For several years, the hotel was owned by ghost hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson (famous for TAPS and the Ghost Hunters TV show) and their families.
In addition, parts of the hotel are delightfully haunted.
I’ve visited the Spalding Inn several times. During those visits, I concluded that it’s similar to Louisiana’s Myrtles Plantation… but perhaps differently haunted.
Similar to the Myrtles Plantation, the Spalding Inn seems to transform after dark.
From my investigations, the Spalding Inn’s most active area is the carriage house, shown in the photo at left. It’s not heated, so that part of the hotel is opened seasonally.
Each guest room in that building has its own odd energy.
Upstairs may be more haunted than the ground floor. Room 17 is especially active, but Rooms 15 and 16 are also interesting for ghost hunters.
(I detected intense male energy in Room 16, and later discovered that my uncle and his wife had stayed in that room in 1978. So, I might have been hypersensitive to his residual energy.)
Even when the building is empty, apparitions and odd shadow figures have been seen in the upstairs windows… in broad daylight.
After seeing the shadowy figure of a woman in one of the carriage house windows, I commented that all I could see clearly were the pearls in her necklace. They seemed to catch the light, though the rest of the figure was a vague shadow. I later learned that a former owner of the Spalding Inn — who may haunt Room 17 — always wore pearls.
To encounter something paranormal, spend the night in the carriage house. The rooms are very comfortable, and vintage decor adds to their charm. Each room is “en suite” (has its own bathroom) and offers a view of the hotel, the surrounding mountains, or both.
If you stay in the carriage house, be sure to ask about the haunted telephone and the ghostly message that seems lost between the worlds.
The main building
If the carriage house isn’t open, or if all of its rooms are full, you can still encounter spirits in the Spalding Inn’s main building.
Several (but not all) guest rooms are haunted. One of them is Room 33 where other guests have described eerie activity that woke them up.
I’ve spent the night there and enjoyed the room. Perhaps it was the clean, mountain air or the luxurious bed, but I slept very soundly and woke refreshed in the morning.
In fact, Room 33 is my favorite, since it’s far from any noise around the lobby and it adjoins a sitting area with its own ghostly energy.
The sitting area
At the west end of the main building you’ll find a group of comfortable chairs, and windows on three sides.
Spend some time sitting there, quietly, after dark. Watch the corridor that leads to it. Several of us noted visual anomalies. One was similar to the distortions above pavement on a hot day, or the mostly-invisible creature in the Predator movies.
It’s an unusual phenomenon. I’ve seen it before, in just a few locations such as the upstairs hallway at Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
Ghosts… and faeries?
While most of the paranormal energy at the Spalding Inn seems to be residual, some of what I encountered may not be ghostly.
In the first floor corridor of the main building — where the sleeping rooms are — I saw an odd, hunched figure moving slowly across the floor. It reminded me of Caliban, a character in Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest.
It was there… and then it wasn’t. It didn’t look like a ghost.
I’ve discussed this with a few other paranormal researchers, some of whom have been to the Spalding Inn. They agree that I may have seen one of the traditional faeries; they’re larger entities (and sometimes very dark beings) recorded in early folklore and legends.
It’s too early to say if the Spalding Inn is a good location for studying fae entities and ghosts, but that may explain some of the unusual energy at the hotel.
If you’re interested in — or at least amused by — a wide range of paranormal mysteries, be sure to stop at Exit 33 (off Route 93) on your way to or from the Spalding Inn.
Fill your gas tank or buy some munchies at the Irving gas station and convenience store, close to Route 93. While you’re there, visit their rest room.
You’ll see one of the most impressive displays of information about America’s first documented alien abduction, the Betty and Barney Hill story. Apparently, the abduction took place just a few hundred yards from the gas station.
So, when you stay at the Spalding Inn, don’t just look for ghosts… look for spaceships, too.
In general, the Spalding Inn is a wonderful hotel whether you’re there for a good night’s sleep… or a “good scare.”
Since it’s under new ownership, the hotel’s name may change. If it does, ask anyone in Whitefield; they’re sure to know what you’re talking about, and how to get to the hotel.