By Thomas D’Agostino
The town of Spencer lies on the outer boundary of the Blackstone Valley. Although not technically part of the region, it is still rich in history in regard to being a once thriving mill village. The mills are long gone but the old timers will tell you tales of how their parents and grandparents toiled in the long-gone edifices.
Many would leave the mill after a long day at work and pay a visit to one of the many local bars that laced the small streets along the center of town. One in particular, called Granville’s Pub, is located on Chestnut Street in a neighborhood of factory homes and other small businesses. Owners Vance Granville and Jean Robertson have owned the bar since 1999 but the building goes back to 1890. In fact, Vance’s father used to visit the pub, as did Vance when he became of legal age to frequent such an establishment.
“There were six pubs right in this little stretch.” Jeanne stated. “Only two are left but at one time all the locals and factory workers would fill these places. It was and still is a very friendly atmosphere.”
So friendly that some, including the first owners of Granville’s still like to make an appearance now and then.
Shortly after purchasing the business, Jeanne and Vance had their first encounter with the spirits of 40 Chestnut Street. Vance related the whole episode to us.
“I was downstairs when I heard Jeanne start screaming, ‘Get in here! Get in here now!’ I ran up the stairs not knowing what to expect and saw two men sitting at the bar as plain as I am looking at you. They were white but we could both see them plain as I can see you right now. They sat there for several seconds, then they were gone.”
I asked if Vance recognized who they may have been and pointing to a picture of the original owners, he confidently said, “I saw this guy and this guy.”
Jeanne and Vance were very excited, as the security cameras were recording. “We were like, we are going to be millionaires. We just filmed two ghosts sitting at the bar.” When they played the tape back, they saw no one but themselves and their reactions during the incident. This was after another incident that had Vance wondering about whether his new business was haunted. He had owned the building for but one day when he decided to go in very early to straighten the place out. He unlocked the door and as he approached the back of the main taproom, a box that was sitting in the middle of the table flew off the table and landed on the floor several feet away.
“I would go into the basement where the kitchen and storage is and I would hear footsteps and banging upstairs. I would say ‘It’s OK I am going to take care of you.’ And the noises would cease.” Vance said.
A former bartender named “Honey” was often the butt of the ghost’s follies. Many times she had her hair tugged while behind the bar. Thinking it was a patron she would turn around and yell, “Knock it off!” only to realize there was no one there. “You could see her hair move and her head pull back as if someone was tugging on her hair.” Vance stated.
The first time we visited Granville’s the spirits were not so willing to be recorded but the second time, in September 2017, the ghosts of the pub felt more comfortable with us. We started upstairs in the remodeled ballroom. Arlene, using dowsing rods, felt a rush of energy in a certain area. I brought the EMF meter there just to take a reading and read aloud the meter’s reading. When I played the recorder back later, a voice could be heard saying, “Thaaats perfect.”
At 4:33 into the vigil, a bell sounded. It was the exact sound of a desk service bell. In old pubs where the owner was the barkeep, cook, cleaner and whatnot, such bells were on the bar to summon him. At 5:28 the bell sounded again. Thorough investigation of the room proved that no such device existed to cause the echoing “ding.” As we continued our vigil, Arlene asked if there was someone that the spirits were looking for. Later when I played back the recorder there was an answer, “father.”
We then moved downstairs to the main taproom. I set the cameras up and recorder while Arlene asked a few questions. Arlene asked, “I have one more question. Did you ring the bell upstairs?” At that moment the air around her became so cold that she related it to being in a freezer. This lasted for several seconds. Vance admitted that the same experience had come over him several times while in various places of the building.
Granville’s is not only a very friendly place but is well worth the small detour from the Valley. If you do not witness a ghost you can at least indulge in Vance’s special Bloody Mary. Either way Granville’s Pub is definitely on the menu of haunted places to visit.