New England is a spooky place.
Discover the region’s paranormal personalities—including Hannah, the spirit who dances nude at Cape Cod’s Orleans Inn, or the phantom Robert Redford look-alike that sometimes borrows things from The Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville, Vt.—with our list of 25 haunted New England Inns. Next
1. Mount Washington Hotel
Book a night in room 314 of the Mount Washington Hotel, and you might awake to the sensation of someone sitting at the edge of your bed. Some guests have even seen a beautiful woman sitting there, lost in thought as she brushes her hair. She is the spirit of Princess Carolyn — the hotel’s first owner.
When Carolyn’s first husband, Joseph Stickney, designed the grand Mount Washington Hotel, he indulged his wife with special touches, including a secret, hidden perch in the balcony above the main hall. Concealed by a curtain, she would spy the attire of her arriving dinner guests, and once everyone had been seated, she would dress and bejewel herself to out-do them all.
Her spirit continues to watch over the hotel built for her, knocking politely on doors, and visiting the ornate maple four-poster bed in room 314 that she once shared with her husband. Next
2. Green Mountain Inn
If you feel a peculiar chill near room 302 of the Green Mountain Inn, stop and listen closely. You may also hear the singing or staccato clicks of a tap dancer.
Boots Berry was born in room 302 in 1840, and many believe his spirit remains there. The son of one of the Inn’s chambermaids, Boots grew up and took over his father’s job caring for the horses that drew the Inn’s stage coaches. One summer morning, Berry stopped a runaway coach, saving its passengers. He received a medal for his dramatic heroism, and a local legend grew around his act. But then Berry started to drink heavily. He lost his job at the Inn and eventually drifted to New Orleans. He landed in jail, where he learned to tap dance and earned the nickname “Boots.”
After his release, he returned to Stowe, where he committed a second heroic act. A young girl became trapped on the roof of the Green Mountain Inn during a violent snow storm. Berry ran to the roof over Room 302 through a secret route he’d learned as a child, and saved the little girl. But Berry wasn’t so lucky — he ended up falling from the roof over the room where he was born.
Berry’s spirit remains at the inn he called home a century ago and he sometimes can be heard tap dancing on the roof or entering his former Room 302.
3. Concord’s Colonial Inn
Concord’s Colonial Inn, which opened in 1716, is one of oldest inns in America. As a result, is has its share of resident spirits, including a celebrity — Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson’s ghost is said to walk the upstairs hallways.
Furthermore, when a team of paranormal experts investigated the inn, they noted several phantom presences, especially around Room 424. The room was the operating room of Dr. James Minot, who had a medical practice in the inn. In the room, the presence of a Native American woman with braids was detected. It is believed she was employed by Dr. Minot to comfort and care for his surgical patients.
In addition to expert testimony, staff members have also reported paranormal experiences, including the feeling of being touched as though someone was trying to pass them. Also one of the Inn’s restaurant servers told paranormal experts he was once trying to swipe a guest’s credit card when it flew out of his hand as though someone behind him had grabbed it. The card was then found in a closed cabinet.
4. The Orleans Inn
Ed Maas laughs when asked if his award-winning Cape Cod inn is haunted. The Orleans Inn reportedly experiences all the slamming doors, gusts of inexplicable cold air, and footsteps that other haunted inns boast, but Maas also has photographic evidence. At a Chatham High School 25th-reunion party several years ago, Maas snapped the photo at left. When he later received a copy of it along with a bewildered call from the party-goers, Maas explained that the presence gliding through the frame was just Hannah, one of the inn’s three resident ghosts.
In the 1920s, the inn building housed a brothel. One of the women was murdered there, and Maas believes it is her ghost, which he named Hannah, that happily occupies the house. Maas’ first acquaintance with Hannah was innocuous enough. He said he often sleeps on the couch in case a guest needs something at night. Once he awoke when a naked woman came down the stairs. He and the woman exchanged hellos, and Maas fell back asleep. He did not think of the encounter again until he received a phone call from a passing motorist, who warned Maas to put curtains into the fifth-floor belvedere window. When asked why, the man answered that he could see a naked woman dancing around in the room and she didn’t seem aware she was visible from the street.
There was no guest in the fifth floor room. Next
5. The Crocker House Country Inn
Though he has managed the Crocker House Country Inn for 28 years, owner Richard Malaby has never seen the ghost that is purported to pace the halls of his restored 1884 traditional country inn. However, this does not stop guests from believing a resident spirit thought to be Baroness Olga Lanoff, a former proprietor of the inn and a baroness by marriage.
As a beautiful young woman in Hungary, she turned heads as a dancer in a burlesque troupe. Her first husband, Baron Carl Lanoff, whisked her away to his native Argentina and a life as an importer of Bol Yerba tea, which the inn now makes available in every guest room.
When she became the Inn’s owner, she would occasionally dance in the living room to entertain her guests. Though in life Olga only opened the inn for summers, she is said to walk its halls year-round. Next
6. Hawthorne Hotel
Situated in the center of the mystical goings-on of Salem, it is unsurprising that the Hawthorne Inn boasts a few unexplained occurrences.
Several guests of Suite 612 have reported to Inn staff that they felt a restless presence pacing all over the room during the night. Two guests also reported seeing a spectral woman gazing longingly at the door to Room 612.
In February 2000, a guest booked into Room 325 approached staff members to complain he was not told he would have to share the bathroom of his two-room suite with another guest. The distressed guest explained he had heard the sink running, the toilet flush, and the television on in the other room. He would not believe no one could have accessed his bathroom until hotel staff led him upstairs to show him there was only one door into his suite.
The man remarked that he had no problem sharing his room with a ghost, he just didn’t want to share it with another guest.
The Hawthorne Hotel was recently featured on the TV series Ghost Hunters, and when the show’s paranormal team examined the hotel, they could not find any evidence for — or against — ghosts. Next
7. The Golden Stage Inn
The owners of the Golden Stage Inn aren’t sure who their spirit was in life, only that he bears a remarkable resemblance to Robert Redford.
Inn owner Sandy Gregg first saw him when she was sleeping in a room on the third floor. She said she woke up and saw a handsome man standing in the room wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a duster coat who looked a lot like Robert Redford. “At the time, I just thought, well that was a good dream, and went back to sleep,” Gregg said.
Over the years several female guests staying on the third floor also reported seeing a man with a wide-brimmed hat, a duster, and a resemblance to Robert Redford.
Gregg said that the cowboy spirit isn’t scary or destructive, but she has experienced unexplained gusts of cold air, and on occasion an item will go missing for a day or two and then reappear exactly where it was left. Next
8. The Equinox Resort and Spa
Manchester Village, Vt.
The night desk clerks at the Equinox Hotel have heard it all.
Once a favored summer destination of Mary Todd Lincoln and her children, several guests have reported glimpsing a vanishing woman and young children on the hotel grounds.
Guests of one specific suite have consistently reported waking up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night to see a young boy peering at them from the side of the bed. When questioned, the little boy walks through the wall out onto the second floor veranda. When the guest gets up out of bed to see where the boy has gone to, they report seeing only a large cat sitting on the veranda.
In the 1811 House there is one room that is known as the “hidden room” where the family’s traveling trunks were stored in the 1800s. This room also served as the favorite hiding place for the children during games of hide and seek. To this day, guests repeatedly report seeing and hearing children in period garb running and laughing while passing in and out of the hidden room. Next
9. Homespun Farm Bed and Breakfast
Kate Bauer and her husband purchased the Homespun Farm Bed and Breakfast from the Brewster family after the clan matriarch was too ill to remain there alone. Occupied by Brewster blood for more than 250 years, Kate Bauer soon discovered the family still had a strong hold on the farm. Both Bauer and her husband have felt the protective presence of a Brewster ancestor who wanders the orchard.
In addition, just after she first moved in, Kate Bauer would find old-fashioned bobby pins at the foot of the back staircase. Each time, she put the new pin into a secure cupboard where she kept the rest of her collection. A few years later, she went to get out the pins and discovered they had vanished.
Later on, Kate Bauer learned the house’s last living Brewster mistress had passed away a month before Bauer went looking for the bobby pins that last time. In that same month, Bauer said she noticed she had stopped hearing her name called when no one was around, and her children had also stopped reporting hearing footfalls when they were alone. Next
10. Omni Parker House Hotel
The Omni Parker House Hotel has a long history of sightings since opening in 1855.
In the restaurant, a painting (left) of founder Harvey Parker often projects an eerie glow, the staff said. Once, a female guest ate at the restaurant and had a frightening dream of seeing Parker in her room. As the hotel tells it, Parker appeared in front of a mother and daughter who were sleeping in Room 1012. The man in 1800s attire grinned at the girl, who smiled back. Then, he disappeared.
Read more haunted stories about the Omni Parker House Hotel. Next
11. The Inn at Jackson
In Room 14, in what used to be the Inn at Jackson’s attic, lurks a ghost who likes things clean.
In the early 1990s, the Inn’s then-owners hired a local teenager, Jason, for a few months to help clean out the unused attic so it could be renovated into guest quarters. After he left the inn, Jason fell in with a crowd of dangerous boys, an association that landed him in the Ossipee County Jail. Fearing retaliation from his unforgiving new friends, Jason hanged himself in his jail cell, said current inn owner Don Bilger.
Bilger bought the inn three years ago and has never heard or seen anything unusual. However, guests have reported experiencing lights and water turning on and off on their own and other strange occurrences. One guest even said a metal bucket had appeared next to the bed during the night, conjuring images of a boy who was once hired to help clean up. Next
12. Berry Manor Inn
Paranormal experts didn’t make it all the way up the front walk of the Berry Manor Inn before they spotted some friendly spirits peering through the Inn’s big picture windows. The experts described three older ladies outfitted for high tea in the 1900s. Inn owner Cheryl Michaelsen reportedly said that most guests don’t see defined ghosts, rather they just sense a benevolent presence. The spirits frequent the rooms in the inn that guests also gravitate toward, including the library, drawing room, and front porch.
Four generations of the Berry family have occupied the house. Though that’s certainly enough time for a family to develop some skeletons in the closet, or more literally, spirits on the porch, Michaelson said she and her husband aren’t sure who the members of their ghostly tea clutch were in life.
13. Lighthouse Inn and Resort
New London, Conn.
The Lighthouse Inn is not short on tales of dramatic spirits. In the 1950s, a bride descending the grand main staircase reportedly tripped and fell, breaking her neck. Almost 60 years later, her spirit is rumored to pace up and down the stairs, still practicing her walk.
This disappointed bride also holds court in the honeymoon suite (right). Some guests report that unseen hands turn the television and lights on and off, and shake the curtains. However, not all guests raise her ire. Staff members said some honeymooners awake to find the ghost bride has pulled up the covers and neatened the bed clothes. Next
14. Inn at Lafayette
The completely unconfirmed legend of the spirit at the Inn at Lafayette is a tragic tale. According to staff, the inn building was originally a church whose pastor was involved in an illicit romance with a North Madison woman. When his paramour went public with the affair, police put the pastor under house arrest in an upstairs room, now guest quarters similar to the one pictured. Faced with the betrayal of his lover, and the repercussions of his socially untenable affair, the pastor hung himself.
His spirit, called George, is said to remain in the house and previous Inn owners received reports from guests about a presence. However, the current staff has never seen anything unusual, nor have recent guests complained of unexplained incidents. Next
15. The Captain Lindsey House Inn
A visit by paranormal experts confirmed what inn proprietors and former sea captains Ellen and Ken Barnes have been told by guests for years. The presence of the inn’s namesake, Captain George Lindsey, can be strongly felt in the living room, pictured above, especially around a certain chair. The experts added that the Captain told them he shared the inn he opened in 1835 with 35 other spirits, including another former owner, T. B. Severence, who bought it from George Lindsey in 1857, and two young children eternally waiting for their parents to pick them up.
In Captain Lindsey’s time, the inn and its lively tavern were popular places for locals to gather and discuss Rockland’s political life, so it’s no surprise some of its patrons still haunt the inn to continue enjoying the fun. Next
16. Deerfield Inn
The Deerfield Inn doesn’t have mopey, run-of-the-mill phantoms. Inn owner Jane Howard said her ghosts are mischievous, bossy, and, well, silly.
For example, a spirit called Hershel enjoys playing little tricks on the guests in Room 148. He appears as a bright box of bouncing light, which Howard described as similar to a pay phone box. Hershel also enjoys making a mess. He sometimes tosses magazines around guest rooms, or rearranges the bed covers and pillows of sleeping guests. However, he loves children and if any come to stay, to delight them, he will rock one of the porch rocking chairs (left), leaving the others still.
Over the years, guests have reported the same strange happenings again and again, said Howard, including finding all the tissues pulled out of the tissue box in their room. However, the inn’s sometimes silly spirits have never caused anything too scary to happen, she said. Next
17. 1794 Watchtide ... by the Sea!
As far as inn ghost sightings go, the innkeepers are often the last to notice anything unusual. However, one former owner of the Watchtide was once hanging a picture when she was interrupted by a woman who demanded to know what she was doing, and then disappeared. Also, a vanishing couple dressed in old-fashioned clothes was reported by one guest, and an inn owner once noticed bits of colored paper mysteriously scattered all over the residence.
Watchtide’s current inn owner, Frank Kulla, said that much of the inn’s ghost lore came from its previous owner, who believed very strongly in its lingering phantoms. Kulla said he had never experienced anything out of the ordinary in the short years he has owned the inn, but acknowledged ghost enthusiasts would say that was because he wasn’t open to the experience. Next
18. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast
Fall River, Mass.
Few houses in Massachusetts are more notorious than the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. To create an authentic experience, the inn owners display their meticulously collected Borden memorabilia throughout the house they restored to look as it did when the Borden family resided there.
Lizzie Borden was tried and acquitted for the brutal ax murders of her father and stepmother. On August 4, 1892, the family maid was awakened by 33-year-old Lizzie yelling that she had found the body of her murdered father on the living room couch. Her stepmother Abby’s body was later discovered in an upstairs guest room. No one else was home at the time. And no one else was ever tried for the murders delivered by 29 ax blows.
Guests who don’t mind the house’s violent history, if not ghosts, can stay the night in one of the Borden family bedrooms or take a house tour that recounts the events of that August day 116 years ago (left). The inn even serves the same breakfast the Bordens ate the day they were murdered: bananas, jonnycakes, sugar cookies, and coffee. Next
19. LimeRock Inn
LimeRock Inn hosts a number of friendly spirits, according to the paranormal experts the inn consulted.
For more than 50 years, the residence housed the medical practice of Dr. Oren Lawry. Originally built for Congressman Charles E. Littlefield in 1890, the doctor bought the massive Victorian in 1949. The inviting main house includes turrets, a wrap-around front porch, and an expansive guest suite that used to serve as the doctor’s examination room. One of the front parlors once held patients waiting for their appointments. Now it’s filled with spirits, still biding their time. According to paranormal experts, a crowd of giggling phantoms were observed holding court at the top of the stairs. Next
20. The Balsams
Dixville Notch, N.H.
The Balsams — that castle-like complex in the forests of northern New Hampshire — reportedly has two resident spirits: the beautiful woman in 19th-century garb who vainly lingers before the hallway mirror, and a man in Room 120 with his own vain personality.
A woman woke up in the middle of the night and saw the man, stark naked and dripping wet, standing at the foot of the bed. Thinking it was her husband, she spoke to him. But her husband answered from the pillow beside her. Together they watched the phantom fade into nothingness. Later they learned it had been the room of a 1930s band leader who had drowned in nearby Lake Gloriette. Next
21. Old Stagecoach Inn
In a baffling incident, an unfamiliar couple came downstairs for breakfast. Innkeeper John Barwick had no recollection of checking them in, yet he had been the only one working the desk. Upon questioning, they explained that an older woman, her hair in a gray bun, had admitted them at 2 a.m., then showed them to the only vacant room.
Barwick was flummoxed. The inn had no such employee and none of the guests had a gray bun. Only he had known which room was vacant, and by the description, this phantom receptionist sounded exactly like the hotel’s former owner — the long-dead Nettie Spencer.
Pictured: Stephen Marshall, retired physicist, now a ghost hunter, uses a dowsing tool to detect energy from ghosts at the Inn. Next
22. The Notchland Inn
Hart’s Location, N.H.
A guest reportedly rose to find the name ‘’Abigail Jones” scribbled on the mirror. The innkeepers were puzzled until two years later when an old box was found in the attic. Among the papers was a faded letter that told the story. Written in the mid-1800s, and full of biblical quotes, the former guest, or perhaps a servant, signed herself ‘’Abigail Jones.”
Until that discovery, the prime suspect had been Nancy Barton, whose gravestone decorates the inn’s front parlor. She froze to death on the property a century ago while searching for her faithless lover. Next
23. Captain Grant’s Inn
So often ghosts seem to be women. Carol Matsumoto, who runs Connecticut’s Captain Grant’s Inn, said one spirit in particular had become a regular guest.
‘’In the beginning, when the home was under renovation, she knocked on the front door. Loudly. When I opened the door, no one was there. When I closed the door, the knocking resumed. This happened frequently.”
Actual sightings began in the Adelaide room a year later. ‘’A guest in that room swore she was not dreaming and saw a woman holding hands with two children, all in Colonial garb, at the foot of her bed.” Next
24. The White House of Wilmington
One woman at the White House Inn in Wilmington, Vt., reportedly awakened in the middle of the night to find an old lady sitting by her bed. When their eyes met, the phantom spoke: ‘’One Mrs. Brown in this house is quite enough.” The guest’s name was, in fact, Brown. Her room still contained the furnishings of the mansion’s lumber baron owners, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Brown.
There are rumored to be several spirits at the inn, including one said to lurk in the secret staircase behind a built-in cupboard in the main dining room at the Inn. Next
25. The Beechwood Inn
Barnstable Village, Mass.
There’s a ‘’Mischievous Lady” who haunts the Beechwood Inn on Cape Cod. This friendly phantom prankster unscrews light bulbs, flips over curtain rods, and bolts doors shut from the inside. However, this lady is not without her manners. She has said ‘’good morning” to innkeeper, Debra Traugot, and has spoken just as cordially to several guests.
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