Rates & Tour of Rooms
Calendar of Events
Availability for Special Events
Murder Mystery Weekends
The Mormon Trail Connection
Halloween Ghost Dinner
Cindi's Sew 'n Sew
(Selections from the on-going journal. Entire booklets may be purchased at the Mason House.)
People always ask me, "Are you really haunted?" I have to say "Yes" but....it's not a scary, Hollywood, zombie kind of haunting. The spirits, or ghosts, who are here, have been here a long time. They are here because they are happy here. They don't want to scare anybody or hurt anybody. Three of them are previous owners or proprietors who loved the old hotel in life and don't want to leave. Two are Civil War soldiers who died here when the building was a hospital. Some died here when it was a TB hospital in the early 1900s. Several others are adults and children who died here because a doctor lived here when the building was a boarding house. The doctor used to bring his sick and dying patients here because there was no other place in town to take them. The spirits usually just go about their business like they did when they were alive....opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, walking around the rooms and up and down the hallway and stairs. The children like to jump on the beds, play with things in the rooms, and knock on doors as a prank. Sometimes the guests see the child or person for a moment before they disappear. Sometimes there is only the sound of someone, but nothing is sighted. Sometimes there is a tapping or knocking sound on the walls of the room, the guest assumes it is the people next door until they find out there was no one next door. Please don't be afraid to stay here. If you tell the spirits to leave you alone, they will. We also have non-haunted rooms in the General Store building and Caboose Cottage. Just coming here will not guarantee you will see a ghost. You have to be already sensitive or have psychic ability to see or sense the spirits. Many people don't see or feel anything. Ghosts don't perform on command, so we don't guarantee anything. So come and stay, relax and enjoy what we have.
Mary Frances Mason Kurtz (Fannie) was the oldest daughter of George Mason, the son that inherited the Inn from Lewis and Nancy. When Lewis died, the property of the father went to the oldest living son, George. His wife, Rebecca, and his two daughters, Fannie and Nellie, ran the Inn until George and Rebecca moved to Des Moines in 1891. Fannie and her husband, Schiller Kurtz, ran the Inn mostly as a boarding house. Fannie died here on May 24, 1951. She had been missed in town and the Greef Store owner, Henry Blount, came over to check on her. He could see her through the window, sitting in a chair by the fireplace in the dining room. All the doors were locked, so he broke a window to get in. She was dead and had been so for 2 or 3 days. (As a side note, Fannie was born in the Inn in 1867, 10 days before Lewis died. Fannie and Schiller were married in the Inn’s parlor in 1887. And Fannie died in the Inn dining room in 1951.) Fannie has been seen mostly in the dining room and parlor. She wears a grey skirt and white blouse. She smiles and nods to the guests. Guests think she's my mother or aunt helping out, until they realize nobody else can see her.
We found another newspaper article, dated 1913, talking about a Tuberculosis hospital that had set up business in the Mason House. It was not a sanitarium, but was using an experimental drug, penicillin, to 'cure' the patients. The townspeople were not happy about it. One child spirit here has admitted to dying of "consumption".
There was a doctor who lived
here at the Mason House in the 1940s when it was a boarding house.
He stayed in what is now Room 5.
He would often bring his sicker patients here so he could tend them,
since there was no hospital in Bentonsport.
We have heard that some of those patients died here.
There was a lady who came for a tour of the Mason House and said her
grandmother had died here, being a patient of the doctor who was living
Sept ‘02 – I had gone to the first floor laundry room, about 10am, and I heard an alarm buzzing in Room 3. I went into the room and turned off the alarm clock which had been set to ring at 8am. The little knob had been pulled out to set it. I pushed the knob in. No one had been using that room for about 4 days. I had been to the laundry room the day before and the alarm was not ringing then. Later that same day, I heard a buzzing coming from the second floor. I went up and the alarm in Room 5 was buzzing. Again the knob had been pulled out, and I pushed it in. Cindi came down from her room on the third floor and told me she had turned off the alarm in Room 4 earlier that morning. The next day, when I went to the first floor laundry again, the alarm in Room 3 was buzzing again. I pushed in the knob and called “Okay, George, that’s enough! Knock it off! Go home and leave us alone!” After that there was no more alarm clock pranks.
To read some of the ghostly happenings that go on around here, my journal continues below. It is broken down by year for easy reading.