The Haunted House Restaurant is not your typical setting in which you encounter the ghoulish nightmare of the undead. Quite the contrary, you'll find no spider webs or creepy figures lurking around each corner. Instead,what you will find is a "diamond-in-the-rough" along the thick of tree brush that surrounds its entrance.
Haunted House Restaurant, 7101 Miramar in Oklahoma City, is a plush, fine-dining, private steakhouse. The decor is in an earthy knotty pine interior with chandeliers and romantic lighting throughout, which includes a wood-burning fireplace.
Its name is based on the home's mysterious, bizarre past in which three murders connected to the property still remain unsolved. Shortly after the 1963 murders, Marian Thibault and her husband, Art, bought the house. They turned it into a restaurant in 1964 and opened to a huge crowd of curiosity-seekers.
Today, the restaurant is widely known as one of the best dining experiences in Oklahoma. Marian Thibault often is asked about possible ghost sightings, to which she always replies, "I've never seen one or felt one."
But it sure makes for good conversation with many of the restaurant's patrons.
The menu is simple, with no pretentious wording.
"We serve rack of lamb, lobster, filet mignon, chicken and salmon, and we have much more," Marian Thibault, whose husband has since died, said in a noticeable German accent.
The most popular of the dishes is the filet, coupled with Minnesota wild rice shipped in from an Indian reservation and dubbed "The Real McCoy." It's prepared with sage, pimentos, celery and a hint of olive oil.
Another favorite is the Frankfurter Kranz, a homemade pound cake, lightly brushed with Kirshwasser, with apricot preserves between the layers and topped with butter cream icing.
One of the more delightful reasons to visit Haunted House Restaurant is for the attentive manner in which the owner and staff all cater to their guests. Chef Vidaree King has been with the restaurant since it opened.
"Our food is always the same because Vidaree has been here since we began, and we are celebrating 45 years," Thibault said.
6 to 10 p.m. Monday to Sunday
By reservation only.