The Haunted Blennerhassett Hotel
Blennerhassett Hotel is a historic hotel located at Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. It opened in 1889 and is in the Queen Anne style.The hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. A full restoration took place in 1986.
The property was named after Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, who settled on an island in the Ohio River in 1798 and built a Palladian mansion on their European-style estate (the island now called Blennerhassett Island). Their property was the envy of all locals, but they didn't rise to national fame until they allowed former Vice President Aaron Burr to use the island as the base of operations for his controversial military exhibition. Labeled as a conspiracy by some, the Blennerhassetts fled down the Ohio River to escape when militia invaded the island.
Chief among these wandering spirits is an older gentleman in an old-fashioned, three-piece grey suit. Staff who have seen him describe him as having slicked back hair and a beard; sometimes he has a top hat and cane as well. He appears quite solid, though he has a bad habit of vanishing in the blink of an eye.He’s believed to be the ghost of William Chancellor, the man who built the hotel. He’s rather a mellow sort of spirit, much more inclined to be smoking a quiet cigar somewhere than disturbing guests. Often, in the library and on the second floor, cigar smoke is all that is seen of him.
Also on the second floor, ghostly children are said to play tag in the halls. One bellman admitted to having seen, out of the corner of his eye, what looked like a little girl in a fancy dress disappear around a corner. Another admits to hearing a whistling noise on more than one occasion, as though someone were trying to get his attention. But when he checked, no one was there.
Another child, this one described as a “turn-of-the-century newspaper boy,” haunts the kitchen, tugging at the sleeves of the cooks, or hanging around on the lower level in front of the elevators. Perhaps he’s a member of the group on the second floor who just wanders off occasionally, or perhaps he just prefers to pester the living.
Speaking of pesky spirits, a particularly mischievous one, called “The 4 O’clock Knocker,” is said to knock on the door that leads to the coffee bar at the unreasonable hour of 4 a.m. Don’t try to set your watch by this ghost, though. Months will go by where nothing is heard or the ghost will knock at other, stranger hours— like, say, 2:15 in the afternoon.
If knocking, cigar smoke, and children aren’t enough, there’s a party in the Charleston Ballroom that has no interest in ending. One staff member, working late, once heard music and laughter from the Charleston, but when they reached the ballroom, it was empty and quiet. But at least one member of this long-ago fête is said to still be hanging about— a man in a white tuxedo occasionally appears in the hotel’s mirrors, several of which hang in the hallway that passes by the Charleston.
The Blennerhassett Hotel
320 Market Stree
Parkersburg, WV 26101
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