Your Town Plover - The Club Forest Bar: A Haunted History?

Published: Jun. 10, 2010 at 8:06 PM CDT
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As we've showed you all week, Your Town Plover has a rich history spanning decades. And of course that history wouldn't be complete without a good ghost story!

Notorious gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillenger considered the Club Forest Bar a favorite stop in the 1920's and 30's, and it's right in Your Town Plover. The bar is filled with stories and legends, but none of them have managed to live on quite like the story of Melvin.

Melvin was an original employee of the bar, and employees today are convinced his ghost is still there. The Club Forest Bar was used for a time by its original owners as a 'house of ill repute'. "Helen and Mac [McCabe] brought a man with them named Melvin, and they called him a coachman", said Pam Booth, who owns the bar today. "His job was to go to the train station pick up the girls bring them back and watch over them."

Legend has it melvin served as a faithful guardian to the Club Forest girls. So much so, it would cost him his life. "He fell in love with one of the girls and one night she had a customer who didnt treat her very well, and Melvin confronted him", Booth said. "The confrontation turned into an argument and then a fight and eventually his death."

When Booth's family bought the bar from the original owner decades ago, they were warned Melvin's ghost was still there. And over the years, employees say they've seen plenty of evidence. "Many times the machines would turn on and off, the jukebox would turn on and off, certain things would fall off of tables", said Karen Krings who has worked at the bar for 16 years. She and other employee say they've seen bar stools fly off of tables and into walls, seen things move, and heard footsteps right behind them when alone in the bar. The stories go on and on, and employees say melvin makes himself known on a regular basis.

The bar's owners wanted more answers, so they got in touch with the River Cities Paranormal Society. "We searched for evidence of his existence, for proof that he still lingers about", said Jonathan Wood, who founded the RCPS. He and some other researchers spent a night at the Club Forest, researching and recording their every move.

It wasn't until they reviewed their footage that they started to notice strange things, like what appears to be a face appearing in the ceiling tiles for one second, before vanishing. They also discovered a couple of E.V.P.s, which stands for electronic voice phenomenon. "We also had that chunk of audio that happened down in the basement that we couldnt for the life of us explain", Wood said. "And there was a voice of a person that was not in the building, that we didnt know, that didnt match any of the voice templates for any of the members that were investigating."

That was enough to peak the interest of the RCPS, who says they're planning to investigate the bar again. "We exhaustively try to find out a logical answer to whats causing the phenomena, and some of that we couldnt figure out, so thats why we feel this place would warrant another investigation", Wood said.

In the meanwhile, employees say it doesn't bother them. In fact, they believe Melvin is still carrying out his original job - looking out for the Club Forest girls. "Melvin's here and hes still taking care of the girls, we've never employed more than two men at a time, its basically women who have worked here for 20 years", said Booth.

"If you believe, you believe, if you don't, you don't", said Krings. "I believe."