Last summer I was reading a book about Ontario hauntings (Terry Boyle's Book...) that mentioned a pub in Port Perry. It's called the Jester's Court and, having nothing better to do, I drove out there that evening. The bartender told me of dozens of events that had happened to her, many of which occurred before witnesses: salt shakers being fired across a table; paintings on the wall that spin; taps in the bathroom that turn on by themselves (apparently, the water that flows during this occurrence alters in intensity to match the flow of whoever is urinating, so this seems to be a poltergeist with a sense of humour). The bartender was an engaging talker and seemed used to being asked about the hauntings.
In early March of 2000, the Torontoghosts group did a WONDERFUL "Meet n' Greet" at this particular restaurant and had a great time! While there, several psychics and sensitives felt the presence of a little girl in the stairwell leading from the main restaurant to the second floor as well as the lady's washroom. More disturbingly, there were reports of an angry looking older man looking out at the departing guests from the upstairs windows even though the second floor was vacated at the time.
Update November 2008
A reader writes.....
I read what you had on Jester's Court and thought I'd mention that I grew up in Port Perry and know a little more about the place. I personally know the owners son of Jester's Court now and had friends work there while in High school (back when it was called The Murray House).
I do know and have heard of the little girl being seen on the steps playing. Also a lady in blue walking in the woman's bathroom as well. I don't know if you heard this but they've always had trouble keeping the womans washroom warm. It's always unnaturally cold and they can't seem to keep it warm at all. They think it has something to do with the lady in Blue. They also have had reports of the one stall in that bathroom sticking...well being held shut when the female tries to leave it. My sister had this personally happen to her when going in there. She said she was in the stall and felt goosebumps on her arms all of a sudden. She knew she was the only person in there at the time and when she finished and unlocked the door to go out she couldn't get the door open. It felt, she said, as if someone was holding it. She called out asking to let her out but no one said anything. When she called out again the door opened and no one was there.
The second one I heard was when a buddy of mine was a dishwasher there when we were in high school (late 80's). He said late on a Friday night when he was the last person in the kitchen and the owners were out in the dining area he cleaned up and walked out of the kitchen. Just as he walked out he heard some clanging noises and turned and walked back in. When back in the kitchen he saw the pots and pans that were hanging were swinging slowly and some stuff he put away were back on the counters. He thought someone was playing a trick since everyone there always trys doing it because of the restaurants reputation. He looked everywhere in the kitchen to see if someone was hiding but no one was there. When he turned to walk back out, the pots and pans started swinging frantically again and banging each other....I can tell you that he didn't work there much longer after that!
Update August 2010
A reader writes:
"Hello ,I thought I'd share an experience both my 10 year old daughter & myself had while dining at the Jester's court in the summer of 2009. I have been here a handful of times as it is a favourite pub spot of my father who lives in Port Perry. I have to say, it was the first time I had used the upstairs washroom as I have always been nearest to the downstairs washroom. We were there for lunch on a nice summer day. My daughter needed to use the washroom and I accompanied her upstairs. Upon entering the washroom we noticed how cold it was. It got colder as we entered the stalls & I remember saying out loud, "My gosh, why would they have air-conditioning full blast in this tiny bathroom?...I should mention it to the waitress.." When I exited the stall I felt compelled to see if a window was open or there was a vent to explain the cold air. There was no such air, the window was closed. We washed our hands quickly & left the room. It was instantly comfortable in the hallway. My daughter said to me, "Mum, its like we were in someone's personal space or something". It did feel like that! I was amazed at her intuitiveness because that’s what it felt like. For some reason it felt like we were invading someone's room, they wanted privacy.We mentioned it to my dad & he said that we should tell the waitress as she had told him once that he place was haunted. We had a laugh about it & when we told our server about the our experience, she said that we must have met one of their ghosts.Very cool! I haven't been back since but I will say I think we were susceptible because we weren't "looking for anything. It found us."
Our thanks go out to our readers for sharing these events with us.
Update September 2013, one of our reader's writes in:
"My wife and I recently visited the Jester's Court in Port Perry on September 15th, 2013. I wanted to visit this restaurant on the way home from my father's cottage in Scugog as I heard the stories and like pubs. With the knowledge of the restaurant being inhabited by spirits I was not sure what we would find. With experience with our encounters at the Inn at the Falls in Bracebridge - (if interested I would like to share this story as well), we don't research into detail or tell each other any feelings of energy or personal encounter until after we leave. We went in around 3pm and as I walked in it felt warm and welcoming. We were seated at the booth in the main part of the house in the corner between the window overlooking the front patio and the fireplace. During lunch I felt an energy shift as almost someone was passing before me to sit down on my left side. Since I was sitting on the open edge of the bench against the wall. It was strange and it gave me goosebumps. I turned to the vacant seat to my left and no one was there. My wife asked if I was okay and I just said I felt the energy move. Without thinking much into this we talked further about the architecture of the quaint building. A few minutes passed and the energy shifted again this time the opposite way from the right side of my body to the left as if they were passing before me to get out. As the energy departed I felt the brush of my hair on my right side of my head. It was not a malicious feeling at all. With that the picture on the booth behind my wife was crooked. It wasn't until after Lunch we hit the bathrooms before we hit the road. I went first and headed up the stairs. Towards the top of the stairs before the armour on the flight I felt a wave of energy and felt weird as I continued to the washroom. Nothing occurred in the washroom but the temperature was a bit cooler then in the hall. I headed back down the stairs and felt the energy on the landing this time and quickly disappeared. I returned and my wife headed up. She felt energy in the same place on the stairs and the women's washroom was incredibly cold.
As stated we don't collaborate stories or do any research in detail until after to verify if what we felt was real or pre-primed. As a result there is a spirit of a little girl who plays on the stairs which explains the energy we both felt near the landing and the old woman in a blue dress who haunts the women's washroom would explain why the owners have trouble keeping it warm and my wife felt the room was very cold. As for the feeling at the booth, well there is a woman in the main restaurant area who's apparition is sometimes seen serving the apparitions of an elderly couple late at night in the same area. This could be what I felt.
It was a wonderful experience all around and my wife and I continue to visit some of the haunted areas in Ontario."