A Ghost Investigation Story of Fulton's West End Bar & Grill
by Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Ghostwriter
Here is the haunted history of Fulton's as written by Master Hunter: Phantoms at Fulton's:
"Standing across the street from Fulton's West End Bar and Grill in Old Sacramento, one might easily get the impression that an entire building is missing. But closer inspection reveals an opening in the wrought-iron fence, leading to ancient brick stairs that descend surreptitiously into a quaint courtyard."
The surrounding walls that form this secluded, outdoor café hold 150 years of often turbulent history, which supposedly manifests itself in occasional unexplained occurrences. Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Sacramento was plagued by repeated floods, with no less than five during its first 12 years. After 1862, residents decided that the existing levees were insufficient, and raised the level of the entire city by 12 feet. As a result, the first floors of the existing buildings became the basements, or were abandoned entirely. The building that houses Fulton's predates the raising of the city, and the old brick retaining walls which were constructed are clearly visible in the restaurant's main dining area. Much of the labor was done by Chinese immigrants, who came to California in droves during the Gold Rush.
Being the manager, Brian Rodriguez spends a lot of time at Fulton's late at night, after the customers and most of the staff have already gone home. He admits that he doesn't particularly like being in the building alone. 'You get this weird feeling,' Brian said. 'It's like someone's watching you, someone's checking you out. You don't even have to see anything.' He admits, however, to glimpsing occasional shadows, which he tries to tell himself 'must be explainable.' The restaurant's previous owner, who sold the business in November, 2004 and moved to Denver, Colorado, swore that there was something very strange about the place, Brian said. Brian believes that Fulton's may have been the site of an old mission. The building later served as the assessor's office, and at one time, may even have been used as a jail. April Williams has tended bar at Fulton's for six years. Shortly after she started, she found that on some mornings, chairs inside the restaurant had been turned backwards during the previous evening. April, as well as other employees and patrons, have also felt certain cold spots -a phenomenon often associated with spiritual activity.
As an experiment, a customer once took home a vase of dried flowers from one of the 'haunted' dining booths, where patrons had sometimes complained of chilly drafts. When she woke up the following morning, the chairs at her dining room table had all been turned backwards. She promptly returned the flowers. April said that the staff usually warns new waitresses not to be alarmed by the occasional tugging on their skirts by unseen individuals. In the past, servers have been so unnerved that they have quit. April has never had a ghost tug on her clothing, but she recalls standing near the back of the restaurant one day, and feeling drops of liquid on her head. Looking up, she expected to see wet paint or leaking water from the rafters, but there was no sign of either. In 1992, a waitress claimed to have seen the spectral figure of an Asian man with a ponytail. Although the apparition was first spotted in the banquet room, he has appeared other places since then. In October, 2005, a pair of mother and daughter psychics visited Fulton's, and pointed out certain areas where they said that people had died. The so-called Mafia Room - a large, private space with an oblong table and paneled, wood walls- gave off such negative energy that the two women refused to even enter. Shortly after the two psychics departed, Brian got a lesson in humility. He was joking with some of his employees about their haunted workplace when a large, potted fern about 20 feet from where he was standing suddenly fell over, making a loud clang. The group bolted from the room. Brian is a bit more careful about what he says now."
On this day, I brought along HPI paranormal investigator Debbie Talani, who has the inside scoop about Fulton's Underground restaurant. Debbie introduced me to Brian Rodriguez, the General Manager. Fulton's Underground is located at 900 2nd Street in Old Sacramento. I began the interview process with Brian and Debbie both. Debbie was once a waitress at Fulton's and has had her own experiences. From my interview with Brian and Debbie, this is what I gathered.
Sometimes chairs are turned around backwards from the dining tables. Certain areas of the restaurant have a 'weird' feeling to it. At times the patrons and staff feel like they are being watched, this especially happens in the pool table area of the restaurant. One night a patron claims he saw a man and a woman sitting at a booth, as if they were enjoying their dinner and when the patron continued to watch this couple having dinner, they no longer were there. There is a place in the cellar where people feel the presence of a lady that sits in the corner, they feel that she is unhappy with the remodeling of this restaurant. In one area room, called the Mafia Room, there are stories that people died in this particular area and the feeling of gloom sometimes is felt by the workers. Note: Many people lost their lives in Old Sacramento, due to the flooding of the Sacramento River. This room is called the 'Mafia Room,' because of the way the dining table and chairs are set up, it's like a scene from the movie Goodfellas. Many people have felt presences in the Mafia Room. The Mafia Room is notorious for it's chairs being moved. There was a night that a waiter had left the Mafia Room and came back to find the chairs on top of the dining table. Another time a waitress felt a hand placed on her shoulder, when she looked back, no one was there.
Brian has heard many stories, when he is alone in the restaurant, he simply ignores any strange sounds and brushes off the fact that he is being watched and continues his work. Sometimes when they are cleaning up, they place the chairs on the table and when returning, the chairs are mysteriously placed back on the floor. Some people smell a strong odor of perfume in certain areas of the restaurant. In fact Debbie remembers one time the perfume smell was so strong, that it seemed to have a life of its own and started moving from room to room, then it dissipated and the smell was completely gone. When Debbie worked at this restaurant, she remembers customers telling her that menus were snatched from their hands from an unknown presence. Brian remembers how some menus were neatly snacked and put away, then later that night the alarm was set off and he had to come back to check on the alarm and found all of the menus on the floor. Many of the workers dread going into the linen room, even Debbie doesn't like this room and will not enter it anymore. When I walked into the linen room, I felt a heaviness in the air. After interviewing Brian, Debbie and I decided to have dinner. The dinners here are tremendously delicious. Debbie had the cheese pasta plate, with salad and tea. I had the chicken parmesan with beef vegetable soup and a Coke. The food here is tantalizing to the tastebuds, I savored each bite of my melted cheese chicken breast. As Debbie and I ate, Debbie tells me how one time a wine glass broke in half and the bottom portion of the wine glass flew onto a customer's lap. Debbie tells me that on other times, forks have been snatched out of customer's hands.