SAN ANTONIO – When Joe and April Ward opened their OnLive Hall of Fame Café on the city’s East Side late last year, they chose a theme that salutes music from the past.
Little did they know, a piece of the past would come to haunt them.
The couple is convinced that their business, located in the 2400 block of East Houston Street, is home to about a half dozen ghosts, and they say they have the video to prove it.
Before seeing the eerie images captured by their surveillance cameras, Joe Ward said he had the feeling that something was going on. He said back when he was renovating the space, he often got the feeling he wasn’t alone.
“I didn't tell (April) about it because I thought I was losing my mind,” he said. “A tape measure came up missing, a saw blade and my keys.”
He said he also began to feel something or someone tugging at his glasses on his shirt collar at times when no one else was around.
Ward said he tried to brush it all off, but when decorations began to move around on their own after closing, the couple decided to turn to their surveillance video.
They said the cameras captured what appears to be a child-sized ghost using their business as a playground.
In the video, it appears that poles that form a makeshift red velvet rope inside the restaurant go flying through the air on their own.
“It looks like a kid standing here, and then you see an adult’s arm somewhere in there,” April Ward said, pointing out what she believes are the apparitions in the video.
For confirmation, the couple turned to the experts and contacted the local Afterlife Paranormal Society.
“I texted the video to her and she called me back and said, ‘Yes. It’s a ghost,” April Ward said.
Veronica Bautista, with Afterlife Paranormal Society, said she later visited the restaurant and recorded her visit with her equipment. She said the Wards actually have half a dozen spirits in their space, all friendly and not a danger to the couple.
Video footage of our investigation at the OnLive Hall of Fame Cafe.Posted by Suzie Urrutia Martinez on Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The ghosts identified themselves Peter, Amber, Jessie, Steven, Don and Tammy, Bautista said.
The Wards said while the spirits may be at home there, they feel anything but comfortable.
April Ward said she now sleeps with the lights on, and Joe said he has an escape plan in case things get crazy.
“I’m not messing around with them,” he said, half-joking. “She’s my wife, so I have to be here with her. She said, ‘For better or worse, ‘til death do us part.’ I told her, ‘That's death, and I'm going to part out that door.'”
Other people, though, have been making a bid to get inside their doors.
The couple said they have heard from several ghost enthusiasts who want to pay a visit to their business. They plan to host their first overnight guests inside the restaurant this weekend.