Built in 1832 by Captain John Stone, this public house has been an inn, a restaurant, a stop on the Underground Railroad, and a regular visiting place for the ghosts of John Stone, a traveling salesman who Stone accidentally killed, a little girl who died in the inn in the late 1800s, a former manager, and possibly some slaves who never made it to freedom.
Walking in to Stone’s Public House today is like stepping back a century into the past. There’s New England charm, creaking wood plank floors, and staff members who almost all have a ghost story to tell. I investigated the location in December of 2003 and toured the building from its low-ceilinged basement where a hole broken through the foundation reveals a hidden room used by the Underground Railroad; up to its charming main dining area; on to the second floor, which features smaller and more private function rooms; and a peek up the stairs to the third floor, which is no longer in use but at one time served as guest rooms when it was an inn.
Staff have reported smelling pipe smoke, even before the building opens for business for the day. Staff and patrons have both claimed to see apparitions and feel cold spots around the building, some have been tapped on the back, and some have even been pushed out of the way by an unseen force. Behind the bar is one very curious photograph taken from a night when a band was performing in the pub section. Within one of the vertical wooden beams, you can very clearly see the image of a man with a big, black moustache, dressed in old-fashioned clothes.
Jim Terlemezian has been working as a bartender at the restaurant since 2001. He said,
“I definitely believe in ghosts, without a doubt. We came in on a Sunday to work a function, so I got in around 10 a.m. and worked until about 2 a.m., so I was exhausted. Everybody had cleared out, and it was just me and Marti [former owner, Marti Northover]. She was upstairs in her office, and I was on the first floor at the end of the bar. I went into the back to change my shirt and left the door open. As I take my shirt off, I hear a voice. I can’t tell you what they said—I couldn’t even tell you if it was a male or a female, but it was a young kid. I stopped what I was doing and came out [to the main bar] and said, ‘Marti?’ I thought maybe she said ‘Jim’ or something like that. But she wasn’t even here; she was upstairs.”
Written by —Jeff Belanger Founder, Ghostvillage.com
STONE’S PUBLIC HOUSE
179 MAIN STREET
ASHLAND, MASSACHUSETTS 01721
TEL: 1 (508) 881-1778