Report Details Spirit Encounters At Main Street Restaurant


The ghost hunt at Mad Dawg's & Mel's Restaurant, conducted the evening of Nov. 1, 2004 is detailed in a final report posted on the Missouri Ghost Hunters Society's website.

Investigators, Brian and Linda Lile, were in Arizona for a psychic convention when they heard stories of ghost sightings and occurrences at the Main Street eatery located in the historic Journigan House at 202 W. Main St. Co-owners Melanie McCarthy and Madeline Manchio agreed to let them bring in their equipment after the restaurant closed.


Brian Lile, a retired federal law enforcement officer and president of the Missouri Ghost Hunters Society, used dowsing rods as part of his investigation at Mad Dawg's and Mel's Restaurant. His wife, Linda Lile, who founded the society, grew up in a haunted house.

The encounters included "hot chocolate" and "cranberry juice" mysteriously printing on sales tickets when they hadn't been ordered; bottles of A-1 steak sauce flying through the air in the kitchen; lights and equipment being turned on in the middle of the night; and a steel fire door creaking open and shut by itself.

During their investigation, the Liles found:

  • Spikes in an EMF (electromagnetic field) meter each time the words "hot chocolate" were spoken in an apartment above the restaurant where "Mel," the father of a previous owner, died of a heart attack.

"This type of spike is often believed (to be) associated with the presence of a spirit," Lile wrote in the report.

  • Once back downstairs, six "loud, distinctive" knocks from behind the door leading to the upstairs apartment sounded.
  • A voice saying "mystery" on a tape recording made in the restaurant kitchen where several employees had witnessed the flying steak sauce. Such EVPs (electric voice phenomena) are common when spirits are present at a location, Lile said in his report.

"We talk to them, but we can't hear them," Lile said during the investigation. "Then on playback of the tape, we'll hear their responses because the tape recorder is magnetic."

  • An EVP of a little girl "whisper-singing, ‘OK, OK, OK ...'" on another tape recording made in the kitchen.
  • On two occasions during the investigation, the sound of an object being dragged across the floor from the bar area was heard. Each time the noise was investigated, a bar stool had been moved about 3 feet out from the bar.

Lile, who has conducted dozens of such investigations including the Hotel San Carlos and the Old Spaghetti Factory in Phoenix, is convinced that the data picked up at Mad Dawg's leave little to the imagination.

"Based on the evidence we collected from EMF meter readings, EVPs and photographic evidence, there is definitely something going on, and there is definitely interaction between the living and whatever is there," he told the Roundup. "They made that quite clear through several attempts on the EVPs."

The Liles were never alone in the restaurant during the investigation. McCarthy was with them the entire evening, and Manchio and a Roundup reporter were with them part of the evening.

McCarthy said she and Manchio looked at the report Wednesday.

"It's more comforting now to look at it," she said. "Right after it happened, I couldn't even talk."

The spirit activity has been more intense since the investigation.

"The day after the Liles were here, we had hot chocolates popping up on the computer left and right," McCarthy said. "It was like they were thrilled to death."

The entire report, complete with photographs, can be accessed at Click on "Investigations" on the left side of the page, then scroll down to and click on "Mad Dawg's & Mel's" at the end of the list.

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