Inside: Join me and my family as we explore a local historic inn and uncover the stories about its spooky inhabitants. Are you brave enough to spend a night here?
I have a five year old. She’s into slightly morbid and macabre things. I don’t really know how it happened, but truth be told, so am I.
It’s nice to have her on my team, since my husband is definitely a killjoy in the vampires, ghosts, and otherworldly things arena. But the five year old? She’s obsessed with all that and more. And unlike me, she’s not scared of it, but deeply curious about all things weird.
I’m not sure what it says about my parenting, but she’s literally obsessed with pirates.
And, not like “cute and cuddly” cartoon animations with-colorful-parrots kind of pirates.
She’s into the half-dead-skeleton-Captain-Jack-Sparrow type of pirates.
She’s requested a pirate themed birthday party since she could talk and has pretty much every word of the Pirates of Caribbean movies memorized. Well, except for the fourth one because, can we all agree that one was an epic fail?
I love this little pirate.
But anyway, suffice it to say that Halloween is one of her favorite holidays. And when I mentioned that there was a REAL haunted inn a few miles away, I should have known she’d ask repeatedly to visit until we finally gave in. We resisted for a solid hour, but man is she persistent!
So we piled in the car and drove over to nearby Granville, Ohio. We were going to go visit the Buxton Inn.
Have you visited Granville? Man, is it adorable.
On the way, I told her all the stories I had heard.
I started with the least scary.
“There’s a ghost cat that lives at the inn. He’s gray and named Major Buxton” I told her.
“Guests staying at the inn report hearing his meow. Some have even felt him rub up against their legs…and one guest, staying in room #9, said she was woken up by a cat that walked across her bed, laid down next to her head, and started playing with her hair. When she turned on the light – there was nothing there!”
“Mommy, that’s AWESOME!”
I snuck a peak at my husband, our reluctant chauffeur for the day, and watched as he shook his head.
Continuing on, I told her about the cat’s owner, Bonnie Bounell.
“The cat belonged to Bonnie Bounell. Bonnie owned the Inn for 25 years and loved gardenia perfume and the color blue.”
“Mommy, she owned the Inn? That’s so cool. Girls rule the world!”
I snuck another peak at my husband. This time, he smiled.
“She’s another ghost reported to be seen at the hotel. She’s usually wearing a blue dress and sometimes people can smell her gardenia perfume. Especially in room #9.”
“Her cat was named after the previous owner, Major Buxton.”
“Mommy is HE a ghost, too?!”
“Yep! Employees have walked into rooms and seen him leaning against a wall. He’s also been spotted in the green room, the blue room, and hanging out on the stairs. They say he loved his pipe, and sometimes people can still smell the pipe tobacco.”
“And finally, the last ghost – is a naughty little boy. He’s usually seen in the downstairs tavern. When we go look for him, you’ll have to be careful because he’s known to trip people as they walk down the stairs and loves pulling on pony tails!”
“Mommy, I can’t wait! I hope I see everyone! Are we there yet?”
The Buxton Inn
The Buxton Inn is located in nearby Granville, Ohio. It’s about 25 minutes from Columbus and is a super cute, boutique-style Inn and Tavern. You can come here to enjoy a meal, or if you’re brave enough, stay in one of the beautiful guest rooms.
Ranging from $89 – 120 a night, it’s a totally affordable weekend escape!
Exploring the Buxton Inn
When we arrived and parked the car, I couldn’t help but spend a few minutes just enjoying the beauty of downtown Granville. It’s just such a perfect, picturesque town.
I mean, really. Just look at this gorgeous, tree-lined street.
Love these old-school bicycles on the porch.
The Buxton Inn has been in continuous operation since 1812.
Finally we had arrived at our destination. Even the front door had me a little creeped out. I wasn’t sure I wanted to open it. In fact, I was kinda feeling like maybe I should head back to car. My husband rolled his eyes. The very macabre and very brave five year old ran right up and pushed it open.
Now we were committed to going inside.
No fear. No trepidation. Just a strong desire to see some ghosts.
The lobby was beautiful. A gorgeous fireplace, comfy couches, and a warm welcome when we walked in. I had not called ahead or made any sort of reservation, so I was a little worried that they would be too busy to show us around and as I paused to take in the beauty of the lobby, my five year old marched right up to front desk clerk and asked “Hi. Can I see your ghosts?”
Without batting an eyelash, she responded “Yes. Of course. Follow me!”
The little one asked her “Are ghosts real?”
She responded with “Do you think they are real?”
The five year old paused, and said “I don’t know. Mommy said yes and Daddy said no.”
Our first stop was the downstairs tavern.
She held on to the railing tight, but to her great disappointment, no one pulled her hair or tripped her as she walked down the stairs.
To absolutely no one’s surprise. I was a little creeped out. The mounted animal heads didn’t help.
Our friendly guide pointed out that the original logs used to build the tavern could still be seen.
I loved the beautiful bar. It was totally stunning.
The upstairs dining areas are equally gorgeous.
I can’t wait to come back and enjoy a meal here.
Check out their menus HERE.
Unfortunately, there were guests staying in the rooms so we couldn’t take a peak, but all the little one talks about is going back to spend the night in room #9 – the most haunted of all the rooms!
Sadly (for her) we did not see any ghosts on this trip. But we’ll have to report back after we spend a night.