By Fred Minnick

Haunted Whiskey Place

Our man finds himself focusing on a ghostly glass
As the lights dimmed, one bulb flickered. Underneath an animal head and above a lacquered piano, it reflected light upon an empty glass with lipstick smeared on the rim and a straw poking out. What was in this glass? The flickered light offered short prism bursts upon the piano, a thing of beauty: Rays of purple and blue covering the brown wood. Whose glass was it?

The whiskey bar rumbled with tunes and a bustling atmosphere with friends, family, celebrations and bar games. They drank Irish whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch and a few other brown spirits. People came. People went.
But the glass stayed, sitting there. In a place with great service, why hadn’t anybody picked up the damn thing?

I noticed the glass after ordering a Knob Creek Manhattan, chowed down some wings and a salad. I intently focused on the glass, wondering why it just sat there and seemingly had dust collecting on it.
Was it art?
Some kind of social experiment?

I ordered a lovely Barrell Bourbon, a beast of a whiskey ripe with complexity when ice is added. Yeah, I sometimes like ice, especially when I am not professionally tasting. Hey, ice is soothing; don’t judge! Around the second sip, I focused on the glass again and noticed the lipstick was on the opposite side, now facing the wall.
Who moved it?

When I returned, I walked passed the dartboards and dodged a couple tables with pushed out chairs and found myself staring intently at the piano, where no glass stood atop it. What the hell?

Wait, is this place haunted? Was this the glass of a slain woman killed by a jealous lover? Or perhaps a mad chef?
My imagination was just getting started, as the heat of Barrell Bourbon slid down my throat and warmed my belly. I passed on dessert and polished off that beast of a Bourbon, deciding to move onto rye whiskey.

One Pikesville Rye, please! Oh, how I love this rye: It’s layered with so many notes, from the initial spice, saltwater taffy and rye toast to the herbal, floral and fruity notes. Pikesville is so delightful neat; I actually often feel its spice against my cheeks. Love that.

My Pikesville love affair kept me from starring too intently at the glass, but I kept my eye on it from the corner of my eye. Perhaps I would catch the ghost in action or the pranking prankster in his social experiment.

I checked some basketball scores, email, Facebook and tapped my knuckles upon the hardwood bar. I tried to distract myself from the mystery glass, and I knew just how to do it.

Another Pikesville, please. Wait, no, I never buy the same drink twice. I cannot show favouratism like that! Redbreast 15 sounds nice. Yeah, an Irish whiskey switch up and one that’s so complex it’s on nearly everybody’s shortlist as world’s best whiskey at any given moment.

Alas, Redbreast only made this whole weird glass thing worse. I know how silly this must all sound; I’m a grown man, drinking whiskey at a bar and I’m focusing on a stupid glass sitting on a piano. You’re right; it’s completely silly. So, naturally, I stood up walked toward the piano and planned to have my moment with the glass, to find out what it’s all about.

But I had to prepare myself, taking a quick break from the craziness and exited the bar for a moment.
When I returned, I walked passed the dartboards and dodged a couple tables with pushed out chairs and found myself staring intently at the piano, where no glass stood atop it. What the hell?

Where did the glass go?
Who took it?
Was it aliens seeking DNA from crystal rims?

Somewhat disappointed I could not confront the ridiculous, I returned to the bar and saw the glass in the reflection of the mirror. Was I seeing things? I turned around and sure enough, it was there, with the lipstick facing the original spot.
I paid my bill and got the hell out of there, returning to my hotel room in fear of the mad chef.

The glass incident happened years ago, and I’ve not stepped foot back into this bar, which shall remain anonymous. But I often think about the lipstick glass.
Was it a ghost, Or did I have too much whiskey? Nah, it was most definitely aliens.