The Hauntings at Jojo’s Original Pizzeria

Photo Credit: Christopher Tillman

My all-time favorite haunted places to explore are the ones that serve food. Executive Diner, Mancy’s, Tony Packo’s, and Georgjz419. There’s nothing better than a great meal and a good ghost story. This delicious combination puts JoJo’s high on my list of places to visit regularly.

At first glance, the activity reported inside this popular Toledo establishment is not unlike the kinds of activity reported at other restaurants. Lights are said to turn off and on of their own accord. The phone lines are activated without the presence of an incoming or outgoing call. And, drawers behind the bar had a habit of sliding open and closed of their own volition. Yes, on the outset it all sounds like your average, everyday haunting activity – until you talk to the people who work there.

JoJo’s manager, Ron, recently sat down with Haunted Toledo’s Sarah Chelten to discuss the strange events that have been going on inside his family restaurant for as long as he can remember.

Employees often hesitate to discuss the incredible things they’ve witnessed inside the building, including Ron. There is a belief that by talking about it only makes the activity increase.

“[Ron said] cans of food fell off their shelves in the kitchen,” Sarah reported. “He couldn’t explain how it happened, but assumed it was due to him speaking to me about the activity.”

Other employees don’t like talking about the activity simply because of the way it often frightens them.

The basement, they say, is the worst. It’s down here where employees hear strange whispers coming from out of darkened corners and feel as if they’re being closely followed and watched by some unseen presence. Then there’s the sounds of footsteps echoing across the floor above them. Normally such sounds are no big deal when the restaurant is open for business. It’s another, more frightening, matter entirely when you’re the only one in the building.

The strange activity inside JoJo’s has been so intense at times that some past bartenders have even refused to close by themselves.

They were scared of the activity,” reports Chelten, “and would try to [convince] a friend or regular customer to stay with them until they locked up.”

And then there’s the apparitions. “They’ve seen his (Ron’s) grandparents,” says Chelten.

JoJo’s has been a family establishment from the very beginning, opened by Ron’s grandparents and passed down through the family. It’s possible their spirits may account for some of the activity going on in the building, but there may also be something a tad more sinister at work as well.

Just two doors down from the restaurant, in the same building, is the empty shop that used to hold an occult shop owned by Toledo’s most famous, practicing witch, Circe.

Ron remembers activity inside the restaurant increasing with the presence of Circe’s occult store and wonders if, maybe, there was a correlation. Who knows what forces might have been summoned inside that space? Who knows what dark magicks may have been unwittingly called forth from the abyss?

Circe passed away some time ago and her former shop is now used as storage for JoJo’s, but it’s entirely possible that a supernatural doorway was opened which was never properly closed.

Perhaps Ron’s grandparents have taken a more active role inside JoJo’s Pizzeria lately in response to whatever eldritch energies are still circulating from the days of Circe, in hopes of protecting the employees and patrons from whatever might have been loosed inside the building.

One can only speculate. What is known, however, is that the activity inside JoJo’s continues to mystify all who witness it.

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