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The TT Roadhouse

Guest Lottie

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Guest Lottie

The TT Roadhouse is an anomaly in the otherwise quietly quaint neighborhood near 68th Street and Thomas. A punk rock club. In Scottsdale. The last place you'd expect to find a ghost. Inside, sixty skulls of varying shapes and sizes stare back at customers sitting at the bar. Motorcycle placards, memorabilia, and damaged helmets (no heads inside) cover the walls. Manx crosses, Celtic folk art, multinational flags, a wood-burning stove, tables shaped like baby coffins, and an artist's skeletal fetal bird collection add to the eclectic decor. A shower stall stands in the men's bathroom, while the women's sports a full bathtub behind the toilet, leftovers from 1953, when the roadhouse was a ranch house home. The place is moldy, dark, dank. The music's loud. Three years ago, however, a new element was introduced. The jukebox was pumping out Brit punk, while a tape of Mad Max played silently on televisions around the bar. The juke's volume suddenly plummeted to negligible, and a sickly voice, thick, raspy, croaked out from the bar television's tiny speakers, which had been set to zero. "I don't know what you can print out of this because the ghost was yelling at us using foul language," says Lucy Paris, the manager. "When the TV started screaming, it was really, really screwed up." Expletives poured from the television set again and again, five straight times, like an arctic blast from a demon's mouth. Then it changed. "Don't you know? Don't yooooou knoooow?" The small group of afternoon drinkers sat stunned, blinking in amazement. Apparently they didn't know. The television voice went away, and as suddenly the juke resumed its earlier high decibel level. As one, the group bolted to the safety of the sunlit parking lot. "It was extraordinary," says John Marinick, a customer. "What is weird was the voice was really, really angry." After a few minutes of bewilderment, the shell-shocked crew crept hesitantly back inside. Things seemed normal. "The first thing that went through my mind," says Marinick, "was that somebody had planted a microphone somewhere in the building and was just messing with us. We took down the TVs, unplugged them and looked at them. We looked at the jukebox and the VCR. There's only one way to control the jukebox and that's with a remote control, which was behind the bar. No one was near it." The group rewound Mad Max to where the voice had presented itself. It wasn't on the tape. "It was frightening, yeah," says Marinick. "Then we all drank heavily." According to legend, years before, a boozing patron left a half-empty glass of beer on the bar. While venturing across the street to retrieve something from his car, he went splat on the grill of a passing motorist, and was killed. In tribute, his half-empty glass was kept behind the bar. However, when the current owner took over, he not only changed the saloon's name and heavily remodeled, he tossed the glass of moldy brew. "I know the place is haunted," says Brad Henrich, the bar's owner. "Lights flick on for no reason. The volume on the juke just goes up sometimes. I was here alone back in my office one night and I heard what sounded like some kind of spoken-word thing. A kind of chant. I was on the phone and it came out of the juke box." Paris agrees. "There's just weird stuff in there. One time [the bartender] and I were in there and an empty pitcher just flew off the bar and hit the refrigerator. I mean there could have been water on the bar, I don't know. But it would have had to have flown like two and a half, three feet by itself." Customers occasionally see or hear things; beers sometime topple over of their own accord; the bartender had a barstool tossed at him. "I know I'm going to look like an idiot telling this story," laughs Henrich. "But you know what? I tell the ghost I'll give him his beer back if that will make him happy."

Source: "Spirits of the Dead," Brian Smith,

Phoenix New Times, Thursday, April 5, 2001

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that's such a wicked story.

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