Historic Hometown Haunted Hospitality Never Tasted So Good at Bridgewater’s Cracked Pillar Pub
Glasses break. Doors slam shut. Footsteps echo down the upstairs hall. All are a part of a day’s work at Bridgewater’s haunted Cracked Pillar Pub.
When Patti, Tim, and Kristin Landes first saw the historic Barbee House located on Bridgewater, Virginia’s North MainStreet, they knew this was the place for them. “We had been looking for a place to bring a pub to the area, it had a great location, and more importantly….the place picked us as much as we picked it,” said Patti. “From the moment we walked thru the front door, we could see past the walls that needed to be knocked down and the changes that had to be made… we knew that this was the place.”
A Door Slams
“One of the first encounters with the spirit happened right after we purchased the property in late in 2015,” said Patty. “We weren’t on site but had a contractor working up on the roof. When we returned he quickly scampered down the ladder and asked us if we had been in the house. I said no we weren’t here. He said, ‘well somebody is in there because doors are slamming and there are footsteps and all kinds of noise in there.’ To put this into perspective, the contractor, who was quite shaken, was an MMA wrestler and a two times state wrestling champion from a local high school. MMA wrestlers don’t get scared easily..and this guy was spooked.”
Patti went on to talk about a tour of the property she was giving to one of the people who helped her get the business going. “We toured downstairs with no incidents. Then when we went upstairs in the far back corner which is now dry storage, my friend suddenly out of the blue said well perhaps that is our ghost or our spirit. My friend commented, ‘she is happy now.’ ”
“That particular area seems to be a hot spot. One of my servers insists that she heard a baby crying in that room and many of the employees don’t like to go upstairs by themselves. Nothing bad has happened up there it’s just an odd feeling. “
The Cracked Pillar was built between
1818 and 1838; the exact date is unknown as the records were destroyed by fire during the Civil War. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as The Barbee House. Initially, The Barbee House was named after Civil War Colonel and State Senator Gabriel Barbee, and today is one of the oldest structures at the North end of Bridgewater. It in its early history, The Barbee House was an inn and tavern, and reportedly hosted Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson. After the Civil War, it became a girl’s boarding and finishing school – the room numbers are still on the upstairs doors. For the past 100 years, the property has been a private residence with the same family.
4,544 Warhammer Rueben Sandwiches
Today, The Cracked Pillar offers a wide variety of simply good pub food. Since September of 2017, they have served more than 4,544 Warhammer Rueben sandwiches followed closely by their Classic Bacon Cheeseburgers. The Cracked Pillar’s menu offers the perfect blend of comfort pub food including fried pickles appetizers, mushy peas, salads, and some beautiful desserts. Of course, the Cracked Pillar pairs their menu with some of the most popular Virginia Wines from Prince Michel, Veritas, and Bluestone Vineyards as well as a whole bevy of rotating Virginia Craft Brews.