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.
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:
- 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.
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:
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.