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Haunt Jaunts Was Here: Newport, Rhode Island

 

Back in September when we took our 10 day Canada/New England cruise, Newport, Rhode Island was the first port on our itinerary.

The morning of September 7 dawned bright, affording us a picture perfect first glimpse of the harbor. (Neither my husband nor I had been to Newport before.) Here’s the view we had from the ship.

Newport Harbor
One of the many sailing yachts in Newport Harbor (the water was overflowing with sailboats!)
Fort Adams

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

The ship offered excursions galore to choose from, but we decided to be renegades and scope out the city for ourselves.

Besides, we sort of had an idea what we wanted to do. Or what Wayne wanted to do. September 7 was his birthday and we have a rule in our house: the birthday person is in complete decision-making control on their birthday.

If it’d been up to me I would’ve liked to tour some of the houses. Fort Adams also looked interesting. I have yet to visit a fort that didn’t have ghost stories. But it was Wayne’s day and his pick was the Cliff Walk.

PRE-CLIFF WALK VISIT TO NEWPORT’S VISITOR’S CENTER

Our first stop was to Newport’s Visitor’s Center, though. We wanted to get the lowdown on the best (meaning cheapest) mode of transportation  to the Cliff Walk, which was about three miles from the dock.

I was so happy we stopped in there. What a fantastic visitor’s center! It was:

  • Clean
  • Had a super friendly and knowledgeable staff
  • Sold tour and attraction tickets

Speaking of tour and attraction tickets, the Newport Visitor’s Center had a digital board displaying all the ones the city had to offer. Of course the Old Town Ghost Walk and Ghost Tour of Belcourt Castle tours  caught my attention.

However, I could not sign up for them. Not only was it Wayne’s birthday and those wouldn’t have been his top tour choices, but our boat was only in port for a very short time. (7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a 2:30 “all aboard” cutting that even shorter.)

Ah well, can’t tour them all!

However, I had hopes I might spy some haunted places either on our way en route to the Cliff Walk, as we were walking it, or on our way back.

THE TROLLEY

One of the visitor’s center’s friendly staff explained to us that buying a trolley pass would be our best transportation bet. It stopped at or near many of the major attractions, including the Cliff Walk. For a set fee (which I think came to a whopping $10 for the both of us) we could hop on and off as much as we wanted.

However, not only did the trolley prove a great bargain, the driver also narrated sites we passed along the way. The two that stood out to me were:

  • Trinity Church (which is rumored to have ghosts)
  • The Tennis Hall of Fame (which I’ve not heard to be haunted, but tennis is my newfound passion so I was curious to glimpse it)

THE CLIFF WALK

The trolley dropped us a couple blocks from one of the Cliff Walk entrances. All I have to say is “Wow!” It was everything and then some we’d heard it to be.

My only regret is that the sun was directly over the water. Thanks to the glare and reflection, I couldn’t get any good shots of the sea view. But here’s the pics I was able to take:

The sign at the point where we started the Cliff Walk
First tunnel we came across on the path
The first impressive "cottage" we came across
The next impressive "cottage" we came to
The backside of the Breakers, the most popular of the millionaire cottages amongst the tourists.
We should've hopped off the path here, but we didn't...
But if we'd hopped off the path we would've missed this neat house
And we would've missed the adventure of negotiating the trail when it turned from paved path into craggy rocks
And the fun of entering this dark tunnel
And finding the light at the other end!
Or seeing this view from yet another tunnel
Or just enjoying the spectacular view of the water and rocks period!

BELCOURT CASTLE

I knew from researching some of the sites listed on my Find Real Haunted Places page that the Belcourt Castle was among Newport’s premier haunts. I was really hoping to see it.

And I did. Briefly.

I spied it right about the time a trolley came along, a trolley we were desperate to catch because time was running out to get back to the ship. My biggest regret was there wasn’t even time to snap a quick photo!

But the trolley driver did sort of talk about it and laughingly mentioned its haunted reputation and the ghost tours. Based on his understanding of Belcourt Castle’s history, he didn’t understand why it was thought to harbor ghosts –unless they were the ghosts of the horses the original owner once kept. Apparently a bachelor built it and kept a lot of horses there, but once he married the wife put the kibosh on that.

Or something like that. I didn’t take notes so my memory might not be recalling the facts right.

However, a marvelous thing happened when we got home. A rep from Rhode Island Tourism  came across my blog and happened to not only send me more detailed info on Belcourt Castle and its ghosts, but pictures to boot! Talk about a stroke of luck and impeccable timing.

However, this post has run a little long. I’ll save the haunting at Belcourt Castle for its very own post.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

4 thoughts on “Haunt Jaunts Was Here: Newport, Rhode Island

  1. I love Newport, RI, what a nice little quaint town. We toured two of the mansions, Rosemont & Breakers. OMG, these “summer homes” were so beautiful. The homes were loaded with antiques and 18k gold wallpaper and fixtures. I was blown away. Next time I want to take the ghost tour.

  2. “Wonderful pics”??? You know I take this as high praise coming from a woman whose photos I always admire and envy, right? I think you’d like Newport a lot. Glad I could help change your mind!

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