Any list of haunted buildings in New England is bound to be a long one, but it wouldn’t be complete without the Longfellow’s Wayside inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts. There’s plenty of reasons why this picturesque historic inn might be one of the coolest paranormal destinations in the state, but unlike most ghostly getaways, the rooms here are filled with years and years of hand-written accounts of spooky activity literally spilling out of every cupboard, drawer, and beside table, and many of them are pretty risqué.
According to the numerous investigators who have researched the inn, there seem to be multiple spirits still roaming about the 300 year-old building, but many of the experiences that guests have are with resident ghost Jerusha Howe. In 1716 Jerusha’s brother David purchased the inn, and Jerusha spent her days enjoying the beautiful New England countryside. That is, until a mysterious Englishman came to stay at the inn.
Jerusha fell instantly fell for the mystery man, who swept the lonely girl off her feet with promises of marriage and true love. Unfortunately, there was one thing standing in the way of Jerusha’s new life; the gentleman she had fallen in love with had to return to England before the pair could be married, though he promised he would return as quickly as possible. Jerusha reluctantly agreed to wait for him. A century later, Jerusha is still waiting for her love to return.
Jerusha spent the next 44 years living and working in the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, waiting for her long lost love to come back to her. Whether he had been killed during the journey, or had never intended to return in the first place, Jerusha died a single woman, never once wavering from the promise she made to the mysterious English gentleman. It’s a sad story, for sure, but don’t feel too bad, because according to many men who have spent the night at the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, Jerusha has has been getting plenty of kicks from teasing and tormenting male visitors from the “other side”.
Since the early 1900s, guests at the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn have been having ghostly run-ins with the spirit of Jerusha. So many visitors have had paranormal encounters, in fact, that guests began writing their stories down, leaving them in drawers, bookcases, and bedside tables. The hotel staff were finding so many of them, they began to refer to the experiencers as the “Secret Drawer Society”.
Though Jerusha has mostly been associated with Room 9, which was her former quarters, she’s been experienced by many all over the hotel. Often times guests will hear her sad melodic piano playing from the first floor, the the smell of citrus, which was her favorite perfume in life, but its the reports that the male clientele leave behind that will raise your eyebrows.
“Reports of unexplained foot steps, soft music, and perfumed scents have led some people to believe that our “ghost” is the last Howe innkeeper’s sister, Jerusha. Jerusha was born in 1797 and died in 1842. While living at the Inn she occupied rooms 9 and 10, and most reports of a mysterious presence have come from houseguests who have stayed in those two rooms!” – Wayside Inn
Many men have been woken in the middle of the night by a pair of scandalously forward hands fumbling around their downstairs area. Unfortunately for them, those hands are invisible. Others have reported waking from a dead sleep only to find a pair of arms wrapped around them, and when they turn to see who it is, they are met face to face with the ghost of the young woman, who promptly disappears. It seems as if Jerusha isn’t quite as loyal in the afterlife as when she was living. Then again, can you blame her?
Even if you don’t have an experience with Jerusha or one of the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn’s many other spirits, you still get to pick through the a century’s worth of hand-written ghost stories stuffed into the dressers. The hotel is one of the oldest running in the country – a virtual time-capsule – which makes it one of the coolest destinations in New England, ghosts or not.
One word of advice: fellas, you might want to visit alone.