Haunted Pub: Devil’s Den Gastro Pub – Philadelphia PA
We decided to visit this gastro pub in Philly for dinner one night. Although it has a great name – Devil’s Den (#Gettysburg) – we really went for the “Confit Duck Fries” my husband loves. Unlike our normal jaunts, we didn’t find this pub because it was haunted or historic (although most of Philly is definitely historic) we just wanted the fries and had heard there was a great selection of #brewed beers on tap. And we were right, the list was impressive. While I am not a fan of duck anything, I did eat the most amazing brownie ever. It was smothered in a Jameson Whiskey sauce. And it was fantastic!
Wondering yet what this has to do with Haunted History Jaunts?
Devil’s Den Pub is in a great little section of Philadelphia known as Passyunk Square – very quaint area of Philly – and the pub is very close to the well-known Columbus Square. The neighborhood is full of historic homes (very well-kept) and trendy little pubs and restaurants. During our visit, the tree-lined streets featuring homes decorated for the holidays seemed to be right off a movie set – we even encountered a couple kissing under the street light (I kid you not!). Parking can be a real bear around there but we were in luck and found a spot only a few blocks from the restaurant.
My husband had the forethought to call ahead for reservations so we were seated immediately upon arrival. Granted we were squeezed into this tiny table between 2 other tables – giving us an up close and personal experience with our neighbors – but once we saw the craft beer menu, all that was forgotten.
Inside the pub is small, as most restaurants in the historic sections of Philly are, but it uses its space well and the service was friendly and responsive. The place was loud but the comforting decor and great food made up for it.
I was enjoying my first beer when my attention was brought to someone who I soon realized was a spirit. Standing over in the corner stood a woman, dressed in old-fashioned clothing – a light-colored dress and a white apron. She was “rotund” (that was the word I heard) and had frazzled hair sticking up everywhere from her loose bun. She was staring at me rather inquisitively, like she wanted to figure out who or what I was.
I wasn’t actually prepared tonight to encounter my other worldly friends so I continued drinking my beer and ignored her weird stare. After a few minutes, and more beer, I saw another spirit walk into the room. He was also rather round and wearing an apron. He had a beard, wild dark hair and a gleam in his eyes. He was also carrying a large carving knife and had a red substance on him and the apron.
Alright, I admit, this gave me pause. However the gleam in his eye, which came off to me as playful, had me even more confused. From his attire, I felt like this place could have been an old slaughterhouse or a butcher shop. Butcher shop seemed to fit more (I have no idea what the history of this building actually is) and would explain the large knife at least.
I felt these energies buzzing around me from time to time. As I was deep in discussion with my husband (OK, I actually had my face shoved in the most amazing creamy tomato soup I have ever tasted) I felt this odd energy push up on me. My purse was sitting on the bench next to me, up nice and close, and I felt it lift up and get shoved against me. It literally felt like someone had grabbed my purse, lifted it a bit, and shoved it against me. So I was all about to tell my “up close” neighbor to please be careful when I saw my husbands face. He was like “what was that?”
He saw the purse actually lift a bit on its own with no help from the neighbor or anyone else.
Let the fun begin right?
So I moved it to the other side of me and asked the spirits to kindly knock it off and let me enjoy my beer. I was not in the mood for their shenanigans.
Want to guess how I was repaid for that?
A little while later, I lifted my glass to take a nice big sip and it was knocked from underneath – you know how you would tip a glass on a child to help them get the liquid in their mouth? Just like that. Only this glass was still mostly filled with beer so it had the effect of spilling on my face and down my shirt and pants. And of course, since I was startled, I breathed in and managed to get this magnificent tasting “sour” beer up my nose too.
A trip to the bathroom was in order now and I was just happy I had finished my soup because it wouldn’t have been nearly as good cold. The rest rooms were in the back of the bar, through a little door, in a dark hallway that was cold and creepy. To my left there were a set of steps that wanted to draw me up. I climbed a few and realized they had boarded over the top of the steps completely. A set of steps to nowhere. That’s always a good sign right?
I will spare you all the rest of the restroom visit. Needless to say though I survived.
Brownie time! And another beer. Why not right? As we were enjoying this amazing dessert, the male spirit was hanging around me. He seemed to be trying to scare me…. Slightly rubbing my hair… Telling me to come down to the basement, he has something for me while showing me his knife… indicating that he loves young (I’m not that young by the way) girls…. etc.
All of this had that playful feel to it. I frequent haunted attractions during the Halloween season. It is a tradition for my birthday in fact. I LOVE THEM.
The interactions with this male spirit had that feel to it – like an actor in a haunted attraction trying to scare you for fun. I don’t think for one second this male spirit was serious or had gotten up to nefarious doings while alive (or dead). For whatever reason, he was enjoying trying to scare me. I always say – spirits can have the best sense of humor.
Overall, I enjoyed this place. Great #brewed beer, tasty food, cool atmosphere and plenty of spirits and boo’s.
Check it out sometime. Maybe my little butcher friend will have some fun with you too.