Monday, November 2, 2015

Reader Sent: "If Any Place Would Be Haunted in the North Country, It Would Probably Be the Balsams"

It's been a while since there's been a Reader Sent and this one is a treat. Steven was very nice to send me some thorough information on the Balsams Resort Hotel, which I did an article for all the way back in 2010 (you can find it here.) Interesting stuff and I thank Steven for sending in. Enjoy!


I saw your recent article on the Balsams and I used to work there as a night steward. I have seen none of these events, but if any place would be haunted in the north country it would probably be the Balsams. 

More importantly I notice you never went into the under tunnels, James (James himself notes: I never knew of the tunnels). The tunnels were once used for staff to move between facilities during the winter, thus avoiding having to deal with the blizzards and guests. When a nearby factory closed in the 90's, they stored the mannequins used for plastic molding in those tunnels. Yes, indeed, there were and still may be hordes of rotting mannequins, hot steam, and faulty lights down there. It was the only way for the night staff to leave when all facilities locked down. 

Nobody told me of any haunted events during my tenure, but first rule of the night shift was that you were never to go alone into the tunnels. I do not know if anyone had the stomach to remove those blank faces and bins of grasping rotting arms. But I doubt it.

My father also worked on the crew renovating it in the late 90's when the last guys to own it came in and bought it. Apparently for construction workers there is an actual system for dealing with creepy places like that. All work crews are grouped into three buddies and bring bright lamps as they work. As it turns out the tunnels are full of dead ends and unfinished works.

My night supervisor was scared out of his wits of those tunnels and high strung as a result. Apparently he worked at that factory before it closed.

There are new owners working on the paperwork for the place as we speak. But nobody ever seems to own it for more than ten years. The balsams have been renovated each time new owners came in, usually every 10 years adds a new layer of renovations to the building and that includes the tunnels. The lights never seem to work constantly due to wiring and rewiring done over and over, along with the dampness and rattling steam pipes. Wings have been removed and added. It is one of the oldest resorts in the U.S. and the Huntsman's Lodge before that stretches back to the late colonial period. It was established in 1885 by George Parsons an inventor and industrialist. Before that it was sort of a hunting ground for locals from the nearby town. The old wing used to hold 400 guests and was also one of the first places with hot and cold running water in the region. It was torn down and built over later, only the ballet room, bathrooms, and foundation remain of the original structure. Even those have been refurbished a few times.

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