ROWLESBURG — Is River House Lodge haunted? Owner Tim Weaver said he is not a big believer in the paranormal, but strange things do happen at the three-story lodge.
Weaver said he bought the double-sided house nine years ago and thought it would make a good bed and breakfast because there was no place for visitors to stay after the Howard Hotel closed.
He said River House dates back to the late 1800s. The property was originally owned by the Wrightmyer family and was bought by Harry Hollis, who either bought the house with the property or built it. The house later became a jewelry store and was closed after the ’85-’86 flood.
“Clyde Sypolt saved it after the flood,” Weaver said. “I rented an apartment from him and fell in love with it and bought it.”
He said unusual things happen regularly at the lodge. Doors open and close by themselves, and the sound of moving furniture and boxes can be heard.
“Last Friday evening (Oct. 15), I lined up the chairs up on the balcony. When I went out early the next morning, two of them were moved and turned so you could sit and look at the flag on Cannon Hill,” he said. “It was raining that night, so I don’t believe anyone would be out there sitting out there in the rain.”
Weaver is not the only one who has experienced unusual incidents at the lodge. He said several guests have reported door knobs turning and the doors to their rooms opening and closing by themselves.
“One of the guests staying on the second floor said he watched his door knob turn and his door opened, but there was no one there. Then, as he watched, the door closed by itself. He told me about it the next morning and said it scared him a little,” Weaver said.
He said he and his wife have also experienced the doors opening and closing. The back door opened and closed while they were watching TV.
Weaver said this is not the only unexplained activity they have experienced. He said before guest season starts and in the fall, he and his wife begin hearing noises on the third floor.
“When were in bed at night, we can hear furniture and boxes being moved around upstairs. We call it the movers,” Weaver said. “I go up and check and nothing is out of place, and there is nobody there. The good news is they are friendly ghosts. It’s a cozy feeling.”
In an attempt to find out what was causing the unexplained activity, in 2019 Weaver contacted the Stillwater Paranormal Project in Dayton, Ohio.
“They (investigators) came and investigated for a few hours but didn’t stay the night as they had planned,” Weaver said. “They told me they detected paranormal activity inside the lodge and said their equipment detected figures moving about outside. When the left, they told me they would come back later — but they haven’t given me a date yet.”
Weaver said although he is not a big believer in the paranormal, he can’t explain what causes the activity at the lodge. He said if it is paranormal the age of the building could have something to do with it, as could the antique furniture that fills the rooms of the lodge.
Many of the items, including the dishes, were once part of the old Howard Hotel. Each room is furnished in period furniture and has a local railroad name, in keeping with the history of the house and the town of Rowlesburg.
“It’s (the lodge) a good candidate for the paranormal,” Weaver said. “It’s the oldest building in this part of town. If it’s haunted, I would say I moved my great-grandfather Lieutenant J. H. Carrico and his wife, Annamelia Hebb Carrico, here with me. I have their photographs hung in the lodge and some of the furniture is furniture that was given to my great-grandmother Annamelia by her mother.”
River House Lodge is at 43 E. Main Street in Rowlesburg. For information about the lodge, go to https://riverhouselodge.org or call 304-454-2095 or 978-270-3847.