Haunted Place – The Pilgrim Inn Bed & Breakfast
123 Spring Street
Newport, Rhode Island
Website * 800-525-8373 * Web tour
THE PILGRIM INN BED AND BREAKFAST is located on Spring St., in the heart of historic downtown Newport; located in the Historic Hill District, just a few doors down from Trinity Episcopal Church. It is a five minute walk to the start of the Mansion Row on Bellevue, just a block from shops and restaurants that sit by the harbor, and very close to sight-seeing buses, etc.
The Pilgrim Inn structure was built in 1775, when the surrounding buildings in its neighborhood were built as a new development in this historic Hill district. The homes and buildings were built close together, and remain so to this day. This new development of homes, in 1775, was spared during the Revolutionary War, as even the British realized that new developments shouldn't be torn down, and valued/respected their beauty. Unlike 800 other less fortunate, older structures in Newport, this new neighborhood wasn't taken over by the British to become firewood for the troops. 800 houses and buildings built before 1775 were taken from their owners, and used to keep the British warm; one of the drawbacks to being a town held by a hostile military force.
The Revolutionary War wasn't kind to Newport, and the people who lived there had to think outside the box to recover economically. One big resource that traditionally had helped them grow and prosper economically, was the influx of immigrants and people who were frowned on in the other colonies; Quakers, Baptists and Jews; and later, other nationalities like the Irish Catholics. All these groups of people had long found Newport to be a haven city to live in, because the founders of Newport believed and lived the principle of separation of church and state, a value first stated from the early beginnings of the Baptist Church.
These immigrants brought with them their money, business sense, and entrepreneurial drive, and developed unique trade relationships with China and other places outside of America. They developed businesses that had a monopoly of products that were made/manufactured only in Newport/Rhode Island, throughout the eras. The city of Newport made the most of being a port, having trading businesses, fishing businesses, and finally enjoyed a long relationship with the U.S. Navy.
Its not surprising then, how they developed their own tourism opportunities, because of their beautiful surroundings, and close access to recreation. The city fathers added a new wrinkle to their tourism plate. People of Newport have long believed in restoring their old homes/buildings, starting restoration groups as early as 1840. As a result, Newport has restored older public buildings that had survived British occupation, 19th century buildings, and a lot of the abandoned summer cottages, creating another interest to feed their tourism economy; old building and house enthusiasts, eager to take historic tours.
There were other dangers in early America. As the population of Newport began to grow in the late 1700s and early 1800s, so did the incidence of deadly epidemics, caused by sewage contaminating the water supply. Many citizens, especially children and older people, died from Cholera, and Typhoid throughout the 19th century (Collingwood Art Center). It wasn't until the 1880s that the connection between polluted water because of fecal material and these diseases came to light. By 1910, Newport led the way by not only treating sewage with respect, but also took the precaution to chlorinate their drinking water.
The Pilgrim Inn building reflects in its own history, the history of Newport. As the economy in Newport began to take off for the first time, in the years before the Revolutionary War, people had flocked to Newport, and new, lovely homes were built, right in the Historic Hill District. The Pilgrim Inn structure was first built to be a private residence for the new upper-class, probably a merchant's family.
Around the 1820s, the Irish Catholics came from hostile Boston, to Newport, where they could get a variety of jobs.
The Pilgrim Inn structure was the home of an Irish family, sometime in the 1800s, and they probably lived on the third floor, if they didn't own the whole house. Or, perhaps they ran an inn, and lived on the third floor. The Currens, who had 3 children, left behind a letter they had meant to send to a relative in Ireland, describing their family; children James, Margaret, and perhaps a baby Jessica.
Sometime after the Civil War, the Navy established a full base in Newport, and this base grew into a big installation, bringing many people to Newport who needed a place to stay. The Pilgrim Inn building was transformed into an apartment for Navy families, and also offered rooms for rent for seamen, dock workers and merchant marines; becoming an inn for workers to stay at when in Newport. The single, family dwelling was renovated into 11 separate rooms. I can see that the third floor would make a nice, big apartment, or several units, with a great common area. A Navy family with a little girl, perhaps a Jessica.
At some point, The Pilgrim Inn became a homeless shelter for men. The Historic Hill section eventually enjoyed an urban renewal moment, and The Pilgrim Inn building was the recipient of a restoration and renovation effort, as the city highly valued its older buildings. It opened at some point as a bed and breakfast inn. The current owners bought this charming, cosy bed and breakfast inn, in 2000, and made it their own, fixing it up to please their clientele, to be more Victorian in style.
The Pilgrim Inn has 11 rooms, 3 floors, and a glorious view of the harbor area, from the windows of some of the rooms; especially on the third floor area and deck. Breakfast is served, inside the third floor common room, and on the roof deck as well. Guests also have a lovely view of the inn's garden.
The Mansard roof is around 100 years old, and the interior still holds the charm of a cosy, warm Victorian era home.
Victorian decor, antiques, mixed with modern amenities like private bathrooms, and parking, are pleasing for the modern traveler. Rooms may be smaller than what some people are used to, but they must consider what era this building was constructed. Bedrooms were just for sleeping in, and they weren't made very big. ( Phillips Mill * The Hawthorne Hotel ).
The roomy parlor is described as warm and charming, with decor and antiques, as well as the other common rooms, that are on the first floor. Warm hospitality of the innkeepers is another plus that makes Pilgrim Inn Bed and Breakfast a nice place to visit, for the living and apparently for a young spirit, known as Jessica!
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
When children have died suddenly from illness or accidents, the spirits sometimes choose to visit/stay in their earthly homes/comfortable place in this world.
( Lafitte's Guest House * Gibbs Farm House Museum * Bullock Hotel * Kehoe House * Orpheum Theatre * Parry Mansion )
It is theorized that this little entity lived in a time before the deadly diseases caused by contaminated water were under control, and that she could've been a victim in an epidemic. Her clothing is from the 1800s/early 1900s era.
Childhood accidents that have happened around the home, have killed children in all time periods.
( Hale House * Robert E. Lee Mansion * Stone Lion Inn )
This little entity that stays at The Pilgrim Inn could've fallen down the main staircase, or fallen off the third story roof deck area.
She could've been accidentally poisoned.
When people are killed near a building, sometimes they will move into this nearest structure, especially if they have an attachment to the place.
( Ashley Haunted Restaurant * Orpheum Theatre * New River Inn * Logan Inn )
Perhaps this little entity was killed/died outside, in the street.
Entity of little girl, called Jessica, (4-6), whose name came through to a staff member, with psychic gifts.
She has been described as a young girl, wearing an old fashioned gray dress.
Her apparition has been seen by many; on the main staircase; spotted by a few looking out the third floor corner window, and standing in the open front door, during a hot summer evening.
She seems to be a light-hearted, fun-loving, spirit child who likes to play with electrical items:
She likes to play with the intercom buzzer, as it makes a great noise. She likes to push the button, and ring the empty rooms.
She likes the clothes dryer and its turn-on button.
When the present day Innkeeper and her daughter were putting the laundry into the dryer, the dryer door suddenly was slammed shut by a little entity, full of childish enthusiasm. The button that started the dryer was pushed by a little, unseen hand. Jessica wanted to help, and be the one to do the fun start of the dryer!
Jessica especially likes the third floor, Room 11, and Room 8.
Guests staying in a room next to one of Jessica's rooms, heard a little music box being played in the middle of the night. The next morning, the couple found out that this room was empty, with no one who was alive, having spent the night there.
In rooms 8 and 11, guests have seen small shadows and movements, connected to the auditory sound of a disembodied child's laughter.
Jessica must love all the stuffed toy rabbits that are all over the inn.
Many guests, one of the owners, and people passing by the Pilgrim Inn have experienced paranormal activity; it is thought to be Jessica.
On Paranormal Legends and Portals blogspot, investigators Kimberly and Paul snapped outside pictures of The Pilgrim Inn during their ghost walk of Pilgrim Village. Looking at their pictures they noticed what looks like/could be an apparition or face, peering out from a third floor, corner window, from an area where Jessica likes to stay.
One unnamed paranormal investigation group, caught on digital film, during a 2008 investigation, what looks like a little girl, dressed in old fashioned dress, from another era, standing on the main staircase.
Probably so! So much has been experienced by the living. Plus, some paranormal evidence has been caught on cameras, which strongly suggests that this young entity still claims The Pilgrim Inn Bed and Breakfast to be her home. Young spirit entities aren't very good at hiding themselves, and often feel that they don't have to in a warm environment, accepting of their presence. The living hear her playing, see her shadow dart about, and she feels like part of the family, trying to help with the fun part of the laundry chores, like any young child would do!
Perhaps Jessica could be the daughter of an Irish immigrant family, like the Currins, who lived in this house in the 1800s, or perhaps a child of a Navy family who lived there in the late 1800s - early 1900s.
Or she could've been killed in front of the building; a neighbor child who loved being in this house while alive.
( Stranahan House-Indian girl )
Ghosts of Newport: Spirits, Scoundrels, Legends and Lore
by John T. Brennan
Haunted America, 2007.