Flo and I were absent last week. We took a trip up to Northern California. If you’re familiar with NoCal, or even if you’ve just heard about it, there’s more to the area than San Francisco. Weed, for example, and Dunsmuir, Mt. Shasta and even Tracy, home of the fabled, haunted Banta inn.
We took our trip as a get-away from the stresses caused by a world-out-of-whack. I’d heard stories about the Banta Inn when I first met Flo and suggested a pit stop there. Since Flo fell into ghosts the hard way, she’d become interested in all things spectral. So the Banta Inn seemed like a good spot to visit on our way back. It was said to be haunted by Tony, the former owner, and perhaps, also a mother and her child.
We weren’t ghost-hunting, we were ghost-observing. I figured the chances of encountering a ghost, in broad daylight on a stop to take out food for the long ride home, were slim to zero. But it was worth it, just to see the place.
The Banta Inn is lively, popular bar and cafe. As I saw, the staff caters to the hungry and thirsty customers. There was no mention of ghosts inside the restaurant and bar. They seemed beside the point. That cheered me immensely. I suspect places that advertise.
So J and I opened the Inn’s front door and went inside the reasonably dark bar area. We heard something that sounded like a shrill shriek – twice
.”What was that?” J asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. Because there was nobody at the bar and the shrieks stopped as soon as we mentioned them. And, as long as I was inside, I never heard them again.
J looked around, used the head, and then went back to the car with Flo. She came in later, took some photographs, but heard and saw nothing. So I ordered some take-aways – french fries and fried zucchini, plus a coke, for the road. I sat at a small table, in a small room, near the kitchen and away from the bar. I put my $20 on the tip tray. I waited for what seemed like a long time for our order to come with the check. While I waited, some guy came opened the door across the room and went past me to another door towards the back yard. At some point, after he left, my $20 bill suddenly fluttered off the tip tray and landed on the floor.
My immediate, rational thought was, there must be a draft somewhere. But there was no draft. no wind. no blowing fans on the ceiling above. I didn’t connect it with anything unusual. After the server finally came with the packed-up food, I gave her the $20 and left to take the food to our car.
I returned for my change and secured the tip money under the tip tray.
And, it was only later, when I tried to replicate a floating bill by opening doors, blowing hard or fanning it, I realized it would take a strong wind or something else to make the money fly.
So, peut etre, maybe the Banta Inn G(host).