Portsmouth Sheafe Street Inn

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sheafe-ghostsFor many years this well kept up, 19th century, 2 1/2 floor brick/white board building and the connecting, one floor building served as a tavern and lodging establishment, perhaps catering to some of the seamen who were on leave from the tall sail ships in the harbor, in the 1800s. Being a port town, men who worked on these tall ships that came into Portsmouth Harbor, liked to party in town on their shore leave, sometimes having too good a time, and drinking a little too much, taking their good times to the streets, being loud and celebratory!

Others traveling through town also stayed here. At some point, it became a boarding house, and rooms were rented to people who worked in the town of Portsmouth, because this was steadier income. For awhile, it was a bed and breakfast in recent years, as Portsmouth attracts many visitors. Currently, it is the site of apartments that are occupied on the second and attic floor, and is home to the thriving Ceres Street Bakery, located on the first floor and the attached building.



portsmouth-sheafe-street-innPeople who have a focused task or mission in life, and death interrupts their life’s cause or duties, they sometimes continue to do their calling or duty, even when in spirit form; either because they can’t let go of it, or they perhaps don’t know that they are dead. Rev. John Bellamy; Famous carver of American Eagles – He rented the top apartment of the Sheafe Street Inn, during the tall ship days in the 1800s, and felt strongly about the evils of alcohol.

The 19th Century Horseman – Equestrian equipment was found in one of the inn’s walls, during a renovation project, suggesting that he may have died suddenly. Perhaps the owners were afraid of being put into quarantine, and had his body disposed of, and hid his stuff in a wall. Sometimes people who made their living, cooking in a kitchen, continue to do so in their afterlife.

During the long years of being a tavern/restaurant, The Sheafe Street Inn has had many dedicated cooks employed to provide meals for their customers.

Sometimes entities of past owners of a property, don’t approve of the job being done by the new owners or their employees, and feel the need to take action. Or, perhaps it is hard to share ownership with the living, not quite trusting the living to do things in the correct manner.



An Unseen Spirit

Seems to be a bit territorial of the first floor of The Sheafe Street Inn.

Perhaps it is a former owner who didn’t approve of this person who then owned the Sheafe Street Inn.

This entity pushed a female owner out of bed in her room on the first floor of The Sheafe Street Inn, a space that is now used as the breakfast room of The Ceres Street Bakery.

Perhaps it is this entity who is the fresh air convert, who opens up windows of vacant rooms/apartments when they are unoccupied; a custom of an innkeeper, airing out the room.

Spirit of a Cook

Kitchen of the Ceres Street Bakery.

He or she likes to supervise the bakery staff in the kitchen, as well as putter around the kitchen by himself/herself.

Perhaps likes to do some remembering of past “cooking projects” during the night, when the bakery is closed, and then leaves the tools out for the day-shift to find, perhaps to let them know that they are sharing the kitchen with a spectral cook!

Seems to enforce the philosophy, that everything should be kept in its place. Tools that were laid out neatly for making some pastry, were put back where they belonged by some unseen hands, when the chef turned his back for a moment to prepare something else.

Male Entity of Rev. John Bellamy

When drunkards – whether sailors or citizens – would walk by The Sheafe Street Inn, Rev. Bellamy would run down the stairs, and confront them about their drinking issues, preaching about the dangers of alcohol. For years after he died, people high on alcohol who walked by The Sheafe Street Inn, would be confronted by an unseen presence, who would push them down to make his point. Some said it felt like someone jumped on them from the second story.

People staying in the other rooms, would hear footsteps race down the central staircase, and into the street.

If alcohol in decanters, or beer was left in any of the rooms of the bed and breakfast, or in later years; in the apartments, people would come back to find their bottles and decanters smashed on the floor. This was especially true in the attic apartment.

Male Entity of a horseman, and his dogs

The guest who first reported this fellow, felt an unseen presence follow him down the stairs to the front door. Looking behind him, he saw this male entity, dressed as a horseman from another era. This entity’s whistling was heard as he walked his 2 ghostly dogs. Years later, this entity has been seen 5 more times. He perhaps was still going on with his work, as scheduled before he died.


portsmouth-hauntings-innProbably so. While no recent experiences have been shared publicly about the temperance-focused Rev. John Bellamy, or the horseman with strong work ethics, or the critical, territorial spirit;(possibly a past owner), the entity in Ceres Street Bakery kitchen is still cleaning up after the cooks and employees, as well as perhaps remembering his/her best recipes in the middle of the night, leaving clues to the kitchen staff that he or she is still there.

No hard evidence has been gathered and shared online. No publicly known paranormal investigations have taken place here, probably because the current owners don’t want to reactivate/annoy/disturb the strong-willed entity of John Bellamy, the entity of the hunter who may not know that he is dead, or the other critical, territorial spirit, probably a past owner.

The current owners have rented all the apartments, and don’t want to have their tenants inconvenienced by paranormal investigators, or scared by upset spirits.



3 Sheafe Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801.

The Sheafe Street Inn is located steps away from the historical downtown section, on the corner of Sheafe Street, and Penhallow Street. Penhallow Street runs between State Street and Daniel Street.


  • “HAUNTED NEW HAMPSHIRE” by Thomas D’Agostino
    Schiffer Books, 2006
  • seacoastonline.com
  • davepowell.hubpages.com
  • seacoastnh.com
  • newhampshire.com
  • kripara.com
  • lwhs.us

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Our Photos are copyrighted by Tom Carr

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