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The Windham Restaurant welcomes guests to Dining with the Dead. Courtesy photo.




Dining with the Dead

When: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7 to 10 p.m.
Where: The Windham Restaurant, 59 Range Road, Windham
Tickets $49. See neghostproject.com/DiningDead to purchase. Learn more about the building at windhamrestaurant.com/spirit.




A “spirited” evening
Dinner series spotlights the paranormal

09/24/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



On Tuesday, Sept. 29, two dozen people will head to The Windham Restaurant for an out-of-the-ordinary evening during Dining with the Dead, a series that brings paranormal specialists to New Hampshire.

For over a decade, the New England Ghost Project, a paranormal investigative group based in Dracut., Mass., has partnered with The Windham Restaurant to regularly host nights of paranormal education and presentations over dinner.
Ronald Kolek, director of the New England Ghost Project, said his involvement with the restaurant began even before it became The Windham. A previous owner asked him to come in and investigate following reports of waitresses’ necklaces randomly unclasping and other odd occurrences.
“The great thing about it [is] you can develop a picture of what’s going on there, so it’s not a little something that might have been associated with one person, [it] seems to be associated with the building [more than] the people involved there,” Kolek said in a phone interview.
Vess Liakas opened The Windham Restaurant 2001. It’s an American fare bistro serving small plate appetizers, fresh seafood, Italian favorites and grilled dishes. Previously the space had housed a French restaurant, and a Thai restaurant before that, though the building itself has been around for much longer. 
“The building is a little over 220 years old now and it has a pretty interesting past, to say the least,” Liakas said in a phone interview.
It wasn’t until initial renovations began that Liakas learned of the building’s history.
“We were doing some work one day and a couple guys came up to me and said, ‘Do you know that place is haunted?’” he recalled. “And that was my first information on it.”
Not long after The Windham opened, Liakas heard from New England Ghost Project.
“Somebody had presented me with some pictures from when it was a previous restaurant … they had done a couple of investigations into it,” Liakas said. “The more I learned about it, the more I became interested in it.”
Kolek said once he started investigating the building, there was always something new happening and more to be learned at The Windham, making it a natural pairing for the dinner series.
“Our primary focus is investigation, and we share that information and that’s how we educate people,” he said. “[It’s] just a perfect partnership.”
The next Dining with the Dead features British ghost hunter Steve Parsons, regarded as one of the United Kingdom’s top paranormal investigators. Featured speakers at the dinners range from ghost hunters to mediums to mentalists, giving first timers and returning guests the chance to see something new.
The evening will begin with the meal — guests have the choice of baked scrod, chicken bianco, steak tips or eggplant parmesan — then Kolak will address the crowd and tell them about the New England Ghost Project and the history of The Windham Restaurant.
“It’s a lot of fun to have a building that has a past like that. I’m always finding out new stories,” Liakas said. 
Having led special events at many locations, Kolek said mixing dinner and a presentation is the best of both worlds.





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