The Unexpected Guest


This beautiful mountain sunset is where it all started for me wanting to write my books. This is the lake deck of the Lodge On Lake Lure, a very high end small scale hotel where my wife and I stayed the first time we went to Lake Lure. The lake was so named because it would be so alluring, said the wife of Lucius Morse, the owner of Chimney Rock and the surrounding land. She was right. Lake Lure was built, impounded, over a small farm settlement named Buffalo. The few residents were given money for the land, then told to get out before the water got too high, pretty much. Deep in the water, out there in the center of the picture, in the middle of the lake, is the church for Buffalo. The cold still water has preserved the church. Stained glass is still colored in the windows, and the pews sit upright, seats for only the fish to rest their fins. It is said that at midnight, the church bell rings. Its tolling can be heard, quietly muffled, as the ghosts of Buffalo call back the parishioners for one last Sunday at church. As spooky as that is, the Lodge has a mysterious tale of its own. It's said to be haunted, as well. It was built in 1938 as a resort for highway patrolmen and their families. They could drive in or fly to the lake in a seaplane, and stay at the resort for respite from their work. Legend says that it is haunted by a patrolman named George C. Penn, for whom it was dedicated. There has been a presence noted in rooms 2 and 4, In Room 4, he has been seen walking through the room by guests. In Room 2 it seems that he plays pranks by taking the toilet paper, making the guests go to the desk to ask for a new roll. The employees have been known to laugh and shrug off the strange event. The room number is fitting for a trick like that. There is a famous event in the lodge where a young girl got upset that she never saw the ghost, wishing he would do something, then having a glass of wine fly across the room to smash on the far wall, all by itself. I will say that while I never experienced any of that, I did have some hairs stand up on the back of my neck as I snuck through the hotel late at night to get some cookies. Or I might just have been worried I was gonna get caught. So, here's the strange part. As if that isn't strange enough. George Penn died in a shootout far away, and the land wasn't even bought yet for the lodge. It was built in his honor. He never stayed there. So, who is this ghost? Well, I think it is Jesse Sullins. He was a highway patrolman and later caretaker of the lodge when it was the retreat. It was still used for the Highway Patrol until the 1960s when the town bought it, and then had it turned over to a series of owners and developers. The ghost never appeared until the 1980s. Jesse was disappointed that the place wasn't being used for its original intent. And he was dedicated to the place. If the lodge is haunted, I'd be more inclined to believe it is Jesse, not George Penn. No matter what, it's a nice place to stay.



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