Durkin’s is daring you with things that go bump in the night


By Jennifer Kern
Staff writer


10/19/06 - ABC Newspapers

Tom Durkin considers himself a person who likes to think rationally.

“I try to logically explain everything,” he said.

But when he bought a bar in downtown Anoka in 2000, which he named Durkin’s Pub, he warmed up to the possibility that the location might be haunted.

The idea was suggested to him one evening in a random conversation with a ghost-buster named Katie.

Durkin had told her he had recently purchased a bar and Katie revealed to him that she was a ghostbuster.

“You’ll find a lot of ghosts hang out in pubs,” Durkin recalled her saying.

The pub, which is located at 227 E Main St., was built in the 1920s. In the 1940s, it was named Idle Hour Recreation Center, which served as both a bar and a pool hall. Other businesses that were housed at the location over the years included a music store, bakery and Patty’s Pub.

After their visit, Katie scheduled with Tom a visit to Durkin’s Pub. She told him that seven ghosts inhabited his bar.

The ghosts had remained at the pub for varying reasons. One ghost was a smaller man who liked to stay near the bar.

“He thought he was helping in the bar,” said Durkin.

Another ghost was a woman dressed in 1930s clothing, who waited at the pub for her unfaithful husband.

According to Durkin, the ghostbuster was able to rid the pub of three ghosts by telling them to “go to the light.”

“It’s heavenly, not devil-worshiping,” he said of ghost busting.

However, he said that four ghosts remained and Katie had to search for them. When they arrived, they made their presence known. Lights flashed erratically on the pub’s dart board and loud bangs filled the room.

This time, the ghostbuster said she recognized one of the ghosts — he had been a former co-worker.

“She said ‘He must have had some misdealings or something and was afraid to go to the light,” said Durkin.

The ghostbuster had visited Durkin’s Pub in the morning and by midday, his customers, unaware of Katie’s visit, had asked if the bar had a new air conditioning system. The air in the pub seemed more clear, they said.

Other customers who visit Durkin’s Pub have suggested the possibility that it was haunted.

“One man came in and said he saw a cup move by itself,” said Durkin.

One woman who frequented the bar visited Durkin’s Pub after the ghost busting and asked staff why the ghosts weren’t there anymore.

Durkin said she had been the pub prior to the ghost busting. She used to sit alone and talk to herself. The customer later admitted that she had been talking to a ghost.

Durkin said Katie has also visited the pub within the last year. The seven ghosts hadn’t returned, she said, although she did sense other supernatural vibes.

Durkin’s Pub staff think that the location remains haunted as well.

Mikki Adelman, who has worked at the pub for 10 years, said that coffee mugs will fly at one particular staff member. It has happened on numerous occasions.

“Literally, we’ve seen it,” she said.

She also isn’t fond of walking into the pub’s basement.

“When you go downstairs, the hair on your arm stands up,” she said. “I don’t like it.”

The manager of Durkin’s Pub, Tony, gave his account of supernatural activities to authors of the book “The Unexplained Presents: The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations.”

“A lot of what they talk about in the book is true,” said Durkin.

Durkin was initially skeptical of the idea that his pub was haunted, he said.

If it still is, he doesn’t mind too much.

“If they are ghosts, they’re friendly,” said Durkin.

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