For the third installment of Haunted Northwest, we head east to Idaho for ghost stories plus Creole and Cajun-style flare.
The joint: BJ’s Bayou || 655 N 2880 E, Roberts, ID
The history: Twenty minutes north of Idaho Falls sits the rural town of Roberts, home to a population of less than 600. Of course, census data fails to account for legendary spooks. For a taste of one of Idaho’s most haunted restaurants, the supernaturally curious will have to pull off Interstate 15 for authentic Louisiana cuisine (with a side of chilling folklore), courtesy of BJ’s Bayou.
Following the Teton Flood in 1976, the property suffered severe damage and was condemned. However, because of the building’s long history as a hospital, hotel and more since its construction in 1892, the property (then known as Hotel Patrie) was eventually saved and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1995, current owners BJ and Cheril Berlin bought the property and converted the space into the modern-day Creole and Cajun-style restaurant and bar. Prior to the renovation, the building had been unoccupied for approximately four years, according to a Southeast Idaho Paranormal Organization interview with Cheril Berlin. Today, some believe spirits from past centuries continue to linger, including the ghost of a man who was allegedly stabbed at the Hotel Patrie.
The spirits (plus cocktails, brews, bites and more): While the Idahoan landscape doesn’t quite match that of a bayou, BJ’s old-time Louisiana atmosphere is evident in its kitschy voodoo-theme décor and… live alligators. Of course, the menu is also chock-full of Creole and Cajun-style classics, including gumbo, jambalaya, boiled crawfish, hushpuppies and etouffee. Choose from a full bar and brew selection, or opt for the bar’s classic absinthe fountain. Idaho-bound and eager for more eerie lore? The traditional Bayou Ghost Show is set to continue with spooky skits and prime rib on October 25 and Halloween night.