Italian restaurant Monterosso's has a haunting past - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Italian restaurant Monterosso's has a haunting past

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RICHLAND, WA - Monterosso's is an Italian restaurant inside of a train car right here in the Tri-Cities, but the restaurant has a little bit of a haunting past. 

The train car was originally built in 1947, it traveled all the way here from Minneapolis where Judson and Betty Phillips turned it into a tailor shop. The couple sold it to Aaron Burks in 1994. 

Burks, who also owns Atomic Ale Brewpub & Eatery, wanted a unique setting to open this restaurant. He stumbled upon this dining car and decided it would be the perfect place. In 1995 he opened Monterosso's and it has been a popular eatery ever since. 

While the physical placement of the restaurant is unique, the employees have had some unique experiences. 

"A lot of my employees were telling me stories about strange experiences here late at night, but I thought it was all just funny. I didn't take it seriously," says Burks. 

After a while Burks started to believe his workers because these haunting things actually started happening to him. He says, "I'd drive right across the street, my headlights would shine right into one of the windows and I would see somebody sitting at the table very clearly and I would think, 'well, it is too late nobody should be here,' so I'd come around to the door and all the doors would be locked from the outside on all sides of the train. Then I would come in from the outside and nobody was here." 

Employees at Monterosso's told Burks stories of similar experiences. His employees are convinced there was a ghost living in the train car. Although, there isn't anything to be afraid of. Employees at Monterosso's claim the ghost is friendly. 

Burks said the ghost would play pranks, do funny things and overall is harmless. He had a suspicion that it was Judson Phillips, the previous owner because Burks says Judson liked hanging out and spending time at the train he loved so much. 

The staff at Monterosso's has not had any experiences lately with the ghost, so Burks believes he's moved on. 

Guess you'll just have to visit the restaurant and see for yourself. 

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