It’s 90 degrees outside my house today and I’m celebrating Christmas. Well, actually, Christmas in July. If you haven’t checked out the free Mary O’Reilly Christmas books, please go to my Facebook page and see what you’re missing!
So, because we are celebrating Christmas and because today is Friday the 13th– I needed something special for this Freaky Friday. I started by doing a search on the author of my favorite Christmas Ghost Story, Charles Dickens. First, the search started with finding an antique mirror that was supposed to contain the image of Mr. Dickens. According to Week in Weird, the floor-length mirror was hanging in a room at the Omni Parker House Hotel, where Dickens stayed in 1867 and 1868 while touring the country doing public readings of his works, particularly A Christmas Carol. He could often be heard in his room practicing well into the night, and according to many who have stayed in the room, the ghost of Charles Dickens may very well still be there.
The mirror is now at the Tremont Temple Baptist Church, hanging on the wall with a plaque that reads, “Mirror from the rooms at the Parker House occupied by Charles Dickens – Look closely and see reflections of Dickens as he practiced A Christmas Carol.”
Now, we just discussed how I feel about the ideas of spirits being trapped in mirrors, so I decided that if people were seeing Charles Dickens in a reflection in a mirror that was at the Omni Parker House Hotel, I needed to learn more about that hotel. I was not disappointed!
According to the website, History of Massachusetts, the Omni Parker House hotel is said to be the most haunted hotel in Boston. Originally built in 1855 and then rebuilt in 1927, the building is one of many historic hotels in Boston.
Not only does the hotel itself have history, but so does the plot of land that it sits on. The site used to be the location of the Boston Latin School in the 18th and 19th century as well as the location of the old Mico mansion during the pre-Revolutionary War era.
The hotel is also located across the street from the historic King’s Chapel and its graveyard which, as the oldest graveyard in Boston, is also believed to be haunted.
The Omni Parker House Hotel consists of two buildings, the main building and a ten-floor annex behind it, on the corner of Chapman Place and Bosworth Street.
But what about the ghosts?
In a 1992 Boston Globe interview, a former and now-deceased bellman, John Brehm, told this story, “‘They used to say that Harvey Parker, the original owner, roamed the halls on the tenth-floor annex. There were many stories, but one, in particular, happened around 1950. An elderly woman guest insisted she saw an apparition outside room 1078. At first, it was a misty apparition in the air, then it turned toward her. She said it was a heavy-set older man with a black mustache. He just looked at her, then faded away. She came downstairs, a bit jittery, and security went up to the tenth floor. They checked it out but reported they could find nothing.’”
History of Massachusetts also mentioned that a bearded man dressed in colonial clothing has also been seen on the 9th and 10th floors and even once appeared at the end of a guest’s bed in room 1012.
But enough about the upper floors, let’s talk about the third floor!
History of Massachusetts reports that another area of the hotel that is reportedly haunted is the third floor in the main building. Over, the years, elevator Number One is said to repeatedly arrive on the third floor and open its doors but no one is in it and no one called it. This is said to have happened hundreds of times over the years.
A reporter for the American Statesman, Becca Hensley, confirmed this weird occurrence when she stayed there in 2010 to research an article, titled Boston’s Scariest Haunts:
“Nevertheless, my elevator does send itself several times to the third floor — though I don’t push the button — and when I arrive nobody is waiting. ‘Ah, yes,’ says the woman at the front desk, as if it’s nothing. ‘That elevator’s been doing that since Charlotte Cushman died there.’ Apparently, Charles Dickens also lived on the third floor, practicing his literature-circuit speeches in a mirror that now hangs in the hotel’s mezzanine. Some say his visage appears there still.”
The hotel’s most well-known ghost reportedly haunts the former room 303 on this floor. The story is that in 1949, a liquor salesman killed himself in this room by mixing whiskey with barbiturates.
Guests have since reported the smell of whiskey and the sound of raucous laughter in the room. After repeated complaints from guests, the room was later converted into a storage closet.
Many people believe that Stephen King’s short story 1408 is based on the haunting of room 303. The story is that King often stays at the Parker House when he comes to Boston for Red Sox games. During one of these visits, he reportedly heard about the haunting and decided to write a short story about it.
But what do the other guests say? A quick perusal of TripAdvisor reviews will verify that there’s more to this hotel than guests and staff.
…The hotel itself was everything I expected. Gorgeous with the old historical charm! Our room was a tad on the small size but the bed was comfortable and the shower was hot. The room was clean and had a tv and ac. We were told free WiFi but then got charged. Front desk did take care of this though.
As for it being haunted. Of course, people will say it’s not or don’t believe. But 3:30 am this morning I got woken up with a hair pull and neck touch. So yes it is haunted…
On our last night, a pillow was thrown and landed on both my daughters while they were playing on their phones. you can feel the history and we loved it.so you definitely have to check this place out. it’s just a short walk to everything in downtown Boston.
…Last note…I think my room was haunted. Had a sense something was there and made noises typical of an old hotel, but strangely enough, only when the lights were off. Noises would stop every time I turned on the lights. Nevertheless, I would return!
… We had a room that had a light that just kept switching on its own during the night. Really scary! I reported it to the housekeeping who brought a new lamp which also done the same. It was pretty frightening as this is a known haunted hotel. When asked to move rooms they wanted to charge which I didn’t feel fair, so I just hid under the blankets every night.
Stayed at the Omni traveling for business. The location is perfect, close to everything! …Now that haunted part…I had my tv on a music channel but when I got out of the shower the tv was turned on a different station and it was all static. I thought nothing of it until I met my coworker, who was also staying in the hotel, and his tv randomly turned on by itself! I was also woken up at 4:00 am to what sounded like a waterfall above me that was running for more than 1 hour. After reading some articles about some paranormal activity on the floor above me, I was sure I must have experienced some of it! Maybe nothing to write home about but I was slightly spooked. Would I come back here based on my experience, sure why not! Ghosts or not ghosts, the Omni is spook-tacular!
…One thing I will say, however, is that one of the main reasons why I wanted to stay at this hotel was because I was interested in seeing if there was any validity to the stories of ghosts within the walls of the Omni. I wanted my boyfriend to have an ‘experience’ for his birthday since he’s quite the skeptic, and although I wasn’t getting many clear reviews from former patrons, I decided that I’d give it try regardless, for fun and to do something different.
We only stayed at the Omni Parker for one night, but I can assure you this… if you hear stories that the 10th floor is haunted, and you are curious to experience a ghost for yourself…ask to stay on the 10th floor!
Although we didn’t see any apparitions, three odd events happened that made this trip a memorable birthday experience for my boyfriend. First, while sitting on the bed discussing the history of the hotel with my boyfriend, and the Kennedy’s relationship with the hotel (since we stayed next to the Rose Kennedy Suite), I was interrupted mid-speech by wires from behind the nightstand hitting the wall two separate times. We both had all of our limbs on the bed, and we were in a room at the end of the hallway, with no other room sharing a wall with the wall that the headboard/nightstands were on. We both looked at each other in terror, but quickly got suspicious as to what had caused the noise on OUR side of the wall, and after seeing that nothing but wires were on the floor/by the wall behind the nightstand…we tested the noise of the wires hitting the wall and it sounded identical to what we had heard. It was weird and unexplainable and we both joked that someone or something was trying to chime into our conversation by letting us know of its presence. Mr. Parker has been known to walk the halls, but there’s no saying who or what caused the wires to slap against the wall that night.
Lastly, during the night we heard tapping on our headboard and witnessed lights flickering in the bedroom. A wonderful service attendant named Johnny G. chatted with us about his multitude of paranormal experiences at the Parker, and after having so many odd experiences happen throughout the night that we stayed, I’m going to have to agree that this place is a place that even spirits do not want to leave!
My wife and I spent 5 nights in Jan. as a getaway. Loved the hotel, the location, and the staff. On our first night, I saw what I can only describe as a ghost. Not once, but twice within a 15 minute period of time. My wife was sleeping, and I was watching T.V. when I saw what looked like a woman in a robe in profile. Not to alarm my wife I put the nightlight on, shut the T.V., and went (or tried to go) to sleep, not mentioning a word to my wife who would think that I was suffering from jetlag or dengue fever. Three days later, over dinner in the North end, my wife said that she had to tell me something, but she didn’t want me to think she was delusional. It seemed that, the night before she had seen a ghost. Yes, it was a woman, and yes it was in profile. Still not saying a word I asked her to draw, on a cocktail napkin what she saw, and I did the same. When we were done the drawings were identical, not close, identical. I then told her what I had seen as she couldn’t understand how I could have drawn what she thought she had only seen. After 3 glasses of a very nice Tuscana, we were sufficiently freaked out to attempt to return to our room. I have never, in 65 years seen a ghost or anything like it, nor had my wife. The rest of the trip was filled with good food, laughs, and not another visit. After we returned home we read up on the hotel and found that it did indeed have a history of ghost sightings and was named one of the 10 most haunted hotels in America. Have a great trip.
If the ghostly opportunities are not enough of a temptation to get you to visit the Omni Parker House Hotel, I have two other bits of information that are sure to sway you. The Omni Parker House Hotel restaurant is where both the original Parker House Rolls and Boston Crème Pie came from – and they are both still available and still delicious!
Like what you read? Find more stories by Terri Reid here.