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This Oakland Dive Bar Has a Ghost

Updated: Jun 07, 2023 15:23
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During an interview with Shari Murphy, the owner of Baggy’s by The Lake, for an article about women bar owners in Oakland, a spooky story emerged – the bar is actually haunted. Intrigued by this information, further paranormal research had to be conducted, obviously.

Inside Oakland’s haunted bar, Baggy’s  – Photo by Vita Hewitt

The Origin of Baggy’s Ghost

Baggy’s, located on the east side of Lake Merritt has a ghost and the story behind this spooky individual is one for the history books. The tale dates all the way back to the origin of the beloved dive bar and is both comical and also debatable.

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To my surprise, this spooky story is not very well documented. However, the origin of Baggy’s ghost dates way back to the prohibition era in Oakland. Baggy’s was formerly known as Hank’s Tavern. It has a rich history dating back to 1932 during the prohibition era.

Back in the 40s, Hank lost the bar on a bet. You see, ole Hank had a thing for playin’ the ponies and made a bad bet to a bookie named Baglietto. This loss cost him the bar which was named Baggy’s shortly thereafter.

Hank mysteriously disappeared.

To this day, regulars and bartenders of Baggy’s say that Hank’s ghost still haunts the bar.

Shari, owner of Baggy’s by The Lake, smiles while pretending to rock climb on her bar.

What’s next for the team at Baggy’s?

Baggy’s team, co-owners Shari Murphy and JJ Jenkins, are re-opening another old dive bar favorite, Smitty’s. That opening is slated for 2024 but we’d be happy to see it open sooner if they can swing it. We covered the opening in a recent article.

You can support Baggy’s by enjoying a few drinks and maybe even catching a glimpse of the spirit of Hank, still trying to place bets from the other side.

Visit Baggy’s Ghost In-Person or Haunt their Instagram:

Baggy’s by the Lake

288 E 18th St, Oakland
IG: @baggysbythelake

Shari Murphy, co-owner of Baggy’s  – photo by Vita Hewitt

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Katy Atchison

Katy Atchison

Katy has lived in The Bay Area since the age of 3. While other kids were attending summer camp & soccer practice, she was raised selling wares at craft shows with her working artist parents and spent vacations in a small 1920s Montana log cabin. This has all given her a unique perspective on the ever-changing texture of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Currently a blend of all that is The Bay Area - she's a web designer at a tech-company, artist and DIY teacher.