Bostonista Gets Scared, Really Scared


Over the weekend, Bostonista went up to New Hampshire for what was supposed to be a relaxing White Mountain experience. We booked a superior room in the venerable Mount Washington Resort, a century-old grand hotel with incomparable views of the snow-capped Presidential Range, recently completely refurbished. Having stayed there before, I spent the drive up prepping my fellow editor for the establishment—it’s old, it’s grand, and the hallways look exactly like the endless, over-scaled, and decidedly creepy hallways in “The Shining.”

Sure enough, when we left the elevator that evening and made our way to our room, she turned to me and did her best “redrum” imitation. And that’s where I figured the joke would end.

After dinner in the huge dining room, serenaded by a pony-tailed gentleman playing Disney’s greatest hits on a grand piano, we headed back to our room. We got ready for bed, she climbed into hers, but I was still wandering around, checking my email, brushing my teeth. Then the overhead light went off, on, off, on, off. It wasn’t a flicker—it was rhythmic. I looked at her. She shrugged. I went over to the switch and studied it. Did it have a timer or something, she asked? No. It was a simple switch. So I turned off the light, went to bed, and didn’t think anything more about it.

The next day, my roommate did the history tour of the hotel while I zip-lined at Bretton Woods. When we met up at the lodge, she told me, “I know who was messing with our lights last night.” Who, I asked. “It was the Princess.”

Turns out the hotel is “haunted” by the original proprietress, Carolyn Stickney, whose wealthy older husband had built the place for her. She oversaw operations for almost 30 years until her death in 1936, and apparently, her haunting m.o. generally involves turning lights on and off. Before you give me that skeptical look, I want to tell you that the place was completely rewired about eight years ago, so it’s all new.

Throughout the day, we got more tidbits from the staff about the apparent ghost, guest reports, and finally, a photograph that made the hair on my arms stand on end. Could have been faked, sure, but I was spooked. That being said, I tried to sleep with the covers pulled up over my head, putting up with lack of oxygen and overheating just to avoid seeing anything that might convince me that we were “not alone.”

I had two frightening dreams, and then, around 3 in the morning, we heard a crash. Okay, I’d been fairly stoic up until that point, but I couldn’t take it. I jumped into bed with my friend. She went to the bathroom to see what had happened (and I silently admired her bravado). When she came back, she informed me that my makeup bag was in the trash can. “She’s just playing,” my friend said.

Oh, god. Why me?

Again, you’re thinking, it just fell over. That happens. But here’s the deal: The makeup bag was heavy—it had a full-size conditioner and shampoo in it, along with other stuff. It was on the bathroom counter against the wall, about ten inches from the edge. In order for it to end up in the trash, someone would have had to push it. I’ve thought about this a lot since, and tried to replicate what happened, but in every instance, it takes a good amount of force to move the thing at all, and a lot more to topple the whole bag off the counter and into the trash can. It was weird.

Bottom line: I wouldn’t have believed any of this before that night. I’m just not that kind of girl. But now I’m feeling a little funny. Like, maybe these things are possible. Or maybe you have a really good explanation. If so, have a great time at the Mount Washington Resort. The place is top-notch, and you may get a little more than you’d bargained for!