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Yankee Mystery Files

The Haunting of the Kennebunk Inn

by Brigid Sadorf

Innkeepers come and go, but some employees choose to stay. Such is the case with the ghost at the Kennebunk Inn.

Cradled between the Kennebunk and Mousam Rivers, the town of Kennebunk, Maine has a rich history of agriculture, shipbuilding, and Federal-style architecture that lend the town an aura of historical value that manifests itself in ways unseen in other parts of the world. And in the center of town, the Kennebunk Inn, established in the heyday of those booming times when the town was finding its New England niche, still plays host to today’s — and yesterday’s — souls who come to stay for a visit.

Built in 1799 as the private home of Phineas Cole, the Kennebunk Inn has played home to numerous owners. In 1928, Mr. and Mrs. George Baitler converted the private home into “The Tavern,” a hotel nestled in the heart of Kennebunk. Since then, the Inn has changed hands several times, but the spirit of a former nightwatchman and auditor, Silas Perkins, has stuck around.

Silas, son of ship Captain Fordyce Perkins, was born on August 12, 1880 and was a published poet. He died in his 80s of a heart attack at the Inn. Some say that his ghost still roams the building's corridors. But while some hauntings are considered “spooky” by nature, Silas’ activities are more mischievous than bone-chilling.

According to a 1991 issue of the Bangor Daily News, Arthur and Angela LeBlanc, former owners of the Inn, recalled their dealings with Silas and his interactions with their employees.

“We pooh-poohed it and laughed,” said Angela LeBlanc when a waitress, who considered herself to be a bit psychic, was reluctant to go down into the basement because she felt a strong presence she called “Cyrus.” But the LeBlancs, who bought the Inn on a Friday the 13th, soon discovered who Silas Perkins was and that he was a good-natured ghost who seemed to only pull pranks on the employees he didn’t like.

On one occasion, three mugs levitated off a shelf and smacked a bartender named Dudley on the back of the head.

“This kind of made a believer out of me,” said Angela LeBlanc. “I was seated at the bar when it happened.”

The guest room most known for activity is room 17. Most recently, a housekeeper was cleaning the room when she had unplugged the television. A moment later, the television turned on by itself.

In 2012, current Inn owners Brian and Shanna O’Hea hosted a meet and greet session with psychic Vicki Monroe who identified another spirit, Sara Emily, who, according to Monroe, stands on the main stairwell and greets visitors as they enter.

Sara Emily may welcome guests at the Kennebunk Inn, but Silas Perkins is the star of this ghostly show. A friendly spirit who still takes his nightwatchman job very seriously, Silas keeps an attentive eye out so guests can sleep well. A line from his poem “The Common Road” says it all:

“I want to laugh with the common man
Wherever he chance to be,
I want to aid him when I can
Whenever there's need of me.”

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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