Tucked away in the historic district of downtown Ashland, near the old railroad tracks is a two-story red building with a portrait of a man prominently displayed on the sign hanging above the main entrance. Massachusetts and the New England area are home to many historical pubs however, the story of Stone’s Public House and its alleged ghosts is what draws many visitors through its doors.
In 1832 John Stone, a captain in the local militia and a businessman, learned that a railroad was going to be constructed through the center of town. He decided to build a tavern and inn right along the tracks and the building opened in 1834 under the name The Railroad House. John himself operated the property for less than two years before leasing it to other individuals and continue to live at the site until his death in 1858. Afterwards the building fell into disrepair over the years until it was purchased and restored in 1976 by a man named Leonard Fournier. It was around this time paranormal activity began being reported with Fournier investigating into the history of the building and making several disconcerting discoveries.
In 1845, John Stone allegedly killed a New York man named Michael after accusing him of cheating at cards with Stone’s friends helping to bury the body afterwards. In 1863, a 10 year old girl named Mary J. Smith was hit and killed by a train just outside the building. A woman named Henrietta Smith mysteriously disappeared nearby in 1887 and another man named Burt Philipps may have died at the inn sometime in the 1890s. In December 2004, a group of paranormal researchers did an investigation and concluded several spirits might be lingering within the property. Allegedly mysterious spirit orbs were photographed while others claimed to have seen the ghostly visage of John Stone himself.
Today, the public house is a popular local gathering spot for Irish-American cuisine and drinks, despite its reputation as allegedly one of the most haunted places in New England. If you ever would like to grab a bite in a historic building with a spooky twist, Stone’s Public House is waiting for you.
Know Before You Go
The restaurant has a big binder detailing more about the paranormal history and results of various investigations. Feel free to ask your waiter or manager about it and they will be happy to let you have a look at it.