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The Man in the Grey Suit and Other… Ghost Stories?

October 9, 2013 2:17 pm Published by

By Autumn Mentink, Blennerhassett Hotel staff member


The Blennerhassett Hotel is said to be haunted.

Blennerhassett ghost stories

The Blennerhassett, like any old building, has a few ghost stories.

I’m not sure why. Possibly it is only natural a building more than a century old has picked up a few ghosts.

Chief among these wandering spirits is an older gentleman in an old-fashioned, three-piece grey suit. Staff who have seen him describe him as having slicked back hair and a beard; sometimes he has a top hat and cane as well. He appears quite solid, though he has a bad habit of vanishing in the blink of an eye.

He’s believed to be the ghost of William Chancellor, the man who built the hotel. He’s rather a mellow sort of spirit, much more inclined to be smoking a quiet cigar somewhere than disturbing guests. Often, in the library and on the second floor, cigar smoke is all that is seen of him.

Also on the second floor, ghostly children are said to play tag in the halls. One bellman admitted to having seen, out of the corner of his eye, what looked like a little girl in a fancy dress disappear around a corner. Another admits to hearing a whistling noise on more than one occasion, as though someone were trying to get his attention. But when he checked, no one was there.

Another child, this one described as a “turn-of-the-century newspaper boy,” haunts the kitchen, tugging at the sleeves of the cooks, or hanging around on the lower level in front of the elevators.  Perhaps he’s a member of the group on the second floor who just wanders off occasionally, or perhaps he just prefers to pester the living.

Speaking of pesky spirits, a particularly mischievous one, called “The 4 O’clock Knocker,” is said to knock on the door that leads to the coffee bar at the unreasonable hour of 4 a.m.  Don’t try to set your watch by this ghost, though. Months will go by where nothing is heard or the ghost will knock at other, stranger hours— like, say, 2:15 in the afternoon.

If knocking, cigar smoke, and children aren’t enough, there’s a party in the Charleston Ballroom that has no interest in ending. One staff member, working late, once heard music and laughter from the Charleston, but when they reached the ballroom, it was empty and quiet. But at least one member of this long-ago fête is said to still be hanging about— a man in a white tuxedo occasionally appears in the hotel’s mirrors, several of which hang in the hallway that passes by the Charleston. 

One more note: a great deal of stories report our elevators as haunted as well. Though we’ll admit that they do stop at random floors and open their doors without provocation, this is because they’re old, slow, and easily confused.  People tend to give up on waiting for them and take the stairs.

Then again, perhaps one of our resident haunts, who have all the time in the world to wait for an elevator, is using them instead.

Have you ever seen one of the Blennerhassett’s spirits?


  • Perry Nichols says:

    Never seen a ghost before but heard thr stories. Been in the hotel numerous times and never saw anything odd except for the ghost hunters that come by.

  • Paul says:

    I have never seen any spirits per se…however when staying at the hotel many years ago as a child on my way with my family to Tennessee I remember hearing laughter from a little girl coming from behind our head in the next room, then the laughter was above us and then coming from beyond the walls in the room from the total opposite wall. I remember my father saying to pay no mind to it. Later the next day he revealed he was a bit uneasy because a hotel worker said the hotel is supposedly haunted by a child.

  • Sheila Rothschild says:

    I got a gift from one of your “spirits” — the entire plot for my first novel came to me the night we stayed there, so, thanks (whoever you are).

  • Daria McGinnis says:

    Can’t say I saw any spirits, but they must be happy about the place they stay and the descriptions they garner. That’s the best way to keep them friendly, from my experience!

  • Sheila Coleman-Castells says:

    Oh my goodness! I hadn’t heard about this before I stayed, but I have just returned from two days there, and yes, the cigar smoke on the second floor was absolutely there. In fact, I asked some of my co-workers about it, and I found it strange that only one other person smelled it but me! Wow!

  • Olivia Robinson says:

    I’ve heard of the hauntings and have stayed in the hotel a few times now. I did experience a series of 3 fast, hard taps on the right side of foot of the bed. It was early evening and my husband and I were watching TV. I’m the only one who felt it. I believe it was a small child. We were staying on the 4th floor. Love this hotel!

  • Tammy Patton says:

    I have. A young girl with short hair, white dress, no shoes running around corner towards elevator on 2nd floor.

  • Cynthia Mauk says:

    I stayed in one of the executive suites with 3 of my friends. They all decided to stay upstairs in the one bedroom. I was going to sleep on the pull out sofa bed. I was laying in the bed with my head at the foot of the bed reading by the light on my
    iPhone. All the other lights were off except the light from the tv across the room. I heard shoes coming down the stairs. I thought one of the girls came down. I looked up and there was a figure of a man standing beside the stairs. I looked at it for a good 20-30 secs. Thinking it couldn’t be one of the girls. It was too tall. Then it occurred the stairs were carpeted and I shouldn’t have heard foot steps. And I looked down to get my Phone to take a picture. When I looked back up he was gone. I said out loud I was fine with him being there as long as he didn’t bother me once I went to sleep. Within an hour I went to sleep. Slept all night without any problems. And yes I also had the elevator open up for me several times that weekend. No one was on it.

  • Regina Sharpe says:

    We stayed probably 3 years or so ago and my son was sleeping on the fold out couch, I woke up and saw a greenish orb floating over him. I couldn’t make out a shape really but I didn’t feel afraid. I went back to sleep. The next day I was telling my son about it, and admitted that I really don’t know if I actually saw it or dreamed it. He said he thought that was strange because he had a dream that he woke up and saw something just like that hoovering over him. Who knows, I just thought it was strange that we both experienced the same thing!!

  • Valerie J. says:

    My husband, daughter, and I stayed on the 2nd floor a few years ago on a whim after going on the haunted Parkersburg walking tour just before Halloween. My husband didn’t believe in spirits or hauntings, but I was eager to have a ghostly encounter. The night was uneventful. Disappointed, I was in the bathroom the next morning getting ready to leave. My daughter was sitting on the sofa watching tv. My husband was on the other side if the room at the foot of the bad packing our bag. Suddenly, he demanded we leave immediately. As we walked toward the elevator, I asked what was going on. He said while he was packing our bag, he felt the tail of his sweatshirt being pulled. He thought it was our daughter, but he turned around and she was 15 feet away. The spirit of a child touched him. He left there a believer.

  • pr says:

    I stayed here for one night in 1995. I had no clue this place was haunted. I was there to interview at a local company. I heard knocks on my door multiple times during the night and nobody was on the door when I opened it, my bed shook a couple of times, and my phone rang multiple times during the night — and when I picked up, no one would answer. I did not think much about it at that time but as I was watching a show on tv today, I thought maybe I should google to see if the hotel was haunted and I was surprised to read these stories. Looking back I believe there was definitely something unusual going on that night.

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