Hilltop House Hotel

The town of Harpers Ferry is settled in the junction of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. First established in 1734 by Robert Harper, who ran a very successful ferry for a number of years, the town is as picturesque as it is historically significant. The area has been called the birthplace of the Civil War because of a skirmish that took place in town on October 16, 1859 between abolitionist John Brown, his army of 18 men, and Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee’s cavalry of 90 men. Brown was attempting to arm the slaves in town to lead a revolt, though he didn’t get the flood of people he thought he would when he came into town with a wagon full of weapons. Not surprisingly, Lee’s men made quick work of the revolt. But the seeds of revolution were already planted. The Hilltop House Hotel was built on a bluff in this historic town in 1888. The building has 65 guest rooms and offers views of three states, two rivers, and some majestic mountains. The Hilltop has played host to such notable guests as Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, and President Woodrow Wilson. Today, the building plays host to guests of the ghostly kind who have been known to pass by the grounds, through the halls, and in some of the corners of the hotel today. One of the more vivid encounters occurred near the front desk when a woman in period dress walked through and into the dining room. When the staff went into the dining room to ask this woman if they could help her, she was gone. Carroll Easton has worked at the Hilltop Hotel since the early 1980s. She didn’t know of the building’s haunted reputation until she started working the front desk there. She said some guests who stayed in the room above the kitchen would say they heard laughter, pots banging, and voices between 2 and 3 a.m.—even though the kitchen was completely empty and silent. Today, Easton is the sales manager for the hotel and has heard many of the first- and secondhand accounts of ghostly activity. “Civil War soldiers have been sighted walking along the property,” Easton said. “It’s also been reported several times that there’s a phantom regiment that marches up and down our street periodically.” Easton herself has joined a local paranormal group and has had some unexplained experiences during her own investigations. “We have one room up on the top floor, and three of the other employees and I were doing our own investigation,” she said. “The ghosts were actually beginning to materialize in this one room for us. There was one man who was over in the corner with white hair and a white beard—a really kind-looking man. We called him John. And in the same room, there was a lady who started to materialize in the corner.”

Written by — Jeff Belanger Founder, Ghostvillage.com

TEL: 1 (304) 535-2132
WEBSITE: www.hilltophousehotel.net

Taken from the: Encyclopedia of Haunted Places -Ghostly Locales from around the World – Compiled & Edited by Jeff Belanger – Copyright 2005 by Jeff Belanger 

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