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The Curtis House

By Thomas D'Agostino

Woodbury, Connecticut, in Litchfield County is your average small New England town. Church spires rise up over the trees, old homes grace the landscape and even a cemetery or burial yard sitting next to the church completes the criteria that most small New England towns possess. It also has one thing that most towns have, and that is a haunted inn. In fact, The Curtis House is said to be the oldest inn in the state and haunted by several ghosts, including some of the former owners.

The Curtis house was built in 1741 by The Reverend Anthony Stoddard for his grandson of the same name. It became a hostel in 1754 and has pretty much remained an inn since. In 1954, the Hardisty/Brennan family purchased the Curtis House. From then to this day, one or more of the family members have had a hand in running the inn. In 1900, owner Levi Curtis dubbed the inn as, "Every Modern Comfort, Every Ancient Charm." The place still retains that atmosphere as well as a few ghosts that linger within its walls.

One of the ghosts is that of a man who was firmly against the pub being built on the lower level of the house during the 1950s. The ghost did everything it could to disrupt the construction of the room. It was deduced that this spirit did not want that room built. It still makes its presence known in that room.

Lucius Foote owned the inn from 1852 to 1857. One night, while playing cards at the inn, Lucius became lucky and won a large sum of money. After the game he decided to make his way home through the burial yard next door. He never made it. Three days later, his frozen body was found in the church barn minus the loot he had won at cards. His ghost is said to haunt Room 1, where he often slept. Guests have encountered his spirit entering the room, sitting on the bed and taking off his boots. He has also been heard to say, "It was a bad ride" before hopping into bed with the frightened guest. He then stealthily vanishes.

A ghost in the cellar named, "Joe" likes to sit in a certain chair, smoke a cigarette and eat potatoes. Joe was actually an employee of the establishment and would often go into the basement with a plate of potatoes, set up a chair and eat them before having a cigarette. He has been seen doing this by present employees who never knew the man in life.

People often hear noises in the attic like someone is walking around and looking for something. When inspected, the whole area is void of the living.

Room 16 is occupied by a female ghost that likes to tuck in male guests, fix the covers or, in some cases, crawl into bed with them. A couple once stayed in the room and the ghost literally pushed the woman aside in order to be next to the man that was in the bed. The ghosts do not just confine themselves to the guest rooms.

Staff often talk about the presence of a woman who oversees functions in the dining room. They know when they are doing their job well as the room feels peaceful and serene.

A portrait of Anthony Stoddard was given to the owners of the inn. They decided to hang it in the sitting area, but people began to notice that the eyes seemed to follow their every move. Even the staff became uncomfortable while working in the room. It seemed Mr. Stoddard was watching them, making sure they were doing their duties correctly. After many complaints, the portrait was removed to the dining room where it has its own wall to grace. This seemed to appease the ghost of Mr. Stoddard, as the eerie activity associated with it fell dramatically.

There are 16 rooms at the Curtis House and all are very reasonable. The old age charm and modern amenities make it a destination stop while visiting the area. The ghosts of the inn are also there to give you some entertainment.