When I described Jerusha Howe’s historic room at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, I told you a bit about what it is like to stay in a haunted room. I also hinted that there might be more to tell. Did Jerusha visit me?
Since this is a ghost story–a story about a haunted room– it is appropriate to tell you on Halloween. (Be sure and follow that link above to see ghostly pictures of her room, and the historic background. Go on. We’ll still be here when you get back.)
I mentioned in that prior article that people leave notes to Jerusha stuck into the beams in the ceiling:
or stuffed into secret drawers in Rooms 9 and 10:
I don’t know when this all started, but according to a program for an event by Para-Boston, a paranormal society, by last year, they were able to read more than 3000 letters that had been left in the rooms. A man who used to work at the Wayside Inn told me that people leave notes in every drawer and closet available, and the staff gathers those notes up and puts them in the secet drawers where they belong. The earliest one that Para-Boston reproduced in their booklet was written in 1973. It reports seeing dark shadows move around the room.
I spent some time reading through letters, and was alternately amused and bemused by people’s disappointment at not seeing any ghostly signs, or being frightened out of their wits.
My favorite, however, said, “Yes, the ghost was here for us–either that or they have some heavy duty plumbing issues.” The plumbing issues might explain why we got a call from the desk downstairs while I was taking a shower to complain that there was water coming through the ceiling into the Old Kitchen dining room below us. That happens, the caller said, when we don’t get the shower door shut tight and water leaks outside the shower. I checked, and the floor outside the shower was completely dry.
I found it interesting, that although seemingly EVERYONE who sleeps in Jerusha’s room is devoutly hoping to see a ghost, Para-Boston reports that of those 3000 letters, only 180 mention a paranormal experience. Yet we go on hoping. I didn’t believe anything untoward would happen, and yet….
As for our stay, we did not smell Jerusha’s orange blossom perfume, nor did she whisper to us. We did not feel a sudden chill, nor see the curtains move inexplicably. So I wrote a rather sarcastic (and perhaps premature) little note for the Secret Drawer Society.
In case you cannot read my writing, it says
I dropped the letter into the Secret Drawer and closed it. That was that. Not quite.
Almost immediately, I heard two sharp knocks on the inside of the door of a closet to my left.
Was Jerusha reprimanding me? Skeptical still, I ran through the possibilities. It was my husband. But no–he was elsewhere. It came from another room. No, there is no other room on the other side of that wall. Someone was in the closet?
If they were–they’re still there, because I was thoroughly spooked, and not about to explore any further.
Have you ever stayed in a haunted room? What did you experience?
So fascinating, Vera. I’ve started to get more interested in ghosts in recent years. Love watching all the ghost-hunter shows on TV.
Don’t get me wrong, Jane, I still don’t actually BELIEVE…but…..
I stayed in the room across the hall from yours. As you no doubt remember, the maid each day left a couple of cookies wrapped in cellophane on the dresser. I understand they used to leave the traditional chocolate mint on the pillow each night, but Jerusha, who was known love chocolate, would always get into them and leave a terrible mess. On my last night there I found one of my cookies had been nibbled. A note on the dresser said, “Thanks from the Grateful Dead.” (Not really, but Happy Halloween anyway!)
You always were better at fiction than truth, Bro.
Goosebumps! (That’s all I wanted to say. Sometimes less is more, but the comment police wanted more words. Hopefully, these are sufficient). 😉
Thanks, Suzanne. Sorry about the comment police.
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