Haunted Coffee Spoons
Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
AJ Anderson is a coworker and good friend of mine. AJ is twenty-six and grew up here in Cache Valley. He is a host at Herm’s Inn, a local breakfast hub in Logan, Utah, and has been working there on and off for about six months, spending half of that time hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
“Herman’s Inn,” as it was initially called, made its debut in the early 20th century, with the exact year and dates unknown. Built and founded by Herman (“Herm”) and Elizabeth (“Lizzy”) Johnson along Canyon Road, Herm’s Inn was, at one point in time, quite literally one’s last chance to “gas up” before entering the mouth of Logan Canyon. Decades later, after over half a century of neglect, Herm’s was bought and restored by local businessman Jim Laub to revive the building and its glorious history. Reestablished in 2012, Herm’s Inn is now a popular breakfast and lunch destination for those who know how to find it. Despite its unassuming appearance and quiet location within a residential area, Herm’s holds a colorful history, including an underground whiskey operation during prohibition, and notions of the building being haunted. Herm’s Inn is now home to a collection of old stories and legends that still circulate around Cache Valley today, not to mention a series of newly developed jokes, traditions, and numinous experiences among current employees. I interviewed AJ along with five other coworkers from Herm’s in the living room of my apartment. The setting of this group interview was very casual: we were all circled around my coffee table, drinking beer and wine, as we often do together on our evenings after work. This set of interviews revolved mainly around the ghost(s) that is believed to reside in the basement at Herm’s. At this point in the group interview, a few people had just shared their haunting personal experiences regarding ghosts and the supernatural. The following joke was made in response to this. The other pieces from this interview can be found under the following names: “The White Figure,” “The Children See Ghosts,” “Tired of Talking to Ghosts,” “The Pantry Door,” and “The Heroin Spoon.” I also interviewed the owner, Heather Santi, and manager, Andrea Steffes, about their uncanny experiences at Herm’s, which can be found under the following titles: “The Ghosts of Herm’s Inn,” “The Moving Lockers,” “The Black Figure,” and “Something Down the Stairs.”
AJ: Maybe the ghost took all the coffee spoons. [laughter]
Steve: Seriously we have half as many.
[I asked about the coffee spoons]
Steve: I don’t know, I just noticed today that we have like literally half as many coffee spoons as we normally have.
Gette: We have like twenty, and that’s not enough, especially on the weekends.
Gette: Everybody drinks coffee.
Steve: It’s just only today that’s the first time I’ve noticed but I’ve never had a lack of coffee spoons.
Amanda: Well, we constantly go through cycles, where, like, we’re constantly running out of knives, and then we’ll buy like a shitload of knives, then it’s like “oh no! Now we’re running out of forks all the time!” [laughter] And now we’re on the spoons.
Steve: It’s the ghost! It has to be the ghost.
Gette: Or people throwing it away accidentally.
Amanda: Nope, it’s the ghost.
Steve: Yeah, I don’t know how otherwise we’re short forty coffee spoons in the matter of a day.
AJ is more of a passive bearer normally and is far less outspoken than the other people in the group. He is, however, very witty, and the few words he does say are usually greeted with a laugh. Furthermore, the content shared was typical among this group (as we talk and joke about work often) and everyone present seemed comfortable, as they were all drinking and laughing periodically. Although this specific joke had not been made before, it is common around the restaurant to blame the ghost for things we can’t or don’t want to explain; therefore, regardless of whether these friends of mine believe in ghosts or not, it’s obvious from the joke AJ made and everyone’s reaction to it that nobody actually believes a ghost stole our coffee spoons.
ENGL 2210: Intro to Folklore
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
G7: Unexplainable Phenomena
Davis, Mira, "Haunted Coffee Spoons" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 540.