Visit to The Green Mountain Inn – September 27, 2015
When it comes to life’s little luxuries, there’s not much better than a scrumptious brunch…except maybe a scrumptious brunch at the eternal home of a tap-dancing ghost. With two dining rooms and an extensive menu, we certainly chose the right place to eat and catch up on the local ghostly gossip. My usual companion and I dined on Eggs Benedict (me) and a fluffy omelet loaded with veggies and cheese (she) as we delved into the legend of Boots Berry.
Born in 1840 of a horseman and a chambermaid, Boots lived and died at the Green Mountain Inn. He came into this world in what is now room 302, formerly the servants quarters of a private residence, located above the Main Street Dining Room. He grew up playing in the barns and climbing on the roof, eventually taking over his father’s post at the stables. As fate would have it, Boots’ life changed forever when he stopped a runaway stagecoach full of terrified passengers, only narrowly averting a tragic outcome.
After the stagecoach incident, our brave man Boots became exceptionally popular and wanted not for women or drink, losing his job at the stables as a result. With nothing left for him in Stowe, he hit the road and found his way to New Orleans where he persisted in his wicked ways. Eventually, he landed himself in the Crescent City jail where his cell-mate taught him to tap dance and he earned the nickname Boots (no one seems to know his given name). Upon release, he returned home to Stowe which turned out to be fortuitous – but not for him.
During a brutal snowstorm in 1902, a small child became trapped on the roof over Room 302; stuck on the slippery rooftop and unable to return to the warmth of her room. Boots heard her desperate pleas and climbed onto the roof as he had done himself so many times as a child. Only moments after lowering the girl to safety, Boots plummeted to his death on the frozen ground below. Boots’ friendly spirit is said to reside at the inn to this day.
Staff and guests report flickering lights, cold spots and being touched by invisible hands. We were even told that sometimes, during the winter snows, people hear tap dancing on the roof and singing in the Main Street dining room.
Boots snubbed us at brunch – no singing or dancing for us – but given his colorful history maybe he’s not much of a morning person. You can find The Green Mountain Inn at:
18 Main Street
Stowe, VT 05672
Phone: (800) 253-7302
To find more haunted eateries in this area, visit our Vermont page.