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Concord Colonial Inn’s haunting hospitality: Some guests never check out Â… of Room 24.

by Claire McCarthy

And scroll down for an interview with Psychic Leanne Marriama as she picks up vibes at the Salem Inn’s Room 17

During the Revolutionary War the Concord Colonial Inn served as a hospital. Many a Minuteman died in Room 24. Perhaps the room’s celebrated ghost is a Paul Revere compatriot or maybe it’s the good Dr. Joseph Minot himself. Literary folk fancy the ghost to be Henry David Thoreau, who lived on the property in the 1800s. Others claim it’s a Native American maiden. We set out to do our own ghost hunting.

Unlike some unwitting guests (Sandra Day O’Connor for one), I deliberately booked Room 24 precisely because it is the “Haunted Room.”

The Concord Colonial Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been a hotel since 1889, but the property dates back to 1716. General manager David Grossberg and owner Jurgen Demisch say they are “trustees of the history of the inn.” That history includes some spooky footnotes!

Upon our arrival, David, the affable G.M., greeted us in the front parlor and escorted us to the infamous second-floor room. A TV monitor was set up amid the antiques and period furnishings. He popped in a tape featuring TV personality Campbell Brown’s overnight stay in this very room. Time quickly passed on the tape and Brown was soon in darkness. The night-vision mode gave her face a greenish tint with spooky glow-in-the-dark eyes. She placed a flashlight under her chin and cooed, “Eeewwwww, I’m soooo scared.”

My mother and I giggled like tweens at a sleepover, and David nodded his head knowingly. He had conducted this orientation before and delighted in getting guests in just the right frame of mind. He regaled us with more spooky tales and left us with a text called “A Room with a View-ing.” I probably read those letters from previous guests before I went to sleep, although I don’t recall doing so. The logical part of me says the information sank into my unconscious and influenced my dreamsÂ… But what if what happened that night wasn’t just vestiges of my vivid imagination?

Witness the physical evidence: The bathroom door, open when we fell asleep, had closed on its own. The shower light, left on as a night light, mysteriously burned out, suspending us in pitch blackness.

Read for yourself letters to the former innkeeper:

July 1966

“I was awakened in the middle of the night by a presence in the room – a feeling that some unknown being was in the midst. As I opened my eyes, I saw a grayish figure at the side of my bed, to the left, about four feet away. It was not a distinct person but a shadowy mass in the shape of a standing figure. It remained still for a moment, then slowly floated to the foot of the bed before slowly melting away.”

(1:42 a.m. I too am awakened by the floating gray mass! But he got a bit – well – “frisky” with me. Could I be the first victim of ghost humping?)

December 1994

“I suddenly had this image of the same room bathed in light Â… Someone entered the room and raised a pillow in front of a girl’s faceÂ…[she said]  ‘my body was taken away from here.’ Was it just a dream? Was I worked up knowing we were sleeping in a ‘haunted’ room? Who was the girl?”

(2:58 a.m. I sense that Mom is smothering me with a pillow! But I look over and she is sleeping like a little lamb.)

December 1994, cont.

“I decided to take advantage of the situation, and kept calling for the spirit of Dr. Minot. Â… I felt as if electricity were going through me; I was slightly vibrating, and my body was rigid. My eyelids were fluttering as my body vibrated, but I could not move. I was paralyzed.”

(4:01 a.m. I swear on the grave of Louisa May Alcott, I too have been suspended in sleep paralysis after a series of lucid dreams that starred the room itselfÂ… including one with singing Christmas trees.)

I dare you to spend an evening in the “room with a view-ing!” And keep the pad and pen handy to document your adventures.

Concord Colonial Inn

48 Monument Square


If you want to stay in other haunted hotels nationwide, visit

Salem Inn Calls in the Psychic: The Former Men’s Boarding House has Permanent Residents

by Alicia Blain

The owners and staff of the Salem Inn speculate that a ghost, or maybe more than one, lurks in its hallways. And so the inn contacted Leanne Marrama, head psychic and co-owner of Hex in Salem, to take a reading of the house.

“As soon as I got there,” Leanne said, “I could feel an overwhelming male presence and was later told that it used to be a men’s boarding house.”

By simply walking through the house, she felt odd temperature changes, sensed that a fight of some sort had taken place in the hallway, and saw orbs throughout the house. She even managed to catch a few on her cell phone camera. “Orbs represent the DNA of spirit, and the fact that there were multiple orbs is definite proof that the inn is haunted,” she said.

Room 17 is known to be the most haunted, with strange sightings and happenings reported by guests and employees.

Using only her psychic ability, Marrama could tell that there were ghosts present and that questionable events happened in the building over the years. “I wish I had more time to go through the building,” she said, commenting that she went during the day. “If I could perform a seance, I know I’d find more. A lot more.”

Leanne said the Inn didn’t need to hire a psychic to go through the building. The owners could have just asked the staff. “They know it’s haunted. Some of them are even afraid enough not to go in the basement.”

Who knows what creepy and horrible things could have occurred down there? Here’s my advice, if you stay at the Salem Inn: Bring a night light and a security blanket, and do not, I repeat do not, go down to the basement.

Did you know Â…?

Salem isn’t the only place on the North Shore with a creepy past. Did you know thatÂ…

•    Gloucester Harbor is rumored to be home to a sea serpent, much like the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland, and to be haunted by the 10 unfortunate souls who died when the Andrew Johnson sank in 1869?

•    Hammond Castle in Gloucester peeks into the life of John Hays Hammond Jr., an inventor? His most prized possession: a human skull prominently displayed in the main hall.

•    Danvers State Hospital for the mentally ill was closed in 1992, but that hasn’t stopped the odd and utterly creepy occurrences? While new condominiums were being built on the property in 2006, an unexplained fire broke out, destroying only the new construction.

•    The Rebecca Nurse house, located in Danvers, was home to Rebecca Nurse, who was hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch trials?

From Weird Massachusetts, by Jeff Belanger