In 1834 a farmer and captain of the militia named John Stone owed must all the land in downtown Unionville (now Ashland), Massachusetts. He heard the railroad was coming through and being known as a shrewd businessman, built a hotel right on the railway called The Railroad House. This was the beginning of a long history full of ups and downs that is now a part of the haunted Stone’s Public House.
John Stone successfully operated the Railroad House for less than two years but leased the building to numerous innkeepers. John dies in 1857 a wealthy man and in 1868 W.A. Scott bought the business. Though having the best of intensions, Mr. Scott couldn’t keep up with maintaining the property. The hotel fell into disrepair and stayed that way until Leonard “Cappy” Fournier bought the property in 1976.
It was at this time that the name became what it is today, Stone’s Public House and it is “Cappy” that is credited with first exploring the paranormal incidents at the home. In 1984 a newspaper article stated that the strange things started happening when Fournier bought the home. Such things as doors not remaining locked and lights turning themselves off, Fournier was stated as saying.
Many have claimed to have actually seen the apparition of John Stone himself as well as smelling the distinct odor of tobacco when no one was smoking. Also said to be haunting the building is a man that John Stone accidently killed. It happened during a poker game when John accused a man of cheating after he had lost more than $3,000. He hit the man over the head and the man died of the injury. Mr. Stone and the witnesses took the body to the basement and buried it.
Another prominent spirit that has been seen at the home is that of Mary Smith, a ten year old girl. Mary was killed on the railroad tracks and witnessed by guests at the old Railroad House in 1862. THe dress that Mary was wearing that day is still said to be kept upstairs in the Stone’s Public House. Many have claimed to see Mary’s apparition looking out a window in the kitchen and in the attic.
There are also many more spirits said to reside at the haunted Stone’s Public House. It is those that are said to be responsible for touching both employees and guests, turning water faucets on and off and even throwing glassware and knocking items off shelves. Now the home is a wonderful bar and restaurant and not open for overnight stays, at least not for the living.