It’s our Halloween Special 2020, where we go back to Steve and Kim’s stay at the Salem Inn in Salem, MA, which is known to be haunted by three ghosts!
Halloween is all about the spooky stuff, so let’s dive into our own Halloween style ghost related story.
In January (I know not Halloween, but this was pre-covid too which makes Halloween investigation tougher), Kimmie and I spent a night at the Salem Inn. More specific, in room 17 of the West Cogswell House at 7 Summer Street in Salem, MA. It is also known as the most haunted room at the inn.
The West Cogswell House, was built in 1834 by Nathaniel West. West was one of the preeminent sea captains and merchants in Salem.
The house would later become home to Union Civil War general, Williams Cogswell. Cogswell, would go on to serve as the 16th Mayor of Salem, and was later elected as the city’s 19th Mayor as well.
Salem has one of the most visited Halloween celebrations which sadly, this year all of them were canceled, but hopefully this location will prevail still!
Legend has it that Room 17 of the Salem Inn, is perhaps the most haunted room the inn has to offer. But, who is it haunted by? That in itself is a mystery, the ghost of Room 17, is believed to be a woman. Some have dubbed her Elizabeth, perhaps a reference to Nathaniel West’s wife, who famously divorced him for his extramarital affairs. Although, others refer to the spirit as Katherine.
According to a psychic who visited the Salem Inn, she claims that Room 17 is indeed haunted, haunted by the ghost of a woman who was killed by her husband. This betrayal by her husband, has led to her spirit’s ill treatment of any man who stays in the room.
Doing some research on the Elizabeth connection to the house, I was only able to find information on the infamous divorce case between Nathaniel and Elisabeth which she paraded in about a dozen of the prostitutes her husband had slept with during their marriage. She even offered to pay some to claim paternity to their children to help her case. The reason for all this was for her to keep land that she inherited. Back then any land inherited by a woman would go to the husband when they divorced and the husband would only pay a settled amount in alimony to the woman for living expenses.
This was the only connection to an Elizabeth I could find, sadly. So the mystery of who these women that haunt the property?
There is no record of a murder that points to the Inn, however this could be in news archives that have not been digitized for internet retrieval. And sadly due to the pandemic and financial restrictions, I cannot travel back to Salem to do the manual research.
The legends also state that usually when a man does spend the night in 17, the ghost known as Elizabeth will become quite active in order to disrupt their sleep. She achieves this by causing loud noises in the closet, and stomping around the room. But, don’t fret as there is supposedly a way to win favor with her. It’s been said, if you leave a tumbler of whiskey, or any alcohol for that matter, she just may leave you to a restful night of sleep.
According to members of the staff, there are three ghosts who roam the inn. But it sounds to me there are probably a few more. Obviously, the star of the show is the ghostly woman in Room 17, but who are the other two? Well, the second spirit, isn’t so much of a who, as it is believed to be the ghost of a cat.
Before going any further it is important to note that there are no house cats at the inn. Yet, throughout the years the staff have claimed to have witnessed this ghost cat darting from one room to the next. Some guests, who were allergic to cats, have even questioned the staff about the possible presence of a feline upon having a reaction.
The last of this spirit triangle, is believed to be the ghost of a child. The staff have said that they’ve heard the sound of a child giggling, at times when there were no kids saying at the inn. Moreover, some staff members have also heard light footsteps following them around the inn. Footsteps so faint they could have only been made by a child, but upon turning around expecting to see a kid in need of assistance, they are baffled by the discovery of nothing. There also has been sounds of a ball being bounced on the floor.
We didn’t hear any strange sounds when we first walked in, but were there any possibilities that we did encounter any of this paranormal activity during our stay? Keep listening and you’ll hear our tale of our stay at the Salem Inn.
It was a cold January afternoon Kimmie and myself checked in at the Inn. We booked room 17 but made no mention of performing an investigation at all. This was not really an investigation like you see on TV with a bunch of EMF devices or Spirit Boxes and what not; we only brought a recorder and our senses. Kimmie is a sensitive and immediately began sensing presences in the room when we began putting our luggage down before we went out to meander about the town before nightfall.
Kimmie did sense a woman in the room for sure and when I showed her a photo of the Elizabeth I found connected to the property months later, she confirmed that it was indeed Mrs. West who she saw there.
The legendary cat was seen by Kimmie downstairs near the lobby, and also outside in a small courtyard that was visible from the back stairs from the room. The reported boy was also in our room and later outside playing with the cat.
There was another presence she saw and that was of a very angry looking man. Could it have been Judge Corwin whose house is across the street from the Inn? Or was it Cogswell the next owner of the property? Looking at pictures of the two, it seems Corwin was a more likely candidate. Was he just visiting the property? The house wasn’t built until 150 years after Corwin’s time. Kimmie feels that it was Corwin by looks of the photo.
However she also saw Corwin in the window of the house he owned in the time of the Witch Trials. He was peering out the window with a scowl on his face. The next day we had this confirmed that he had been reported as being seen by staff members of the museum as well. We also learned that the window is where his desk was originally placed in the home.
EVP Overnight Session
After we took time to walk around town, and I asked Kimmie to marry me, we celebrated for a bit, and then we prepared the digital recorder in our room. We didn’t stay up and ask questions of the spirits, like you typically expect from a EVP session. We just put it up to record anything that happened to come across while we rested.
I thought it would be best to do this in order to try and capture something without provoking the spirits like many before us have done. Acting like it’s just an observation and not a cause and react situation.
We only recorded one hour of sound because I forgot that the SD card was only 2GB and we were recording in WAV format which definitely adds up, so no cut off due to an unknown source.
We went through the audio for hours and hours to make sure we could debunk noises such as heating system pipes clanging normally, road sounds, and snoring. Lots of snoring! We spent the past few months re-listening to make sure and also looking up any other information we could find regarding the location. Which I will admit was tough to do for there is more legend information than anything about the Salem Inn.
What did we find in our recordings? Listen and find out!
Music This Week
- It’s the Great Blumpkin, VooDooStevie – VooDooRadio
- Celldweller – Cry Little Sister, Hello Zepp
- The Zombie Dandies – Halloween_Again
- Creature Feature – Aim For the Head
- Voltaire – Hell In A Handbasket
- Devo Spice – Spookie Ookie (Halloween)
- Vincent Price’s Cooking Grinning Small Boy Ghosts – VooDooRadio
- Dungeons and Dragons Tribute – VooDooRadio
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