Last weekend a group of friends and I set out to Catfish Plantation in Waxahachie. Our mission: to scarf down some delicious cajun food and maybe spot a ghost. The restaurant, located in a converted Victorian home, has conjured quite the reputation over the past thirty years. Tom and Melissa Baker purchased the property in 1984 and converted it into Catfish Plantation, they owned the space until 2007 when they sold it to the current owners, the Landis Family. The restaurant boasts a number of paranormal residents, “I’ve seen things,” our waitress (who’s the daughter of executive chef, Shawn Landis-Sparks) mutters through her faux vampire teeth. She, and the rest of the staff, are dressed in Halloween costumes. “I’ve heard a male call my voice when there were only women in the restaurant…The sinks in the bathroom have turned on by themselves…I’ve seen doorknobs turn, and doors open.” We’d heard similar stories from other staff members throughout the night. But, sadly, aside from a stubborn toilet that wouldn’t flush and occasional cold patches of air (undoubtedly from the window-mounted air conditioners), we didn’t spot a ghost. But that could have been due to the fact that we were so engrossed in our massive plates of hand-battered catfish, gravy slathered chicken fried steak and succulent hushpuppies.
The weekend before Halloween is Catfish Plantation’s busiest time of the year, followed closely by Valentine’s Day—because nothing spells romance like the paranormal. They don’t take reservations, so we got there at 5 p.m. for an early dinner, and by the time we left at 7:30 p.m. there was a two hour wait. Even with a full house, our service and food was superb. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, Catfish Plantation is worth a try, if only for the friendly service, kitschy wallpaper, and massive plates brimming with homemade comfort food. And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and spot a ghost.
Feel like having a spooky Halloween meal or nightcap? Other restaurants and bars rumored to be haunted include Snuffer’s on Lower Greenville, Eno’s Pizza Tavern, Sons of Hermann Hall and the Inwood Theater.