Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Ohio River at MariettaMay the ghosts be with you while you spend the day or night at the Lafayette Hotel in historic downtown Marietta, Ohio.  Visitors and employees anxiously report stories of paranormal activity in this grand hotel on the banks of the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.

Back in 1882, river traffic was heavier than it is today. The Ohio River provided the freight and passenger routes for much of the eastern part of the United States. Of course, these riverboat travelers needed a place to get meals as well as a place to spend the night. Here at the meeting place of two major rivers, the Bellevue Hotel was built. This quite modern hotel, for the late 1800’s, had a fast running elevator taking guests to 55 rooms, five of which had baths. Rates at the Bellevue were $2.00 a night

lafayette hotel 013After a fire destroyed the Bellevue Hotel, another hotel was constructed on the original foundation. In 1918 the present triangular shaped Lafayette Hotel opened for business. The name was chosen to honor Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, who was believed to be the first tourist to visit Marietta in 1825. There is even a plaque, near the hotel at the edge of the Ohio River, marking the spot where he came ashore.

A popular meeting room bears the name of Rufus Putnam, who many list as the founder of Ohio.  His leadership established Marietta as the first permanent United States settlement in the Northwest Territory.   In a letter sent to his former home, Rufus Putnam described the land along the Ohio River to his friend as: “a country of most pleasant climate and of the rarest beauty and enduring charm”.

Riverview LoungeThe Riverview Lounge is where the “Lady in White”  often appears hovering over the carpet, while she smoothly moves through the room. The bar happens to occupy the same area where the ladies’ dressing room was located  in the original hotel.

When selecting a room in Marietta’s only downtown hotel, you will probably be given a choice of view – either the Muskingum River or the Ohio River. Here the ghost of Mr. Durward Hoag, former owner of the hotel, watches over guests and staff from both directions. Sometimes guests feel an icy cold draft pass through their well heated room. Evidence of his presence appears in flashing light bulbs, rearranged papers, hidden objects,  and often merely a wisp of light. Maybe Mr. Hoag’s spirit is bored!

When speaking with recent visitors, footsteps were reported outside their door, but no one was in evidence. The elevator, carrying no passengers, left the floor a couple times during the evening and headed to the rooftop. Later that night when they were in bed, another couple felt someone jump in the center of the bed where they were resting. All guaranteed they had not visited the Riverview Lounge.

Gun RoomThe Gun Room is a popular place for lunch. The walls are adorned with photos of great majestic sternwheelers that traveled the Ohio River.  A display of antique long rifles contains one made by J.J. Henry that accompanied the Benedict Arnold expedition to Canada in 1775. Waitresses tell of coming in early to work and seeing a figure leaving the front section of the restaurant. Often the swinging doors to the kitchen open for no reason at all. Some feel that Mr. Hoag is checking on his staff.  On the plus side, these spirits are never harmful.

Enjoy the ambience of this richly historical Lafayette Hotel on the river sometime soon. They have been expecting you for nearly a hundred years!

The Lafayette Hotel is located  at 101 Front Street in Marietta, Ohio. Exit I-77 at Exit 1 and follow Route 7 South, which is also Pine Street.  At the third light, Pine Street continues straight and becomes Green Street. Continue on Green Street until you come to the hotel on the corner of Green Street and Front Street. Parking is available between the hotel and the Ohio River as well as on the other side of the hotel.


Comments on: "Ohio’s Historic Lafayette Hotel – A Haunting Experience" (10)

  1. Sounds like a fun place to visit, always enjoy visiting haunted places, although I have yet to experience it.

  2. Visiting haunted places is one of my joys, although anytime I get to travel anywhere brings happiness. I have felt a ghostly presence and even smelled their presence, but never actually saw a ghost. Thanks for taking a Gypsy Road Trip.

  3. I was a friend of the late Durward Hoag, who owned The Lafayette Hotel.

    I started out working for him as a bus-boy back in the late Sixties. He took a liking to me, and added the job of mowing his lawn up on Strecker Hill.

    One time while I was on my shift, somebody stole my motorcycle helmet from the top of my locker, down in the basement. Durward just happened to walk in at the same time I discovered the helmet was missing.

    I said, “Mr. Hoag… Somebody just stole my helmet right off the top of my locker, and it’s illegal to ride my bike without a helmet.” He asked me, “How much did it cost?”, and I said, “About forty bucks!” He just reached in his pants, pulled out his wallet and handed me a fifty dollar bill, and said, “Get another helmet right away, and don’t worry if you get pulled over by the police… I’ve got you covered.”

    Even before I worked for Durward, I was his newspaper boy for years earlier, and he and his wife would always give me a wad of money every Christmas. Nobody else did that.

    One day, when I was sitting on one of the wrought iron benches in the yard, taking a break from mowing… Mrs. Hoag invited me in for a cold drink. I stepped in to the dining area and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The Hoag’s dog had its own chair at the table and was eating right along with them. We’re talking about the richest man in Marietta here… and the dog… eats at the table like a human!

    Talk About Eccentric!

    Douglas L. Duncan; M. Phil.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your memories of Durward Hoag. Sounds like you were lucky to have worked for such a generous man. Now the story of the dog at the table was a bit unusual!

      • I’ve got a few more stories about the hotel, if you ever want me to write more of it.

        I see you seem to be interested in the ‘haunted’ aspect here. Well… I was personally involved with a bit of that during my stint there… but I’m not sure I should go in to that, because it would put a big dent in your whole site.

        Other than that, there were some really crazy moments that not only did I observe, but was, on occasion, a direct participant. LOL

        Later, Doug

  4. Doug, you are welcome to write your stories if you wish or I could do another blog post on your experiences. They definitely sound interesting. If you are interested in sharing for another blog I would be happy to get in touch with you at your convenience.

    • That’s up to you Bev,
      I’m already a writer. That’ what I do.
      Basically it’s just a question of whether you want ‘First Hand’ experience of the ‘Glory Days’ of The Lafayette Hotel.

      I’m merely offering to write you a little ‘true story’ from the hotel’s past… and I wouldn’t be doing it every day, because I’m busy writing a book… administrating a ‘Group’ page on Facebook… Plus I have my own blog site to keep up with.

      If you don’t think it’s something which might enhance your site, then I’m going to pass.
      If you do think it would enhance your site, then I will (occasionally).

      It’s your call. Just remember, I won’t be perusing it just for the ‘fun’ of it. I’ll would be writing these experiences, solely based on your decision as to whether it will lit enhance ‘Readership’.

      Douglas L Duncan; M. Phil.

      • Then please add a story now and then. I would definitely enjoy reading your stories, and you could write them much better since they are YOUR stories.   Bev


  5. Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what stuff
    present here at this weblog, thanks admin of this web site.

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