Monday, June 21, 2010

Case Files: Arlington Inn

Arlington Inn in De Soto, Missouri
Owned by Ron and Diane Johnson, the Arlington Inn is a hotel and restaurant located in De Soto, Missouri.  It was originally built in 1860 and was known locally as the 'De Soto House.'  It's located right alongside the railroad tracks in town and was most likely a road house for folks working in that industry--though the building also exhibits evidence of a church as well.  Today, the place is more well known for their down home cooking and antique furnishings than the usual sordid affairs of old taverns, boarding houses, etc.

The hotel features several unique rooms for overnight stays (just check out the circa 1949 wedding gown on display in the Bridal Suite) and, on occasion, they feature a mystery dinner theatre show.  In addition to all this, you can even shop for antiques there during your stay.  It all adds up to one historic and entertaining getaway.  And for those interested in the paranormal, the hotel even offers a bit of that as well...

Over the years, guests to the Arlington Inn have reported some strange experiences--including seeing apparitions in various parts of the building (but especially on the third floor), witnessing a rocking chair moving on its own (in the third floor hallway) and hearing the typical sounds associated with a haunting (footsteps, bangs, etc.).  A visiting ghost hunting group even managed to capture a strange photo in one of the bedrooms that could possibly be a figure standing in the room (this photo is proudly on display in the restaurant).

Arlington Inn Ghost Photo

We were treated to top notch hospitality during our stay at the inn--and the manager took time from his busy schedule to give us a tour of the grounds and to tell us the paranormal tales I just mentioned above.  He assured us that the ghosts in the hotel were of the friendly sort and were most likely past owners of the property.  Once we settled in for our own investigation, we noticed some strange things almost immediately--of the paranormal and normal nature!

On the normal side of things, the entire first floor of the inn registered some extremely high electromagnetic fields.  Especially adjacent to the manager's office.  This is often the case with older buildings, but with readings topping 180mg next to the fuse box, this is something they may want to correct (this is high enough to actually cause hallucinations, headaches, etc.).  The other areas on the first floor were in the 8-20mg range--which is also high, but not unbearably so.

After doing an initial sweep of the hotel, we settled in the downstairs parlor/sitting room to do some EVP work; almost immediately we heard the sounds of the front door opening and footsteps walking around the room.  Upon inspection, the front door was fastened tight.  In fact, we were told guests had to use the side/restaurant door to go in and out of the hotel.  Soon, we managed to get some strange readings on the K2 meter as well--readings that suggested we were not alone in the room!  Though we would go on to investigate the other areas of the hotel, we would have no other personal experiences.  But we had high hopes for good evidence after our review .

We crashed for the night in our respective rooms, audio recorders running, and left the following morning after a wonderful breakfast buffet in the restaurant (worth a visit in itself).  Review of our photos, audio, etc. revealed a few interesting audio clips:

Clip 1:  This is an example of the footsteps and creaking board sounds we heard on the first floor that would indicate somebody walked into the room.  Only we weren't walking and the actual floor wasn't creaking...

Clip 2:  This is the recording of the sound of the front door opening.  As mentioned above, the door never opened and nobody was there, though.

Clip 3:  This EVP was captured in the downstairs sitting room.  We were performing an EVP session and asking for a tap or knock in response to a question.  Though we never heard it at the time, apparently somebody was, indeed, knocking for our attention.

Clip 4:  This was recorded in Mike's room during the night.  It sounds like footsteps in the room with him and even wakes him from sleep.

All in all, with or without ghosts, the Arlington Inn makes for a fun trip.  There's a neat little bar within walking distance, a great restaurant there and comfortable beds in a historic building.  Add it to your itinerary when you pass through Missouri on your way to St. Louis!  Visit their website for more information.