Yarmouth Port Colonial House

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Some children of past residents didn’t live to grow up.

An adult spirit enjoys the view while possibly taking care of a little one.


Yarmouth Port Colonial House Inn is one of the largest Inns on Cape Cod, with 9,800 sq ft. and three floors on 1.23 acres of land. This historical property, whose first main structure was built in 1730, is described as being a rambling house with a grand belvedere open-sided gallery on the rooftop level, giving all a spectacular view.

In better times, when Malcom Perna was the owner, guests enjoyed a beautiful updated bar, an all-season porch, parlor, dining rooms and a large kitchen.

The main house also has nine bedrooms, all with private baths and a large owner’s suite with a private bedroom, bathroom, and living room kitchenette combination. The second building/carriage house has ten fully remodeled guest rooms all with private baths.

Loopnet: “The lower level of the property is made up of ample storage space and two very large function areas. The property has received many significant upgrades over the past 3 years including, but not limited to, 12 (of the 21 guestrooms) have been remodeled, new bar with all new equipment, 2 new hot water tanks, laundry room, new boiler and a new 400 amp 120/240 volt three phase electrical service. The property has the potential of 21 guestrooms and a large restaurant with significant meeting and or banquet space. The lower lawn and back deck are spectacular spots for outdoor events.”

While the bed and breakfast is closed as of 2023, the grand restaurant is still open serving marvelous meals. Events are probably held here too on the lower level, which brings in income needed to keep it afloat, but doesn’t allow much for maintenance, as it now needs some TLC.



This historical property’s original two-story Federalist style home and its carriage house were built in 1730. Soon after it was built, the original owner sold it to state representative Captain Joseph Eldridge, who fell in love with it and the large property, where he could raise his family away from the crowds of Yarmouth Port and enjoy all the space and the glorious views. The Eldridge family called it their forever home for the next one hundred plus years.

In the 1820s, more room was needed, so a house was floated over from Nantucket, and installed on the foundation poured behind the original house, greatly expanding the living space.

In 1860, owner Dr. Reverend Azariah Eldridge decided to make it an addition to the original house. He then constructed a third floor with its mansard roof and the Doric portico in the front of the house, which modernized its look from the Federalist style to the popular Victorian style of the day. At some point, an open-sided gallery called a belvedere portico was added to the third floor roof on the back.

In the beginning years of the 1900s, U.S. Congressman Thomas Chandler Thacher owned the property. His family eventually sold it to local historians Charles F. Swift and Ella Bray. At some point in time, they sold it to the Simpkins family. Sometime along the way this once private residence became an inn, putting it to work, to help with the taxes and maintenance.

In 1979, the Simpkins family sold it to Malcolm Perna, an enthusiastic historical preservationist. At the time of the sale, Yarmouth Port Colonial House was due for a renovation. Perna did extensive work to create three intimate dining rooms, and large guest rooms with private bathrooms. The carriage house was turned into suites and a conference area that could seat 135 people. “The 10-guest room carriage house behind the 11-guest room main house was renovated with new floors, new paint and new furnishings to create more of an uncluttered modern look.”

Perna dedicated thirty-seven years of his life to restoring and maintaining this impressive piece of history. He opened the Colonial House Inn and Restaurant, hiring a top chef to bring in people and events. He also began to host Murder Mystery events four times a year, using scripts that he had written himself. Paranormal investigating groups were allowed inside to investigate to see what they could catch, though Perna didn’t believe in spirits.

After Malcom Perna died in 2015, the property was put up for sale because family members didn’t want to inherit a historical bed and breakfast. Instead, they had the goal of selling it to someone who was committed to preserving its history. Being somewhat of a money pit, The Yarmouth Port Colonial House Inn has had no takers that have worked out. Past owners have always been people who were well-off, and could afford maintaining it as well as paying the taxes.

Yarmouth Port Colonial House Inn is still for sale, even after dropping in price, much lower than what it is deemed to be worth. Perna’s family members have done their best, but they don’t have the money to maintain it properly. During 2021, many guests noticed its slip into a frumpy, run-down place. In 2023, the inn was closed but the restaurant and scheduled events are still going strong, providing tasty meals to the public who make reservations, which brings in some revenues.

Hopefully the family’s luck will change, and a deep-pockets preservationist will buy it, warts and all, to restore it to its former glory. Perhaps the family could donate it to a historical society or preservation group, a move that has saved many a historical building.



Premature passing, a suicide, and someone’s love of this home are the main causes for it having resident spirits.


Spirits of children who die from disease or accidents make the best of it and continue to enjoy themselves being children.

McRaven Mansion, MS (The two preschool Murray boy spirits have fun playing with the toys left for them, trying to get living children on the tours to play with them, and touching and peeking at adults).

Bee Bennett Mansion, CA (The two young spirit boys, one from the Bee family and one from the Bennett family, are as hard to handle as when they were alive. Both love mischievous acts of fun!)

Longwood, MS (The three spirits of the Nutt children still have fun in their inside playroom and their outside games).

Yarmouth Port Colonial House, MA (At least three little child spirits are still playing, and occasionally play jokes on the manager).


Killing oneself to flee from emotional pain doesn’t turn out as intended. Spirits find that they can’t outrun their problems as they continue to struggle with them.

Hotel Adolphus, TX (A bride who was supposed to be married in the hotel’s ballroom was stood up by the groom. Out of grief and despair, she hung herself. Her spirit is still working through her emotional pain).

17 Hundred 90 Restaurant and Inn, GA (A naive young maid was seduced, told a lie, and abandoned in a pregnant state. In despair, she jumped from the top floor of the inn and died. Her spirit is restless and seems to be stuck).

Hassayampa Inn, AZ (A bride on her honeymoon with her new husband was devastated when he went to buy something at the store but never came back. She impulsively hung herself in her suite after waiting three days for him to return. Though still grieving, her restless spirit finds ways to amuse herself).

Yarmouth Port Colonial House, MA (A stable boy, suffering from emotional pain, hung himself in the carriage house. His spirit is still unhappy and stuck in this world)


When a structure is the family forever home for many generations, spirits of family members may decide to visit or even reside. If it needs repair, this may make them restless or simply persuade them to patiently wait for the living to act.

The Morgan House, MA (Living with this spectral family brings unexpected perks!).

Concord’s Colonial Inn, MA (Spirits still love the forever home that they so enjoyed while alive).

Hartford Twain House Museum, CT (After their forever home was completely restored, the whole spectral Twain family moved back inside).

Yarmouth Port Colonial House, MA (There is some subtle activity that suggests that spirits of an adult or adults are residing or visiting).


When children die and decide to stay where they felt love and had fun, the spirits of the parents are drawn back to stay with them.

Whaley House, CA (The spirits of Mr. and Mrs Whaley reside in their home with the spirits of their toddler and their grieving daughter).

Saint James Hotel, NM (The spirit of two-year-old Johnnie loves to play and get into things. The spirit of his mother, Mary Lambert, stays with him).

Shanley Hotel, NY (The spirit of a little girl who drowned in the well resides in the hotel as well as the spirit of her father, who was the barber back in the day).

Yarmouth Port Colonial House, MA (The spirit of the mother of the spirit infant stays in the house with the baby and probably looks after other child spirits as well).



Spirits of children and a baby are the most active residents, with perhaps a quieter adult spirit also residing in the home.

The Spirit of a Baby

Guests have heard the disembodied crying of a baby coming from the second floor.

Probably a Female Spirit

In one room, a rocking chair seems to change positions, from facing the room at sunset, to facing the wall that used to have a window with a view.

The chair probably rocks by itself when the female spirit is tending to the spirit of the baby.

Spirits see what they want to see. In her day, there was a window there.

Disembodied Voices

Staff and guests have heard the sound of happy children whispering.

They love to run up and down the narrow stairway in the widow’s walk.

Bed Bouncer

Stan Hawkins was the inn manager when Max Perna was the owner, and probably still manages events.

One night when he was staying in a second floor room, he was awakened to the sound of an unseen little person jumping up and down on the twin bed in the corner of Stan’s room.


One day when Stan was setting the table for a scheduled dinner, the second floor service bell for guests rang in the office, while there were no guests in the inn.

Annoyed, Perna confronted Stan about the ringing service bell. Stan denied doing it.

When he came back to setting tables, the last place setting he finished was turned upside down.


Guests and staff have had a lot of personal experiences with resident spirits.

Paranormal groups that came in to investigate, probably caught some hard evidence but I couldn’t find it on the internet.



Yes Indeed!

Spirits of full-of-fun youngsters, and maybe a conscientious mother looking after her baby that died before her, are residing in the home that they loved so well. While the crying may be residual, the moving rocking chair suggests that the baby is a real spirit, as its spectral mother may be here as well taking care of it.

The spirit of the unhappy stable boy is also still crying, and needs the help of a medium to help him cross over to the spirit world.



Yarmouth Port Colonial House Inn is located in the countryside of Yarmouth Port, sitting right on the old King’s Highway.


  • https://www.robertpaulblog.com/featured-property-colonial-house-inn/
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/blackdoll/27143452434
  • Yarmouth wicked Local News website: New Owner and Name for Yarmouth Port Landmark
  • History for sale in Yarmouth Port, by Christine Legere, www.capecodtimes.com

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr


Haunts in Massachusetts