Barnstable House

More From Massachusetts

Called “The House with 11 Ghosts.”

Being the beloved forever home, these spirits have their
reasons; more or less willing to share.




The Barnstable House was built in 1716, by James Paine, who has the posthumous honor of being related to Robert Treat Paine, a signer of The Declaration of Independence. It was built over an underground river, which can be a convenient labor-saver, or an accident ready to happen, depending on the circumstances. In the basement of the home, there was an opening that led to the river, so people in the house could get water from this river. Michael Aston, founder of the new England Society of Paranormal Investigators shared with me how this 1716 home was constructed: “The Barnstable house is unique in such a way that the original house was built from 1 tree and was sailed over by boat in three pieces. This is the house you see today.”

The first floor had the usual common rooms. The bedrooms were found on the second floor. The third floor attic room was finished and fairly big, probably used for living space at some point in time. The basement was a useful space as well. The layout of this home made it a versatile property, that could be used for a variety of purposes, which insured that it would be well taken care of throughout its existence. It was never allowed to become a woe-be-gone fixer-upper.



Besides being a family home for many people over its very long existence, this lovely structure over the course of the years became an inn and restaurant/tavern, because of its location; right off the main road, attracting weary, thirsty, hungry travelers. The locals also enjoyed a good beer, and a fine meal. During the 1970s; when the Barnstable House was vacant, a fire started, probably in the third floor attic room, but was quickly put out by firemen.

In recent years, The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern moved down the street into another building, and this colonial structure became a commercial building, housing several businesses that serve the Cape Cod area. The dining room became the conference room. Though the inside may have been modified a little, to better serve as business offices, only one small addition was added in the 1970s. Considering the age of this structure, being 268 years old, that is pretty remarkable.

Today, it is a busy home to several businesses, who take the paranormal activity in stride, knowing that the spirits are benign, and won’t hurt them; though perhaps a little mischievous, strong-willed at times, and even a bit crabby.



For a variety of reasons, The Barnstable House has been and is popular with spirits of people who loved this structure. The Barnstable House has been nicknamed, “The House With 11 Ghosts.” Eleven spirits have been felt/seen by psychics and mediums that also like to visit, or hang out in the structure. Many families and people have enjoyed living/ working in this handsome home, that was a business and home for so many years.

Practicing spiritualism via seances can open a door to the spirit world, making it easier for spirits to stay and /or just visit.

Hill-Stead House, CT (Theodate Pope Riddle, Owner of Hill-stead House, became enticed about Spiritualism, and held many seances in her home her).

LeDuc Mansion, MN (The LeDuc sisters were active in the practices of Spiritualism).

The White House in Washington D.C. (Mrs. Lincoln would hold seances in the White House, to contact her deceased children.)

The Barnstable House, MA (Dr. Savage, who owned the home at some point experimented with seances in the home).

Tragic, sudden deaths of children/youth by drowning or other means can cause their spirits to  stay among their family or loved ones in their comfortable home they had in this world.

Saint Augustine Lighthouse (Tragic deaths of three children due to an accident).

Copper Queen Hotel (Son of Maid drowned in a nearby water source).

New River Inn, FL (A little girl drowned in the nearby river).

The Barnstable House MA (A young girl, Lucy Paine, probably in the 4-7 year old range,  was the daughter of one of the early owners. Lucy fell through the opening that led to the river that runs under the house, and drowned in the water).

People kill themselves to escape what they think are unlivable circumstances; to avoid facing the emotional pain, shame, and disappointment of the moment. When doing this act doesn’t make their pain go away, they sometimes find themselves unable to move onto the other side.

Hotel Bethlehem, PA (A guest hung himself in the work out room of the hotel).

Hotel Adolphus, TX(A bride that was stood up at the altar hung herself on the stairway).

Skirvin Hotel, OK (An unwed mother abandoned by her boyfriend jumped with her baby to their deaths).

The Barnstable House, MA (A former owner, Edmund Howes,  filled with despair and hopelessness after loosing all his money during The Revolutionary War, facing bankruptcy, ended his life by hanging himself from one of the trees on the property.)

Former inhabitants/servants of a cherished building, sometimes chose to stay in their earthly home/building in their after-life, enjoying their memories, and keeping an eye on the new owners.

Hemingway House FL (Ernest Hemingway enjoys writing there, while his ex wife remembers her good times).

O.C. White’s Pub FL (Former owner has her own ideas).

Joslyn Castle NE (The first family still resides here, mostly approving of the actions of the living).

The Barnstable House MA (A crabby, disagreeable entity, known as Captain Grey, sulks around the basement cellar. Several women who lived here when they were alive, have been seen in this house).



The male entity of Edmund Howes

His apparition has been seen by folks, through the windows in the upstairs, sealed attic, that is not used by the living; but apparently Edmund finds that area just fine for his existence in this world.

The male entity of Captain Grey

Expresses his sour disposition by slamming the doors, probably getting some chuckles when the living jump!

The clear apparition of Captain Grey has been seen in the Cellar by various owners, staff and others, puttering around.

Male Entities of Colonial Tavern Server

When The Barnstable House was a restaurant and tavern, people would be sitting in the tavern, when a life-like, solid man, dressed in colonial attire would pass their table, carrying a tray of old-fashioned beer mugs (“tankards”).

Other times, patrons would be approached by other life-like “colonial servers” who also turned out to be spirits, perhaps trying to help the tavern owner.

Female child entity, Lucy Paine.

She was/is a sociable little girl, trying to find someone among the living who would play with her. Her favorite game was playing ball. Lucy would suddenly appear in front of some guest or staff member, getting a variety of reactions – from startling them to scaring them silly. Lucy probably played mischievous pranks on the living, trying to get their attention.

After the fire, she attached herself to a piece of furniture that was being moved to The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern down the road, where she was hoping to find people in this world to play with her. It was no fun in an empty house, and now it smelled of smoke!! She has since come back to play, and now probably likes both places.

She did a lot of mischievous pranks again on the living to get attention at her new home, The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern. Lucy pestered a staff member to the point where the staff member told her to stop, because she couldn’t play now; had too much work to do. Lucy pouted, and went away for a time, but did come back.

Lucy has since come back to The Barnstable House to play, and now probably likes both places. EVPS of a little girl have been caught on tape recently, and it is thought to be Lucy.

Sprit of a woman

The description given of her from the firemen who saw her, after some thought: A young woman, wearing a white gown-like dress, with long blonde hair, who floated along instead of walking.

Mentioned above, a fire broke out in the house in the early 1970s, when the building was temporarily empty. Smoke was seen, pouring out of a roof skylight. As to what happened next, I found two slightly different stories.

Version 1: The firemen arrived quickly and saw a woman looking at them through a window on the third floor. When they got to the room, it was empty. The woman was floating above the front yard lawn, wearing a long white gown, for several minutes, before disappearing.

Version 2: The firemen went into the house to put out the fire, and tried to find the source of the smoke coming out of the skylight as well. Suddenly a girl/woman was with them, moving about the group, asking strange questions. These firemen were the only ones who saw her, and didn’t realize it at the time that she was a spirit, not a living person. After all the excitement, they had time to think about it, realizing that she floated rather than walked. While she was seen in solid form, her color wasn’t normal, but opaque.

This woman was seen floating across the street after the fire to the Beechwood Inn, choosing to stay there for awhile.

She likes both homes now.

Spirit of Lady of the House

She has been seen in the rooms on the first floor, especially the dining room.

A lawyer who had opened an office in one of the spaces on the first floor was working at his desk, and saw and heard the latch to his door open.

He saw a sprit of a woman, with a hatchet in her hand, calmly walk through, on her way to do a chore, like killing a chicken for dinner?

This same lawyer saw the same woman churning butter by the fireplace.

Perhaps she is the entity who preferred that the old-fashioned tallow candle chandelier be lighted, and would do so herself, during the time when The Barnstable House was an inn, catering to tourists and visitors to the area.



A BIG YES INDEED!! The Barnstable House has lived up to its reputation of being the home of 11 spirits, give or take a few. As living people sometimes need a change of scenery, so do some of the entities who stay at Barnstable House, who apparently visit other establishments close by.

Throughout the years of this structure’s existence, many personal experiences of paranormal activity have been reported. Not only does this property have many reports of personal experiences with paranormal activity, but spiritual investigations done by psychics, sensitives and mediums and the gathering of hard evidence as well backs up some of the claims reported.

There is hard evidence captured and shared that backs up the personal experiences of many people, from former and present property owners, of the inn and restaurant days, to firemen on duty to owners of the various businesses who inhabit the house now.

The New England Society of Paranormal Investigators was an experienced group. While no longer a group, they did use a variety of equipment, as well as being skilled in the art of catching inspiring EVPs from spirits on their investigations. True to form, they captured some intelligent EVPs at Barnstable House.

They have shared a digital video of what happened during an an EVP session at the conference table in the former dining room. In an area that was right behind the investigators asking questions, a heavy whale, attached to pole in a cast iron stand, solid and sturdy, fell over by itself with a big bang!!

After thanking the unseen spirit for making his or her presence known, the investigators tried to re-enact this, but realized that it took some force to knock it over.

Perhaps, was it the grouchy, salty sea captain, trying to get some chuckles, and recognition? It sort of in his style, as he likes to slam doors, to startle the living and perhaps get noticed.



3010 King’s Highway/Main Street
Barnstable, MA 02630

The Barnstable House can be found just north of the town of Barnstable, along the King’s Highway, 6A, that turns into Main Street.


  • Haunted Massachusetts, by Thomas D’Agostina, Schiffer Publishing, 2007.
  • Article by Jack Sheedy, found on The New England Society of Paranormal Investigators.
  • The New England Society of Paranormal Investigators

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Massachusetts