Java Jive in downtown Hannibal is a favorite gathering spot for locals to talk about topics ranging from politics to the paranormal. Tourists in the Main Street area are also drawn to the relaxing ambience and tasteful décor of the building. I first heard about a haunting at this location during the time that it was part of Haydon’s Hardware, and the ghost lingering at the location was known to be Percy Haydon.

Percy Haydon opened the hardware store in 1919, and it was a popular place with local residents for many years.

In Missouri Ghosts by Joan Gilbert, Percy Haydon is said to be “a little gruff on the surface, but actually very kind-hearted.” His successor at Haydon Hardware, Jerry Adkins, “remembers him as a heavy-set man” who always had a cigar in his mouth.

Employees at Haydon’s Hardware reported footsteps in the above loft used for storage as well as footsteps on the stairs leading to the ground floor. The lights in the building often turned themselves on and off.

One night while closing Mr. Adkins and an employee heard a “hearty sneeze very near them.” There was no one else in the store.

Another employee heard her name being urgently repeated in a whisper while she was closing up for the evening.

Adkins was working alone in the building one night. He was in the rest room when he started to hear “quite a lot of walking around.” He thought an employee with a key had returned and was playing a joke on him. He decided to surprise the prankster, and when he heard the footsteps pause outside the restroom door, Adkins pushed the door open suddenly. There wasn’t anyone around.

The employees felt the spirit to be that of Percy Haydon. They didn’t feel they were ever in any danger. When mishaps would occur, they was usually blamed on Percy.

Baristas currently working at the building now known as Java Jive report paranormal activity including footsteps on the second floor that leave no imprints in the dust, feelings of being touched and grabbed, voices, and items being moved around. They also hear dance hall or saloon-type music and singing. Many times they hear children laughing and women talking. Near the restroom area, the sound of a lady crying is sometimes heard. Much of the paranormal activity is encountered in the kitchen and closet area including the feeling of fingers touching the arms, backs and shoulders of the baristas.

Barista Courtney Wikowsky experiences paranormal activity in the building regularly. The bell up front often rings by itself in the mornings when she is opening up for the day. She has also heard a woman crying when she is there alone. She sometimes feels a presence behind her, but when she turns to speak, there is no one there. She is frequently touched, always on her left side. Once, a deep male voice yelled in her ear, asking her what she was doing.

Often in the early mornings when Courtney is alone in the coffee shop, she will see the shadow of a large man while she is grinding the coffee. She sometimes sees the reflection of a man behind her when she is walking toward the glass windows at the front of the shop, but when she turns around, no one is there.

Early one Saturday morning, she heard the bell ring above the door and saw a woman in a long pink dress standing by the closet.

Once while baking in the kitchen, the girls saw a box that had been placed on top of the trash receptacle fly off and across the room. It appeared as if someone had grabbed the box and threw it.

Barista Brittany McNeal often hears heavy footsteps at night when she is closing. One night after hours, Brittany and her boyfriend stopped by Java Jive. There was no one else in the building. Brittany put her purse in the kitchen while she went to use the restroom. When she walked into the kitchen to get her purse, it had disappeared. She and her boyfriend searched the entire building, but the purse couldn’t be found. The only place they hadn’t searched was the basement. Deciding that it couldn’t hurt to look, Brittany and her boyfriend eventually found the purse in a crevice in the wall of the basement.

Brittany has also glimpsed a dark shadow of a man walking through the shop at night while she is closing.

Maybe the apparition of the large man often seen at Java Jive is that of Percy Haydon still hanging around and wondering what happened to his hammers and nails. I think he must be pleased with the direction the building has taken as the baristas at Java Jive report no feelings of any negative energy.  Percy always did care about keeping the customer happy.

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