Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's My World Tuesday #4: The Elizabeth Inn: Sabiston House (1857)


"The Elizabeth Inn: Sabiston House (1857)"
Beaufort, NC - October 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Be a virtual tour guide on That's My World Tuesday

Beaufort NC's lodging industry is mainly comprised of small, independent inns tucked into corners of the Historic District. Most of them operate as Bed & Breakfasts, but one of my favorites of the lot skips the "breakfast" part of the equation. The Elizabeth Inn operates out of the Sabiston House built in 1857. You're looking at it from Front Street. Immediately to your right is the Maritime Museum (which I highly recommend). To the left is another in called The Cedars (which I have never stayed in). behind you is the boatwright's shop for the museum and the harbor itself. Just across the harbor is Carrot Island, a part of the Rachel Carson Preserve and home to some of the wild horses known as the "Banker Ponies". Over your left shoulder you could see Beaufort Inlet (if the boatwright's shop wasn't in the way).

Sabiston House is also rumored to be the residence of several ghosts. Most notably Captain John Sabiston -- builder of the house and merchant seaman and his daughter Rosebud. Neither of them seems to mind having corporeal company sharing the house. In my stays there I've never seen any evidence of haints, but there was one occasion when I may have heard some.

A bit of background first. Each year in early December, the owners of the obnoxiously expensive boats moored along the waterfront deck their hulls with boughs of holly for a waterborne Christmas parade known locally as the Christmas Flotilla. the boats sail out of Beaufort inlet, around the point to Morehead City and back again. And the balcony you see in the photo is a perfect vantage point from which to watch the proceedings.

Several years ago I took the opportunity to spend the night of the parade at the Elizabeth. I (correctly) reasoned that it would not only be the perfect place to watch from, but the perfect place to stay. And the off season rates were incredibly reasonable for the location. Despite that, we were the only guests staying at the house that night. The owner doesn't live on the property, nor does the manager so we had the entire house to ourselves.

Or so we thought. The morning after the flotilla, I was on the stairs and heard a woman cough. I naturally assumed that it was the manager come to take care of some business or other, but as I made my way to the kitchen to start the coffee, I realized that the house was in fact empty. When the manager came in some time later I confirmed that she was only now arriving and hadn't been at the house earlier. Both outside doors were locked, and at that hour very few people were stirring even outside. None of the nearby businesses had opened yet, so there was no reason for anyone to have been prowling that end of Front Street.

The manager didn't seem at all ruffled by this and even went as far as to suggest (with a calm that unnerved me even further) that perhaps I'd heard one of the resident spooks.

But the experience wasn't enough to keep me from booking other stays in the inn, though I never had any more ghostly encounters. Perhaps it was someone outside. Or a noise that I simply mistook for a cough. Maybe there's nothing to it at all...


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24 comments:

Daryl said...

I like how you got the sun to hit the windows like that ... ;-D

Sara G said...

Wonderful post and the picture is just beautiful.
Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us!
Take care.

kjpweb said...

Beautiful - good place to stay, I take it ? ;)
Cheers, Klaus

Please do remember for future posts to add your country with your name! Thanks!

Louise said...

A charming place, but you can keep the spooks! =)

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Spooky for sure, but it sounds like the one coughing means no harm. ;-)

ewok1993 said...

What a beautiful house and it looks like it's located in a serene environment. But the you lost me at the mention of ghosts. I'm a scare-d cat so I'll stay as far away as possible :D

Happy my world day.

Wren said...

Spooky! (I guess. never met a ghost myself) This would have been a great Halloween post, too . :)

Carver said...

Interesting post and I like the photograph you took. One of my sisters has a house in Beaufort so I'm somewhat familiar with the area but I found this interesting.

Ivar Ivrig said...

A beautiful house and a great place to stay.

For my shot I used aperture f/16, shutterspeed 8.0 sec, ISO 200. I was out experimenting and got lucky
:-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What an adventure staying in a house with ghosts. It seems that many of the old homes in the Charleston area and along the southern east coast are haunted with much history.
How lucky for you to have that experience.

When we lived in Rock Hill, South Carolina, we spent many summers camping on Hunting Island and visiting Beaufort. Such a beautiful area....except for the monster spiders on Hunting Island hiking trails.

I had a nightmare once about being stuck on those trails at night, and forever getting wrapped up and tangled among those huge webs and feeling the spiders crawling over my terrified body.

~shudder~

~Lisa
New Mexico

Arija said...

A lovely place to stay, especially when you get the whole house to yourself except for the coughing spook of course!

Kimmie said...

Hey Mojo...you sure did get my attention with this post. Not only are Bed and Breakfasts one of my very favorite places to stay, this one being in an area during the Civil War Era makes it even more intrieging. As far as the haints...I'm sure if they were bad ones you would have known it. Thanks for sharing. I love the beauty of this house. Nothing like the South.

My blog is back up. Had to start from scratch. :-(

If you would like to change the link on your sidebar, I had to add a number to it.

http://prettyamazinggrace-kimmie2.blogspot.com/

*Hugs*

maryt/theteach said...

Mojo, I tend not to stay in bed & breakfasts for that reason...no ghosts at the Marriott! Ha! :)

Sylvia K said...

Great post and photos! Old inns are always wonderful and a little mysterious, maybe they all have a ghost or two. Thank you!

david mcmahon said...

Nice work.

Rural Writer said...

What an interesting house and story! The photo is very nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

babooshka said...

Interesting place. Love to see some spooky nightime shots.

fishing guy said...

Excellant story and you can always remember that stay from that one happening.

Pea in a Pod said...

Thanks for the story! Interesting place:)

Posted mine, HERE. Have a great day! And thanks for the virtual travel;)

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

A wonderful old building and a spooky tale

BNS said...

That's quite an interesting story. Despite the ghosts, I'd love to sit there to watch that Christmas flotilla you described.

Bobbie in Hawaii

Ladynred said...

What a beautiful place to visit.
Travelherethere

Catherine said...

Wow! Fantastic visit of the Elisabeth Inn! In every sens of the word.
I would have loved to listen Rosebud whispering to me, even hearing her and Captain Sabiston's step on the parquet floor in a so sumptuous House. What a wonderful part of your world you present ud today!

CrazyCath said...

Scary spooks! Love the photo. Over from David's - congrats on POTD.