One of the things we love most about Connecticut is its abundance of gourmet dining destinations and cozy New England inns. Throw in the possibility of a bumping into a ghost or two, and it can make for the perfect damned night!
Here are some popular spots from across the state where you might end up getting a little more than a good meal and a warm bed.
Note: We've tried to include places that don't shy from their haunted reputation. There are a number of other inns and restaurants that have been rumored to be haunted but don't want to be on such lists or are now currently closed to the public, such as the Lighthouse Inn, Carousel Gardens and Randall's Ordinary.
Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar
4 Hartford Rd., Simsbury, (860) 264-1580
Long known as the Pettibone Tavern, Abigail's was built during the American Revolution and has welcomed weary travelers for more than two centuries (the inn claims to have hosted George Washington, John Adams and Ethan Allen, among others). Although patrons now primarily flock here to sup upon continental fare that ranges from steaks and seafood to homemade pasta, a few also stop by in hopes of seeing Abigail Pettibone herself, who some believe was murdered by her sea captain husband after he caught her having an affair and is now doomed to roam the tavern for eternity. We've written about Abigail's in more detail, and even dropped in for a quick visit, but have never bumped into Abigail.
The Captain Daniel Packer Inne
32 Wate St., Mystic, (860) 536-3555
Nestled in downtown Mystic, this 18th-century tavern was built by sea captain Daniel Packer and has long been a popular stop for those traveling from New York to Boston. It's still a favorite among locals, who come here to here to enjoy fine gourmet meals, warm hospitality and live music every night at this cozy destination. As reported by our friend and local ghost tour guide Courtney McInvale, guests also claim to have seen the ghost of a young girl who passed away from scarlet fever and now frolics about the restaurant, gigggling and playing with other children.
Captain Grant's Inn
109-111 Poquetanuck Rd., Preston, (860) 887-7589
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this rustic bed-n-breakfast dates back to before the American Revolution and has hosted guests ranging from weary travelers and Continental soldiers to escaped slaves—and ghosts? Visitors to this venerable inn, which was home to three generations of Grants before eventually passing into the hands of the current owners, now get to enjoy well-appointed rooms with private baths and fine amenities as well as a scrumptious country breakfast. They also may encounter friendly spirits such as a woman in Colonial garb that is seen by some at night, or experience unusual events, hear odd noises or see strange things. We've written more about Captain Grant's, although we've never had the opportunity to stop by for a visit ourselves.
The Curtis House Inn
506 Main St., Woodbury, (203) 263-2101
"Connecticut's oldest inn" is also supposed one of the most haunted; it was featured on an episode of "Hotel Hell," during which celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey stayed the night and supposedly had a little run in with a spirit named Betty who is said to haunt Room 16. The good news is that Ramsey's encounter had a bigger impact than any supernatural event, upgrading The Curtis House in terms of service, decor and dining; the destination now boasts that guests can expect "every modern comfort, every ancient charm."
The Old Mystic Inn
52 Main St., Old Mystic, (860) 572-9422
As with many of the destinations on this list, The Old Mystic Inn was built in the 1700s as a private home and subsequently has been used for numerous other purposes, including a stint as a book store. Since 1987 it's been a bed and breakfast where visitors have gone to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere—rooms in the main house don't have TV or telephone. (The carriage house, added in 1988, offers those amenities.) The inn celebrates its former heritage as a book store, with rooms named after famous New England authors. It's also on Courtney McInvale's Mystic ghost tours as patrons have allegedly seen apparitions and psychics have reported making spirit connections while there.
The Yankee Pedlar Inn
93 Main St., Torrington, (860) 489-9226
Like the other inns and restaurants on this list, The Yankee Pedlar has long been rumored to be home to multiple spirits—in this case, guests claim to have felt the spirit of former owner Alice Conley in Room 353 and seen her favorite rocking chair move by itself in the lobby, plus say that odd things happen in Room 295 and have even glimpsed Alice's husband Frank in the pub. Unlike the other places, however, The Yankee Pedlar has been the star of a horror film: The Innkeepers, filmed there and released in 2012. Visitors today enjoy an 120-year-old New England hotel with a quality restaurant and cozy tavern; we stopped by for a brief visit, and although didn't experience anything unusual, still enjoyed its classic charms.
Here are a few other places that have a reputation for supposedly being haunted: