the horror of J.R, the room as well as the table in question was empty! J.R. somehow managed to relocate the couple to another location but was bemused as he could not sight the lady in question. Interestingly, while leaving the restaurant the couple managed to take a sneak peek into the pictures of the Bryan family hanging on the wall only to find Barbara Estelle dead! The same night at about 2 am, the J.R heard faint conversations from below his office. Upon investigation he found nothing there. However, he was in for another rude shock to hear loud music from his room and interestingly all this while he was away to have switched it on. Once he arrived, he was amazed to find that though his music system was off yet, the music was blaring loud and clear against the whistling of the wind and the rustling of leaves. Next day when he reported this incident to an erstwhile chef, he was taken aback to know that such instances are synonym to River House.
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