Visit to Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern at the Deerfield Inn – May 20, 2014
Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern, located in the beautiful and historic Deerfield Inn, is an inviting place reminiscent of more elegant times. Built in 1884, there are said to be at least three spirits roaming the premises. First is Cora Carlisle, a former innkeeper who wanders the hallway in her nightclothes, knocking on a particular guest room door demanding entry. Next is the mischievous Hershel … well, he likes the ladies and is fond of pinching posteriors. Last but not least is George Shelton, an amiable gent who quietly strolls the grounds outside the Inn.
The restaurant and tavern are open and comfortable with an impressive mahogany bar, lots of windows and two fireplaces. The lunch menu is casual, loaded with fresh, locally sourced soups, salads and burgers, with the dinner menu offering more formal creations (think Duck confit, shiitake risotto and hericots verts). My plan for a light lunch started with a crunchy chopped salad, but was quickly thwarted by tasty truffle fries and a decadent slice of chocolate Kahlua cake. A girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do.
But, back to the ghosts. There are lots of stories of spirits gone wild, most of them accredited to happy Hershel. Reports of tugging on bed sheets, tossing magazines and moving barware abound. Our lunch server said she occasionally sees someone sitting by the fireplace in the tavern, but when she looks again, the shadowy figure vanishes. According to the Inn’s website “we understand from many, many guests that the same old nosy and sometimes cheeky ghosts still wander.” That is apparently an understatement.
Although lunch went unperturbed, there have been so many experiences reported by staff and guests that I’m inclined to believe this place really is haunted. You can find Champney’s at:
81 Old Main Street
Deerfield, MA 01342
Phone: (413) 774-5587
To find more haunted eateries in this area, visit our Massachusetts page.