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Longfellow's Wayside Inn –


Haunted Place: Longfellow's Wayside Inn


72 Wayside Inn Road
Sudbury, Massachusetts   01776

(978) 443-1776 * (800) 339-1776

Open: Sundays Noon-8pm
          Monday through Saturday 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-9pm

Major credit cards accepted

Longfellow's Wayside Inn is part of a nonprofit educational and charitable trust established by Henry Ford, and is both a working inn and a museum.

Longfellow's Wayside Inn web site


Longfellow's Wayside Inn can be found in the countryside just outside of Boston.


This 300 year old Hotel hasn't changed much in decorum or style from what it had been from the beginning, thanks to careful renovation by the Ford Trust. However, throughout its long history, seven additions were made to the original dwelling to make room and accommodate the needs of travelers and "family, slaves, farmers and tavern workers."

In 1707, David Howe built a two room house with an upstairs sleeping quarters for his wife Hepzibah and their baby, the first of seven offspring. This track of land which Howe owned had formerly belonged to the Indians, going back 3,000 years.

In 1716 Howe was granted a license to run a "House of Public Entertainment" and was known as Howe's Inn in 1716, keeping a long family tradition of running an Inn and Tavern. The original downstairs, which was the kitchen, became the bar, while another two story addition was added for family quarters and eventually throughout the years became the parlor, which Longfellow made famous.

Thirty years later, under the new management of David's son, Colonel Ezekiel Howe, the Inn became known as the "The Red Horse." Colonel Ezekiel Howe additions included the Back Parlor (which doubled the size of the Inn in mid 1700s), the West Kitchen, and the bed chambers above it, and The New Hall, which was a ball room or reception room.

Interestingly, it became a meeting place for the militia to group and organize before they followed Colonel Ezekiel on April 19, 1775 to fight in Concord during the Revolutionary War.

True to familial form, Colonel Ezekiel Howe passed the Inn down to his son, Adam Howe in 1796. Adam was as successful as his father. He added the old kitchen building which was separate. He in turn passed the Inn onto his son Lyman Howe in 1830. Lyman never found the right woman to marry and died childless.

One of the most famous guests to grace the sign in book was the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who came for a rest, to recover from his wife's death and to find inspiration to overcome his writer's block, in 1862. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow indeed found comfort and inspiration here. He wrote his book, Tales of a Wayside Inn in 1863 in the Hotel parlor.

Longfellow described the Inn, in 1863 - As a old Hobgoblin Hall, in need of a little TLC. "Old Hobgoblin Hall. With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall." (Web Site)

After Lyman Howe died, the buildings were no longer used as an Inn, though the nice hall was rented for receptions, and special events.

In 1897, a well -to-do wool merchant, Edward Lemon bought the whole property, and reopened the Inn, which by this time really need some TLC. It was Lemon who renamed the Red Horse Inn to the be The Longfellow's Wayside Inn, with the idea of making it a place to come for aspiring writers and poets. Besides sprucing up the place, Edward added onto the building what was once the carriage house, remodeling it into an art gallery, where Edward showcased his art collection.

After Edward died, his wife Cora sold the property to Henry Ford in 1923, who was the one who renovated the Inn, moved other original buildings, from the time such as the old school house, onto the large property, and made the last additions to the Inn.

When Henry died, he willed it all to the state in a educational and charitable trust to be used as a historical museum. The building is also an Inn again, which has delighted some entities who have made their home here once again.


Jerusha Howe (and perhaps two other entities once source claims) still make this Inn/restaurant home.

The story of Jerusha Howe... Jerusha was the sister of one of the owners during the period of time which spanned 4 generations of this family. She fell in love with a gentleman from Britain, who wooed her, promising his love forever. When he left to go back to the British Isles, he solemnly promised to return and marry her. It is the age old story. Something happened to him on the way to Britain or on his journey back to America, because he never returned. Perhaps he was a Casanova with a wife in England!

No one knows what happened to this suitor, but Jerusha Howe's heart was broken; yet remained resolute. She never gave up hope, pined away for him, and never married anyone else, as she waited patiently for him to return. While she continued to live her life, enjoying her music abilities, tending to her duties, her love life was frozen in time. She needed counseling with a good therapist, but that wasn't an option during her time. After spending 44 years of living/working in the house, She died a single lady, whose spirit still waits for the love of her life, having fun teasing the living males who visit, and seeing after others as well while waiting.


Secret Drawer Society - Since the 1900s ghostly experiences with Jerusha have been written down in notes and stuck into drawers in the rooms and in other crannies found in the Hotel. While Jerusha likes to hang out in rooms 9 and sometimes 4, she has been experienced all over the Hotel. Evidence of her citrus-scented perfume, her piano playing, the feeling of her presence, being touched by her and seeing her actual apparition has been occurring here for a very long time indeed. The three rooms which were Jerusha's living space were located over the kitchen. They were made into one room, now Room 9.

1) Personal Room Visits... Jerusha Howe:

The three rooms which were Jerusha's living space were located over the kitchen. They were made into one room, Room 9, when the new hall was finished. She occasionally visits other rooms as well, to check on her guests.

a) A male guest shares, "Around 5 am she came into my room, sat at the foot of my bed, and a few moments later, walked in front of my bed (she looked like a small strip of green light) disappeared in front of the door." (Web-site link to this personal testimony.)

b) On the stairway which winds up to the second floor where her living quarters were located, the living have experienced "A haunting, faintly perfumed presence and a light, swift step on the narrow, twisting stairway." (Web Page Story) c) Room 4 - Located above the famous parlor in the first addition. In room 4, artist/writer Victoria Shearer was treated to a spectral light show. (Web Page Story)

2) She sometimes forgets her social manners and gets a little affectionate with male visitors.

a) Some male visitors claim to have been caressed and gently touched by Jerusha in an alluring fashion.

b) She has been known to climb into bed with an unsuspecting male visitor on occasion for a brief time, perhaps giving him an affectionate hug!

3) When the Hotel is empty of visitors, the piano piece, Copenhagen Waltz, can be plainly heard by the living, perhaps coming from her old piano.


Yes indeed!

I couldn't find any paranormal investigations, but a 100 or so years of witnesses' experiences do count for something! Archive

Longfellow's Wayside Inn web site home page

Use these archive links if links to external sites don't work.