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The Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts

By Thomas D'Agostino

The Colonial Inn in Concord, MA sits in the heart of American history. This area is where the "shot heard 'round the world" was fired, signaling the official start of the American Revolution. The Old Manse where Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne lived. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery houses the famous "Author's Ridge" where Hawthorne, Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Ralph Waldo Emerson lie in repose. The Colonial Inn also hosts several ghosts that still remain from the time when the first shots of the American Revolution rang out.

Captain John Minot built the original portion of the inn in 1716. During the American Revolution, the middle portion of the inn served as an arms and provisions storehouse for local patriots. Dr. Timothy Minot lived and worked on the western side of the inn, the most haunted area at present. The Liberty Room was used as a hospital and what is now Room 24 was where Dr. Minot performed surgery on the wounded during the April 19, 1775, skirmish between the British and the colonists. Unfortunately, not all who were treated survived. Those who died were put in the room below, which acted as a temporary morgue. This is now Room 27.

The most haunted and sought out room in the inn is Room 24. Many guests who have spent the night in the room have experienced strange paranormal activity. A newlywed couple by the name of Fellenz celebrated their wedding night in 1966 with a stay in Room 24. During the night, the bride awoke to the sight of a grayish glowing figure standing by her bedside. She wrote in her letter to then innkeeper, Loren Grimes:

“It was not a distinct person, but a shadowy mass in the shape of a standing figure. It remained still for a moment, then floated to the foot of the bed in front of the fireplace.”

Some believe it was the spirit of Dr. Minot still checking on his patients. Others have seen the ghost of a nurse or have felt someone touch them while in the room. One person felt someone touch his shoulder. He then heard a voice say, "Don't worry your shoulder will be alright."

It just so happens that he had recently sustained a shoulder injury and was recovering from it. Other guests experience what feels like someone gently tucking them into bed.  Another guest of Room 24 complained that the light in the closet went on and shadows could be seen pacing to and fro from under the door. At first she thought it was a door to the hallway, but when she opened it and realized it was her closet, she gained a whole new belief in the supernatural. Guests have experienced the lights flickering in the rooms or turning on and off by themselves. One guest awoke to the sound of the television blaring and every light in the room on.

Room 24 is not the only area that houses the ghosts of the inn. An older woman and a gentleman in a tall top hat have been seen in the sitting room or on the staircase. A young woman wearing a bonnet is often seen wandering around the front desk of the inn. Guests and staff have seen the ghosts of people in colonial attire sitting in the Liberty Room that was once used as a temporary hospital during the first skirmishes with the British in Concord. Items fly off shelves and some often disappear for weeks at a time. Guests and employees have heard voices coming from right behind them and when they turn to see whom it is, there is no one there.

The ghosts of the inn are not harmful as much as they are a perennial part of its history, a history that seems to come back to life on occasion.