By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
WORCESTER – Dennis Enright loved the Worcester White House Inn.
“We were friends a long time,” said owner Jim Buelow. “I thought of him like a brother.”
So much so, that Enright still hangs around Room 217, where he was living when he died at age 63 last November, according to his friend.
Since, Enright has joined the many ghosts that haunt the famed stopping place.
“When you come into his room, he’ll flush the toilet to say hi,” said Stephanie McAdams, a long-time waitress at the inn. “I’ve seen him in the window looking out over the parking lot.”
(Editor’s Note: At that moment in the tour, sure enough, the toilet flushed. Dennis, a former ad salesman for this newspaper, would have known the reporter and photographer.)
“He never locked his door,” said Beulow. “So now, housekeeping or a guest will lock the door behind them and come back to find it unlocked.”
He’s not the only ghost in the famed hotel. “When we bought it 11 years ago, there were always stories about it,” said Buelow. “We’ve had at least three sets of paranormal investigators come through.”
The innkeeper was personally aware of the hauntings when he bought the hotel, having already stayed in Room 307, known as “The Ghost Room.”
He was working at the former Worcester Creameries, “and there was a big snowstorm,” he said. “I was living in Amsterdam at the time, and didn’t want to drive home, so I went across the street to the Worcester Inn.”
He got the key to 307, but when he went to open the door, he heard guests inside. “There was music and people talking and laughing,” he said. “So I decided I was going to crash the party.”
But when he opened the door, no one was there. “In the middle of the night, I woke up and my bed was shaking really hard,” he said. “In the morning, it had been moved 6 inches. You could see the marks in the carpet.”
He and his wife, Lurline, heard the patter of children’s feet on the second floor when there were no children among the guests.
McAdams reported seeing Mrs. Helen Weiting, who built the theater that bears the family name across the street, walking down the third-floor hallway in a long black Victorian gown.
“By by the time she got to the end of the hallway, she vanished,” she said. “But she’s very nice; I always say hi to her.”
Other spirits make their presence known in more mischievious ways. “One night, one of the waitresses was making a drink at the bar in the dining room, and one of the wine glasses flew over her head and into the sink,” said Beulow.
Another time, a group of paranormal investigators set up their cameras outside of the unoccupied Room 218, only to see a man with a skeleton horse head open the door, look around and then close the door. “He repeated it five or six times,” he said. “But when we took the footage to show our friends, it wouldn’t play again.”
And Enright isn’t the only newcomer to the Worcester Inn’s spiritual side.
“We had a customer a few years ago named Tom who would come in three times a week,” said Beulow. “He always had a beer, then a salad and then he would order his meal.
“But when the waitress came back out to take his order, he was face-down dead in his salad.”
On Saturday, Oct. 19, the Inn held a ghost-themed dinner, where Buelow presented the history of the hotel hauntings.
Tina Breslau, who works with the Institute for Spiritual Development in Oneonta, did a reading, trying to summon forth the Inn’s spirits.
“She turned to me and said, ‘Jim, Dennis wants you to know he still thinks of you as his brother’,” said Buelow. “And he wants you to know that Tom is here and that he’s fine.”