The Red Lion Inn

Posted by US Ghost Adventures Contributor in US Ghost Adventures
The Red Lion Inn - Photo

A charter member of the Historic Hotels of America since 1989, The Red Lion Inn dates back to 1773. This historic inn has been one of the most frequented in the Berkshires for generations upon generations. According to tradition, the inn first appeared on the corners of Pine and Main Streets in downtown Stockbridge, Massachusetts during the early 1770s. It started as a quaint tavern and inn, created by Silas Pepoon, but it soon prospered with the traffic between Boston and Albany.

The Red Lion Inn, like other historic inns in Massachusetts, had connections to the Revolutionary War. Protests occurred at the Red Lion in regards to the British Parliament’s Acts of Intolerance amid the buildup to the American Revolution. Soldiers affiliated with the Continental Army even passed through The Red Lion Inn once the fighting had started.

The Red Lion Inn’s Tidbit of History

Following a few previous owners, Charles H. Plumb purchased the inn in 1873. He renamed it the Stockbridge House, and Charles and his family immediately set out to renovate the site. New sections were added onto the building, which continued on to an ever-growing number of guest rooms. The Plumbs also brought bouts of decorations and antiques to furnish the Stockbridge. Much of the items brought into the inn were found by Charles’ wife. She obtained loads of colonial-era decor that added to the building’s fascinating history and heritage.

The Red Lion Inn during the holidays. Source: Flickr

By the 1800s, The Red Lion Inn was capable of hosting about one-hundred guests. Things were looking up for the Plumbs with their successful inn until tragedy struck in 1896.

Stockbridge’s Structural Collapse

A structural accident destroyed the Stockbridge House in 1896. Fortunately, the Plumbs and their neighbors managed to save the decor and furniture from the inn, although the bones of the building itself were significantly damaged. The Plumbs refused to give up on their pride and joy and set out to restore the inn. It was amazingly rebuilt in just a matter of months, reopening the following spring. It soon was back to its original glory and sparkling reputation, when it hosted five different U.S. presidents including Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge.

The Stockbridge House remained for ninety years, eventually falling under the ownership of the Plumbs’ distant relatives, the Treadwell family. The inn remained virtually unchanged during this time, but when the inn was facing real estate developers, Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick stepped in and purchased the inn in 1968, saving it from becoming lost to modernity.

They continued to renovate the inn, being sure that it would continue operations for years to come. They even changed its name back to The Red Lion Inn in honor of its history. The Red Lion Inn has remained a crown jewel to Massachusetts since its beginnings, and while most guests come and go, some have evidently stayed after their death as well.

Phantoms of The Red Lion Inn

Surprisingly, our journey into the hauntings at The Red Lion start on the popular review site, Trip Advisor. More than one review was left about room 301 and the unusual activity that occurred there during a couple of guest’s visits. One review stated that the bed sheet was tugged during the dark hours of the night, and another reported the feeling of their toes being pulled on as they laid in bed. The sound of footsteps and someone sitting on the bed are also reported.

A third review told of disturbances during the night in the form of strange apparitions and covers being tugged from the bed. The apparition usually seen in room 301 is of a tall man in a top hat and period attire. He is said to vanish into a white mist before he dissipates away.

Room 301 isn’t the only nook of the Red Lion Inn that houses resident ghouls. One strange story in the inn’s visitor booklet reports an incident during a guest named Sheryl’s stay. Her report says that in April of 2003, she was awoken by someone standing over the bed. She glanced at the clock, 1:35 a.m. Sheryl ended up falling back asleep after the encounter with the entity, and in the morning, she noticed that their daughter had left them a message stating that a thunderstorm had knocked out the powerline to their house, causing a dangerous shower of sparks. The time of her call? You guessed it — 1:35 a.m.

Other micellaneous encounters include cold spots throughout the inn, knocks on the walls, disembodied voices, and unseen giggles.

Other Haunted Lions

Strangely enough, there are other Red Lions all across the globe that have reports of unexplained happenings. The 17th century Red Lion Inn of Wiltshire is believed to be haunted by a former innkeeper, while the Red Lion in Gloucestershire features the spirit of a woman named Anne. Red Lion Square in London is where the apparition of Oliver Cromwell is reported, and the Red Lion Hotel in Yorkshire houses a phantom man. What is it about the name ‘Red Lion’ that attracts visitors from the spiritual realm?

The Red Lion Inn Today

These days, the Inn is running business-as-usual, welcoming guests from all over through its doors and providing visitors with a cozy stay. Even with all of the reports of ghostly activity, people flock to the Red Lion Inn, in search of a quiet respite and a chance at an encounter with an otherworldly guest (or two!)

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