|Hotel Portsmouth, NH|
This was another in-state New England getaway. As we've (temporarily) run out of area castles to visit, we've downsized architectural styles to former grand homes, many of which offer lodgings. A previous estate stay was Stonehurst Manor, North Conway, NH. As far as we know, it has not been reported to be haunted.
But this latest stay was a different story. This hotel is in the Lark Hotels chain that's concentrated in New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI) with a single location in Carmel, CA. According to the company website: Lark Hotels are intimate getaways. They reveal a sense of place and nostalgia with imagination and a touch of mischief.
That elevator sign in last week's Friday Funnies was taken during our stay at this former estate, now the Hotel Portsmouth. We thought the sign was humorous, as did others, but it seems the sign may have ghostly undertones not disclosed during our stay. Also, the elevator amenity was unusual as most multi-floor B&Bs and small hotels rarely have one which usually discourages us from staying on upper floors.
Portsmouth, NH, settled in 1623, is just over an hour's drive from Nashua. It's one of the state’s oldest towns and also home to some of its most historic buildings, such as Strawberry Banke, The Rockingham, and The Portsmouth Athenaeum. Quite often, spooky stories become very much associated with places that have been around for hundreds of years.
|Hotel Portsmouth, Court Street, Portsmouth, NH|
|Woodwork on hallway staircases, Hotel Portsmouth|
|Chandeliers on ground floor, Hotel Portsmouth|
|John E. Sise residence, circa 1902 (Internet source) looks similar to current hotel|
|Side view to show building Hotel Portsmouth expansion over the years|
In 1986, it was expanded and, with a nod to its former owners, opened as the Sise Inn with 34 four guest rooms. After nearly 30 years, it was sold in 2013 and, after a six-month renovation with attention to historic details, it reopened as the Hotel Portsmouth with 32 guest rooms. The renovation didn't seem to have eliminated the spirits that frequent its walls according to sources.
|Hotel Portsmouth lounges (we enjoyed pizza & wine by gaslit fireplace on lower left)|
Suite 204 is considered a particular hotspot. Rumor goes that a butler of the home's original owner fell in love with a maid who he killed and then hung himself in the room. There's no factual evidence this ever happened.
|Hotel Portsmouth, Room 104|
We'd read about things that had reportedly happened like items being thrown or moved, elevator doors opening and closing, a rocking chair moving on its own. Some guests were locked out of their room and others said they felt like someone had climbed into bed with them.
Numerous online sites and printed publications, have included the Hotel Portsmouth as one of the states notable haunted places. It should be noted that many reported that any hovering spirits were considered to be more annoying than harmful. Perhaps, we'll meet on a future visit.
|Stairway woodwork viewed in hall mirror|
This post was not meant to discourage stays at the Hotel Portsmouth, which we enjoyed and would re-book again. The hotel was centrally located within walking distance from downtown Portsmouth, provided free on-site parking (a nice perk as many larger area hotels have a parking fee), and last (but not least), the staff were helpful and friendly. We enjoyed a take-out pizza and wine seated in front of a gas lit fireplace in one of the lounges on the rainy evening of our last night stay. No, we didn't share with any errant spirits.
In a couple of weeks, we'll stay at another Lark hotel to celebrate a special anniversary. As far as we know, there's been no unusual sightings there. But, who knows what can happen on a getaway adventure?