Meadville Tribune

Local News

October 20, 2006

Staff have ghostly experiences at Hotel Conneaut

10/15/06 — Click image for video

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Local folklore holds tales of Elizabeth, the young bride who was supposedly burned alive in the devastating 1943 fire that destroyed a large portion of the Hotel Conneaut. As legend has it, her quiet, mournful spirit remains there, forever waiting ... and waiting ... for her groom to come to her rescue.

During the busy daylight hours, it’s easy to dismiss a phantom scent of jasmine, the sounds of a woman softly sobbing, the sight of a misty orb or the feeling of some unseen person passing by as far-fetched, only tricks of the mind.

But take a walk through the hotel’s halls after night falls, and its spirits tend to get a lot ... closer.

George Deshner, Conneaut Lake Park’s general manager, said he and many other staff members have had several firsthand experiences with Elizabeth and other ghosts of the hotel and park. Take the last Holiday in the Park at the hotel, for example.

“I was standing there, (and) someone pushed between me and the wall — I could just feel them. There was absolutely no one there — (but) I felt that person.”

Staff members responsible for late-night routine checks will often see lights on in one or more of the hotel’s rooms when it’s been locked up and is supposedly entirely unoccupied, he said. Or — even creepier — a window will be found open, its curtains flapping in the breeze, after staff have double-checked to make sure each window’s been shut.

“You can just come here and feel it,” said Carrie A. Pavlik, a hotel desk clerk and author of “The Ghosts of Hotel Conneaut and Conneaut Lake Park.”

“I believe most of the stories. So many people have seen things — there has to be something to it,” she said.

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