Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Queer Paranormal Road Trip: WhiteGate Inn & Cottage

With the crisp chill to the Midwest air, thoughts not only drift to ghostly happenings but to warmer climates. The allure of a southern escape is quite tempting and there are many destinations to choose from. North Carolina is often neglected, yet there is a gay-owned bed & breakfast in the city of Asheville worth a glance. And you might find yourself face to face with a specter from the past.

Built in 1889, the WhiteGate Inn and Cottage offers luxurious bed-and-breakfast accommodations in the heart of historic Asheville. Aside from the cozy rooms, there are superb gardens tended by one of the innkeepers. The most impressive room, the Walt Whitman Garden Spa Suite, features French doors which open out into the lush flowered greenery. But if you decide to book a room at the inn, you just might find a few spirits lingering within the walls.

Hauntings at the WhiteGate stem from the days of the tuberculosis epidemic. Two sisters purchased the house in 1928 and converted it into one of the many tubercuosis boarding houses throughout Asheville. One of these women, referred to as "Mrs. B", still makes her presence known to guests and staff members. Opened drawers mysteriousy close on their own accord, lights turn on and off, and doors left open are often found closed. It appears that she remains as a housekeeping presence; much of the activity is centered around the Robert Frost Room where she passed away in 1973. She has also been spotted sitting in the garden, admiring the beautiful view.

Two male spirits also reside in the house and have been seen and felt in various places throughout the building. One may be attached to the basement area and has frightened people by making sounds in the darkness. This presence may be that of a former patient, rumored to have killled himself. The other more friendly phantom could be Charles, the son of Mrs. B who lived here for several years in the mid 20th century.

WhiteGate Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is lovingly cared for by Ralph Coffey and Frank Salvo. Whether you seek a peaceful retreat of a little spooky fun, this bed & breakfast has a little something for everyone. And if this house doesn't offer enough ghosty happenings, be sure to check out the Asheville Ghost Tour and hear the stories of the many other haunts around the town.

3 comments:

Zathyn Priest said...

Sounds like my type of Bed & Breakfast! I'm heading to the US next year, but only going to LA. Probably not too many ghosts hanging out in hotels opposite Disneyland I guess :^/

Cullan Hudson said...

San Juan is pretty warm right now. :-D Although, I don't think I can provide you with any haunted stays. Well, that's not entirely true. There is the Hotel El Convento, which was a Carmelite convent founded over 350 years ago and was turned into a hotel in 1959.

It is said that Dona Ana de Lansos y Menendez de Valdez' ghost still roams the corridors. A grief-stricken widow who lost her husband in a battle with the Dutch, she donated her home and land to the church to establish this convent. She became its first mother superior.

Witnesses have claimed to hear the rustling of her robes as she passes and, upon occasion, the pious whispers or ghostly prayers.

Chris said...

Sounds like a real interesting palce to go to. Would be very cool to go there and set up equipment to see what can be caught!