IDA's Ghost Walk
Saturday, October 2nd 7 - 9 pm
The tale of Arena Sports Bar is a sordid tale full of mystery. There have been numerous spirit sightings by employees & customers throughout the years!
Our building was constructed in the 1800s and was originally a hardware store and then became a dry goods store in 1890. In 1918 it was named The Palace and sold candies, sodas, etc until 1933. This building became a bar on December 6, 1933 – the day after Prohibition ended, and kept the name The Palace. Legend has it, hundreds of people lined up around the block to come in for nickel beers.
Downtown Independence was once a place where farmers, farm workers and people using the steamboat could let loose. During the turn of the century, the downtown area had three stage companies, a steamboat & five railways as means for people to travel to Independence. Families from all over Oregon would travel to Independence for vacation to pick hops because it was so lucrative; they were paid with hops tickets to use at local businesses, including The Palace. Our building remained The Palace until 1983 when it was remodeled to Schooners and then again remodeled in 2009 to Arena Sports Bar & Grill.
We are located next to the Willamette River, a known conduit of paranormal activity. There have been several stories from both customers and employees alike inside Arena Sports Bar. These are a few of their experiences.
People often talk about a feeling someone is watching them or that a ghost is looking over your shoulder. This happens mostly in the back storage and office areas. The feeling is sometimes foreboding.
Many of our employees, vendors, and customers hear an old timey phone ringing in the office during all hours of the night. There is NO PHONE in the office and there has never been one!
We have also heard footsteps on the roof at night and called the police to investigate. There was no one on our roof or the roofs of the adjoining buildings.
Once, during a blackout, customers witnessed the bathroom doors slamming open and shut when no living person was close. It also is not uncommon on any random night to have chairs move, lights turn off and on, bottles fall from shelves and doors open and close without ever being touched.
After closing, we have seen a figure walking behind us in the mirror and when turned around, no one was there. We sometime see figures in the CCTV monitor when all of the customers had left. Wolfie has been known to inexplicitly turn to watch you when cleaning at night.
In 2014, we had an EMF (electromagnetic field) reading that showed strong activity in the back storage area, walk-in cooler and recessed area by the front door. These are places where two deaths had taken place. To my knowledge, there have been three confirmed deaths in this building from many years past.
It could be the spirits of those who died in the building, or it could be wandering ghosts as the buildings are so close together. It has also been rumored that the ghost of Lenora wanders over here and steals people’s drinks!