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Patty Leon: A grande Casper-Mocha Latte, please!
Patty Leon new

When I heard the Cozy Bean in Midway had closed, I was sad. They had good food and a variety of coffee, smoothies, and assorted beverages, and the place had great ambiance. The owner, Emily Green, was full of energy, loved her employees and always gave back to her community.

They were selected as Best Coffee Shop in Liberty and Long counties in the Best of Liberty contest this year. The owner had her reasons for closing, but I’m not here to get into all that. Let’s just say the Cozy Bean will be missed by many.

But the doors of the coffee shop will be open once again — with a spooky little twist. Get ready to order your favorite latte with a side of ghostly activity as paranormal investigator Patrick Welsh opens Haunted Grounds Coffee in the former Cozy Bean location.

Welsh said they will offer “Hauntingly Good” coffee and prepackaged foods like muffins and cookies. They also plan to offer paranormal classes so anyone interested can learn the basics about paranormal investigations and ghostly activities. The cost for the paranormal classes will be between $19.95 and $24.95 and will only be offered on weekends after 5 p.m.

As many of you know, or if you didn’t, you now do, I am also a paranormal investigator, and have investigated several places in Liberty County to include the historic jail, the Dorchester Civic Center, Walthourville Cemetery, the old Mills house (before it was moved) and so many other locations.

I asked Welsh how he got into paranormal investigations.

“I got into the paranormal at the age of 6,” he told me. “I was staying at my grandparents’ house and a man woke me up, standing in the doorway of the bedroom. He looked at me, evil, and his eyes were black. When he turned away, I saw black holes in his back, neck, and his head. It scared me so bad I couldn’t sleep.

“The next morning at breakfast, I asked my grandpa if he had tried to scare me. He said, ‘No, why?’ I told him what I had seen and described him.

“My grandpa told me that I had just described his daddy, who had been dead for almost 60 years. I asked him what happened, and told me that his brother shot him in the back six times for beating on his mama again. Since then, I have always wanted answers to what I saw, and wanted to help others as well.”

His experience is a bit more intense than what I experienced as a teenager that has led me to question everything about ghosts, haunting, cryptozoology and other unexplained occurrences. However, I could relate to what he was saying.

When Welsh first posted on Facebook about the paranormal coffee shop, he did get a few negative comments. There is a stigma surrounding the paranormal community. Many people tend to think investigators are tied to demonology or we’re busy conjuring the devil.

Take it from me and Welsh, that is nowhere near the truth. In fact, in most cases, the opposite is the case. Welsh and his team from the Paranormal Society of Savannah do whatever they can to help families rid themselves of “things” that might be negative energy or restless souls. These “things” can cause problems for others and even torment an individual or family. Welsh and his team have helped many throughout Savannah and southeast Georgia for quite some time, and they don’t charge a penny.

Welsh said the coffee shop is a way to create income so they can continue their investigations at no cost to their clients.

It turns out the building might have an eerie, if not tragic, back story.

Back in June, Welsh and his team were called out to the Cozy Bean to investigate odd happenings. Welsh said the team is currently researching the history of the former bank and has learned that a man was ambushed and killed at the back of the building. He reported keys being moved around, signs being knocked over, papers being shuffled and chairs moving.

Looks like the next time I’m headed to Midway, I’ll be packing my full-spectrum camera, K-2 meter, REM-Pod, FLIR thermal camera, and all my other equipment and ordering up a grande Casper-Mocha Latte at Haunted Grounds Coffee. The shop is at 248 Butler Street in Midway.

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