LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Unable to pack their venue with people in costumes because of the pandemic, the owners of Mahall’s, a Lakewood staple that's both a restaurant and a bowling alley, turned to the supernatural to help with the financial hit.
“We’ve done these big banging Halloween parties every year,” said Joseph Pavlick, Mahall’s co-owner.
Despite facing a scary future, the entertainment venue in Lakewood is tackling that fright head-on and took the fear factor up a few notches Friday night.
“It was a chilling moment,” said Colin McEwen, Mahall’s co-owner.
McEwen recalled a night five years ago, when he and his bar manager were closing up and realized they weren't alone.
"We both heard a bowling ball hit the lane,” said McEwen.
It was 2:30 a.m.
"Our first thought wasn’t this was a ghost; our first thought was someone’s still in the building. We turn to go up the lanes and there was nobody there,” said McEwen.
For years, the staff at Mahall’s has reported not only hearing, but seeing things they cannot explain.
“I’ve heard footsteps. Glimmers of what looks like a flowy dress,” said Pavlick.
The spirits some believe are in this 100-year-old building are a blessing in disguise for a small business that's known for its big Halloween bashes.
“Covid really changed that for us,” said Pavlick.
To try and salvage the spookiest day of the year, Pavlick came up with an idea to host what they called "Silent Night."
“Experience this place the way we experience it. I’ve been quite freaked out here a number of times,” said Pavlick.
With the lights off, about two dozen couples will spread out throughout the building, even in the basement, to dine on a four-course meal.
“Just sort of see what happens,” said Pavlick.
The entertainment for the evening – anything and everything.
“The spiritual foundation of this place is in control of the night,” said Pavlick.
The intimate event included guests with a familiar name, who clearly don't need reservations.
“The spirits are related in some way to the Mahall family,” said Pavlick.
The pandemic may have forced them to pivot, but thanks to its paranormal activity, the holiday fun at Mahall's will continue with some of the financial benefits it brings.
“There’s a few days on the calendar that are pretty important to us and Halloween is one of them,” said Pavlick.
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