Toasty-warm during the picturesque drive north (White Mountain National Forest is approximately 3.5 hours from Boston) I can’t help but touch the frosty windows as excitement has me fidgeting. One more turn and the road will widen. Then we’ll see her. Stark white and magnificent, topped with a shiny red roof. Distinct against the bluish-grey of the tallest mountain in the northeast. Our home away from home for a long winter’s weekend—the glorious Mount Washington Hotel!
|The Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH|
This marvel of modern ingenuity for its time (construction finished in 1902) was built by New Hampshire native Joseph Stickney, a gilded-age industrialist who made a fortune in coal and railroads. He spared no expense, from the steal and granite structure to the heating, plumbing, electricity, woodwork, and furnishings. Wealthy visitors flocked from northern cities to behold its grandeur (see the hotel’s link below for more history).
My first visit to the grande dame—now an Omni resort—was for a ghost-hunting/paranormal event in 2016, hosted by Strange Escapes. The founder of this unusual travel company, Amy Bruni, is best known for her role as an investigator and researcher on Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters. My daughter and I were Amy’s guests on that occasion, along with over one hundred like-minded “escapees,” paranormal enthusiasts, celebrities, researchers, and other authors. The event was exciting, thought provoking, and it marked the beginning of more trips to haunted locations with the group. I highly recommend the experience if you enjoy exploring the unknown in style (see Strange Escapes’ link below).
Since then, I’ve returned to the Mt. Washington Hotel many times with family, friends, and my daughter for another escape. Simply put, we love the place! Yet what about this iconic location entices us and so many others to return? “It’s haunted, you know.” I can’t tell you how many have whispered those words to me. Followed by, “One time, when we were there…” and ghost stories gush forth. Few mention the luxury accommodations or spectacular mountain views first. It’s typically the thrill of other-worldly experiences coupled with the five-star resort. A close encounter with spirit on the way to the slopes or while filling your ice bucket? Yes! However, I’d say it’s more.
|The Great Hall|
I’ve been lucky enough to reflect while writing in the elegant Great Hall or slouched in a wicker chair in the garden corridor. Two of my “favorite haunts.” For me there is a deep sense of residual history. Feelings...impressions... Pride, joy, sadness, celebration, toil – the essence of past lives. The hotel is haunted, in my opinion, by Princess Carolyn, Joseph Stickney’s widow. But also, by those who have worked there and been guests. Souls who’ve left a mark—good or bad—which imprints on some guests today.
Here’s a bit about Haunting Highland House
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Living in a haunted house and uncovering a gateway in time were not in the job description when Samantha Merrill agreed to be the property manager of Highland House. Old photos of the reclusive master of the manor captivate her, yet she’s terrified when he appears out of nowhere. How can Robert Pennington be making love to her by the parlor fireplace when he died over a century ago? Robert Pennington is a powerful industrialist charged with caring for an ailing father, a meddling mother, and two wayward siblings.
Weary of his burdens, he longs for change. Is he ready for a woman from the future? His disciplined world turns upside down when the mysterious Samantha Merrill crashes his sister’s birthday ball. He is wildly attracted to this intriguing beauty, but is it magic or mischief motivating her? When Sam vanishes before his eyes, he knows only one thing for certain. He wants her back.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tale of my haunted love affair with one of New Hampshire’s grandest hotels. Maybe you have your own ghost story? I’d love to hear from you. And a great big thank you for visiting my first blog post with these awesome Romance Gems!
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Sources & Links
The Omni Mount Washington Hotel
YouTube of the Strange Escapes 2016 Mt. Washington Hotel event
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