Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not Just Another Haunted Hotel by James Paradie - The Balsams Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, NH

Not Just Another Haunted Hotel- The Balsams Resort Hotel
Dixville Notch, New Hampshire
Written by James Paradie

(Published in White Mountain Shopper on May 7th, 2010)

A good friend of mine as well as a paranormal junkie himself, Dennis Rano told me a story about when he went up to a hotel called the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire to make a delivery. Looking at pictures of the Balsams, I can truly see it is a grand hotel. It does look beautiful, and a nice place to stay.

Just a short overview of the history of the hotel before I get going on Dennis’ story: the hotel was opened shortly after the Civil War and was then known as the Dix House. The Dix House was a 25 room summer inn. The hotel was created by Colonel Timothy Dix, but sadly, Timothy wasn’t able to see his glorious hotel sprout into what it is today due to he lost his life in a battle in 1812.

After a few owners, the man who made all the difference to the grand hotel, was a man by the name of Henry S. Hale from Philadelphia who was an inventor as well as an industrialist. By 1918, Hale’s vision for the hotel steadily expanded until what is today. He doubled the room capacity to 400 guests by adding the Hampshire House.

But, what makes the Balsams Hotel such a haunted hot spot? To be honest, I didn’t hear much about the Balsams, if at all, until Dennis told me about it a few months ago about his experience. Before we got to his experience; Dennis is a Coca-Cola delivery guy, he goes to different convenient stores, and delivers them Coca-Cola products to keep us all refreshed, but he‘s also a paranormal fanatic and owns a site called ufologists(come to my fan page, I have the link right there if interested). So, Dennis has been around to a lot of places, there’s no denying that, but this one is his most freakiest one.

The Balsams, according to him, is one of the most haunted places he’s ever been to, and with good reason. His experience is short, but does serve a purpose. Here are some highlights from what he told me.


-Toilets flush on their own-there are no sensors on the toilets
-A one armed man who mysteriously disappears
-Three, laughing old ladies who also disappear

Also, when Dennis told the maintenance man of these happenings he motioned Dennis to come along with him down to the basement of the grand resort. The resorts basement is filled with pipes, BUT, strange part is, is that there are people buried in there. Needless to say, Dennis probably got out right quick.

Dennis has been back to the resort, and has actually slept there at one occasion and claimed it was one of the best restful nights he’s ever had.

But, as I gone deeper into my research, I found a few more intriguing guests who have never checked out of the Balsams. You’d be thinking that just like the Mount Washington Hotel swears the staff to secrecy about not telling guests about the spiritual activity, the Balsams actually embraces it’s ghostly guests of the dead. According to the book, Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places, in a chapter written by Joseph A. Citro, he said that when he talked to the president of the hotel, Stephen P. Barba, he was surprised to hear that Mr. Barba has actually documented the ghostly appearances since 1959.

According to Mr. Barba, the spiritual activity came to an uprising when they did renovations at the Balsams. He also claims that he does not discourage staff members to talk about the spirits and there is actually a bellhop who will not, under any circumstances, go up to the third floor.

Other Ghostly Guests:

The Vanishing Beauty- The legend of the Vanishing Beauty at the Balsams starts with how a doorman was heading up to a room. Upon getting halfway up the last set of stairs, he looked up and saw a beautiful woman sitting in a chair just beyond the landing. At first he thought it was just a guest, but taking in consideration to the hour, midnight, and her clothing, he wasn’t seeing just a former guest, he was seeing a ghost. Let’s just say, the doorman showed himself out after seeing this, but looking back, the beautiful woman vanished.

The Vanishing Beauty has been seen more then just once. She has also been seen or rather heard in the John Dix social parlor laughing. When guests try to look for her they are disappointed to find nothing. One man, however, had the same encounter, but with a different ending. When this man went to look for her, he passed a mirror, seeing a beautiful woman’s delightful figure reflecting off of it. When he turned to where the reflection should be coming from, he is met by the scary sensation of him being alone. The Vanishing Beauty is no stranger and has been seen sitting in chairs, being in the shadows of the hotel, and has been even spotted in the main lobby, but the question is, who is this woman? What was her purpose at the hotel? Why is her soul condemned to the property? Those answers will probably never be answered.

Another guest, though his name is not something I want to be plugged with once I am spotted as a ghost, is known as---

The Naked Man- The legend of the Naked Man, according to Mr. Citro’s story, is that one night a couple were staying in room 120. The wife was awoken to a man standing right at the foot of her bed. Thinking it was her husband she asked if he was okay. The response was not what she was expecting as it was not her husband standing at the end of the bed, it was a naked man standing at the end of the bed. She was also astonished to find out that the man was translucent, she could see threw him. Before the figure disappeared, the husband had awoken up to this scary sight before the figure vanished. Other occurrences in this room are movement sounds and talking coming from the room even if there is nobody in there.

Who is the naked man? Who, besides some women I’m sure, wants to know? If you must know, there are two possible theories to who the naked man might be; one theory is that bandleaders used to frequent room 120. A second theory is when a bandleader drowned in Lake Gloriette which is on the resorts property.

The third ghostly figures are simply known as---

The Others- Though you may think that there is some horror, inhuman spirit which resides at the Balsams due to the name, but that is not the case. The name is only due to that the employees who have seen “The Others” can not distinguish what or who these identities may be. The Others have been spotted in the direction of the Sun Room. Before the employees can mention the apparition to their peers, the figure disappears. Most employees have said that they think the figure is a male. When some of the employees pass the Captain’s Study heading towards the Sun Room, they are overtaken by a cold sensation.

What is it? Bad wiring? Or is the world of the supernatural and the world of the living both of the same? A cross roads between the living and the dead may be located at the Balsams. Even though the Balsams does not have the same notorious ghostly realm such as the Mount Washington, it is still apart of the many ghostly highways that reside right in the great state of New Hampshire.

Also, check out this e-mail a reader sent me regarding the Balsams. It just get's stranger.

Books and References:

Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places by Mark Moran, Joanne Austin, and Mark Sceurman/The Balsams Chapter written by Joseph A. Citro.

Picture by

Until next time, this has been the resurrection of Scared Sheetless by James Paradie. See you later, Graveyard Disciples!

Remember, if you have any ghost stories (your name would be totally confidential in the article-just tell me) do not hesitate to contact me. Feel free to contact me right on my fan page on Facebook (Search: "Scared Sheetless”) or my email - jparadie(at)hotmail(dot)com -I‘d love to hear them! Thanks for reading and happy haunting!


  1. I work at the Balsams an my first day of working there i went out back of the Tavern (all alone) finding a white object fly across the room at me. ( it was 7-10 Ice buckets) tossed 10-15 ft in my direction... later that night roughly 10:45pm me an my girlfriend we laying in bed when we heard the bedroom door turn an slam open ( all the windows were closed)... scarring us to death... a few weeks after around the same time i we were laying there again an we heard the door knob rattle ...again windows closed

    kinda reminded me of when your at college an your roomates try to surprise you by opening the door on you an your girlfriend...scary part was there was no room mate

  2. I guess some of the occurances could be construed as natural phenonema, such as high EMF, lighting and expectation. The interesting thing is that there are many experiences which usually is a better indication that there is something paranormal et al, going on.
    Great story.

  3. My friend and I stayed in room 321. I kept hearing noises in the next room and they assured my friend and I there was no one else on that floor. We layed down to go to sleep, her in her bed me in mine. Mine was near the bathroom. The water went on in the sink by its self at about midnight I turned it off and went to sleep and my friend woke me up @ about 3:00 AM. previously, I had told her I was hearing the noises in the next room. She pointed to the room next to us and said theres your ghosts. I looked and at 3:00 AM the room accross from us had a light on and I could see shadows going accross the bottem of the door and blacking out the light.

  4. me and my step mom and my dad stayed in room 359 and we were hearing noises coming from accross the hall and i was about 11 years old and my friend Alauna and i were laying down and my bed started moving and i was really scared i couldnt move i tried getting up but it felt like something was holding me down

  5. hey james has your friend been back there since this was written? i have questions.

  6. As far as I know he hasn't. He's retired now and has moved down south. Sorry. But if you'd like to send me the questions you have for him, along with your email, I'd be more than happy to send them to him.

    Take care.


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