Third generation owners and operators of the Hotel Somerset in Somerville, New Jersey, claim that several ghosts haunt the boarding house.
For years Tom and Shannon McCormick have heard residents' claims of supernatural encounters in the historic hotel and pub, and experienced many themselves. As reported by WNYW Fox 5 News, the accounts include people feeling soft touches on their skin, closet doors slamming, whispers and even tickles. “Going in there to change the soda and I just heard someone say, ‘Help me,’ in my ear,” Ms. McCormick recalled. “My ear went like, numb.” Her five-year-old son saw the ghost of a girl two hours later. Tom McCormick was once a skeptic but recently said, “You have to experience it to believe it. There’s, you could have told me all day long any type of ghost story you want before it happened to me, I would never believe it. You have, it has to be an experience to be a believer.”
From the accounts, the family believes that the ghosts of two boys and a girl, along with several adults, are the spirits haunting their establishment. A storeroom night-vision surveillance camera recently caught three orbs of light mysteriously darting in and out of a room in the building.
Established in 1748, the 18th century hotel boasts being the oldest continuous hotel in the country and has a connection to historic figures from the past. MyCentralJersey.com reports that General George Washington ate at the hotel and his men slept there during the Revolutionary War, according to local history. The hotel was also the sequester site of jury members of Somerset County’s infamous 1926 Halls-Mills murder trial. Additionally, Tom’s parents told him that five tenants died in the hotel during their 40-year ownership, and another jumped to his death out of a window.
The McCormicks were so curious about the unusual activity that they contacted ghost investigators with Paranormal Diagnostics Group, to check out the hotel. Over the course of three weeks, Robert McCaffrey and Dave Orloff, along with their team, used scientific equipment to monitor the building’s attic, basement, and the area a medium previously identified as a ‘vortex of paranormal activity.’
The ‘vortex’ turned out to be the closet in the room of resident Curtis Jones. McCaffrey said that energy readings in Jones’ room showed that, “Something definitely is going on at the foot of his bed.” They said that there was no electrical wiring nor appliances in that area, so the group could not explain the unusual readings. Believers think Jones’ experience may explain it. “Closet doors like is opening up and then I see arms underneath the bed, you know, coming out and noises up in the ceiling…I’m just about ready to get out of that room,” Jones said.
During the investigation, the ghost hunters recorded strange shadows, flashes, orbs and whispers. So what does it all mean to the ghost experts? McCaffrey told MyCentralJersey.com, “I think it’s safe to say this place definitely is haunted, but by who or what, we don’t know…We’re going to compile all our evidence over the next couple of weeks and see what we can find out.”
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