Ashley’s Restaurant is housed in a turn-of-the-century, Tudor-style wood building with a unique history that makes this Space Coast restaurant a hot spot for ghost-hunters. Ashley’s boasts that it is the “most haunted restaurant” on the Space Coast, and it’s definitely one of the most famous haunts in the state of Florida.
The menu itself features traditional American comfort food – steak, sandwiches, salads – and comfort might just be what you need, knowing the legends that linger within these walls.
Ashley's Restaurant in Rockledge — Photo courtesy of Ashley's Restaurant
As the story goes, in the early ‘30s, a 19-year-old girl and regular at the establishment was brutally murdered and found nearby, on the shores of the Indian River. The restaurant was one of the last places she was seen. Ghost-hunters and psychics have said they believe she was killed at the restaurant, and her spirit is said to remain trapped inside.
You may see her shoes in the stall next to you in the women’s restroom, glimpse a flash of her reflection in the mirror or watch the lights flicker and glasses crash to the floor. Some people say they have watched furniture move in front of their eyes.
The stories about the young ghost go on.
And she’s not the only spirit that ghost-hunters and others have reportedly sensed at Ashley’s Restaurant. Others say they feel the ghost of an older man who used to live upstairs, or someone from an accident on the highway.
Consider reserving a table well in advance around Halloween time, as this Space Coast restaurant fills up quick with seekers of spooks — Photo courtesy of Ashley's Restaurant
Ashley’s Restaurant is a Space Coast staple; it’s been open for more than 80 years. It originally opened in 1933 as Jack’s Tavern. It has changed management and names over the years (including The Mad Duchess and The Loose Caboose), but the scary legends have stuck with it since the year after it opened.
Enjoy well-prepared seafood or soup, as your table trembles from the nearby passing trains. You might want to get a drink at the indoor or outdoor bar; it’s open late, as you would expect in a haunted restaurant. The daily specials are a bonus.
Ashley’s mysterious ambience is sealed by dark wood walls, antique pictures and stained-glass windows that are sure to make even the most cynical diner wonder if just perhaps the lore may be true.