The first stop on my journey was to Stone’s Public House where numerous ghosts are said to prowl this former inn turned pub. John Stone built the three-story restaurant and former hotel in 1834 in anticipation of attracting travelers from a soon-to-be-constructed railroad line to cross his property. The restaurant and bar are on the first floor, with the upper stories (former guest rooms) now used for office and storage space. The restaurant interior shows its age in an inviting way, including a well-worn bar and original granite-slab fireplace. The menu is diverse so you’re sure to find something you like, although if you get the chance, don’t miss the corned beef and cabbage egg rolls – delicious!
As for ghosts, word has it there are several including John Stone himself who died in 1858, a former bar patron named Burt Philips who died at the inn in the 1890s, several former employees and associates of John Stone’s who reportedly helped him cover up the murder of a card-cheat by burying him in the basement, and a little girl who was hit by a train. Ghostly mischief includes doors opening and closing without apparent reason, drinking glasses flying off shelves or breaking unexpectedly, and invisible hands that touch the necks of staff and customers; some say they’ve seen the little girl peeking out an upstairs window.
I didn’t meet any ghosts, but the staff was friendly, the food and wine were good, and the photograph of John Stone hanging over the fireplace was a bit creepy. You can find Stone’s Public House at:
179 Main Street
Ashland, MA 01721
Phone: (508) 881-1778
To find more haunted eateries in this area, visit our Massachusetts page.