Night at the Morse Mill Hotel
by Angelica Fletcher
news & features
Imagine this: you’re alone in a pitch black attic of a haunted hotel and the only source of light is coming from your small flash light. There’s an eerie silence that hangs about the house and you can almost feel as though something-or someone- is watching you. You’re at a complete standstill, when suddenly you hear creaky footsteps from behind you. You turn around, expecting someone, but are instead greeted by nothing but an empty abyss of darkness and mystery. As a firm believer of the supernatural, I came into the Morse Mill Hotel eagerly awaiting for something ghastly to happen. My experience alone in the attic was nothing compared to other events that have occurred at the hotel.
The Morse Mill Hotel was built in 1816 and has records of those who have marked their stay dating back to 1821.
The motel has even had its share of famous guests, including Clara Bow, Tom Mix, Charles Lindbergh, Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin, and Frank and Jesse James. Bertha Gifford, one of the nation’s first female serial killers, lived and worked at the motel and is buried nearby. She was proven in 3 cases of arsenic poisoning, though she was possible for 17 to 20 possible deaths.
With all the history and deaths that occurred in the motel, there was no doubt in my mind that the building I was about to enter was definitely haunted. It was then we met Dawn Koenen, our tour guide for the evening. “The most frightening paranormal occurrence to take place within the motel is people provoking the spirits and getting
scratched,” Koenen said. “A person has gotten scratches and welts on their back and neck, the door on the second floor closed by itself, and many EVP’s [electronic voice phenomenon] have caught unaccounted for voices.” Koenen then explained that the owner, Patrick Sheehan, purchased the Morse Mill Hotel in 2007, saving it from being torn down. The hotel is currently undergoing construction, as Sheehan plans on transforming it into a bed and breakfast.
Throughout the entire tour, I felt certain uneasiness about the hotel, instinctively knowing horrible things had taken place here. Whenever Koenen would speak about the ghost of a little boy who had fallen to his death out of a window, I would feel a light touch in my hair, as if someone-or something- was playing with it. Whenever we had left the room, the feeling had stopped completely.
The most startling event happened as the night was coming to a close. Koenen, my co-writer Janis, and I were all in the main room on the first floor. Koenen stood at the foot of the staircase and knocked on the wood. Seconds later, a faint knocking sound replied back from upstairs. Startled, I tried doing it as well, but had no luck.
Koenen and Janis went across the room to try to communicate with the spirits using K2 meters and dowsing rods while I stayed put and tried to get a response by knocking on the wood. After many failed attempts, I gave up. As I was going to walk away, I heard a loud, sharp banging noise from behind me. Everyone else in the house was seated nowhere near me and startled, wondering where the unaccounted for noise had come from.
If you’re an adventure seeker looking for an adrenaline pumping experience, I highly recommend visiting the Morse Mill Hotel for a frightful night that you won’t soon forget.
If you visit, be prepared for unexplained feelings of being touched, unaccounted for sounds, and feelings of being watched.
You have been warned.