by Best-selling Paranormal Author Joni Mayhan
If you’re looking for a spooky evening, spend the night at one of these legendary haunted Bed and Breakfast inns. The ghosts here are interactive and enjoy surprising you with unexpected encounters. In some cases, you might even find yourself with an extra bedmate you weren’t counting on.
Yankee Peddler Inn – Torrington, Connecticut
The Yankee Pedder Inn is one of the oldest inns in New England. Built in 1891 by Irish immigrants Frank and Alice Conley, it was originally opened as the Conley Inn. Even though both of the Conleys died in 1910, it’s rumored that their ghosts remained behind. Reports of voices and rocking chairs are frequent in room 353, where Alice supposedly died. People have also witnessed the apparition of Frank appearing in room 295.
During a recent visit to the inn, I sat in on an Echovox session, where the investigators used a Instrumental Transcommunication device to speak to the dead. They received several clear responses from a woman who told them she died at the hotel years ago.
The ghosts here like to play games of hide and seek, appearing just out of the corner of your eye. When you turn to look, they are gone, leaving you wondering what you saw. I experienced this first hand inside the ladies room on the first floor when I witnessed a wispy shape flit past the closed bathroom stall door. It was enough to make me gasp. As a paranormal investigator, this was exactly what I was hoping for.
If you decide to sleep over, be prepared for vivid dreams where you might find yourself on a tour with the spirit of Frank Conley. Visit their website for more information: http://www.pedlarinn.com/
Most haunted rooms: 295 and 353
Captain Grant’s Inn – Preston, Connecticut
A woman booked the room known as Adelaide’s Room, which was known to be the most haunted room in the historic inn. She knew the inn was supposedly haunted and wanted to experience this firsthand. When she woke up in the middle of the night, she got more than she bargained for. A colonial period woman sat beside her bed, holding the hands of two children. As she blinked her eyes, the apparitions slowly faded away.
The inn was built in 1795 by Captain William Grant as a home for his family. While the Grant family remained there for three generations, their history wasn’t always of the happily-ever-after variety. During the Revolutionary War, the family was forced to share their home with soldiers of the Continental Army when the house was used as a garrison. During the Civil War, the Grant family helped hide runaway slaves, providing them with food and shelter on their way to safety. Guests often hear the sound of footsteps running down the hallway, possibly coming from the little girl who is known to haunt the inn. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.captaingrants.com/
Most haunted room: Adelaide’s Room
Highgate Manor Inn – Highgate Center, Vermont
Built in 1818 by Captain Steve Keyes, the inn was also once used as a stop on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. Slaves would enter the house through a tunnel located at the edge of the river and hide in the basement until they could be moved to another location. The tunnel is still in existence to this day.
The mansion was owned by the Keyes family until 1870, when it was sold to Dr. Henry Baxter, who ran his medical office from the house. After several of his children failed to live past the age of ten, rumors ran rampant that Dr. Baxter was experimenting on his own children. The fact that they often died of strange illnesses compounded the rumors. Bloodstains can still be found on the floor of the library, which was once his medical office.
During the Prohibition days, Al Capone was a frequent visitor at the speakeasy that was hidden in the cave-like room in the basement that linked to the underground tunnels. A bar now resides there, named after the famous mobster. During its heyday in the 1940s, Big Bands often played at the vacation resort, including Benny Goodman. If you listen very hard during the darkest hour of the night, you might hear the melody still drifting on the wind.
Prior guests and staff were often startled as doors randomly opened and closed of their own accord,often directly in front of them. The previous owner would often find an old clock that once belonged to Dr. Baxter keeping time, despite the fact that it hadn’t been wound in years. Other guests reported loud banging sounds and footsteps in the middle of the night, something that couldn’t be explained by the light of day. Sadly, the inn was sold at auction in 2015, so visitors will need to wait for their chance to visit the inn.
Most haunted rooms: The Champlain Room and the basement bar named after Al Capone.
Three Chimneys Inn – Durham, New Hampshire
A filmy white ghost often roams the dark hallways of this haunted inn. While they say she is harmless, liking to play pranks on guests and staff, she is still a frightening sight in the wee hours of the morning when the inn has settled down for the night.
The ghost also has an affinity for electronics, turning on lights and changing the settings on people’s cell phones. She has even mastered the knack of making numbers on a calculator transpose, appearing backwards on the screen.
One innkeeper had a startling encounter with the roaming ghost. She went to her office after a long day at the inn and discovered that her door was locked. This was strange, because she knew she didn’t lock the door and the only key was in her pocket. She came in and sat down at her computer to check her emails one more time before retiring for the night. When she turned on the screen a haunting message appeared. “Time to go home and rest,” it said. She smiled and turned off the computer, taking the ghost’s advice.
The ghost is believed by many to be Hannah Hill, who was the daughter of the original owner Valentine Hill who built the oldest part of the inn in 1649. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.threechimneysinn.com/
Most haunted room: Hannah has been seen in the bar area and in numerous locations in the inn
Wachusett Village Inn – Westminster, MA
The inn sits on land that was once owned by Thomas Palmer, who farmed the area in the 1800’s. With close proximity to Wachusett Mountain and beautiful scenic views, the inn wouldn’t strike most people as being haunted. If they do discover the chilling truth, it doesn’t happen until after they’ve retired to their rooms and have turned off the lights.
During several investigations there, I’ve personally experienced Mr. Palmer’s antics. He will close doors, turn on water faucets and react freely with us, using our paranormal equipment. Mr. Palmer isn’t alone though. He has a small friend just down the hall.
Many feel the little girl who haunts Room 206 is the ghost of Lucy Keyes, a girl who vanished on nearby Wachusett Mountain in 1751 after going to the river to collect white sand with her sisters. Her mother Martha became so distraught, she roamed the mountainside for years calling her daughter’s name. Hikers in the area sometimes still hear the sounds of her spectral calls. The hotel is slated to be turned into an addiction recovery center due to a struggling hotel business, so if you plan to stay here, do it soon. To reserve a room, go to their website: http://www.wachusettvillageinn.com/
Most haunted rooms: Room 204 and 206, also known as the Lucy Keyes’ Room.
Concord Colonial Inn – Concord, Massachusetts
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find a Revolutionary War soldier standing at the foot of your bed. This has been the case for many visitors to the historic Concord Colonial Inn.
dBuilt in 1716, the inn is located in Concord, Massachusetts just down the road from the North Bridge, where the battle of Lexington and Concord occurred. During the war a portion of the inn was used to store firearms and provisions for the militia. Another section was the office of Dr. Thomas Milot. Wounded soldiers were brought to his office during the battle, many of them not surviving their injuries, lending truth to the many encounters.
The inn was also home to American author Henry David Thoreau while attending college. It was later turned into boarding house, before it became a hotel called the Thoreau House. The building was converted into an inn in 1900 and has been in operation since then, playing host to several famous guests including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Shirley Temple and Bruce Springsteen.
When I had the opportunity to investigate the inn years ago, I wasn’t disappointed by the activity. While we didn’t see the soldier materialize in the bedroom, we did witness strange tapping sounds, shadows moving and odd smells appearing out of nowhere. While conducting an EVP session, attempting to get the resident ghosts to speak to us on our digital recorders, a lacy doily flew off the back of a chair and landed on my head, surprising me.
If you stay at the inn hoping to envelope yourself in history, you might get more than you bargained for as the history envelopes you back. To reserve your own haunted room, visit their website at: http://www.concordscolonialinn.com/
Most haunted room: Room 24
Chapman Inn – Bethel, Maine
The paranormal activity is so frequent in the Chapman Inn, the owners brought in a paranormal investigator to dig deeper into the haunting. What he found wasn’t surprising. Several ghosts were in residence, including the soul of Abigail Chapman, the invalid daughter of William Rogers Chapman, the man who originally built the house.
Abigail’s life couldn’t have been pleasant. Being born with an infliction, her father hired a live-in nanny to care for her. Since Abigail was unable to leave the house, the nanny became her only friend. When she died at the age of sixteen, some say her soul never left the house. The investigator feels that the other resident ghost is her companion, who didn’t want to leave her young charge behind.
Staff and guests often experience cold drafts in otherwise warm rooms, unexplained footsteps in vacant areas, and lights that go on and off on their own accord. Guests have been startled by whispered voices uttered breathlessly close to their ears.
One guest, in particular, had a frightening encounter. She came into her room and was surprised to find a woman wearing a white nightgown standing in her room. “You’re in the wrong room,” she told the woman, thinking she was another guest who had somehow mistakenly ended up in her room. The woman in the nightgown just stared at her blankly before putting a finger to her lips and said, “Shhhhh.” She then turned and walked into a wall, vanishing into thin air.
Perhaps one of the more startling hauntings is the mysterious appearance of a black cat. He is so real and solid, people often mistake him for a living cat as he darts out of the room. Most people don’t realize they’ve seen a ghost until they report it to the staff.
Accredited as the only “certified haunted” inn in western Maine, the inn is proud of their haunting, offering a “Come Meet the Spirits” page on their website. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.chapmaninn.com/spirits.htm
Most haunted rooms: Rooms 7 and 9
Lizzy Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum- Fall River, Massachusetts
I had a chance to visit the world famous Lizzy Borden Bed & Breakfast several years ago as part of a paranormal group. Like everyone else in Massachusetts, and possibly the world, I knew the story of how Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered with a hatchet in their Fall River home during the summer of 1892. While many felt that his daughter Lizzie committed the murder, she was acquitted of the murder and was allowed to live out her life in a nearby home in Fall River.
For decades, guests and staff have repeatedly seen apparitions moving about the house as though caught in a time warp. One guest came into her room to discover a women dressed in period clothing making her bed. She blinked, wondering if it was a member of the staff until the apparition faded away to nothing. Others have encountered touches and pushes.
During my visit at the inn, I encountered very little for the first half of the night. I was beginning to wonder if the inn was truly haunted or not. As my group sat in the room that once belonged to Bridget, the maid, I had an experience that would leave me shaking my head.
One of the investigators turned on his digital recorder, only to discover that his battery had died. he didn’t have a fresh battery in his equipment bag, so he asked if anyone else had one he could use. At that precise moment, we all heard the sound of something rolling across the hardwood floor. It rolled for almost twenty seconds until it came in contact with his foot in the pitch-dark room. He turned on his flashlight and laughed. The item we all heard rolling was a AAA battery, the exact type he needed for his recorder.
To experience Lizzy Borden’s Bed & Breakfast Museum for yourself, visit their website: https://lizzie-borden.com/
Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator and the author of 13 paranormal books. To learn more about her, visit her website http://jonimayhan.com
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