History of the Orleans Inn
The family who constructed this building also constructed the town of Orleans.
When Aaron Snow had the building built in 1875. Still incomplete at the time of his death in 1892, the town’s people nicknamed it “Aaron’s Folly”. It was purchased again in 1900.
In the early 1900’s the building served as a boarding house for woman. On paper a charitable venture, but in reality it would change the building’s history.
Whether controlled by the matriarch, or just some women trying to make money, sailors would be entertained by these ladies. The building was considered a den of immorality for years after, even allegedly being run by the Irish Mob.
Finally after World War II it was converted into a Cape Cod hotel and named The Orleans Inn. A great reputation earned back for this historic building.
In 1996, Ed Maas and his family took over the building and refurbished it. He is one of the biggest supporter of ghostly activities in the Orleans Inn, proven by his book Ghost of the Orleans Inn.
Hannah is the name of a woman ghost believed to be a prostitute during the darker days of the building. Legend states she was walking just outside the building, figure emerges and a gun goes off. She was shot dead by a mysterious man, maybe a jealous client or related to the Irish bootleggers of the 1920’s.
The room right over the spot of her death is considered the most haunted. Two different women checking years apart. It’s believed their plan was to stay for a day or two, then months later they’d have to be forced out by police or family. It’s said the room drove them mad.
Ghost Hunters Visit for an episode they called “Inn of the Dead” (S06E08). Room 5 was personally explored by Jason and Grant. In the quiet room, both men hear a woman screaming from somewhere in the building. A taste of what drove the guests insane?
Naked Hannah – –
Reported by owner Ed Maas who said
“I was sleeping on the couch just off the lobby in case a guest needs anything. It was the middle of the night and I heard footsteps on the staircase. Opened my eyes to see a woman, stark naked, walking towards me. I must have been so tired, I remember saying hello and she said it back with a smile before falling asleep again.
“The phone woke me. It was a local warning me to talk to check on a lady who was in the fifth floor belvedere (or widow’s walk) room. She was dancing around stark naked, probably unaware people could see her from the outside. I thanked him, hung up, and that’s when it hit me… there was no one staying in the fifth floor room.”
The Hangings, Fred & Paul – –
In the 1950’s, a bartender named Fred was found hanging from the rafters inside the top of the belvedere (or widow’s walk). Some thought it suicide, others murder, but questions were put to rest for the sake of his family. Another employee named Paul was found hanging in the basement.
Fred’s ghost has been seen at the bar, and Paul is still in the basement. The Ghost Hunters recorded an EVP while in the belvedere, they think it was a man’s voice saying “Get me down”. You be the judge…
And the Orleans Inn has never been home to a cat. Still cats are heard in the closet of Room 4, and running up and down the main stairs. Believed to be connected to the boarding house, the “matriarch” was fond of stray cats.