This evening, we’re checking out The Gaines Ridge Dinner Club! Gaines Ridge Dinner Club is a local staple and definitely a place to check out if you are a history buff, ghost hunter or a food connoisseur. Gaines Ridge has it all!
Gaines Ridge is an antebellum home located in Camden, AL. Gaines Ridge was built in the late 1820s and for a while, was the only two story building between Black’s Bluff and Allenton (two early settlements roughly 50 miles apart). The home was purchased by Betty Gaines Kennedy’s family in 1898 and has been passed down from generation to generation. Betty opened the dinner club with her sister Haden Gaines Marsh in 1985 and they’ve been serving up delicious food ever since!
Gaines Ridge has its fair share of ghosts stories, but some of the most popular are what Ms. Betty refers to as “Ghost Truths” because they happened directly to her!
One night while Gaines Ridge was closed, Ms. Betty and one of her chefs were getting ready for a party that was being hosted at the dinner club the following day. Ms. Betty went upstairs to retrieve an extra pot to accommodate the large quantities of food they were preparing. While upstairs, she heard a woman’s voice yell, “Ms. Betty! Ms. Betty! Come quick!!” Ms. Betty dropped the pot and ran downstairs thinking something horrible (like a cut or burn) had happened to her chef. She ran into the kitchen only to find her chef staring back at her. When Ms. Betty asked what had happened, the chef responded telling her, “That wasn’t me that called you, but I heard it too!” Ms. Betty and her chef were so shaken up that they decided to leave for the night and come back the next morning to prepare for the party.
The second “ghost truth” occurred a different night during regular dinner business hours. Betty’s daughter (who also works at the dinner club) heard a loud crash coming from the women’s restroom and saw the door to the restroom shake and slam closed. Her daughter was unable to open the door and due to the loud noise, assumed someone had fallen against the door, preventing it from being opened. Since there was only one door to the bathroom, she called Ms. Betty in to help open the door. After some shoving and force, the door swung open to reveal an empty bathroom. There was no one inside, none of the pictures on the wall had fallen, and nothing seemed out of place.
To this day, Ms. Betty and her staff have not been able to explain what happened on those nights, but they do believe these ghosts (whoever’s ghosts they are) are friendly ghosts. She said they never bother anything too much but they “act up” sometimes. Whenever something goes wrong, they know the ghosts must have been dining with them.
Have you ever been to Gaines Ridge Dinner Club? If so, my first question is how was the food? Second, did you see a ghost…?