Cape Cod has a long history of tales of restless ghosts, from widowed sea captain's wives that still tread the widow's walk waiting for their husbands who are never coming back from sea, to poor souls from shipwrecks or vessels taken over by pirates. Cape Cod is no stranger to hauntings in it's stately old homes and windswept beaches.
One of the oldest places to feel the chill of past inhabitants is the Old Yarmouth Inn Restaurant and Tavern. Built in 1696, it is the oldest inn in America which is still operating as an inn. Ghostly apparitions, lights going off and on by themselves, cold and hot spots, objects moving magically, whispers, and more are all thanks to the resident spirits. Plus, there's a hidden door in the attic thought to have been used as part of the Underground Railroad.
The Old Yarmouth Inn through its long history, also was used as a dentist office, family homes, a boarding house for the school teaching staff and perhaps a place where Revolutionary era soldiers were stationed; but this isn't clear as the historical records were lost in a fire.
Before the Civil War, the owners of the inn were part of the underground railroad, and hid runaway slaves in a secret room in the attic, which was found by the future owners, the Powell family, when granddaughter Althea was playing in the attic and discovered it.
Throughout the years, many owners and many visitors have lived and stayed here. No one knows if any died in their sleep. There seems to be at least 2 ghosts, a man and a woman who make The Old Yarmouth Inn their home. It is suspected that the male entity may be Althea Power's grandfather. The female entity may be the woman who died in a fire on the second floor or could be a slave woman from the underground railroad days. It was rumored that she was the mistress of the owner of the Inn at that time.
We had dinner there this summer in the tavern and while walking around, I did get the sense that some of the dining rooms were colder than others - it definitely had the feel of an old building with lots of stories and the food was very good so I would encourage anyone looking for a wonderful fireside dinner and a (possible) show to visit this charming old inn on Route 6A this Fall.
I am a designer and Cape native who loves cottage style, simple, small house living and guiding people to the hidden treasures