Ghost Stories from the Standard Tap
In anticipation of Halloween we thought a ghost story or two might be fun to share. So we reached out to the Standard Tap to see if any of employees had stories to share. After all, the Tap has been open for eleven years in Northern Liberties but the building has been a pub for the better part of two centuries.
I’ve heard rumblings of ghosts since shortly after the bar opened. I was told of a civil war soldier spotted outside the kitchen. A couple years later I was told a story of a female spirit who was spotted at the top of the stairs after the bartender had closed the upstairs for the night.
Though many employees were reluctant to share their stories, we were able to put together the following tales of mysterious figures and unexplained actions.
Patrons and employees have spotted various figures. The older woman has been spotted by several customers at different times. On another night a bar back had an up-close experience he shared with me.
The upstairs bar was already closed for the night as the bar back cleaned up. After he finished he turned off the lights and headed downstairs. He hustled down the staircase because a darkened bar with a history of ghosts can be a little freaky in the dark. He then realized he left his iPod upstairs and went back to retrieve it.
The upstairs bar was pitch black. Just a few pin lights glistening from the stereo and other electronics. The bar back grabbed his iPod when he saw her. Down the hallway towards the back dining room was a female figure standing partially behind a closet door. He froze, staring at her pale blue form, her head, topped by thin gray hair. She was floating there with her dress billowing. Her details weren’t as lifelike below the dress. Our bar back stood there for several seconds before he stopped staring and ran downstairs to tell everyone what he saw. He even paused to make sure the story really made sense. If it didn’t last so long, he might have thought nothing of it. But it did and he had a ghost story of his own. He tells us, “she just looked at me. She’s a nice lady I guess.”
Another ghost mentioned by the staff past and present at the Standard Tap might be a bit more meddling. Perhaps this spirit is Mr. Smeigelski. According to people we interviewed, Smeigelski used to live above the tavern and may have died there.
One employee has had several run-ins with the supposed Smeigelski. She’s spotted a shadowy figure with a male frame who she’s attributed ghostly acts like turning on water, knocking over shelves, tipping over bags and emptying towel dispensers. Mischievous but never angry.
But when a more dominant personality joined the staff, the ghost let it be known he wasn’t a fan. The new employee was always involved in some sort of drama, aggression was in the air. One afternoon while setting up in the kitchen, a utensil rack, filled with kitchen spoons, spatulas and large forks shot across the room about four feet and hit the other wall and fell to the ground, just missing the not-so-model employee. He and our storyteller were seriously spooked. The new employee didn’t work out and that’s the last act of aggression from the ghost.
So next time you settle into a bar stool at the Standard Tap, make sure that seat isn’t taken by one of the spirits that like to call the Northern Liberties bar home.