Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Getaway, Part Two
I'm waiting for Jenn to spin this tale but she's just given me permission to write about our unusual encounter with the Inn's former mistress, Mrs. Barstow.
Let's face it, spending a night in an old historic inn with my daughter (who dotes on ghosts) wouldn't be complete without a paranormal event.
We drove to Vermont on a bit of a whim, settled in, took a hike, and ate a grand dinner. We then retired to the parlor (think Victorian) for an intense game of Scrabble. Mother and daughter, very competitive. I'm still not sure that "IQ" was a valid entry but I gave Jenn the benefit of the doubt. Luckily, I managed to make a comeback at the end with "jewelry" and won the game by two points! Life was good.
We decided to end the evening with some quiet conversation on the front porch. The other guests had already gone up to their rooms and the owner was nowhere in sight. As we walked through the house and onto the porch, Jenn and I heard three notes struck on the old piano which sat in the sitting room where we had played Scrabble. Three consecutive notes ... a quarter note and two eighth notes, same tone.
It was a warm night and all the windows were open. I looked at her and she looked at me, and we got this odd feeling. Someone at the piano? We didn't see the owner walk back into that room. Jenn turned to me and suggested that I go see who was playing. The lights were still on but we couldn't see clearly through the windows. I padded back into the house, walked into the room and, of course, no one was there. The piano bench was pulled out a bit but empty. After dealing with Mrs. Kitchen and Mr. Pipe and our friend's psychic readings, this lack of a body seemed no big deal.
We sat back down on the porch rocking chairs and soon our host came out for a late-night chat. We, of course, asked him if he had snuck in and played the three notes on the piano. He, of course, did not and seemed surprised at our story.
He had a story of his own. He told us that this inn was built around 1865 by a wealthy businessman named Barstow. He and his wife lived an aristocratic lifestyle entertaining the likes of Thomas Edison and the Rockefellers on their front porch, the one we were now sitting on. Wow.
Mr. Barstow and his wife were philanthropists and good people. They had one son, who died as a young man. They then dedicated a local school in his honor. Mr. Barstow played the organ and piano. Mrs. Barstow may have also entertained on a piano in their Victorian parlor.
By now, Jenn was getting her strange scalp tingles and certain that the Barstows were still around. Actually, Mrs. Barstow - Jenn was getting her lady-ghost tingle. Believe me, when Jenn's scalp tingles, you have guests. The owner of the inn seemed amused but a bit dubious about the three notes on the piano. We, however, weren't.
After he went to bed, Jenn and I continued to think about what we both heard. We could hear the notes so clearly and thought they sounded somewhere in the range of middle "C". Jenn went back next morning and found the right note: the "B" below middle "C".
B for Barstow.
Play it again, ma'am.