The Barnstable House
From an article by Jack Sheedy
There are a number of haunted buildings along the Old King’s Highway, but perhaps the most haunted of them all is the Barnstable House. Built in 1716 by James Paine, an ancestor of Declaration of Independence signer Robert Treat Paine, it seems that pain and sorrow was part of the building’s history since nearly the beginning. An underground river passes beneath the house and it was here where the owner’s young daughter was drowned. Another owner, Edmund Howes, hanged himself from a tree on the property. Still another, a Dr. Samuel Savage, was rumored to have practiced black magic in the house. Over the past three centuries the Barnstable House has amassed eleven ghosts according to psychics who have visited the building.
During the 20th century the place was run as an inn and restaurant. Typically, patrons would sit down at a table and be approached by someone dressed in old garb, whom they would assume was a waiter or waitress, only to find that no one by that description was on the wait staff. Others witnessed candles lighting by themselves or fires spontaneously igniting in the fireplace. A rocking chair in the parlor has rocked under its own power. And then, as told in Mark Jasper’s book, Haunted Cape Cod & the Islands, “There is another presence that is thought to reside in the dark, damp cellar. This spirit has been identified as the cantankerous Captain Grey. He is known as the ‘door slammer.’”
The most popular story associated with the building involves a late-night fire during the early 1970’s. Upon arrival, members of the fire department noticed a woman in a third story window of what should have been an empty building. Upon gaining access to the upstairs room, they found it empty … only to discover what appeared to be a woman with long blond hair and wearing a long white gown hovering above the front lawn. Soon, the image disappeared.