When Patrick Bentivegna and Adele Lee purchased one of the oldest houses in Salem, MA, it was filled with tons of antiques and a haunting array of ghostly accounts. The couple spent a year renovating and restoring the home to preserve its historic bones—ditching the disturbing decor and creating an interior that’s to die for (dun dun dun). They’ve reopened it as a charming bed and breakfast, and you can book a room.
The Daniels House Bed and Breakfast, which opened earlier this year, is a historic house that was built in 1667—just 25 years before the infamous trials would begin in Salem. It’s been used over time for other purposes (a nursery, boarding house, etc.), and the house sat vacant for nearly 20 years during the Great Depression before it was first transformed into a bed and breakfast. Decades of antiques had collected in the home by the time Bentivegna and Lee stepped in to transform it into the now adorable inn (adhering to all the CDC guidelines, according to its website) that embraces its historic and—as tales throughout the town and online state—haunted past.
Neighbors whispered rumors of a ghost cat that stalked the house at night, a figure that appeared in the Great Room, and suspicious lighting that came out from the closet in the Butler Room. “Once we closed on the home and started the restoration, there were times when we were scared to enter the house, especially late at night and at 4 a.m. to begin working for the day,” Bentivegna recalls. “There were moments of, ‘Oh no, what have we done, how are we going to live in this home when we are scared to be in it alone?’”
Despite initial hesitations, Bentivegna and Lee went ahead with the renovation, restoring the original pinewood flooring, installing a new kitchen, updating the electrical systems, adding bathrooms and plumbing, returning many of the historic fireplaces to working order, painting and plastering, and so much more. Each decision and detail took the home’s historic past into consideration, and today the Daniels House B&B has a distinctly familiar yet refreshed story to tell.
The B&B has four rooms guests can stay in that reflect the home’s past. The East India Room’s decor gives a nod to Salem’s maritime history and trade with the East Indies, while the Marion Room’s low-beamed ceilings and shabby furnishings cast a rustic yet romantic glow. The Butler Room’s single antique rope bed and cast iron wood stove makes a great addition to a family booking, and the Great Room’s large wood-burning fireplace and king size-four poster bed accommodates guests as it did as an eighteenth-century parlor.
The inn offers architectural tours, private tours, and, starting in 2021, historic fireside tales on the home’s role in Salem’s haunting history. For more information, visit their official website or call 978-594-8757. What better way to commemorate the Halloween season than staying in a charming inn with a haunted past?