New England is like a dream come true for lovers of the paranormal. With an overabundance of haunted lighthouses, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and resorts there’s no shortage of creepy pit stops. However, there’s one resort hotel with a legendary history that stands above and beyond the others, thanks in part to its association with not only the spirit world, but Bigfoot, as well. Welcome to the haunted Mount Washington Hotel.
Easily one of the East Coast’s best haunted gems, the New Hampshire hotel, which sits at the base of Mount Washington, was built in 1902 by coal and railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, and at the time, was created to be the ultimate wealthy man’s paradise. Everyone who visited the hotel fell in love with the Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture and the beautiful sweeping views, especially Joseph’s wife Carolyn.
Each night, Carolyn would play the always-glamorous hostess to her guests, and rumor has it, would often hide in the shadows of the hotel balcony in order to catch a peek at her rich and famous visitors’ attire in order to out-dress them. At the time, it wasn’t uncommon for the hotel to play host to guests like Babe Ruth, Alfred Hitchcock, John D. Rockefeller, and the Vanderbilt family, as it had a reputation for being the perfect hidden destination for celebrities wanting to remain under the radar while on vacation.
Unfortunately, the good times could only roll for so long, and on December of 1903, only one year after the hotel had been officially open for business, Joseph suffered a heart attack and died. Carolyn was absolutely devastated, and the new widow refused to sell the hotel, which in her mind had become a living piece of her relationship with Joseph.
Eventually, Carolyn married French nobleman Prince Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge, and she became known as Princess Carolyn. Though her new life and home were in Paris, she continued to spend summers at the Mount Washington Hotel up until her death on November 2, 1936. But according to nearly everyone who continued to work at the luxurious hotel, the princess stuck around for good.
It didn’t take long before staff and guests began seeing a woman that resembled the beautiful princess roaming around the hotel and its perfectly manicured grounds. Over the years, the Princess’ presence has been witnessed by so many people that the hotel began leaving a seat for her in the hall during the evening meal, a tradition which still continues to this day.
Though there’s said to be plenty of paranormal hot spots in the hotel, room #314 is known to be particularly active. The suite has a large, handcrafted four-poster bed that once belonged to Carolyn and Joseph, and it’s here that guests have experienced the sounds of a phantom woman talking in the dark, and often reported the feeling of having their hair played with by unseen hands. Lamps turn on and off by themselves, the fireplace is said to start on its own, and objects move around the room by themselves. Some have even spotted the ghost of Carolyn sitting on the edge of the bed brushing her hair in quiet contemplation.
In 2008 and again in 2012, the hotel was featured in the Ghost Hunters episodes “Ghostly Conversations” and “Princess and the EVP”. During their investigations the team captured strange thermal movement, disembodied knocks, ghostly screams, and some pretty fantastic EVPs.
The Mount Washington isn’t just home to ghosts either. The Bretton Woods, which surround the hotel, are said to be teeming with Bigfoot activity. Earlier this year the team from Finding Bigfoot visited the area and were bombarded with first hand experiences conveyed by New Hampshire locals who’ve had their own run-ins with the Big Hairy Guy.
Mount Washington is a paranormal geek’s Disney Land, and lucky for us, we can actually investigate the legend of the Princess ourselves! This November, Strange Escapes will head to Bretton Woods to spend four days (11-14) investigating the hotel’s spookiest paranormal legends. Guests will get to take part in panels with Ghost Hunters‘ Grant Wilson, Kindred Spirits‘ Amy Bruni, and Adam Berry; a gallery reading with Paranormal State‘s Chip Coffey, and lectures by Ghost Stalkers‘ John E. L. Tenney. We’ll also be treated to a comedy set with Mike Brody, a presentation by paranormal illusionist Aiden Sinclair, and an acoustic set with the talented Raven Quinn!
The Mount Washington Hotel is such an incredible piece of New England’s unbeatable paranormal heritage, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s also an absolutely fantastic resort. With such a rich, ghostly history and a distinct connection with the cryptozoological world, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect location to seek the strange. If you’re thinking about heading east this fall, grab some tickets, come be a part of the Strange Escapes gang, and who knows, maybe we’ll bump into the Princess while we’re there!