We visited Houston’s most terrifying building

Spaghetti Ware is known to be haunted by the spirit of a woman

Houstonians, are you looking for a more spooky dining experience this Halloween season? Go visit the Spaghetti Ware on Commerce Street! But beware, it’s also one of America’s most haunted buildings.

Despite my low tolerance for all things scary, the Halloween season gave me the courage to visit the famed restaurant. I did bring a friend though; safety in numbers, right?

The spider webs and other seasonal Halloween decor, in combination with the Warehouse’s typical vintage look, created an air of peculiarity. The main vintage features are the huge hand-carved staircase from a castle in England, a 1900’s Houston Avenue trolley car, and a chandelier from New York’s Penn Station.

The Desel-Boettcher Warehouse, the restaurant’s home, was built in the early 1900’s, and it served as a produce warehouse and storehouse for the Southern Pacific Railroad dating back to 1903. At more than a hundred years old, the building also housed by a pharmaceutical company, and an employee and his wife are the ones said to haunt the building.

While there seem to several variations to the story of how they came to haunt – as always with these kinds of tales – the shortened version goes like this:

The wife was making her husband’s favorite meal, spaghetti with meatballs, and she began to worry when it got late and her husband was still not home. She heard something come through the front door and saw a shadowy figure go down the hallway. When she called out, there was no response from her “husband.” She immediately got dressed and went to see if he was still at work. Upon arriving to the warehouse, there was a crowd pointing and whispering about a tragic accident. The wife discovered her husband had fallen down the elevator shaft, breaking his neck instantly. No one saw her much after the funeral, and a year later, she was found dead at a relative’s. However, there was no evidence for foul play, and it was thought she died of a broken heart.

Some say it is only the wife, not the husband, who haunts the warehouse. It is also said the building is haunted by a small child, who may or may not be the one locking and unlocking stalls in the men’s bathroom. Mine and my friend’s waiter, David, told us this and about what goes on in the building.

“I’ve gone down to the basement and seen boxes move on their own. We’ve seen plates fly across the room like they were flung across by someone, but no one’s there. Crazy things like that happen around here.

“We have surveillance cameras. Another employee and I were watching them one night, and we saw a blur across the window. We were freaked out.

“The strangest things that has ever happened here was when we had a flood a year ago. The basement was destroyed, and we had to clean up everything. The next morning, all the chairs and tables were stacked in one corner, and there was a huge mess. No signs of breaking and entering though.

“I’ve tried to rationalize most of it. The chairs along this wall vibrate. Just random ones, not all the table’s chair. There’s a huge fan down [in the basement] that I thought could be the source, but that wouldn’t explain when two chairs next to each aren’t both vibrating.”

My friend and I also got permission to explore the second floor, where most of the haunting are suggested to happen. With the lights turned out, it gives you chills when wondering whether or not the ghosts are lurking behind you, ready to give you tricks rather than treats. The mentioned elevator shaft was supposed to be located in the back of the second floor.

Believer or not, go visit the Spaghetti Warehouse by dining in for yourself (the food is excellent), and you can asked to be seated where it’s haunted! Or you can stop by on Houston’s Ghost Tour. Learn more about Houston hauntings and find really spooky things to do this Halloween.

Unfortunately, I ducked out after an employee got me on a practical joking, whispering a little “Whooooooo.” While I could get over it, the dimly-lit and empty second floor gave me the chills. It was very different from the downstairs dining area, where at least employees and customers could be witnesses to any spooky events. I even almost forgot the restaurant was supposed to be haunted while in the dining area. Despite getting scared by the second floor, I fully support anyone visiting the Warehouse, and if you dine there, make sure to ask the waiter what encounter they have had with the ghosts.

Have a Happy Hollow’s Eve, Houston!

University of Houston