Club Charles

Club Charles, Baltimore Maryland

Club Charles

One of the most popular haunted places in Baltimore City is Club Charles. Having been featured on multiple paranormal documentaries such as Haunted History and Proof Positive, Club Charles comes with a fascinating history and a waiter that loves to pull pranks even in the afterlife

Club Charles History

Club Charles in Baltimore dates back to a club in the 1920s that was located at the intersection of Charles and Preston streets and was a popular place at its time. In the 1940s Esther West began working there and it influenced her to purchase her own restaurant. In 1951, Esther bought the establishment at 1724 North Charles St. and opened it as Charles Seafood. Very shortly after she changed it to The Wigwam, showing her Native American roots as an influence and it soon became a popular place. The Wigwam was known for having a very rowdy crowd and according to local filmmaker, John Waters, it was “the scariest bar in Baltimore.” At one point the Wigwam has 82 police reports within an 8 month range and was at risk to be shut down. Esther redesigned the bar and in the 1981 she reopened it as Club Charles, named after the popular nightclub she use to work in. The original Club Charles had recently closed down, and the owner let Esther have the name. Esther retired from the club in the early 90s, leaving it to her daughter, Joy Martin. Esther passed away in 2003.

Frenchie

The ghost of Club Charles is a waiter from its Wigwam days. Born in 1925 in Paris, Edouard Neyt, or Frenchie as he was nicknamed, was one of the Wigwams most memorable employees. Not much is known about his personal life except it is said that he was a double agent during World War II, spying on the Nazi party. When he moved to Baltimore after the war he made a living working as a waiter at Millers Bros, and The Harvey House. He eventually started working as at the Wigwam and moved into the apartment upstairs. People that knew Frenchie knew him as a prankster. Frenchie died in the apartment in 1979 from alcoholism. After Club Charles opened, people started reporting seeing a man in a waiter’s uniform that would disappear. Once the pranks started up again they believed their mysterious waiter to be Frenchie. Frenchie’s ghost is known for moving and rearranging alcohol bottles and turning on the tap, making beer go all over the place. Workers once witnessed an empty glass fly off the shelf and float in mid air for a few seconds before landing on the ground, still in one piece. The phone is also known for continuously ringing even after it has been answered. Frenchie’s favorite prank to pull seems to be messing with poker players. People playing have reported the feeling of someone pulling on their hair and once during a game a player got so frustrated with the prankster ghost that they pulled out a gun and shot at the ceiling, hoping to scare Frenchie off!

Resources

Chalkley, T., Cohen, C., & Jensen, B. (2000) Baltimore’s Ghost Stories to Tingle Your Spine [Electronic Version]. Baltimore Or Less retrieved from http://www.baltimoreorless.com/2012/01/baltimores-ghost-stories-to-tingle-your-spine/

Macken, L. (2004). Haunted Baltimore: Charm City Spirits.Black Cat Press. Forked River, NJ.

Obituaries. (2003, January 22). Baltimore Sun. Retrieved http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-01-22/news/0301220349_1_club-charles-wigwam-charles-street.

Ricksecker, M. (2010). Ghosts of Maryland. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA.