Sunday, October 25, 2009
In June 2005, I accompanied Bryan to Asheville for he was to work a law trade show at the Grove Park Inn. I was excited that we weren't staying there but nearer downtown at the Whitegate Inn, the closest B&B to downtown, with really spectacular gardens. The first night we stayed in the Inn's lovely Carl Sandburg Suite. The next day while Bryan was working the show, I walked downtown to explore Asheville's groovy vibe. Back that afternoon, for some reason I don't recall, we were moved to the charming Dorothy Parker room. While awaiting Bryan's return, I read the history of the B&B — that it was a sanatarium for TB patients in the 1950's — run by 2 sisters who were nurses. I did not read about the house's ghosts nor had I heard anything about them. During these readings I also learned about Asheville and it being in some kind of spiritual "vortex" and that weirdo folks flock there in search of "things". Maybe my mind was opening up for something to happen?
That night, Bryan and I went out for a lovely dinner and were asleep pretty early. It was quite hot that day and the AC window unit was on. Then around 2:30 a.m. I was awakened by a vivid dream - that someone was looking over us while we lay in bed. It seemed like an old man, but it could have been an old woman, hair pulled back tightly. I wasn't really scared but with parched lips, I needed chapstick — as I am a chapstick-aholic, especially at night. It wasn't in its usual place on the bedside table, so I had to go fish for it in my purse which was down on the floor near the fireplace. I got out of bed, crouching I started to blindly fish for my chapstick. Then POOF! the GAS LOGS CAME ON!! All I remember is finding the remote on the mantle and figuring out how to turn them OFF.
Of course, Bryan was sound asleep, so I proceeded to wake him up. He listened quietly, tried to reassure me, I told him I wasn't scared and he promptly fell back to sleep. My eyes did not close the rest of the night! The next morning, I managed not to share my story with and possibly scare the other guests as we gathered for the Inn's infamous 3-course breakfast (fabulous!). However, that morning I finally saw a framed magazine article hanging in the solarium, which described the Inn's many ghost sightings. And I did share my experience with the Innkeepers. They were pretty nonchalant and related their own multiple experiences with the resident spirits.
The Inn's ghost story in the book, "Asheville Ghosts and Legends" by Ken Traylor and Delas M. House, Jr., describes three possible spirits in the house, but only one who shows herself to guests and tries to be helpful. Before finding this story I thought those gas logs popping on by themselves in June was some sort of ghost prank, not helpful but frightening. Something I'll never forget and an event that changed the way I look at this world. It wasn't 'til today that I realize the ghost of Miss B, Marian Bridgette, was being kind by giving me some light, so I could find my chapstick! Thanks, I think?
Click (or copy paste) this link to view a book on the ghosts of Asheville, NC. Go to page 47.
Click (or copy paste) to see the Dorothy Parker Room and the infamous gas log fireplace:
Nancy Hughes Miller