Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Ridge, a novel to give you chills in the August heat

 The Ridge   by  Michael Koryta 

Set in eastern Kentucky, in this book the haunted spot is Blade Ridge its woods so creepy and dangerous that the town drunk/eccentric actually set up a light house to keep the dark at bay.  Unfortunately, several events are set to coincide that greatly disturb the shaky status quo that has been achieved.  When the light house owner is found dead, and the owner of a wild cat sanctuary relocates their 67 large cats there Deputy Sheriff Kimble is drawn into the mysteries that inhabit those woods.  The pace is good, with the creep factor increasing steadily. Good characters, plot and writing make this one I highly recommend.  In paperback and e-book. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Two Haunted Inns in the White Mountains of NH

Planning on a trip to the White Mountains of New England to see the unique beauty of the area?  Here are two inns with extra atmosphere to stay at.

The Beal House Inn, Littleton NH 

     The Beal House Inn was built in 1833 and is located in the heart of the White Mountains.  The inn was recently bought and renovated by a new owner, Bill Sanders.  The restaurant is the primary business of the Inn, but rooms are available for guests to stay in.  Over the years reports of paranormal activity include slamming doors and footsteps at night on the stairs.  Mr. Sanders was nice enough to write to me and relate the following:

   "I have kept quite a few of the staff who were here and they tell me that [the previous owner] Mrs. Keller said she often saw pillows floating above the furniture and things of that nature. She even reported having conversations with whatever it was that was doing this. The staff tell me she was very much a no nonsense type of woman and that she relayed these experiences very matter of factly.
    One of the staff members says that she and another waitress were fetching supplies and had unlocked a door in the upper hallway, as she pushed the door open, something shoved it back with great force. Other staff members say they feel uncomfortable in this hallway and several overnite guests who I have allowed to explore the Inn a little have mentioned this hallway (without knowing of any stories prior) as a place where they "felt something" or that it made them feel "weird". The same woman who had the experience with the door also refused to go into the basement alone. She reported seeing dark shapes and shadows moving just at the edge of the lighted area.
    We have had several overnite guests at the Inn complain of noises and voices late at night in the room above them. In each case I knew that I had not rented the rooms out and on investigating I always found the rooms were empty and locked. The staff often complains of things disappearing from they place they were left, only to turn up again somewhere completely different in a day or two. Some of the staff simply won't go certain places in the Inn (the upper hallway, basement) and will send someone else. One staff member was on the job less that a week when he came to me and said he was quitting because he could not stand to be in the building and frankly did not understand how any of us could stand it."

The inn offers 3 suites, and 4 guest rooms.  It is near many ski areas and Cannon Mt., Loon Mt. and  Breton Woods are all within 10-30 minutes away. No children under 12, and one suite can take pets under 30 lbs. at a nightly charge. There is a full restaurant at the inn.  Events can be hosted at the Inn or catered off-site. The Beal House is at 2 W. Main St., Littleton NH.  Phone: 603-444-2661.

The Tilton Inn, Tilton NH  (formerly the 1875 Inn) 
     Innkeeper Joanna Oliver was putting the finishing touches on her new acquisition in  2001 when a woman stopped by and talked about the inn's history.  Distracted, Joanna paid minimal attention to the stories, one of which was about a girl named Laura.  She died in a fire in the building when it was a rooming house in the 19th century.  Laura was only 12 when she died. But Oliver remembered this conversation months later when a guest told her that she had seen a young girl sitting on her bed in the Samuel Sanborn room.  There were no young girls at the Inn at the time.  About a year later another guest was staying in the Mary Baker Eddy room which is close to the Samuel Sanborn room, and told Joanna that he witnessed a young girl leaving his room and she just disappeared.  A motorcyclist staying at the Inn during the major annual NH event Bike Week in 2006 said he saw a teenage girl in his room.  She then disappeared but in the hallway he saw her again.

In the summer of 2007 a woman was startled to see a young girl in her room when she came out of the shower.  The thermostats in the rooms closest to the street are often inexplicably turned down from where the guests had set them. Located in the Lakes and White Mountains area of NH  the inn contains the Onions Pub & Restaurant,  and has 10 guest rooms.  Th inn is a non-smoking area, and is pet friendly.  The Tilton Inn is at 255 Main St., Tilton, NH   (603) 286-7774.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Looking for a Haunted B&B in Florida?

Here are two Bed & Breakfast Inns in FL where you may have a paranormal experience during your getaway....

1872 John Denham House B&B, Monticello FL
     Pat Inmon, the innkeeper takes ghostly happenings in stride in this Italianate mansion near the center of Monticello. If you want to take any photos on the second floor or up in the cupola take them quickly - batteries get drained at an alarming rate.  Several times a month the alarm clocks in every guest room will go off at the same time in the middle of the day and the lights in the rooms may turn on and off by themselves while guests are in them.  Many guests have reported feelings of not being alone.  Apparitions of a man in period dress has been seen in the upstairs hallway outside the guest rooms, and one guest saw the spirit of a man in their room.  The John Denham House is a family (and pet) friendly B&B where children are welcomed and pets are allowed. There are five guest rooms priced $95 to $110, and the house is available for weddings and functions.  555 West Palmer Mill Rd., Monticello FL   phone: (850)997-4568.

Pensacola Victorian Bed & Breakfast,  Pensacola FL
     This Queen Anne Victorian in "Historic Downtown Pensacola" was originally built by a ship captain, William Northup in the 1890s. Chuck and Barbee Major are the innkeepers and are happy to share their home with benevolent spirits from the past. There is often the sound of classical music with no apparent source and also the sounds of children playing and giggling.  One guest arriving back at the inn late one night saw a woman in a Victorian style nightdress walk into one of the other guest rooms and was surprised to find out the next day that no one was staying in that room and none of the guests matched her description.  Chuck has also seen the apparition of a woman walking into one of the guest rooms when his wife was in their living quarters and no guests were registered at the inn. Some mornings the sounds of breakfast being prepared and even the tempting aroma of hot food have drifted through the house before the Majors have started any breakfast preparation.  The B & B offers 4 rooms to guests -  each comes with full breakfast, private bath, AC, cable TV, computer outlets and complimentary treats and beverages. Cost ranges from $95 to $150.  Address is: 203 W. gregory St.,   Pensacola FL  850-434-2818 or 800-370-8354.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Haunted Places in Connecticut

Looking for some eerie places to visit while traveling in CT?  Try one of these....

Abigail's Grille and Wine Bar, Simsbury CT
     Built in 1780 to be a stagecoach stop and tavern, this colonial house has been both a private home and a restaurant business at various times over the years.  The story goes that Jonathan Pettibone, the original owner, came home from sea to find another man with his wife. He remedied the situation with an axe, and supposedly his wife haunts the house wandering throughout.  Other spirits are a man (her lover?), a boy and a tavern wench. Furniture has been moved at night, lights that were turned off are turned back on, and the second floor Ladies' Room is a hot spot. Located at 4 Hartford Rd., Simsbury Abigail's serves lunch, dinner and brunch. phone: 860.264.1580


The Benton Homestead, Tolland CT
     The Benton Homestead, a pre-civil war home, is now a museum. During the Civil War, Elijah, who lived in the house, left to fight in the war. He left behind his fiance Jemima, who he would marry upon his return. Unfortunately when he returned he had a fatal disease, smallpox (?) and died. Jemima took care of him until his death, risking her own life to do so. She did indeed contract the disease herself and die. A female apparition has been seen. Men's voices have been heard from the basement.  People have described a cold, suffocating feeling upstairs, and general feelings of sadness and oppression are associated with the house.  On Metcalf Rd., Tolland, the phone number is (860) 974-1875.    

Mystic Seaport, Old Mystic CT
     At Mystic Seaport  you can go onboard the whaling ship, the Charles W Morgan, which some say is haunted.  According to the Boston Globe (6/26/06) three people have independently  written to a local paranormal research group telling them that they had been very surprised to hear after their visit that there were no period dressed staff on the ship. Each email recounted a similar description of seeing "a man dressed in period clothing sitting on a pile of rope and smoking a pipe." All of the sightings were below deck in the room where the whale blubber would have been stripped from the whales.  So enjoy some history, keep an open mind and bring your camera! 

Two good haunted house novels by Carol Goodman

PictureThe first "ghost book" I read by Carol Goodman was The Ghost Orchid. Although the author of many novels, this and The Widow's House are specifically about haunted places.  Ellis Brooks is a writer invited to an artists' retreat at the long abandoned Bosco estate in the Adirondack mountains to write her first novel.  Inspired by a pamphlet she fatefully discovered describing a seance that took place there in 1893,  Ellis Brooks comes to Bosco to write about the tragedies that befell the Latham family and the role Corinth Blackwell, a spiritual medium, might have played.  Bosco and its grounds seem to have never been able to shrug off the aura of tragedy and the past intermingles with the present to affect the people staying there now.  The book travels back and forth between the past and the present.  Events become more eerie and mysterious as the past seeps into the present.  The pacing, dialogue and characters are all excellently done. It is a very good ghost story.  

The Widow's House: A NovelAnother suspenseful ghost story by Carol Goodman, The Widow's House follows Clare and Jess, financially strapped married writers leaving the city for more peace in a college town in the Hudson River valley where Clare is originally from.  They end up moving into a large but decaying estate owned by their former professor and mentor as caretakers.  While struggling with the state of their marriage Clare also starts hearing nonexistent infant cries and seeing visions of  apparitions of a ghostly woman.  A beautifully written gothic novel, it evokes many classics (Rebecca, The Turning of the Screw, Haunting of Hill House and The Yellow Wallpaper to name a few) as the reader is taken down many twisting paths along the way to the climax.  Highly recommended.