Vermont--A Night at the Quechee [Long + True]

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Elizabeth

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Aug 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/29/99
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Our mutual fascination with the paranormal and our love of this
newsgroup brought Michael and me together as email buddies back in
February. The discovery that we shared so much more in common brought
our hearts together as one, brought him to San Francisco to meet me,
then took me on my first trip to New England in early August to visit
him and to explore the land where we will soon be making a home
together.

Part of the inspection process included a trip to Vermont. In
commemoration of how we met, Michael broke out an AFG-S post detailing
haunted Bed and Breakfasts in the Green Mountain State and began to make
phone calls to secure our night's lodging. When he discovered that Room
3 at the Quechee Inn was available, how could we resist? The
reservations were made.

What we knew before we hit the road that afternoon was that the Quechee
Inn was reportedly haunted by a former lady of the house, Jane Porter,
that her perfume could be smelled and her footsteps heard every now and
then, and that rooms 9, 14 and 3 had the most activity. Never in my
life had I purposefully set out to sleep in a haunted locale, and though
I was excited, I didn't think too much of it. It had been my experience
that whenever I expected something out of the ordinary to occur, I was
usually disappointed. All things ethereal have always had a way of just
creeping up on me when I least expected, and I assumed that the two of
us would simply spend a peaceful evening at a nice place.

It took us some six hours to make the trip as we leisurely made stops
and meandered along the backroads, me mesmerized by the beauty of this
part of the country that had been foreign to me. Dusk was settling in
when we rolled across the gravel parking lot of the Quechee, a sprawling
white colonial estate with accompanying red barn behind it, both
constructed in 1793. The inn shown with warm, welcoming light, and when
Michael produced the AFG-S post for the deskclerk to read, she said that
yes, she'd heard a little about hauntings there, but didn't really know
anything beyond the information that we had. This is all so normal, I
thought, there is really nothing to expect.

The deskclerk led us to Room 3, at the end of a long hallway. She moved
to use the key to the closed door, but before she could turn the lock,
the door fell open. "That's odd," she shrugged, "all the doors to the
guestrooms automatically lock when they are shut."

Before us we saw a room that was spacious yet cozy, but despite that and
the impeccable decor, Michael and I immediately had the sense that we
were walking in on someone, someone unseen who was already there. As we
settled in and explored, Michael discovered a large hatchway carved into
the creaky old floorboards. It extended from beneath the four poster
bed, where it was covered by a throw rug. Each end was tightly screwed
shut and varnished over many times. We made guesses as to its former
purpose, and what we might find below, played with the idea of finding a
flathead screw driver so that we could see for ourselves, but in the end
decided it best to go have a drink before dinner.

As the two of us waited in the common area for our table, the deskclerk
found us and offered to show us Room 14, the only other haunted room
that was unoccupied. This was much smaller, with less of a feel about
it, and seeing it made us all the more satisfied with the room we had
gotten.

Over dinner in the candlelit diningroom, we talked sporadically with the
waitstaff. One woman pointed out a closed door behind Michael and
informed us that once the private banquet finished in the room beyond,
the doors would be opened and we would see the portraits of the original
owners hanging there. The portrait of the wife is said to change color,
she told us, but she had never seen evidence of that herself. She went
on to add that a "median" had visited the inn and identified two
ghosts: that of the former lady of the house, and that of a little
girl. Beyond this, she knew nothing more. The paranormal was obviously
not her bag.

While Michael visited the men's room, the doors did open, giving me a
chance to study the black and white portraits from afar while he was
gone. Instinctively I knew that the couple depicted was not the
original owners, but Judge and Jane Porter, who occupied the homestead
from the 1840s to the turn of the century. My suspicions were verified
when Michael and I went in to take a closer look. As I studied the face
of Jane Porter, who died in 1900, I felt a wash of peacefulness come
over me--somehow it was confirmed to me that yes, she was still in this
house, but there was nothing at all to fear from her. I gave her
picture a little smile, and Michael and I returned to our meal.

As we picked at our plates and sipped some coffee, we had the
opportunity to interview another, more knowledgeable employee, who gave
us snippets of information in between serving us. A medium had visited
the Quechee Inn in 1995, and had made contact with Jane Porter and her
fourteen year old nephew, Patrick. Jane, the staffer told us, was a
caretaker ghost who adored the house and whose presence was very warm
and peaceful, while Patrick was a more playful ghost. A couple of
workers had noticed that the background of Jane's portrait would at
times turn from slate gray to deep blue, and they assumed that whenever
this happened, Jane was upset about something. One former guest in Room
3 felt somebody take a seat on the bed, and even saw an indent in the
mattress made by the invisible bottom. And yes, the mysterious sound of
footsteps was commonplace at the inn.

"Have you had any experiences yourself?" I finally asked her.

"Oh, yes!" she nodded frantically, then saw to getting us our check
rather than elaborate.

Michael and I decided to walk off some of our delicious meal, and so we
roamed the premises after dinner. We stopped in the lobby on our way
out the door to study photographs of the inn that were taken toward the
end of the nineteenth century, when it was still the Porter's private
residence. We determined that what was now known as Room 3 was once a
study. Then both of us quietly wondered at the plaque that also hung
there: In Memory of Jomo Njinang, 1998.

Once outdoors, I took photos of the three story barn as we wandered
around to the back of it, where all went pitch dark. For some minutes
we stood just outside the shadows, admiring the milky way and soaking in
the songs of the crickets. Once snapped out of our daze of nature
worship, we debated whether to move forward into the darkness or to
retrace our steps. Momentarily emboldened, we took our first step
toward the inky blackness, and instantly we heard a metallic, pinging
noise sound out from somewhere within it. We changed our coarse and
opted for the lighted route from whence we'd come.

Back in the safety of our room, Michael stood by the very large, very
heavy antique dresser to slip out of his shoes. When I heard the
dresser suddenly bang against the floor, I asked Michael if he was okay,
and looked up to see him staring down at it in awe. When I asked him
what had happened, he calmly explained that the dresser had, on its own,
jumped out from against the wall. "Oh, come on," I chided, "you were
touching it. Did you bump it? Were you leaning against it?"

"I was just standing next to it," he protested, demonstrating his stance
for me. He then proceeded to bump the dresser with his knee, push it,
tilt it away from the wall by resting his weight on it, but the sturdy
hunk of wood did not budge, not even under his strength.

Well, we weren't tired, anyway. Really. It was only eleven, so Michael
put his sneakers back on and left me in the room while he returned to
the dining area to inquire after liquid refreshment. I lay on the bed
as I listened to him retreat. The same warmth I'd felt while viewing
Jane Porter's face crept into me again, and I had the urge to say aloud,
"This is such a lovely place you have. I understand why you don't want
to leave it." Such a peace washed over me that it didn't disturb me
when the floor outside the door began to creak with footsteps, though
I'd heard no one approaching from down the hall, though when I looked I
could see nothing beyond the generous crack between the doorway and the
floor. The creaks and groans continued there until I heard Michael
making his return. As he slipped the key into the knob, I looked up
again and saw the chain lock on my side of the room swinging wildly back
and forth on its own volition. I simply grinned, even more so when
Michael confirmed for me that, besides himself, there had been no one in
the hallway.

As far as finding any further "live" entertainment at the Quechee Inn,
we were out of luck--the bar was closed for the night. There had to be
a local establishment where the staff went to unwind after a day's work,
and a short car trip into town proved us right. When we told the
bartender where we were staying for the night, she promptly introduced
us to four Quechee employees sitting across from us. "Is the Quechee
Inn haunted?" she called to them. "What part of it isn't?" was one
man's response, and ironically, that's all he would say about the
subject.

His friends explained that he was very much afraid to be at the inn
alone--he had been witness to the change of color in Jane's portrait,
and once, late at night, he had walked by the banquet room and seen the
light above her image burn out just as he passed. In fact, the bulb
above her portrait had an interesting habit of needing replacement on
average about every other day, while that above her husband's picture
burned steadily for months at a time.

On different occasions, two of the men we spoke with had stayed in the
big house alone, yet heard the movement of others in the inn despite
their isolation. One colleague of theirs spent a night in room number
seven, and afterwards swore he would never again set foot inside that
room. Yet he refused to ever discuss with them what had happened in
there.

The kitchen was especially problematic these days. The long-time chef,
Jomo Njinang, suffered a fatal heart attack in the walk-in refrigerator
one night in 1998, and was discovered in the morning by the pastry
chef. "Definitely talk to her when you go to breakfast tomorrow," we
were advised.

It seems that Jomo loved his work and he loved the Quechee, so much so
that he has joined Jane and Patrick in its haunting. Staffers alone in
the kitchen office say they often feel that there is someone standing
behind them, and the hair raises on the backs of their necks. More
dramatically, pots fly off of the stovetop, and the knobs that control
the burners also have a way of taking self-propelled leaps across the
kitchen. "In fact, it happened tonight, while the two of you were
enjoying your meals," we were told.

"What about the woman I talked to who wouldn't elaborate on her
experiences?" I asked.

"Oh, she has some good stories," was the response. One of which was the
time that she was walking through the empty diningroom and felt
*something* abruptly lift the back of her skirt. "That must've been
Patrick," our storyteller concluded.

Michael and I were both fascinated by Jomo--the plaque in his honor had
compelled both of us before we'd even known his story. We were told
that we were welcome to explore the entire inn, as long as we didn't
disturb the other guests or help ourselves to anything we saw. So at
3am the two of us were slinking around the darkened dining area, taking
a second look at Jane's portrait, plus lots of pictures of it, the
kitchen and the walk-in. Yet despite all I'd heard that night, despite
it being the proverbial witching hour, and dark and still around the
inn... I didn't feel anything--no presences, no apprehension, nothing.
We'd gotten our fill of great stories (I had a new-found respect for
folklorists), we'd both had experiences that convinced us there was
something otherworldly happening at the Quechee, it was time to call it
a night.

But our schedule did not apply.

We were settled into bed and I was watching the light, trying to make
sense of where it was coming from, what it was. Round and quarter-sized
and bright white, it flashed intermittently, with no particular rhythm,
on the ceiling in one corner of the room.

"Do you think we'll experience any more haunting activity?" Michael
asked me.

"Naw," was my smug response. "Nothing's gonna happen." But that little
light continued to disappear and reappear, now in different spots on the
same area of the ceiling. Since my false confidence wasn't making it go
away, after a long pause I added, "But I'll tell you what I do see," and
I pointed the light out to Michael. To my relief, he saw it as well,
and as the two of us watched and wondered at it, I felt more and more
uneasy. I had to make sense of it, and somehow became convinced that
the smoke detector was the source of it, nevermind that the smoke
detector had a steadily burning red light. We argued over this for
about five minutes, but I could not be swayed into believing this was
not the explanation.

Interesting, that once my mind was firmly made up, I only saw the red
bulb burning in the smoke detector, while Michael continued to watch the
strange white light move about the ceiling.

By this point, my curiosity with the mysterious light had positioned me
so that I was sitting up in bed facing the headboard. Michael lay to my
left. Beyond him, and just beyond the edge of the mattress, a dark form
caught my eye. It looked like the back of person--either a woman or an
adolescent child--hunched on all fours, head down, right next to the
bed. The form was as black as black can get. Once I turned my head to
face it straight on, it very quickly and silently moved a few inches
toward the foot of the bed, and then disappeared below the horizon of
the mattress. I sat there, stunned, and first told myself, "Ah, Michael
just lifted and lowered his right arm." But his arm rested well away
from the edge of the mattress, and with the windows to one side of the
room, and the wide crack beneath the door to the other side, everything
in that room was reflecting light. Nothing, nothing in there should
have appeared as solid black like that figure was.

"I've got to go to sleep," was the only announcement I made. Somehow it
seemed that if I had described what I had just witnessed, my words would
breath more power into whatever it was. And I did not want the shadow
thing making another appearance from beneath the bed.

I plopped down into the pillows, made Michael roll over on his side,
buried my head in his chest so I wouldn't see anything, planted his arm
over my ear so I wouldn't hear anything, and prayed that I would beat
him to sleep. His light snoring soon serenaded me as I quivered,
wrapped within him.

Whatever peaceful and warm presence I had felt in that room previously
was rubbed-out in the dead of night, no matter how I concentrated on
coming back in touch with it. This time, when the floor creaked in our
room, I felt a cold chill. When it sounded as though someone was trying
to raise the window pane, I felt sick to my stomach. There was
something in there with us, and it felt very unsafe.

I kept vigil until about 6am, and when Michael stirred me awake at nine,
my first and very uncharacteristic words were, "Thank god it's dawn."
Though the sunlight brought some relief, there was still a high degree
of uneasiness in the atmosphere of Room 3. As Michael cat-napped, I was
up and at 'em, getting ready to go. There was much left undone in our
research--no chatting with the pastry chef at breakfast, no visit made
to the woman at the chamber of commerce who once worked there and was
said to have the most comprehensive collection of strange goings-on at
the Quechee... Both of us had had our fill for the time being, and
certainly needed no further convincing that the place is haunted.

An hour's drive away from the Quechee Inn, I finally told Michael about
the hunched-over "shadow person." He was none too grateful about being
alerted so late in the game, since it appeared on his side of the bed,
:) but he reminded me of the hatchway we'd found in the floor, and
wondered if the figure I'd seen might've been somehow related to that
long-forgotten exit.

In the end, we got our money's worth from the Quechee Inn--a cozy room,
a comfy bed, friendly staff, world-class cuisine, and most importantly,
hauntings that more than live up to the legend. The only thing we are
lacking was anything out of the ordinary appearing in the photos we
took. Would Michael and I ever return for a night's stay? We're
already planning on it. But next time we return, I will do so bolstered
by lots of extra sleep beforehand. Don't think I'll ever be able to do
much snoozing whenever we're there.

-Elizabeth

Copyright ©1999


Haunter

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Aug 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/29/99
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Alright Elizabeth!! I've been wondering about your whereabouts and
your "gentleman" friend. Great story; about the 2 of you, about the
hotel and wonderfully told. Made this old dude's night, I'll tell
ya!:)
welcome back and I'm very happy for your new partnership. So you're
moving out there?! Wow, when you go for it you GO for it!
Great to hear from you and great story!
Patrick

On Sun, 29 Aug 1999 01:35:20 -0700, Elizabeth <eli...@best.com> wrote:

>Our mutual fascination with the paranormal and our love of this
>newsgroup brought Michael and me together as email buddies back in
>February. The discovery that we shared so much more in common brought
>our hearts together as one, brought him to San Francisco to meet me,
>then took me on my first trip to New England in early August to visit
>him and to explore the land where we will soon be making a home
>together.

Katie

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Aug 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/29/99
to
What a great story, I think you just now did more publicity for them then
they ever paid for. Thanks for sharing.

-----
katie

Elizabeth

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Aug 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/29/99
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Katie wrote:

>>-----
>>katie

Becky wrote:

> Can't wait to give a copy of this to my uncle! He lived in Quechee for
> several years. Thanks for the great story! I've been off the list for
> a while and was very depressed to come back and find so little in the
> way of true stories.
>
> Becky
> porch b%^&*$ch

Thanks you guys. Yep, Katie, I think the Quechee Inn should give us our
next stay on the house. :) And Becky, if your uncle has any more to add
about the inn, or Quechee in general, I'd love to hear about it. :)
Patrick, for some reason I can't see your post (my unstable news server,
no doubt), but Michael paraphrased it for me, and thanks from us both.
Come to the wedding? :)

-Elizabeth


Becky

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Aug 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/30/99
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Haunter

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Aug 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/30/99
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Story of my life darlin' (oops, can't call you THAT any longer!:)
If you're getting married in SF, I'm there! If back east, I'll have to
be there in spirit only. It's a wonderful thought, and thanks.
Patrick

jfo...@webtv.net

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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Thanx for sharing this spooky story, Elizabeth. I am
familiar with Quechee Gorge, as I've visited the area many times because
I live New England. Did you visit the gorge? I always get an uneasy
feeling there, and I don't think it's just the willies from the height
of the bridge that looks into the gorge.
New England has numerous locations of haunts, and I hope
you feel welcome to visit them anytime. Best wishes on your marriage,
you sound like a great couple.


"If we suffer tamely an attack on our liberty, We encourage it, And
involve others in our doom."_____Samuel Adams_1771


Elizabeth

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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jfo...@webtv.net wrote:

> Thanx for sharing this spooky story, Elizabeth.

No prob. :)

> I am
> familiar with Quechee Gorge, as I've visited the area many times because
> I live New England. Did you visit the gorge? I always get an uneasy
> feeling there, and I don't think it's just the willies from the height
> of the bridge that looks into the gorge.

We did visit the gorge on our way out of Quechee. I don't remember any
strange feelings from it (other than the dizzying height), but then again I
was sleep-deprived at the time. :) Driving around the area in the dark the

night before was creepy, though. I'm sure many people have fallen to their
deaths there... Have you heard any lore related to the gorge itself?

> New England has numerous locations of haunts, and I hope
> you feel welcome to visit them anytime.

We're envisioning family picnics at The Village of Voices. :) Our craving
for visiting haunted locales should be satisfied for years to come,
especially since everyone out there that we talked to has a first-hand story

to tell, whether they are true believers or not. It was amazin'! I can't
wait to get back.

> Best wishes on your marriage,
> you sound like a great couple.

Thank you so much!

Take care,
-Elizabeth

LITTLEPJoo

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Sep 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/4/99
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Elizabeth wrote:
<snip>

>Come to the wedding? :)
>
>-Elizabeth
>
>

Wedding???????? When??

Arrmand Adams

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Sep 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/7/99
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Elizabeth writes

<large snip>

What an excellent story Elizabeth, It gave me goose bumps all over my
arms. Great and what about the pics you took are you going to put them
on the afgb-s?

--
Arrmand Adams

Arrmand Adams

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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Elizabeth writes

>Arrmand Adams wrote:
>
>> What an excellent story Elizabeth, It gave me goose bumps all over my
>> arms.
>
>Thanks, Arrmand!

>
>> Great and what about the pics you took are you going to put them
>> on the afgb-s?
>
>I thought about posting 'em there and to ABP, but just to show folks what
>the place looks like, because I didn't see anything odd in them. Except
>for the vortex in the photos of the walk-in...
>
>...Which was created by the camera strap. Oops! :)

Ho please do or e-mail them, I have always found you can tell a lot from
some pictures.

Thanks Arrmand
--
Arrmand Adams

kevin....@gmail.com

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Jul 8, 2020, 7:08:47 PM7/8/20
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I am sitting on the bed in room 3 right now. Hopefully. Thing happens as I am staying here for the next 2 nights.

I may just have a couple of extra drinks.

Kevin Q

pH

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Jan 9, 2022, 11:39:41 PMJan 9
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Please be sure to let us know. Good luck.

pH in Aptos, CA
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