The Ghosts Of Ri Ra Irish Pub

Charlotte's Ri Ra Irish Pub is known for its whiskey, beer, and pub food. It's also known for its ghosts, which shouldn't be th...


Charlotte's Ri Ra Irish Pub is known for its whiskey, beer, and pub food. It's also known for its ghosts, which shouldn't be that surprising given the building is downtown Charlotte's second oldest. Manager Harmony Gonce showed us a dossier about the pub with information compiled from several paranormal investigations. In those pages, we learned about several ghosts that haunt Ri Ra including a man from the 1920s in uniform with white gloves and a pillbox cap, an elderly man with a dog and cane, and a little girl with blue eyes, curls, and a Victorian dress. Gonce was also nice enough to answer a few of our questions.


Have you had any contact with anything here?
I haven't, but I've experienced some strange occurrences. I was just downstairs in the office, nobody else was here. It was early morning, we come in about 8, usually no one else is here for the first two hours except for us. I did a full thorough walk-through, turned on all of the lights, everything seemed fine, everything seemed normal. I came up about an hour later and the beer was just flowing out through one of the taps. We've got cameras on the area, so I looked at the cameras to see if maybe someone else was here. There was nobody on the cameras. There was nothing wrong with the faucet. It was to the point there was so much beer flowing out that it had actually seeped into the ceiling downstairs. When we went to see how much product we lost, we didn't lose that much product. It was almost supernatural, the amount of seepage that occurred with the amount of beer that was actually lost. So we always say that's one of our ghosts in the upstairs bar area. He's always messing with the alcohol and the booze.

So how many ghosts do they think are in here?
I believe it's six. We have a gentleman with a handlebar mustache reported in our upstairs bar. They believe he's from back when the bar was a bank. We have a young female spirit. She's the one who does the writing on the wall in the front in our lobby area. Back in '09, we almost burned in a fire. We had to remodel everything. That's when that wall was exposed, the brick was exposed. We tried to scrub it out, we tried to brush it away, we tried to paint it over, we tried everything. We determined that it would just not go away. That's when we discovered those letters have to stay there. So we just left them there and let her be.


There are rumors, and I haven't heard it yet, but in our basement, we were once a textile factory as well. That's what we originally opened as. We've added refrigeration in place of the sinks that were there prior, so there's a lot of machinery down there and it's loud. If you turn off all the machines, you can still hear a clicking sound. I'm told it's a seamstress at a machine just going, "click, click, click, click, click." She's one of two that still dwells down there.

The girl that writes the letter, what do you think her deal is? Why is she doing that?
I have no idea. I don't know. I don't know what she's trying to portray. As far as I know, they're all peaceful.


So nobody's ever been harmed?
No. They're just mischievous. They just like to mess with things.

Have any customers experienced anything?
It's mostly employees. Plenty of bartenders have stories of encounters late at night or early in the morning where they've had full conversations with somebody and nobody would be there. We have certified ghost hunters come out every year to see if anything new has happened, new energies, new spirits. So far, they just keep coming up with the same kind of stuff.

Harmony Gonce, Ri Ra Irish Pub Manager
What's the strangest experience you've heard of from one of the employees?
The strangest was the manager prior to me. She closed on a Sunday night around midnight and she was the last person to exit. She turned off all the lights, did a walk-through, observed everything, set the alarm, locked all the doors. When she came back at 8:00 AM, in the middle of the floor was a red brick from outside. She went through the cameras saying, "Oh my God! Somebody was here." She thought maybe we had a break-in or somebody was messing with us. She did an inspection of all the cameras and nothing came up. So we still keep that brick in our office. It's curious little things like that. Things being misplaced, things randomly popping up.

So you definitely feel that this place is haunted?
Oh yeah. It's just so old. The history's so rich in the building there has to be some sort of residual energy left over.

What To Know Before You Go

GPS Coordinates: (35.227933, -80.841394)
Location: 208 North Tryon Street, Charlotte

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