Summary: In 1974 Bill and Tom (Bill Carmean and Tom Blasko, according to this article) buy and renovate a former dance hall in Springfield, Illinois and open a live rock ‘n roll club. Staff complain that after hours music seems to emanate from nowhere and report pockets of cold air. One bartender claims a threatening spirit informs her that one of the owners is soon going to die. She identifies him from old photographs as a former bartender who had committed suicide on the premises.
Thoughts: The opening music of this show genuinely spooks me. I don’t know why; the majority of the episodes up to this point haven’t scared me at all.
I love the setting of this show. There’s something weird about a public place being haunted, instead of a private home. But then, when you work somewhere you’re connected to the place in a way customers never can be. You fall into routines and rhythms that outsiders don’t see, and you get to understand all the underpinnings beneath the surface. (Work retail for a while, and you’ll never again be able to shop without this odd secondary awareness of what it’s like to be on the other side of the counter.)
The actual owners, in the interview clips, look perfectly reasonable.
Ha. I also like the hippie caretaker. I wonder how much of this stuff is pure fiction, or whether tiny details like that reflect actual staffers? The heavyset former bartender is played, in the re-created bits, by a plump, pretty girl, so they matched that up properly.
It makes a kind of sense that the warning about the death of “one of the owners” would turn out to be a former owner. You know how when you talk with retired people, they’re always more interested in the employees from their own day, rather than the current ones? Of course a ghost would be concerned with people left from when he was alive.
The ghost is more sad than scary, really. That’s such a tragic way to die. As much as the narrative is trying to creep this up, by suggesting the ghost could have caused (rather than just predicted) the former owner’s death, it’s not very convincing. An elderly man dying isn’t scary, and the ghost of someone who knew him warning about it is just…sentimental. Sweet.