Local News

Raleigh Inn Has Ghost Stories of its Own

Posted October 24, 2000

— At this time of the year, everyone loves to hear a good ghost story. A Raleigh inn has earned a reputation as a haunted house.

The Oakwood Inn was built in 1871. It is the ultimate Victorian experience for hundreds of overnight guests. Some say they will never forget the night they spent there.

Darlene Smith remembers her first night as an innkeeper back in 1997. It all started after a couple paid for their room.

"Her husband came down an hour later and said, 'My wife is packing to leave. Your house is haunted,'" Smith says.

It was all because of a painting.

"[The subject's] eyes are painted in a way that, if you walk around the room, they follow you," she says.

Although the painting can be easily explained, you have to be a little more creative to figure out the others.

"The former owners said that some guest had seen a ghost dressed in a Civil War uniform," Smith says.

She says she has never seen the ghost known as "The Colonel," but she has seen some weird things happen, especially when she closes the doors on a particular cabinet.

"Very often, I will think I have closed [the doors] and I'll come back downstairs and it will be wide open," Smith says. She does not know if it is the work of The Colonel.

The former owners say they have seen a candy dish float in the air, and a guest also told them she saw The Colonel sitting on the side of the sink while she was taking a bath.

Smith says she's would not mind sharing a house with a ghost, because The Colonel is supposed to be friendly.

She says, "Now, if he starts breaking some of the antique pieces, then we'll talk!"

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