The spirit of a monk finds intellectual stimulation here.
A spectral doctor is still available for living guests, on occasion.
Of course, there is a spectral supervisor who is not afraid to get involved!
Nighttime gardening anyone?
WHAT A LOCATION to have a business! Concord’s Colonial Inn is a Colonial and Federalist style four-star inn that is a true step back in time to the late 1700s and 1800s. It blends “traditional decor with modern amenities.” It is rated number one on Trip Advisor’s ten best inns in Concord.
The inn was made from three different homes. The structure on the inn’s east side was Captain John Minot’s Colonial home (East Minot House), and now is the inn’s Liberty Restaurant and Bar, with its guest rooms on the second floor. The building right next to Minot’s home was Josiah Ryder’s 1730 two story, Federal style home (Central House) with a hip roof, an attic and a basement. In the later part of the 1700s, a third house appeared (West House). By the twentieth century, all three houses were attached, making a glorious inn!
(All quotes came from their website).
The inn offers two restaurants, Liberty and Merchant’s Row, one tavern that also serves food, a Salon, and fifty-six rooms and suites to choose from. They have something for everyone. “The sixteen historic main inn rooms date as far back as 1716 and many feature the original 18th-century wide-plank pine flooring, wainscoting, and post-beamed ceilings. The Thoreau Suite offers a king-size bed, living and dining area, a full kitchen, and bathroom with jetted soaker tub.”
Guests who want a “modern twist on Colonial charm” can stay in the Prescott Wing where its thirty-two rooms offer the choice of queen-size, two double-size bed, and suites, with wing back chairs, reading lamps, and work desks. There are two Prescott Suites that each provide “a queen-size bedroom, full bathroom, and separate living room furnished with full-size sofa bed and seating area, kitchenette fully equipped with mini-fridge, microwave, toaster, china, barware, and silverware.”
The inn also owns other properties to provide accommodations for their guests.
The Cottage is located behind the main inn and has two-bedroom suites. First floor cottage has a suite that “has two bedrooms, one with a king-size bed and a sitting/living area; the other has two twin-size beds, with a full kitchen and full bath.” The second floor of the cottage has a suite with “two bedrooms, one with a king-size bed; the other with two double-size beds. It also includes 1 1/2 bathrooms and a full kitchen.”
Rebecca’s Guest House has nine beds: four one-bedroom suites, a townhouse with two bedrooms, and a three-bedroom Penthouse.
They also have a home to rent for larger groups, which has five bedrooms, full kitchen, dining room, living room, sitting room, two and a half baths, and a washer/dryer.
The inn hosts social events like weddings, receptions, and parties, as well as meetings and banquets. They have plenty of room and atmosphere to please anyone who is planning special events.
The original house was built in 1716, by Captain John Minot, a soldier and a dedicated physician who loved his work. He had his office in his home, with his operating room being in the inn’s room 24. Native Americans and other people over the years came to town right by the property, located right off the town square. Perhaps some of these people were treated, operated on by the good Dr. Minot.
After it was floated over from Nantucket in 1730, a more modern, two-story house was installed on the lot right next to the Minot House by the Josiah Ryder family, who lived there for only a short time in this two-story Federal style home with a hip roof, an attic and a basement. They wound up selling their property to Captain John Minot, who moved into the Ryder House and sold his Colonial House to his son-in-law, Ammi White.
During the Revolutionary War, Dr Minot opened up his Colonial East House to be a front-line triage hospital for the wounded, as his location was right around the corner from North Bridge, the site of the first Revolutionary War battle. The Inn’s Room 24 was his operating room. The wounded were treated here with some success. Others may have “bought the farm” or “kicked the bucket” from their wounds, and their bodies wound up in Minot’s morgue, Room 27. He used the Central House to store ammunition for the minutemen.
When Captain John died, Deacon White, perhaps a relative of Ammi, bought the Central House, and the West House, which he moved into as the family home. It gave him a fine view to catch folks breaking the sabbath. He opened a store in the Central House. In the early 1800s, Deacon White sold the Central House and the Western House to Daniel Shattuck, who continued to run the store and live in the West House.
In 1799, Ammi White sold the East Minot House to John Thoreau Sr., the grandfather of author Henry David Thoreau. His son, John, worked in Deacon White’s store. After John Thoreau Sr. died in 1835, John Jr. moved his family and his two sisters back into the East Minot House for two years while his son Henry David Thoreau attended Harvard. Henry always felt it was his primary home. John Jr.’s sisters used to entertain the Shattuck family next door.
When John Jr. was ready to sell the East Minot House in 1839, how convenient to have the buyer, Daniel Shattuck, living next door.
Daniel Shattuck renovated the store back into a home, and then deeded all three structures to his daughter Frances, right before the Civil War. Frances and her husband Louis Surrette connected the East House to the Central building, and opened their twenty room boarding house, the Thoreau House, in honor of the two aunts of Henry Thoreau, who had entertained the Shattuck family so long ago. Frances and Louis lived in the West House. It gradually became a small hotel as well in 1889.
In 1900, the Thoreau House and the West House were sold by auction to the Abrams Family, who renamed the Thoreau House, Concord’s Colonial Inn, with the goal of renovating it. They expanded by attaching the West House, making it an extension of Concord’s Colonial Inn. Every year, Concord’s Colonial Inn improved until it was well-known as a luxurious, hospitable place for a holiday. It became the vacation place for many well-known and famous people, from Shirley Temple to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Wayne, and members of the Kennedy family to name a few.
Concord’s Colonial Inn had no money issues during the years of the Depression or WW 2. It brought in more than enough money to keep it maintained as an upper class to high society inn.
In 1960, money was invested into expanding the guest rooms by adding the William Prescott Wing, creating thirty-two new guest rooms. In 1970, there was a need for another dining room, so the Merchant’s Row dining Room was added, in honor of John Thoreau, a merchant. In 1988, German Hotelier Jungen Demisch bought Concord’s Colonial Inn. His contribution to the inn came in 2012, when the public spaces were renovated, and the guest rooms in the Prescott Wing received a top-to-bottom restoration effort to meet Demisch’s high standards.
In 2015, Demisch sold it to Michael and Dorthy Harrington who have carried the torch in offering their guests the best in accommodations, service, fine food and amenities.
Apparently, the living are not the only ones who find peace and relaxation in this Federalist style inn. Spirits who loved this place or died here also reside in their favorite rooms, and even try to help the living.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
“Some believe this building may well have more paranormal activity than any other house on Cape Cod!” is a quote from the book Ghosts, Myths and Legends, published by the Historical Society of Cape Cod.
Quite a few benign spirits do reside in their favorite place in this world, for a variety of reasons.
People who find purpose and passion in their work, sometimes have trouble leaving it all behind, and stay in this world to keep their hand in their former earthly work.
St. Louis Cathedral, LA (The spirit of a Spanish Priest still prays and cares for people).
Brewery Arts Center, NV (The spectral former caretaker makes sure the place is secure and electricity is saved).
Mission Santa Barbara, CA (The spirit of a Franciscan Monk still comforts the living and prays).
Concord’s Colonial House Inn, MA (The spirit of Dr. Minot still offers his services to the living when deemed appropriate. Another spirit has adopted the role of spectral supervisor).
Spirits who die in a place where they love the structure, the outside view, and the treatment they received there, sometimes want to enjoy this earthly place as spirit people, no longer sick or in pain.
Biltmore Hotel, FL (The spirits who died in the hospital or by the hand of another stay to enjoy this place).
Hotel del Coronado, CA (A woman who died under mysterious circumstances, stays to enjoy the hotel).
Cashtown Inn, PA (A Civil War soldier who died in a Cashtown room, still sticks around for chuckles).
Concord’s Colonial House Inn, MA (Some people that were operated on by the good Dr. Minot may have died there. The spirit of a Native American girl stays in Room 24 with Dr. Minot. The spirit of a monk may have been treated also, and perhaps died here as well. He also finds things to amuse himself).
Some of the wounded from The Revolutionary War must have died here, and could’ve stuck around in their favorite place.
General Wayne Inn, PA (The spirits of Hessian soldiers enjoyed teasing the living, especially the women sitting at the bar).
The Logan Inn, PA (A soldier left to die in the cellar, now enjoys the inn).
Edgewood Plantation, VA (The spirits of soldiers are still hanging around a place where they were treated kindly).
Concord’s Colonial House Inn, MA (Perhaps the dining room supervisor could be a spectral officer, (commissioned or non-commissioned), wanting to contribute). (USS Hornet, CA)
After serving as a home for many people, the building was put to work. It became an inn, a place of relaxation and rest. A place with fond memories has been known to attract spirits who loved it during their lifetime, and chose to stay here.
Loveland Castle, OH (While it is a museum, the original owner still putters around in spirit form, enjoying his things and the people who come and visit).
Brumder Mansion, WI (Though now a bed and breakfast and event venue/theater, the spirits find ways to be helpful to the current owners).
Joslyn Castle, IA (The original family enjoys the weddings and social affairs that take place inside and outside).
Concord’s Colonial House Inn, MA (Any of the past owners/guests may visit. Dr. Minot has been documented as being there as well, still caring for patients, living ones and perhaps the spirits of patients who didn’t make it).
Spirits of creative people may decide to visit or reside in their favorite place in this world where they could write and grow in their skills as artists.
The Wolf Creek Inn, OR (A famous author still comes to write in his favorite room).
Stevenson House, CA (Robert Louis Stevenson is said to visit).
The Hemingway House, FL (Hemingway delights in working on the novels he wrote in his man cave office).
Concord’s Colonial House Inn, MA (It has its own creative, well-known spectral writer).
Although many of the spirits make themselves known in the East House, they like to wander through and visit the other parts of Concord’s Colonial Inn, as it is a beautiful place. Besides being a spectral family’s forever home, it is also a place where some people died from wounds or illness, all patients of the good doctor who tried to help them.
The Spirit of Dr. John Minot
The good doctor is still on duty, apparently making room calls to living guests, especially those who stay in Room 24 located in the East House.
Dr. John Minot gave a young bride on her honeymoon a start one late night in Room 24. He appeared as a misty gray figure, standing about four feet from her side of the bed. After studying her for a bit, the figure floated to the foot of the bed, and slowly faded away. Her husband slept through the whole thing.
Dr. Minot felt compelled to check out two paranormal investigators sleeping in Room 24, touching them with cold hands, perhaps taking a pulse? Perhaps the caring doctor saw them as patients.
Room 24: The Spirit of a Native American girl
She may have been treated by Dr. John Minot, but may have died of her illness or surgery. Perhaps she likes to stay with Dr. Minot.
She lets the living know that she is there in the room.
She likes to sing, and borrow items from guests, just to look at them, though she always finds a creative way to give them back.
Room 24: The Spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson
He must appear in detail, perhaps as see-through, as he was recognized by witnesses.
Ralph’s apparition has been seen sitting at the desk, deep in thought and writing.
He lets the living know that he is there, sharing the room with them.
If newlyweds check into his room, he may stand beside the bed and try to work up his nerve to give the bride advice about having a good marriage.
The Spirits of Soldiers in Room 24
Spirits of former wounded soldiers like to appear in Room 24.
They like to tease the living, by turning on the lights and the TV, sometimes all at once.
Their disembodied voices have been heard coming from the room’s closet.
East House Liberty Restaurant Spectral Supervisor
This Supervisor is a stern, no nonsense spirit, who can take charge if need be.
He may be a spectral soldier who had a command, or the spirit of John Thoreau who was a merchant while alive.
This spirit likes to supervise the employees, with a protective eye on the cashier station. Perhaps, this spirit likes to step in to “help” employees that are deemed to be in his or her eyes hapless or naive.
Once, when a waiter attempted to swipe a customer’s credit card through the machine, an unseen presence from behind grabbed the card out of the waiter’s hand. The card was eventually found in the cabinet below the payment counter. Perhaps the customer reminded this spirit of a scalawag from the past with bad credit!!
Other Spirits of Past Owners and Residents
In the sitting room of the East House, and other common rooms located in the other parts of the inn, the spirits of Henry David Thoreau and his aunt like to relax and watch the living. He is described as being a tall, slim gentleman with a top hat. She appears as an older woman dressed in an upscale 1700s dress.
In the East House section’s Liberty Room, spirits wearing Colonial clothes like to sit and entertain themselves.
They sometimes walk behind the living and continue conversing as they travel to other parts of the inn. Their disembodied voices are heard by staff and guests. When they turn around to see who is talking, no one is there.
Office Area: Resident Monk
The spirit of a Monk loves the office area: especially the electrical devices and books!
Books on the shelves in this front office have fallen off all by themselves. This spirit must like to read and study new things.
This spirit has been seen by the living, appearing clearly enough to be recognized as a monk.
Outside Area: Chore Time
The spirit of a Woman is dressed in 18th century attire.
Apparently, the best time to attend a spectral garden is in the middle of the night.
She has been noticed going about her gardening chores.
She could’ve been the cook for some owner a long time ago, or perhaps an owner’s wife.
Guests, staff, paranormal investigators and past owners have all had personal experiences with the residing spirits.
Paranormal investigators have also caught hard evidence from cooperative spirits, who feel free to be themselves.
A Ghost Travelers investigator captured an EVP of the voice of a young Indian girl singing a native song in her own language.
The Ghost Hunters crew in season 6, episode 14, A Shot in the Dark, caught and experienced an active night of paranormal activity.
A big Yes Indeed!
The boatload of paranormal activity reported by staff, owners and guests points to quite a few spirits, more than just the group in Room 24, not paying anything. Over twenty groups of paranormal investigators from 2005 to 2015 came and never left disappointed. There is not one unhappy or grumpy spirit among these spectral residents as they all have great manners, a friendly and courteous countenance, with a few having some quirks like teasing and borrowing items. One spirit tries to help where it matters, at the cashier’s station.
It is located in the center of historical Concord on Monument Square, between Bedford St to the north, and Lowell Rd to the south, not far from the North bridge.
- The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide, By Rich Newman,
Llewellyn Publications, 2016
- Haunted Massachusetts, by Thomas D’Agostino, Schiffer Publications, 2007.
- Ghost Hunters: Season 6, episode 14 Prime Video