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GREAT PLACES TO SLEEP WITH A GHOST
BedandBreakfast.com's Annual 2008 Roundup of Bootiful
and Spirited “Dead and Breakfasts”
Hysterical or historical, ghostly spirits make themselves as comfortable in America's B&Bs as living guests do, and not just in the dead of night. No one's sure if it's the great breakfasts, the warm hospitality, or the atmosphere of these historic homes, but friendly spirits simply can't get enough of America's B&Bs. For the seventh time since 2002, www.BedandBeakfast.com, the largest online B&B directory and reservation network worldwide, has compiled the most comprehensive list of B&Bs and inns where ghost seekers will enjoy spirited gatherings and potentially close encounters with the other world, bed-and-breakfast style. Although innkeepers are often afraid to share stories about hosting ghosts for fear of scaring guests, these B&Bs dare to reveal their ghostly happenings and haunted hospitality. Here is the complete list of the colorful ghost stories from America's B&Bs, organized regionally, then alphabetically by state.
West and Southwest
Midwest and Great Lakes
Outside the U.S.
WEST & SOUTHWEST
Red Garter B&B, Williams, AZ: Owner-innkeeper John Holst describes himself as a "hardcore skeptic" when it comes to ghostly apparitions. But he has come to terms with his B&B's resident ghost, named Eve. This two-story 1897 Victorian Romanesque-style bed and breakfast, once considered the rowdiest abode on Williams' Saloon Row, operated as a bar and bordello until the 1940s. A steep flight of steps known as the "Cowboy's Endurance Test" led to the girls upstairs. Holst is pretty sure that one of the women of the night never left. While most guests have a good night's sleep, a few have said they felt the bed shake, heard someone going up and down the stairs or felt something touching their arms, according to Holst. Come experience it for yourself with nightly 'Walking Ghost Tours' until Halloween and 'Ghost Tales of the Grand Canyon Area' through the winter.
Brannan Cottage Inn, Calistoga, CA: Built in 1860, this inn offers two haunted rooms available for the brave and curious. Visit in October to enjoy plenty of lights and creepy Halloween fashion.
The Groveland Hotel, Groveland, CA: An old gold-miner named Lyle was found dead with a box of dynamite under his bed here, yet he still prefers to hang around. Spirited storyteller and innkeeper Peggy Mosley has a collection of Lyle stories compiled from employees and guests that she loves to tell. Although a recluse in life, Lyle's spirit tends to the playful. He particularly dislikes women's cosmetics on 'his' dresser and has been known to move such items to a nearby sink. One Groveland Hotel guest watched as her new makeup 'hopped' over the back of the dresser and landed on the floor. Lyle is a great tease who likes to tinker with lights and water, and enjoys moving items around desktops.
Gate House Inn, Jackson, CA: According to the innkeepers of this historic Queen Anne mansion, a “Garden Ghost” appeared soon after the unruly overgrowth around the mansion was cleared away for new gardens. An innkeeper actually reported a “tap” on his shoulder while working outside. Although no paranormal activity has been reported within the inn, the surrounding land has a ghostly presence.
1859 Historic National Hotel B&B, Jamestown, CA: The many accounts of slamming doors, clothing being dumped from suitcases, and a women's sobbing in the hallway have caused even nonbelievers to change their attitude after staying in this 1859 historic inn. The ghost who resides here is believed to be the spirit of a woman affectionately named “Flo,” found dead in her hotel bed in 1897 with a note by her side addressed to her long-lost fiancé. Could it be that Flo is not quite ready to go?
MacCallum House Inn, Mendocino, CA: According to town lore, Donald MacCallum - born in 1880 as the only son of Daisy and Alexander MacCallum - never truly left the second floor. Many guests over the years have testified to strange and unexplained happenings in room 4, where Donald slept from the time he was an infant.
Riverside B&B , Oroville, CA: On Halloween weekend, you'll hear ghost tales around the fire with stories about the inn's Fly Fisherman Ghost. This sportsman spirit is actually a former guest who came one year to take in the spectacle of the king salmon and steelhead trout spawning on the Feather River. He disappeared while staying at the inn, and many think that he simply stayed on in spirit to enjoy the incredible fishing.
Bissell House, Pasadena, CA: Both current and prior owners have stories to tell that will leave guests looking over their shoulder at this well-known haunted house. Tales of paranormal activity include unexplained voices and footsteps on an empty third floor, electric lights with a mind of their own, and a women wearing a red dress, believed to be the restless spirit of Anna Bissell McCay.
Albert Shafsky House B&B Inn, Placerville, CA: Albert Shafsky built his home in 1902 - and according to the innkeepers here, he's still hanging around. Shafsky sometimes locks guests out of their rooms and leaves pennies in strange places. An apparition fitting his description has even been seen standing at the foot of one guest's bed.
Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco, CA: Built as a girls' finishing school following the Gold Rush, the headmistress apparently hasn't given up her role of tending to the needs of the building's occupants. Dozens of accounts speak of "Miss Mary Lake" appearing briefly in a mirror or being noticed as a hot or cold spot in a room. There's even an odd report of Mary tucking in a napping traveler with the blanket snugly tucked all the way around the bed. The occurrences all happen in what's referred to as "Miss Mary Lake Suite" or "the haunted room" (No. 410). No wonder this is the hotel's most popular room among those seeking a chance at the third dimension. Celebrity psychic Nancy Bradley and Paranormals "Gold Rush Ghosts" have verified that the building is haunted and confirm the ghosts are friendly. It's the first stop on the Pacific Heights Ghost Trek.
Santa Paula Inn, Santa Paula, CA: Built in 1912 as the town's mortuary, this building was destroyed when the St. Francis Dam broke and 900 buildings were washed away. More than 200 bodies were stacked up here for loved ones to identify. Most have moved on, but a few continue to hang around, reminding guests to “wash away” cares at this peaceful inn.
Ghost Rails Inn, Alberton, MT: A century ago, the old Milwaukee Railroad paused here to take on water and change crews; the inn was built to house the railroad workers. When the Milwaukee Road abandoned services and pulled up the tracks in the 1970s, the town of Alberton nearly disappeared. It's coming back to life today as a bedroom community for nearby Missoula, just 30 minutes away. The railroading days live on in the form of a phantom brakeman, still awaiting his call upstairs in the old hotel, according to the tales of those who've seen him.
Bottger Mansion of Old Town, Albuquerque, NM: Resident ghosts sigh, pace, and sometimes even dance. There are three confirmed, and more likely six contented spirits here, documented by investigators of the paranormal. Stay over Halloween or any other time of year, and you just might experience them.
1888 Linburg House, Goliad, TX: Friendly spirits dwell here but only appear when there's a wedding involved. Sightings have included an older woman in a white nightgown with long gray hair and a bearded man with long gray hair in a three-piece suit. In all cases, these friendly spirits appeared before those involved in the wedding party. Photos of the Linburg family, original owners and namesakes of the B&B, show striking similarities to the apparitions described by guests.
Prince Solms Inn Bed & Breakfast, New Braunfels, TX: In the early 1900s, a young woman clad in a lacy wedding dress waited for her husband to arrive for their wedding at this inn. He did not appear, and despite a thorough search, he was deemed to have disappeared. The woman vowed to reside at the inn until he came, and she stayed on the staff for the next 20 years until her death in the late 1920s, still awaiting her true love. In 1930, a man arrived by horseback in search of a woman, and when he climbed the stairs to find her, innkeepers reported seeing the woman waiting in her wedding dress. The couple embraced, then slowly disappeared. No one ever came to claim his horse, tied to the hitching post. Since then, there have been numerous sightings of a woman in her wedding dress.
Texas White House, Fort Worth, TX: The ghost here is believed to be the husband of the only family who ever lived in the house. He died here and now haunts his old bedroom (now the Lone Star Room). Interestingly, the ghost sightings occur when a single woman is staying in the room. One woman awoke in the middle of the night, feeling that someone was lying on the bed beside her, back to back. She says that for several minutes she lay perfectly still, then she felt the "person" start to move off of the bed. At that point she turned over very quickly to see who it was, and no one was there. The overhead light then came on, even though no one had turned it on. Another woman awoke feeling someone getting into bed with her. She turned over immediately to see who it was, but no one was there. Immediately afterwards, her cell phone, which was plugged in several feet away, began to beep and wouldn't stop for several seconds. She says that her phone had never done that before. A third woman reported that she felt a presence in the corner. Later that night she felt the same presence again on the other side of the bed. Thus far, all of the presences have been "friendly."
Thornewood Castle, Lakewood, WA: So ghostly is this B&B, it served as a set for Stephen King's mini series Rose Red in 2002. In real life, while no scary hauntings have occurred, guests have reported their share of chills. Invisible presences, the sound of footsteps, and stories of apparitions have been told. The ghost of Chester Thorne has been seen on the grounds and passing through his bedroom. According to lore, if you stay in Thorne's old room and ask for his help with financial matters, he will give you a hand. Thorne's daughter Anna is often seen sitting at her bedroom windows, looking out. The property has Native American lore - the house is said to sit atop a fairy mound - and fairies are often reported in the gardens. Plenty of orbs have also appeared in guests' photographs here.
MIDWEST & GREAT LAKES STATES
The Blue Belle Inn, Saint Ansgar, IA: The original floor plans to the house were mistakenly taken to the dump, only to reappear later in the attic. A room was mysteriously locked - but no one was inside to have locked it. Every possible key was tried to no avail; finally, in desperation, the innkeeper called out, "Will whoever is in there please open the door?" whereupon the door immediately popped open.
Inn at 835, Springfield, IL: One guest reported hearing a warm and friendly voice saying, "Well, hello there." No one was around. Another event included a single book being placed in the middle of the room multiple times. Each time it was removed from a tightly packed shelf and placed in the middle of the room. Another time, wallpaper peeled off the wall, only to be perfectly repaired by the next morning. And every now and then, there are reports of the sound of a lid being removed from a crystal candy dish and then replaced, even though no one is around. The elevator delivers guests to random floors regardless of which button is pushed. Repeated inspections and servicing proves it to be in perfect working order; does it have a mind of its own, or is there an unseen passenger? Reportedly Bell Miller, the former owner, was so proud of her 1909 dream home that she apparently never left.
Old Bridge Inn, Jeffersonville, IN: Recently, a candleholder lost four years earlier reappeared in the middle of a guest room. Guests have reported seeing floating objects, canes being picked up and twirled around, tea cups floating across the room, and several candles being raised up then down on their own. Two women reported seeing a welcoming bearded gentleman in the dining room. From photos, they determined that he may have been the son of the property's longtime owner, Dr. Hancock. A small dog named Buttons has also been seen.
Inn at Aberdeen, Valparaiso, IN: Featured in the book Haunted Hoosier Trails, guests report seeing a little girl ghost, often observed late at night on the master staircase. She has been noted to "mess with the guests' stuff" or turn on the fireplace in their rooms. The Indiana Ghost Trackers investigated the inn and reported that Sarah Ritter, an original inhabitant, and her two children died in the home. The Ghost Trackers detected the presence of a young girl and a male with high EMF (electromagnetic field) meter readings and positive EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recordings. A door repeatedly opened behind them when the girl's presence was felt during the Ghost Trackers' stay.
Grand Avenue B&B, Carthage, MO: While the "no smoking" rule is in effect for all guests, the former owner is exempt. A ghostly whiff of his trademark cigar smoke wafts through the rooms from time to time when he makes his visits to his 1893 Victorian mansion.
Thayer's Historic Bed 'n Breakfast, Annandale, MN: Built in 1895 by Gus and Caroline Thayer, these former owners loved their home so much that they are still regular guests - over a century later. Even if you are not visited by the Thayers' spirits, the innkeeper Sharon Gammell can put you in touch with the future with psychic readings, while ghost buster wannabes can attend the Ghost Hunters 101 Class.
Classic Rosewood - A Thorwood Property, Hastings, MN: The sound of cackling laughter coming from under the bed, then wild vibrations from a guest room headboard and a strange light shining on the ceiling had one guest thinking the inn was haunted. It turned out that a former guest left a cell phone under the bed and decided to call herself in the middle of the night in an attempt to locate it. Still, you never know! Ghosts have been known to carry cell phones.
Bingham Hall B&B, New Ulm, MN: The innkeepers have seen a man named Jake standing in the doorway, never going in or out. Additionally, guests say that the doors open by themselves, and they hear noises and feel a presence of someone watching them.
Hannibal Garden House B&B , Hannibal, MO: Hannibal, the boyhood home of Mark Twain and his fictitious characters Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, is also home to playful spirits. One resides at the Garden House, where a male presence is most commonly felt in the stone basement playing music, talking, and sawing wood. Recently one "ghost busting" guest who returns often in search of sightings saw an apparition cross in front of the TV, and disappear into the closet. This Halloween, take the "Haunted Historic Hannibal Trolley Tour"; stops include the cemetery where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn played and the Old Jail Museum, home to many spirits of its own.
Hannibal Bed and Breakfast at Rockcliffe Mansion, Hannibal, MO: Built in 1898 and described as the "finest home in Missouri," this mansion was boarded up for 43 years after its owner, John J. Cruikshank Jr., died in 1924. During the years of the vacancy, local children would run through the home, under the dare to make it all the way up to the third floor classroom, tear off a piece of the schoolroom map, and return outside to prove they had made it through Hannibal's most "haunted house." Caretakers who watched over the vacant house would often be forced to leave their living quarters due to the strong smell of cigarette smoke that would sometimes appear at midnight. Now restored as a B&B, the housekeepers at Rockcliffe Mansion have to straighten the bed in the former owner's room, even when no one has been sleeping there, as it mysteriously retains the form of a 5'4" body. Mr. Cruikshank, who stood 5'4" while alive, died in that very bed! From time to time, guests have witnessed Mrs. Cruikshank floating through her grand music room.
Rivercene Mansion B&B, Boonville, MO: This 1869 mansion was the home of riverboat captain Joseph Kinney and was owned by the Kinney family until the 1990s. Captain Kinney's son Noble met an untimely death at the age of 26, when he fell down the grand staircase. The heirs, along with guests, have reported very strange encounters with Noble. Not quite ready to leave, Noble is still hanging around playing pranks on guests and innkeepers.
Colonel Taylor Inn B&B, Cambridge, OH: Named for the former Civil War soldier and four-term U.S. Congressman, the Colonel still roams the household, the smoke from his pipe lingering in this non-smoking inn. His entire family also inhabits the inn, from the mischievous little boy to both wives of the Colonel, plus assorted adult children. Footsteps are often heard at night, images of former servants falling down the stairs are seen, and even the tabby cat has been spotted. Beds rock without reason, and toys move on their own, but the innkeepers are confident that these friendly spirits are glad that the house is being restored to its original Victorian opulence.
Mill House B&B, Grand Rapids, OH: From time to time, guests have claimed that the inn is haunted. After hearing a noise in the attic, the son of the innkeepers checked it out and created a video for the Internet about his spooky adventure.
C.M. Spitzer House B&B, Medina, OH: A story is told about a nosy female apparition who appeared with limited facial features except a heavy jaw. She was a short, stout woman, in her 20s, wearing what the Edwardians called a "wrapper" or housedress. She fired questions, asking her surprised witness about the family, and then disappeared as quickly as she came.
Honeybee Inn B&B, Horicon, WI: It's believed that a lumber baron named Coton is still hanging around with his female companions. His beloved rocking chair, where he died, rocks by itself, and the innkeeper's family has spotted a woman in a long skirt with an apron. Investigators of the paranormal explain that stairs squeaking at night and the unexplained ringing of bells are evidence of an active spirit in residence.
1872 John Denham House, Monticello, FL: Not only is this 130-year-old National Historic Register B&B certifiably haunted, guests can explore another dimension during October Teen and Parent Ghost Hunting Weekends. Enjoy a ghost tour and seminar, and learn hands-on skills for ghost tracking, plus how to record orbs and vortexes, in audio, video, photographic and temperature formats. The course covers following the standards and protocols of the International Ghost Hunter's Society; official Ghost Tracker Certificates will be presented. Call for rates and dates.
Avera-Clarke House B&B, Monticello, FL: Located in one of ABC-TV's Most Haunted Small Towns, this B&B is a popular stop on the local walking tour. Take this historic stroll, and you just might see ghostly vestiges of Honorable Judge Thomas Clarke, a local banker, appear in unusual ways.
Casablanca Inn, St. Augustine, FL: This inn's haunted heritage began to take its shape during the early 1930s when it was a boarding house. A widow who ran the boarding house would stand watch on the balcony, swinging a lantern back and forth to warn rumrunners when government revenuers were in town. The widow has long been dead, but anglers and shrimpers passing through the inlet say they often see the swinging lantern atop the Casablanca Inn.
Penny Farthing Inn, St. Augustine, FL: Ghost busters, guests, and the innkeeper have said that plenty of playful spirits hang around here. Occurrences include midnight tugs-of-war with the blankets, and glasses leaning over and clinking on sherry bottles. One college professor described a young lady sitting on the daybed in his room when he woke up. Then, a few days later, the four-year-old daughter of the owners asked if the lady in the doorway of the dining room was a guest; the little girl described the lady she saw exactly as the college professor had.
St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine, FL: The St. Francis is the oldest inn in St. Augustine. The inn was built in 1791, and you can count on a few of its former residents still making an appearance from time to time. According to former guest Dave Lapham, shortly after he and his wife checked in, strange things began to happen. Another visitor at the inn described seeing a young African American girl, dressed in white, floating down the hallway. Later, just before going to bed, she said she saw the girl again in her room. Another guest reported that each time they tried to fill the bath with water, it kept getting hotter and hotter, no matter how much cold water was added.
Azalea Inn and Gardens, Savannah, GA: Photos taken by guests have revealed orbs, and for days one room stayed icy cold despite the heater. Alarms sounding and phones ringing inexplicably in the middle of the night and a baby's footprints appearing on the carpet are among the clues that former inhabitants are in residence. The original owners of the mansion had a son who suffered from dwarfism and died at an early age; clearly he's not yet ready to leave.
Foley House, Savannah, GA: Legend has it that the house was owned in the late 19th century by a widow who rented rooms to travelers and boarders. She was suspicious of one male renter who came and went at odd hours of the night, but decided he was just a loner. One night, the lady was in her room when she heard the front door open and slam shut. She noticed the footsteps did not continue to the next floor but instead stopped outside her bedroom door. The door swung open and the boarder attempted to strangle her. Unable to scream, she grabbed a candlestick from her night stand and beat him over the head. He fell to the floor and the widow ran to another boarder's room for help. Returning to the bedroom, they discovered the man was dead. Without money for a lawyer and fearful that she would be imprisoned for murder, the lady asked the boarder to help her conceal the body in return for free rent. On her death bed, she told her friends what happened that fearful night, but never revealed the location of the body. Some have reported hearing the door in the guest room where the man was killed suddenly open, followed by a rush of air, even though no one is there.
Kehoe House B&B, Savannah, GA: Set in a beautifully restored 1892 Queen Anne-style mansion, this B&B is reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of twin Kehoe children who may have died while playing in one of the house's fireplaces (now blocked up). The inn's website speaks of many reported sightings of the ghosts and the sound of children laughing and playing in the dead of night.
Marshall House, Savannah, GA: Opened in 1851, this inn was used as a hospital twice during Savannah's 19th-century yellow fever epidemics and during the Civil War by the Union Army. Are they former patients who've been reported in the hallways and in the foyer? We'll never know, but the Travel Channel has featured this inn on haunted hotel programs and specials. The Ghost Packages at The Marshall House are always a favorite.
Old Harbour Inn, Savannah, GA: Home to "Hank," guests have reported smelling cigar smoke when no smokers were present, experiencing things moving around, witnessing coins dropping on the floor, and more. Want to meet Hank the friendly ghost? Book one of two Haunted Hotel packages offered throughout the year.
Glen-Ella Springs Inn, Clarkesville, GA: Several unexplained incidents have been reported over the last 10 years. Unusual activity included guests reporting that they awoke to an old woman in 1800s-style clothes, standing in the room. The woman just stood quietly and then disappeared. Other ghostly occurrences include the opening of screen doors, lights fading on and off, music playing in empty rooms without radios, and voices heard in dark air.
Village Inn, Stone Mountain, GA: Both guests and owners are sure there is a ghost in residence here. There have been varied reports of lights mysteriously going out, ceiling fans running by themselves, and the occasional ghostly singing. On the first New Year's Eve the innkeepers lived here, they heard pictures fall off the wall twice but never found anything that had fallen. It is presumed that a friendly spirit resides here, most likely a former resident who didn't want to leave.
Central Park Bed & Breakfast, Louisville, KY: Located in the heart of Central Park, where numerous ghost sightings have been reported, it's no wonder this 1884 mansion has a few friendly spirits still roaming the halls. Included in the local twice-weekly ghost tours, many a strange sighting has occurred in the flickering of gas lights outside.
Avenue Inn B&B, New Orleans, LA: Beds move and shake in the night, singing can be heard coming from the old Nanny's quarters when no one is there, and strange power surges in computers have all been reported from this Queen Anne style mansion in the New Orleans Garden District. Once, during a wedding ceremony, loud knocking sounds came from the inn's dining room fireplace. Was it the wind or the original resident of the home signaling his approval? We'll never know.
Creole Gardens, New Orleans, LA: Ghosts don't like change, and when this building was restored as an inn, 400-pound doors slammed for no apparent reason, and bathroom tiles that had been neatly stacked were found scattered about the floor. One guest reported a clear image of a former slave standing in the corner of the room with arms folded, apparently awaiting orders. Another guest reported a man visiting at night, speaking softly. Housekeepers report dark, flitting blurs, and a feeling of someone watching them.
5 Continents B&B, New Orleans, LA: In a city known for its ghosts, vampires and Voodoo culture, this inn promises not to disappoint guests with its offer to sleep with not only one spirit, but three. This 1890s Greek Revival Mansion has three resident ghosts, including a man said to have been a previous master of the house, a mysterious woman of color in a flowing white dress, and a very unusual part-time spirit in the kitchen area.
Magnolia Mansion, New Orleans, LA: Clearly, spirits here don't just come from Bourbon Street bars. Take off your slippers, and you may hear footsteps out in the hall pacing until you cover up your bare feet. Alarms, the quiet tinkling of a music box, overturned water glasses, and a little girl who visits in the night are all common evidences of the spirits residing here. Describing the inn as "hauntingly romantic," one woman had the covers pulled up around her by a "spirited" visitor while her husband slept soundly beside her. Account after account in the inn's guest books recount chance meetings with polite and friendly ghosts. Many a guest has captured their "other world" friends in photos of orbs and apparitions posted on the inn's website. Want an encounter with the inn's friendly ghosts? You must make your intention known upon entering. For the ultimate in Halloween weddings, book the Halloween Gothic Elopement/Wedding Package.
Asheville Seasons B&B, Asheville, NC: Grace is the former owner's great-grandmother who died at the inn. She's an extremely friendly apparition who just can't get enough good loving, today or in her past life. By the way, wherever Grace goes, her dog follows. Ever heard of a tail-wagging ghost? Perhaps it's her footsteps that innkeepers hear upstairs when no guests are there, perhaps it's the dog. Maybe both.
Twin Lakes Lodge, Greensboro, NC: Noted ghost-story writer John Hardin, author of Tar Heel Ghosts and The Devils Tramping Ground, lived in this home prior to its becoming an inn. Is it possible he got his ideas from spirits still hanging around? One guest reported a woman with a long flowing dress floating over the lake one night. Dismissing these visions as a dream, he awoke the next morning to find wet footsteps on his suite's otherwise dry deck, coming up over the railing and to the window. Another guest said the woman in the white flowing dress hummed to her at her bedside.
Inn on Main Street, Weaverville, NC: Innkeepers have heard pictures falling off walls, yet never found anything that has fallen. Doors open and close with no one there. Strangely, all ghostly happenings happen on New Year's Eve. This former surgeon's office still bears blood stains that won't sand out (now covered by tiles), yet guests have told innkeepers all energy here is good energy. The innkeepers say they've never lost a guest to the inn's 10 identified "energy forces," including men, women, children, Native Americans, and a white dog.
Carambola Inn B&B, Fuquay-Varina NC: The distinctive scent of perfume and a feeling of an unseen presence give believers in the third dimension the distinct impression that the former residents are still hanging around. One sighting included a friendly woman hovering about five inches off the ground. Come see for yourself.
Rutledge Victorian Guest House, Charleston, SC: Guests who'd been trying for eight years to conceive a child and finally gave up hope stayed here in the Victoria Suite. The night they stayed there, they felt something sit on the bed, yet nothing was there. Nine months later, their daughter was born, which they attribute to “Casper” the friendly ghost who visited them.
Litchfield Plantation, Pawley's Island, SC: The Gun Room Suite is a two-room suite once used by former plantation owner Dr. Tucker for his bedroom and examination room. Dr. Tucker was an avid hunter and gun collector, hence the name of the suite. His former gun racks now resemble library shelves and are stocked with books from the period. His friendly ghost is noted to make an occasional appearance now and then, just to make sure all's well at Litchfield Plantation.
Pinhook Plantation House B&B, Calhoun, TN: Tales of spirits abound here, including the "Lady in the Gray Gown" opening the front door and walking up the winding stairs, and a monk and other ghosts having a meeting in the Gathering Room late one night. A school teacher who formerly lived in the house brought her students to show them the rocking chair that frantically rocked, and then suddenly stopped as if someone got up.
Prospect Hill B&B , Mountain City, TN: A visit here may reveal a glimpse of a shadow disappearing around the corner, the distinctive cry of a baby, firm leather shoes going up and down the stairs, or the unexplained shattering of bathroom glasses flying into the air. True to the Southern tradition, this friendly ghost loves to get into the bourbon, and reports of peanut butter cookies baking in the oven at all hours of the night also confirm its presence.
By The Side of The Road Bed and Breakfast, Harrisonburg, VA: When the innkeeper went to turn off the basement light, something grabbed her hand, yet nothing was there. Just about every day footsteps are heard in hallways, and doors unexplainably open and close.
Black Horse Inn, Warrenton, VA: Four ghosts have been accounted for in this former Civil War hospital. The first is a woman believed to have been a nurse in the hospital, who is inclined to laugh only in gentlemen's ears. She is believed to be comforting them with her soft, kind laughter just as she did the soldiers she tended. The second ghost is known to the whole community as "The Dancer" because the tap, tap of his shoes is heard throughout the night as he dances at the top of the stairs. Another male ghost inhabiting the Burgundy Room makes an impression on the comforter each time he sits on the bed. And the Ghost of Christmas has tipped over the Christmas tree -- breaking all the ornaments -- each year for the past three years. The tree is now wired to the corner of the room.
Elkhorn Inn & Theater, Landgraff, WV: A spirit the innkeepers playfully call “Molly” made her presence known often when the inn was first opened. Lights would suddenly come on, doors would mysteriously unlock, and one painting came off the wall each night after it was re-hung. Roofers were hired to fix the roof, and one of them saw a female spirit at his door. Tales are told of a woman who died in one of the offices of the building before it was converted to an inn. Could Molly still be hanging around? They're still trying to figure that out.
Reynolds Tavern, Annapolis, MD: When you stay at Historic Reynolds Tavern, you may be cared for by the innkeepers or by Mary Reynolds herself. Mary maintained the tavern until her death in 1785, yet some believe she has never left the building. Employees have heard her sing Christmas carols, experienced her "fixing" the grandfather clock in the dining room, and watched as she showed her dislike of new employees by breaking tea pots and glasses. The Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association confirmed her presence with photographs and temperature readings, and exclaimed that Mary is not alone; they identified a total of five spirits in the house.
Main Street Manor, Flemington, NJ: A strange presence has been felt by guests of the inn, including an expert on ghosts. One woman asked if a baby had been born in her room, feeling the presence of mother and daughter. While no actual sightings have been reported, guests feel an ethereal presence here.
Manchester Inn, Ocean Grove, NJ: Check in to room 316, and ghosts may literally pull your leg. It's been known to happen there, when a guest felt a tugging at her pants leg several times. Strange noises and disappearing shadows in the hallway are other indicators that friendly spirits inhabit this inn.
White Lilac Inn, Spring Lake, NJ: Many guests have smelled a floral scent on the staircase, always in the same place. The owners of the inn learned that former owner Sally Mann Randock Francis, now deceased, wore a floral perfume. Given the colorful nature of Sally Mann Randock Francis's life, it is believed that she's hanging on to insure guests share in the fun and frivolity that endured there during her lifetime.
Sutherland House, Canandaigua, NY: This B&B was transformed from an actual haunted house. While here, don't forget to view the scrapbook that documents the transformation from ghostly manor to B&B, and keep a keen eye out for shadows that might appear when you least expect them.
Battle Island Inn B&B, Fulton, NY: Whispers of "hello" and a child calling "Mom!", baskets swinging on the walls, and placemats and forks moving from the table to a chair are just some of the games played by the welcoming ghosts. Within minutes of hearing the cry of the child for her mother, one doubting innkeeper found a game card on her lawn that read, "When did you come closest to believing in the supernatural?" Despite a recent rainfall, the card was in perfect condition.
Black Sheep Inn, Hammondsport, NY: At various times throughout the renovations of this inn, a man appeared looking down from windows or standing in doorways. He has always indicated his approval for the work being done on the house with nods or knocks on the wall. Recently, both a guest and the innkeepers awoke at the very same moment, feeling a friendly presence in the inn. Photos taken of the innkeepers show distinctive orbs.
Captain Schoonmaker's B&B, High Falls, NY: Starting with the comment, "a funny thing happened last night," guests often share tales of how a candle was lit, a light was turned on, or they heard footsteps when no one was there. In 1814, the 12-year-old son of the inn's namesake, a Revolutionary War hero, died and was buried outside the inn. As mischievous as young boys are, the theory is this little boy is hanging around still having a little fun.
Ancestors Inn, Liverpool, NY: Innkeepers Mary and Dan Weidman are quite sure that the original owners of this house are still present, glad to see a family return to what had been a dentist's office. Even though they turn off lights when they leave, the lights are always on to welcome guests to the inn. Door knobs rattle in the night though no one is present. What is most uncanny is that photos taken of the inn often do not come out, unless the innkeepers are included in them. A gentle spirit, who's identified himself as Tim to those who've seen him, takes care of arriving guests who feel ill. Those who've experienced these spirits say they are friendly and attentive.
1871 House, New York City, NY: One guest recounted a vivid story about awakening to find a well-dressed man wearing a bowler hat standing at the end of her bed. Strangely, she was not afraid and requested that he leave her alone. He slowly got up and left out the door, never to return.
Saratoga Farmstead, Saratoga Springs, NY: A young black boy and his enslaved mother hid in the attic during the Civil war and eventually died there. From then on, each time someone tried to climb up the attic stairs, the ghost of the boy stuck his arm out, tripping the intruder to protect his mother. During a session with paranormal experts, these ghosts were released to "the next level," and folks no longer trip on these stairs.
Harry Packer Mansion, Jim Thorpe, PA: While the owners claim it's not spooky inside, the facade of this pink mansion was used by Disney as a model for their haunted mansion. While ghost stories have been confined exclusively to the murder mysteries held here throughout the year, the owners are on the lookout for Disney personalities going bump in the night.
Inn at Jim Thorpe, Jim Thorpe, PA: Simply visit the inn's website, and click on the Ghost Stories button to learn about the antics of the friendly spirits here. Guests have caught unexplained shadows and orbs on digital cameras, and one guest explained how the chair in his room turned upside down each time he tried to sleep. One guest even claimed that a ghost put his phone in the refrigerator.
Cornerstone B&B, Philadelphia, PA: A sweet, floral scent precedes sightings of a ghostly female shape at the Cornerstone. Innkeepers claim she is an ethereal presence, and her signature perfume always occurs as she gently taps the foreheads of those at the inn. Some claim she's a resident angel; others feel she's a ghost.
Captain Grant's, Poquetanuck, CT: Visitors to this historic 1754 inn are told when they arrive that if they hear the loud knock at the door, they can answer if they like, but nobody will be there. Those who stay at the Adelaide Room are sure to have some contact with the mysterious woman and her two children who once lived there, whether it is through the TV turning on and off or the shower curtain continuously falling down. One guest even had her ChapStick levitate out of her purse on a recent visit. While visiting, take a tour of the local cemeteries, also known to house their own ghostly dwellers.
Penny House Inn, Eastham, MA: Home to the "Goodnight Ghost," along with other playful spirits, ghost stories from this inn are well documented in Haunted Houses of Cape Cod. One ghost named Charlotte loves to turn the music up full blast in the inn's on-site spa, so care is taken before every treatment to turn the music down. Charlotte loves the new spa, built in the oldest part of the inn dating back to 1690; her approval gives the spa positive energy.
Birchwood Inn, Lenox, MA: Certifiably haunted, the ghosts here date back to 1800. One guest swears a cat sat on his feet the first night, then it changed into a beautiful female apparition the second night. Few rooms at the inn have gone without ghost sightings. Come try your luck, and bring along some catnip.
Thaddeus Clapp House, Pittsfield, MA: Playwright Peter Bergman encountered the spirit that resides here when he was rehearsing a play in the B&B's drawing room, where the original owners held "parlor plays" in the 1800s. This friendly spirit is a former member of the Clapp family, doing its best to welcome guests to their beloved home.
Emerson Inn by the Sea, Rockport, MA: Guests have shared photos of shadowy figures in the doorways, and staff tells stories of a dark shadow of a man seen at the left side of the building. Lights have been known to go on and off too; perhaps it's the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson, former guest, simply turning off the light after a night of inspiration.
Nichols Guest House B&B, Seekonk, MA: Legend tells us that the original owner of this 200-year-old Colonial home took his own life. Shadows and strange sounds in the night, and lights mysteriously flickering on and off ensure that guests know that friendly spirits remain.
Colonial House Inn and Restaurant, Yarmouth Port, MA: There are many stories about haunted happenings at this inn. One guest recounted how he felt someone tapping him on the shoulder, and when he looked up he saw a transparent figure of a woman wearing a bonnet. A year or two after that, the same person staying in a different room felt pressure on his back; he saw a shadowy figure, very low to the ground, which quickly vanished from the room.
Coach Stop Inn, Bar Harbor, ME: The oldest lodging establishment on Mount Desert Island, this former tavern and coach stop is home to Abbe, a spirited little girl who loves music. Strange noises, flickering lights and fleeting reflections may be Abbe singing, or they may be additional spirits.
Greenville Inn, Greenville, ME: Last summer, a guest staying in the Carriage House Suite (an original part of the inn) reported in full detail about her encounter with a lovely young female ghost. The guest told of the sounds of the crinoline skirt swishing by, the cool breeze as the ghost passed by and the door she opened. She concluded her story by asking everyone to be kind to this ghost, since she was very sweet and lovely.
Berry Manor Inn, Rockland, ME: When paranormal experts passed this historic inn, they saw three smiling women in the front window with their pinkies in the air. Guests have reported an unusual warm feeling, attributing it to friendly spirits.
Captain Lindsey House, Rockland, ME: Captain Lindsey is still hanging around the Captain Lindsey House, along with 35 other spirits, according to what he told the "spiritologists" on their recent visit to the inn. Included in the band of happy ghosts is the Captain himself, along with T. B. Severence, the 41-year-old who purchased the inn from George Lindsey in 1857; a dominant spirit named Ensign; a 5-year-old named Jeffrey and a 4-year-old named Emmy, both of whom are waiting for their father to come and get them. The majority of the spiritual activity takes place in the parlor, where glasses of water slide across tables, and doors have been known to slam on their own.
LimeRock Inn, Rockland, ME: When experts of the paranormal visited the LimeRock Inn, they felt the presence of many people in the front parlor -- vestiges of the patients who once sat in the parlor waiting room, when the inn was home and office to Dr. Lawry, the local physician. A number of giggling phantoms played at the top of the stairs. Many of the presences at the LimeRock Inn gaze longingly out the windows. All are friendly, and it's clear that happy family members are still hanging out here to welcome guests also in search of friendly spirits.
1794 WATCHTIDE...by the Sea, Searsport, ME: Spirits reside here playing music and pranks on innkeepers and guests. Their presence is gentle, and the innkeepers claim this is the perfect place to sleep with a spirit.
Carriage House Inn, Searsport, ME: Stories abound about the ghosts seen in the windows of this 1874 Victorian mansion. An expert on the paranormal verified there are at least two entities living here, both of whom experienced untimely deaths. The resident beagle shuns certain rooms and avoids the haunted staircase where someone died. The sounds of soft whispers, music, knocking, the smell of cigar smoke, and a feeling that "someone walked into my room" are common discussions at the breakfast table. For those who love a good ghoul, plenty of activity is guaranteed here.
Three Chimneys Inn, Durham, NH: Innkeeper Karen Meyer feels she has an "angel on her shoulder." One night, after a long week, she received a clear message from her guardian angel. The office door was mysteriously locked after a long day, a strange phenomenon since the office can only be locked with a key, and no one with keys had locked it. To emphasize the message, the office computer, which remains on at all times, was also turned off. "Time to go home and relax" was the angelic message.
Sugar Hill Inn, Franconia, NH: One evening, an elderly couple came to visit and then disappeared through a locked door. Shadowy sightings of a male figure have been seen in the kitchen too, where the original owner of the inn passed away. Could he be coming back to check on the inn's success? We'll never know.
Notchland Inn, Harts Location, NH: A frequently seen apparition is believed to be Nancy Barton, who died on the property in pursuit of her forlorn lover. One guest reported the name "Abigail" was written in the steam on the mirror in their bathroom when no one had taken a shower or bath in that room for several hours. Another guest woke up after an afternoon nap and noticed that someone had brought fresh flowers into the room while he was napping. When he went into the bathroom, he found someone had written "Happy Anniversary" on the mirror in lipstick. He went back into the bedroom, to find the flowers gone. He turned back into the bathroom, and the writing on the mirror had disappeared. Nancy may still be hanging around playing tricks on the men in retribution or could this ghost be Abigail, no one is really sure.
Beal House, Littleton, NH: Slamming doors and late-night stomping up and down stairs allow the haunted dwellers of this inn to make their presence known. Another time, the housekeeper felt a distinct hip check from one side to another, as if someone was pushing her aside. One night, when two guests were sitting in front of the fire enjoying tea, they clearly heard voices. The innkeepers recount stories of seeing a woman beckon from the end of the bed during the night.
Inn at Jackson, Jackson, NH: Jason, once the trusted workman at the inn, committed suicide as a young adult yet returns to check on repairs at the inn. Guests have been awakened by a hammering noise, and the staff has caught glimpses of movement as they check on rooms, primarily on the second and third floor. Jason is a peaceful presence, bringing a smile to the innkeeper's face as he explains his comings and goings. Jason is not the only ghost; the water mysteriously turns on and off in Room Two, perhaps at the hand of a ghostly old man.
Brass Lantern Inn, Stowe, VT: Inn guests who've seen paranormal activity vary the details slightly, but they always hear the noises coming from the same guest room. Some report hearing people arrive late in the night, speaking loudly, and talking about the good time they just had at a party. Yet in all cases, no guests were staying in the guest room or even in a nearby room.
Green Mountain Inn, Stowe, VT: "Boots" Berry, the tap dancing ghost and former local hero, can still be heard dancing on the third floor of the inn during severe winter storms. The son of the inn's former horseman and chambermaid, Boots was born in Room 302 in 1840, and he grew up in and around the inn. One summer morning when the stagecoach team bolted, Boots bravely stopped a runaway stage, saving the lives of the passengers. Unfortunately, his heroism turned to too many congratulatory drinks, and Boots neglected his duties at the inn. Eventually he was dismissed and ended up in jail where he learned to tap dance, earning his nickname. Eventually, after jail, Boots drifted back to Stowe, shabby and poverty-stricken. At about the same time, a dreadful storm hit the town, and a little girl became stranded on the roof of the inn. Remembering his childhood days, Boots took a secret route to the roof and lowered the girl safely to the ground. Just as she reached safety, Boots slipped and fell to his death from the icy roof. His life had come full circle, for the roof he was standing on when he fell was the roof of Room 302. Want a chance to dance with Boots? Time your next visit with a winter storm and book Room 302.
Golden Stage Inn, Cavendish, VT: The innkeepers have become so familiar with the young friendly spirit who appears dressed in a traveling cloak and a large brimmed hat, that they've named him George. He appears often and sometimes plays tricks on the innkeepers. This Halloween, guests are invited to help decorate and come in disguise. Who knows, you might even get a glimpse of George.
Outside the U.S.
The Plough Inn, North Yorkshire, England: A number of interesting occurrences have been reported at The Plough Inn over the years, many attributed to the ghosts of the landlady, Mrs. Gladys Saxton, and 17-year-old maid, Margaret Harrison. Both died in a fire at the inn in March 1945. One couple were woken in the night by someone 'plumping up' the pillows on their bed. Another guest found his car key had mysteriously bent in half during the night of his stay. A number of guests have reported seeing a woman in long black clothes patrolling the upstairs corridor. The young daughter of one of the inn's staff refused to enter one of the bedrooms, saying, “I don't like it. It doesn't feel nice. It's scaring me.” One couple saw 'orbs' of light in their room during the early hours.
Le Mesnil de Creances, Creances, France: Dating back to the Norman times around 1000 AD, it's no wonder this B&B has a rich legacy and a few lost souls hanging around. The oven-bottom vault of the staircase tower, and its construction in small flattish stones without thick mortar joints, points to a date around the 12th century. The house was inhabited early in the 19th century by three old ladies, the library by a single man and the kitchen by a family of seven. Stories have been told that the inn is haunted. Perhaps by those imprisoned at one time; perhaps by a more recent ghost. Most likely there are centuries of ghostly spirits still here.
Ballygally Castle Hotel, Ballygally, Ireland: According to legend, Lady Shaw was running through the castle trying to escape her husband when she jumped out of a window and fell to her death. She was apparently not quite ready to leave the castle; her ghost has been known to tease guests by knocking on the doors of the rooms then running away.
Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland: This castle outside of Dublin is probably better known as the site of the nuptials between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, but that's not what makes Castle Leslie a little spooky. The castle has been in the Leslie family for over 300 years, and clearly some relatives have hung on to witness the many celebrity weddings that take place here. A number of longtime deceased Leslie aunts and uncles have been spotted, and there's even a ghostly dog named Punch that comes to call from time to time.
Dalhousie Castle & Spa, Bonnyrigg, Scotland: Dalhousie Castle's ghost is known to most visitors as The Gray Lady. According to legend, The Gray Lady is the ghost of the mistress for the castle's original master. She was imprisoned in the castle by his wife and died there. The Grey Lady glides up and down the staircases, making bizarre noises and sends out cold bursts of air. It is said the Grey Lady likes to roam freely throughout the hallways at night.
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This press release was prepared for BedandBreakfast.com, 700 Brazos Street, Suite B-700, Austin, TX 78701
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