Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast, Greensboro
Well, this is at least not as awkward as last time…I’ve only been absent from the blog 13 months instead of two years.
A few announcements- a giant thank you to LDB Press, as they have picked up Paranormal North Carolina, and we all eagerly await it’s release date. (Ok, I eagerly await the release date).
Despite the fact that PNC is complete, the paranormal investigations, research, and site visits in NC haven’t stopped. I have done two investigations that won’t be included in this edition of PNC just because (and you know this if you’re familiar with writing, publishing, etc) once you have submitted your FINAL manuscript, with all of the changes, edits, etc. adding anything else just slows down the production process.
Therefore, I present my write up of Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast, located in Greensboro, NC. I am writing this in the style of each entry/chapter of PNC, so you’ll get a little taste, however it is not a true excerpt, for reasons stated above.
Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast, began in 1906, finished in 1909 as a house for Harden Thomas Martin and his family. H.T. Martin was a grocer, and having a large, two and a half story Colonial Revival style house with a large wraparound porch, and a second-floor balcony, helped show the success of Martin and his store. The Martin House, as it was known, remained in the Martin family until 1973. It was sold to Charles Forrester in 1977, a Greensboro businessman. In 1995, it was sold to the Milam family, who operated it as a Bed and Breakfast from 1998-2007. It was a private residence for a while, until the current owners and innkeepers purchased it in 2016, opening it as Double Oaks B&B. Renovations to the third floor (addition of two suites) were done in 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic.
I had the very fortunate opportunity to spend the night in the Milam Suite (the most haunted spot!) in the house in late January, due to my job with a local non-profit. Our boss picked the lovely Double Oaks for a team retreat, and when she initially told us where we would be staying, I immediately searched Double Oaks with the query “Double Oaks B and B haunted”. I was very pleased to find a travel blog post that mentioned several staff members had reported that on three separate occasions, guests had reported seeing a lady singing and doing her hair in a bathroom. I emailed my team and asked if it would be possible to claim the “haunted room” and they were all too happy to oblige. (We as a staff, had no idea the setup of the house, just that there are six rooms, and we would each have our own room and bathroom.)
When I arrived at the house, my room was the Milam Suite, named after the first owners to utilize Double Oaks as a B&B. As a very lucky bonus, Double Oaks had just added a local coffee shop operation to part of their sunporch. I asked the barista, whom I later earned was also the Director of Operations, about any ghosts. He reported that he had heard and seen pots and pans swinging in the kitchen with no explanation. He also told me that several employees act as baristas, and they find their day goes more smoothly (operationally) if they pour the first shot into a tiny glass espresso cup and leave it on the windowsill with other clean cups. “Imogene’s shot” they call it, in honor of the woman apparition that several guests have seen.
I was at Double Oaks to WORK not to investigate, but if you know me, you know me. I put a digital voice recorder in my room as I slept and before I could even unpack my suitcase, I had a motion activated camera in the bathroom, pointing at the sink, mirror and what I will call “heaven”- a large, two shower headed walk in shower complete with an old-fashioned claw tub in the shower. At least four people could have fit comfortably in that shower, with a fifth in the tub. If I ever get to select where I haunt once I’ve passed on, please look for me in the bathroom of the Milam Suite of Double Oaks.
I also brough an EMF detector with me, hoping for some video Q&A with the spirit(s) but found that my detector remained between medium and high the entire time it was on, meaning their baseline for Electromagnetic Fields is HIGH. (Between 2.5-10 milliGAUSS. A room without this amount of EMF would rest at 1.5 miliGAUSS or less.) This is not too surprising- it’s an old home. The wiring is not going to be as sound as a newer build. I did find it interesting that it was between 2.5-10 milliGAUSS wherever I was in the bedroom. The bathroom and the attached sitting room had lower readings, but never low. Scientifically, I had to think if I was lying in bed with medium to high readings washing over me all night, could this all be just caused by EMF? (High EMF can cause sick feelings, paranoia, headaches, and hallucinations.) The psychologist in me thought that even if the ghostly woman was caused by hallucinations, it would be odd that all three guests reported seeing the same thing.
Mike, the chef, greeted me the next morning (with a fabulous vegetable and cheese frittata, by the way) and was happy to tell me what he had experienced in the house. He reported that he was finishing up dinner preparations one afternoon, when he noticed that the pots and pans began to swing. “Slowly at first, then harder,” he reported. Thinking it could be vibrations from traffic, or someone upstairs, he went and steadied them, but they began to swing again. He smirked as he told me that as he watched the pots and pans swing around a second time he began to smile, and texted one of the innkeepers “I don’t know who you have in the Milam Suite (suite above the kitchen) but they are quite amorous. My kitchen is shaking.” He finished prep and was getting ready to leave when he got a response “we don’t have any guests checked in.” He said the pots and pans continued to swing and shake, and he showed every employee that came in that day, as he decided to stay and see how long the movement continued (several hours). Another incident that happened to him was on a cold winter morning. He was in the kitchen, prepping for breakfast, when he saw what he described as “a young woman with a blanket or shawl around her shoulder, and lots of brown hair piled into a bun” pass by his kitchen window. That window faced onto the back part of the porch, into the backyard. He dropped his prep, and went to let her in, as he assumed this was a guest that had gone out for an early morning walk, and when he reached the door, no one was there, and no one was on the porch. He found out the couple in residence overnight was elderly, and when he served them at breakfast, they did not meet the description of what he had seen. Overall, he feels that whatever is present is not malevolent.
As we were doing group meetings on our second day, I ran into the housekeeper and explained that while my room was cleared and ready to be turned over, I had left a camera in the bathroom and a voice recorder on the mantle, was that ok? She looked at me kind of oddly for a minute, so I quickly explained “just ghost hunting stuff”. She nodded and then said “well, you’re in the right room for that!” Of course, I asked her if she could explain. She stated that whenever she was cleaning the Milam Suite, she felt like she was being watched and felt uncomfortable in there (see above notes on EMF). She also asked if I had spent any time in the attached sitting room, and I explained that I really hadn’t. She took me into the sitting room and showed me an antique cabinet. It remined me of my mom’s china cabinet. Drawers (wooden) on the bottom, then a glass hutch on top, for display. She asked me to open the hutch, and I realized it was locked, with a key in the lock. I twisted the key a full twist, and the hutch opened once I pulled on it. She pointed to small, old, pictures of children that were on display. “I was vacuuming in here, turning over the room one day. I start in the sitting room, then cross into the bedroom, then I walk back into the sitting room to unplug the vacuum,” she explained. “I had done both rooms, no issue, and when I went back to unplug the vacuum, the hutch was open, and several pictures of the children were on the floor, several feet from the cabinet.” She said she replaced them, locked the hutch and left.
Now my coworkers were very nice to let me have the room with the most activity, but I asked if the housekeeper had seen anything else in the house. She reported that one day she was cleaning the suites on the third floor, and she knocked on the door before entering, as is habit, even though she knew no guests were in the house. She heard a woman call “you may come in” in a strong voice, and when she opened the door, no one was in the room.
I loved hearing the staff’s genuine interactions and was hoping I had “caught” something” despite not having much equipment set up. I am happy to report, that around 1130pm the camera from the bathroom was triggered to record for a few seconds. Nothing is visible, but the last few seconds of the recording have quiet, music box-like music playing. I ruled out cell phones, etc. That’s my one find that can’t be explained. I am hoping to have a second investigation in the Milam Suite soon, with much more equipment, focusing on both rooms.
Check my Facebook Author page for some pictures and the video, and please watch for updates on Paranormal North Carolina.
- Posted in: ghosts ♦ haunted ♦ Paranormal NC ♦ Writing
- Tagged: bandb, bed and breakfast, ghosts, haunted, north carolina