Is the Curtis House Inn Haunted?

Over the years, numerous visitors and staffs of the Curtis House Inn in Woodbury, Connecticut, have reported paranormal activities happening in the historic property. Most of the entities encountered in the inn are former owners and employees who have continued to linger in the inn long after their passing.

Renown paranormal investigator Ed and Lorraine Warren have both spent time at the Curtis House Inn and confirmed the hauntings. In an interview, Warren said “My husband and family have gone there. There is a bedroom upstairs, that first bedroom, that room always seem to very active. Sometimes when people come here from out of state for visits, I always ask them if they want to stay at a real haunted inn.”

History of Curtis House Inn

The history of Curtis House Inn dates back to 1735 when it was first built by Reverend Anthony Stoddard. However, the two-storey property only opened its door to the public as a inn in 1754; the first floor housed several guests rooms while the second floor served as a ballroom for social events.

Reverend Anthony Stoddard portrait
Portrait of Anthony Stoddard | Image credit: Donna Kent

Over the next two century, the house changed hands several times. In 1900, an investment of 400 dollars (today’s equivalent of 13,027 dollars) was made by then-owner Levi Curtis to raise the property’s roof and build a third floor, expanding the capacity to 14 rooms in the main house and 4 in the old carriage house.

In September 2018, Curtis House Inn was sold to a new owner. The property briefly closed for a period of two months for renovation and reopened in June 2019 as Evergreen Inn and Tavern.

1754 house dining room
Dining Room | Image credit: 1754 House

Less than one year later, widely acclaimed chef and New England native Michael Bates-Walsh acquired the property. The house was renamed as 1754 House to pay tribute to its longstanding history as Connecticut oldest operating inn. Today, apart from its restaurant, Curtis House Inn also offer lodging in the main house and the former carriage house. Bookings can be made here.

Ghosts at the Inn

Several ghosts are said to haunt the historic property. This includes Lucius Foot, a former owner who operated the inn from 1852 to 1857. On one winter night, Foot was found dead in the nearby St Paul’s Episcopal Church cemetery; his winnings from a poker game held at the inn was missing. Guests of Room 1 reported seeing the apparition of a Confederate gentleman—believed to be Lucius Foot—stomping into the room and taking off his boots before fading into the walls.

The spirit of Anthony Stoddard is also said to haunt the hallways on the first floor of the property. The hauntings come after a portrait painting of Stoddard was hung on the inn. Many employees and guests of the inn have felt uncomfortable staring at the painting, with some experiencing an overwhelming sensation. The painting have since been relocated to the dining room after numerous complaints by the staffs and guests of the inn.

Other entities in the inn include a young female entity named Sally that lingers on the second floor and Room 16, a male entity dressed in 19th century clothing in the Pub Room and the dining room, and the spirit of Joe, a former dishwasher who died in 1985.

Guests of the inn have reported many unexplainable activities including whispers at night, bed covers getting pulled, and white, translucent figures in the lobby.

What Happened to the Curtis House Inn after Hotel Hell?

In September 2014, the Curtis House was featured on season 2 of Gordon Ramsey’s reality show Hotel Hell. In the episode, Ramsey hired a paranormal investigator to confirm if the 265-year-old property was truly haunted. Then owner T.J. Brennan have also said “This inn is haunted. I would walk by a table and two minutes later, a plate would fly off that table. I went to light the fireplace, and it blew up on me and I got burned. There are spirits here.”

A review of the hotel by Ramsey concluded that the inn was in a state of disrepair and that the restaurant failed to live up to its standards. The episode also revealed that poor occupancy have created tension between members of the Hardisty family who collectively, have operated the inn for over 60 years.

Hotel Hell curtis house inn
Gordon Ramsey filming Hotel Hell at Curtis House Inn | Image credit: Hotel Hell

A makeover was eventually carried out with renovations being done in the lobby, the restaurant and Room 16 where Ramsey had stayed. The restaurant was given a new menu to reflect the inn’s history and the values of the Hardisty family.

After Hotel Hell, bookings for Curtis Inn soared as many sought to visit the revamped inn and have a taste of the dishes handpicked by the celebrity chef. Reviews on popular review sites including Tripadvisor and Yelp were generally positive. However, while many praised the facelift and new menu, some regulars have disagreed with the changes made to the restaurant.

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