Ghost Returns To Scene Of Haunting

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Dick Wolfe and Jim Buettner say they aren't the type to believe in ghosts, but last Thursday they witnessed something they said was "bizarre."

The two Payson residents were among a group of Zane Grey Cabin Foundation members who met that morning to put together the new Zane Grey Room at Mad Dawg's & Mel's Restaurant.

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It may look like Dick Wolfe and Duane Atteberry just saw a ghost, but it was actually 20 minutes after this photo was taken that one of the publicity-shy spirits that inhabits Mad Dawg's & Mel's Restaurant made an appearance.

While they had heard about reports of the old Journigan House at 202 W. Main St. being haunted, they never thought that they would have a firsthand encounter with a spirit.

WOLFE: (The Zane Grey Room) is supposed to be the hot spot, if you will, for whatever is happening down there and we were joking about it earlier.

BUETTNER: We were hanging those pictures up. There were two groups working on them, and we got them all hung up.

WOLFE: I was working on a wall in the corner there, hanging pictures. When we got it all done I said, "Now we've got to take them all off and put little sticky tabs behind each picture to hold them in place."

BUETTNER: Dick and (brother) Don and (wife) Marilyn were working at the wall ... and they put this picture on the table right behind them.

WOLFE: It was, like, 3 feet from the wall.

BUETTNER: They cut a piece of the sticky stuff off of the roll and put it on the back of the frame and went to hang the thing back up on the wall again. It wouldn't stay on, so they looked and here the metal hanger on the back was gone.

WOLFE: The hanger and both nails were gone out of the frame. It was one of those long -- about an inch and a half -- metal hangers with a nail in each end, and the whole thing was gone in a matter of about two seconds. It was an oak frame and I had a hell of a time driving those nails in the first place, and, poof, they were gone.

BUETTNER: Three of us crawled all over the floor. We moved tables. We moved chairs. We could not find the nails or the hanger.

WOLFE: It was very eerie. They were nowhere to be found. (Co-owner) Melanie (McCarthy) came back and said, "This happens all the time to us."

BUETTNER: She said, "Well, now you've experienced it."

WOLFE: I'll tell you, it almost made a believer out of me.

BUETTNER: I'm a believer now.

Earlier encounters with spirits included "hot chocolate" and "cranberry juice" mysteriously printing on sales tickets when they hadn't been ordered, bottles of steak sauce flying several feet through the air in the kitchen, lights and equipment being turned on in the middle of the night when no one was there, and a steel fire door creaking open and shut by itself.

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