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True Ghost Stories: The Strange Tale of the Phinney House

barnstable hall

As told by Don. R.

The Phinney House in Barnstable, Mass.

Back in 2004 me and my wife, my Dad, my sister, and a bunch of cousins are taking a vacation on Cape Cod in the town of Barnstable. So we’re staying at this place called the Phinney House. Phinney was a sea captain back in the day.

The house was built in the 1820’s. Huge house, 10 bedrooms. Each bedroom had its own bath, since in the 70’s, it was remodeled into a nursing home. Now one of my smartass cousins pointed out one day, wow, can you imagine how many people have died in this house?

So first day there when we came in, we’re all trying to decide who’s taking what bedroom, who’s staying where, etc, lots of confusion, and my wife says she thought she heard a little girl at the top of the stairs calling “Mommy”. I’m like, huh? So we blew it off. Then later that first day my Dad says he got a creepy feeling in his room. We’re like, “Ok pops, have another beer!”.

There’s a hallway upstairs and we were in the first bedroom on the right as you start down the hallway. My sister, her husband, my 9 year old niece and the 9 month old nephew were in the bedroom at the end of the hall. It was furnished with a couple beds and chairs, one of which was a rocking chair. Well, the rocking chair liked to move in the middle of the night off and on. By itself. The window was closed and nothing else moved in the room – just that rocking chair.

A few nights in my nephew started fussing, and when my sister got up he was 1/2 out of his onesy. Now there isn’t a 9 month old on the planet that can get themself out of their onesy!!! One of the last nights there my wife and I kept hearing someone running down the hallway. There was a night light left on in the hallway, so I got up and grabbed the door handle. Told my wife I was gonna catch whoever was goofing around because I was over all this malarkey, and it wasn’t funny anymore (not that it was funny in the first place). Thought it was my cousin being a clown. I heard the thumping and whipped the door open and jumped into the hallway and…….nobody was there! Needless to say, by morning we were ready to get out of there.

Funny–I tried to find out about it online, and can’t seem to find any information. I know we were there. I have pictures. My whole family was there. Weird!

We contacted the Barnstable Village’s Haunted & History Walking Tour and the gentleman we spoke with had never heard of the Phinney House, nor the alleged goings-on. The source of this story is a highly respected individual who grew up in Massachusetts, and swears this incident actually happened, and that his family DID stay in the aforementioned hotel. If any of you have information regarding the existence (or previous existence) of this hotel or a similar, please contact us at