Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Kelli Endsley works behind the bar of the Farmington Elks Lodge where an incident of a shot glass flying off the shelf
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Kelli Endsley works behind the bar of the Farmington Elks Lodge where an incident of a shot glass flying off the shelf occurred.
FARMINGTON — For almost sixty years, the Farmington Elks Club has served as a gathering place for countless members of the fraternal organization some of whom may be keeping up their membership from beyond the grave.

The club's lodge, located at 801 Municipal Drive, was built in June of 1953, and offers members and their guests a full service restaurant, lounge, casino, billiard room, and meeting rooms.

Club members and employees report frequent paranormal happenings in the building, including the smell of cigarette smoke and ladies' perfume when no one is around.

An automatic paper towel dispenser in the women's restroom that is meant to operate when a hand is waved in front of a sensor sometimes activates on its own, sending reams of paper to the floor.

Employees occasionally hear pots and pans banging in the kitchen when no one is in there, and pots that have been hanging all night in a cold kitchen feel warm or even hot in the morning as if someone has been cooking.

"Sometimes I'll go into the men's restroom after hours to turn off the light," said Mary Posey, who has worked at the lodge for the last six years as a bartender and waitress. "The light will immediately flip back on. I've also heard the sound of running feet when no one is there."

"We're not afraid of any of it anymore," adds bartender Kelli Endsley, who said the sound of a woman's high heels can also be heard crossing the lodge's foyer after hours.

Endsley has most often experienced the strong smell of old-fashioned perfume, and has seen smoke curling up from invisible cigarettes in empty bathroom stalls.

The most dramatic evidence of a possible haunting came in May, 2010, when a security camera located above the lodge's bar captured footage of a shot glass flying off the shelf, arcing past the bartender, and landing at the front of the bar.

Lodge employees still have the tape, although technical problems didn't allow the footage to be viewed during a recent visit to the club.

Many of the employees claim to have viewed the footage and say it provides astonishing evidence of paranormal activity.

As to which departed Elk might be responsible for the spooky happenings, most of the employees believe there are several spectral culprits. There has been at least one documented death that occurred within the club, but employees do not believe this individual to be one of the ghostly visitors.

"I think the ghosts are at least three former members who died somewhere else and who just keep coming back to the club," said Posey.

Jymi Rogers has been an Elks Club member for nine years, and is currently one of the Lodge's Trustees.

"We always dedicate an eleven o'clock toast to our departed members, as a way of remembering them," said Rogers. "I think the spirits are just former members who, just like when they were living, like to come back to the club and visit."

Rogers claims to have actually seen two of the ghosts, and is matter-of-fact when explaining her encounters.

"There was a member who died about twenty years ago named Kenny Carlisle," she said, pointing to the club's pool room that is named after the former member. Rogers knew Carlisle well, as she comes from a long line of Elks and had visited the club often before becoming a member.

"The first time I saw Kenny's ghost, I was helping close up in the dining room. I saw a man sitting in a chair against the wall," she said. "I turned away, but once I realized it was Kenny, I turned back to look at him, but he was gone."

Several years ago, employees invited a local ghost hunting group to the club to conduct an investigation. The investigators brought along equipment to check EMF (electro-magnetic field) readings and to obtain other measurements possibly indicative of paranormal activity.

"They noticed that when they put the EMF meter down near the floor or up near the ceiling, where you'd expect to have higher EMF levels because of the pipes and wires, the readings were low, but when they put the meter at mid-level where a human might be they registered really high EMF levels," said Rogers.

The investigators told Rogers that most of the paranormal energy seemed concentrated in the dining room area.

Although the strange happenings leave some Elks employees reluctant to be alone in the building late at night, most of the employees are not afraid of the ghostly visitors.

"If they get too rowdy, we tell them to calm down, and they do settle down," said Rogers. "We think they're just here to have fun like they did when they were alive."