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EP 4: The Tavern - Part III

*SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for The Tavern Parts I, II, & III (Episodes 2, 3 & 4!) Before reading, listen to The Tavern - Part I, II, & III. Afterward, make sure to read this "Behind-the-Episode" blog for additional info and photos!

There were many things I wasn't able to include in the final episode that I can't wait to share with you here. Make sure to check out the end of this blog article where I discuss a few important details about this case that just didn't make the final cut of this episode.

At the end of the last episode, The Tavern Part II, we ended with Sara actually uncovering much more than I'd initially expected. With my research drawing up several red flags, I'd begun to doubt that the ghost stories at The Tavern were even real. My mind went as far as thinking it was all made up as a way to drum up publicity and business. Hell, they even had a ghost tour coming through the place weekly. However, despite my skepticism, the events that unfolded the night of our 1st investigation validated a lot of the claims of the staff. Something unusual was happening here, I just wasn't sure what it was.

The experiences the staff reported all centered around one spirit who they believed to be a child named Emily. And they all seemed to know a lot about her death.

What made me so skeptical was how no one knew where the story of Emily even came from. Everyone just talked about what happened at The Tavern without attributing where they got the information. It all appears to have been spread through stories and rumors. What was worse, I traced this story back in the timeline through online articles and found the ghost story at The Tavern had morphed from something else to what it is now. Instead of Emily being the murdered child of the prostitute at The Tavern, in older articles, the ghost stories said Emily was the name of the prostitute with no mention of a daughter. There were also various iterations on how the prostitute met her demise. Some say it was soldiers who killed her, some say it was a bar fight. There was no mention of the child being raped and murdered by a senator, which was the story I was told the night I first interviewed The Tavern staff.

So, what this meant to me was that this story had to be a fabrication. An exaggeration of an older tale or legend. If anything was true, it'd have to be the earlier story about the prostitute. Because stories don't become more truthful the more they are handed down and told by other people, quite the opposite happens. They are exaggerated and altered beyond recognition most times, like in the telephone game.

However, what I witnessed happen alongside Sara while we spent the month investigating this case brought my skepticism in question. If you're reading this, then you should have already listened to this 3-part series. You know that I went on a roller coaster of thoughts as we went further and further into complex mystery at The Tavern. First I doubted the story of Emily was real and when Sara first got there the things she was getting didn't match up with the stories the staff told me. Not entirely that is. The child spirit was a boy according to Sara and then there was this more prominent male figure there taking up most of Sara's interest. It wasn't until the end of the night that Sara got things more clearly and the story of Emily seemingly came through loud and clear and the male spirit's connection to this horrific tale was rising to the surface. I then found myself doubting Sara. Thinking she might have read the stories online and led me to this point to make me believe her. But my rational brain analyzed what all happened that night. I thought of how Sara had come to the story of Emily and the male spirit who did this terrible act to her. I realized the way things unfolded, Sara was getting everything wrong. If she'd read the articles online, the stories centered mostly around the prostitute named Emily, there's not much on Emily the child, that story was mostly from the staff. And there is no mention whatsoever of a male spirit present in any stories. So I began to believe in Sara's ability, once again. As if Royal Legion Tattoo wasn't enough to convince me!

But one thing still remained that truly bothered me. There was no historical proof to back up any of this story about Emily the child and gruesome murder that happened on the third floor. The staff had no idea where the stories came from. Just remember a few people passing them around, but no one knew where they'd got them.

It ate at me that I couldn't find anything to at least validate some piece of this story. I was so bothered I confronted Sara about it. She ended up telling me something that I hadn't fully absorbed until the end of our journey. She said that the only way Emily's story could be out there, being shared amongst the staff, was if someone like her, who was sensitive, had gotten bits of it while they were visiting The Tavern. Only then would this story have gotten out. By word of mouth after a clairvoyant saw something or got some information from the spirits themselves.

I wasn't completely happy with that answer, but I took it. I continued working with Sara and we wrapped up our findings after three long investigations at The Tavern over the span of a month and a half. While editing, I discovered so many clues and hidden answers to questions within my previously recorded audio files of our interviews and investigations.

There used to be a regular patron of The Tavern, I'll refrain from sharing his name out of respect, but Sam mentions him in The Tavern Part I. But apparently he'd been coming here for years, since 1986 at least. A very long time. He knew a lot of the history of the building, and apparently shared stories of Emily with the staff for years. He appears to have been a major source, if not "the" source of the ghost story surrounding The Tavern. What's interesting is that Sam mentions, and you can hear this in Part I, that this regular "claimed" to be clairvoyant. Sam kinda chuckles it off saying he wasn't sure if this guy was the real deal or not, but either way he had stories to tell. It wasn't until later that I met with Haunted ATX tour guide, Mark, to get his story that I learned that this same patron of the bar was a major resource for the tours as well. I investigated a little further and confirmed