Room 318 in Green Park Inn is said to be haunted by Laura Greene, daughter of one of the hotel’s founder. The legend says that Greene was to be wed at a church in Blowing Rock. However, Greene’s fiancé failed to turn up on the wedding day, leaving her stranded and humiliated in front of all the invited guests. Distraught by his disappearance, Greene reportedly hung herself at Room 318 in Green Park Inn.
Since her passing, guests of Green Park Inn have reported ghostly activities in the historic hotel. In particular, many reported seeing the translucent figure of a woman in a wedding gown strolling along the hallways on the third floor. Sound of children playing can also be heard in the middle of the night, although there were no records of any child-related death throughout the hotel’s history. It is said that the hotel lobby keeps a ‘ghost log’ for visitors to pen down their encounters with the paranormal.
The hotel has also played host to numerous paranormal investigators, who have mostly concluded that the hotel is haunted by guests who have never left. They reported a host of paranormal activities such as shadow figures disappearing into the walls, disembodied voices, and cameras being turned off on its own.
In 2017, The Washington Post named Green Park Inn as one of 13 spookiest hotel across the United States. Separately in 2018, Green Park Inn joined the rank of several other historical hotels including 1886 Crescent Hotel, , Omni Mount Washington Resort, and Omni Grove Park Inn to become one of Historic Hotels of America’s Top 25 gpstMost Haunted Historic Hotels .
History of Green Park Inn
The history of Green Park Inn dates back to the 1880s when it was founded by Civil War veteran Major George Washington Finley Harper and two other businessman. Located in the small town of Blowing Rock, the inn was built to be a “comfortable summer home” for tourists coming in from major cities in North Carolina.
Opened in the summer of 1891, the 73,000-square-foot large inn featured sixty guest rooms complete with fireplaces and running water. The three-storey property also boasted a host of amenities not commonly found in most hotels, including a billiard room, bowling alley, a tennis court, and the only post office in the region.
Over the years, the historic hotel has received numerous U.S. Presidents and luminaries including:
- Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States
- Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States
- Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
- Margaret Mitchel, novelist and author of award winning novel Gone with the Wind
- James (Jimmy) Stewart, American actor and military pilot
- John D. Rockefeller, business magnate and the richest American in modern history
- Marilyn Monroe, American actress, model and singer
Green Park Inn would go on to solidify its position as the Grande Dame of hotel in the High Country in the 20th century.
In the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, Green Park Inn was faced with falling occupancy and struggled to stay open. In late 2009, the hotel was foreclosed, ending its operations for the first time since its opening.
On March 31, 2010, New York hoteliers Eugene and Steven Irace purchased the historic Green Park Inn for $935,000. Already owners of several other hotels, the duo hoped to restore the iconic property in Blowing Rock to its former glory. Together with Blowing Rock Historical Society and North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, the new owners embarked on a six month long renovation and modernization project. On October 29, 2010, Blowing Rock Inn opened its doors to the public once again. The hotel now features eighty-eight guest rooms, a library; two event spaces—Carolina Room and Blue Ridge Room—a bar and a restaurant; and a fitness center.
In 2016, the hotel celebrated its 125th anniversary and announced a milestone as North Carolina’s second oldest hotel in operation as well as the last of the “Grand Manor” hotels in western North Carolina. The event was attended by leaders in the local community as well as descendants of the founders.
On June 3 1982, in recognition of Green Park Inn‘s significance to the history of North Carolina, Green Park Inn was nominated and successfully added to the National Register of Historic Places . It is presently a member of the Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels across America.