Vermont’s Dorset Inn, home of ‘The General’
The Dorset Inn in Vermont, where guests and staff alike have seen “The General.”
By THOMAS D’AGOSTINO
Dorset is your quintessential Vermont village, complete with a green, shops, and a few inns where travelers can stay a night or two and relish in the atmosphere of the little hamlet.
The Dorset Inn is such a place. Since 1796, the Dorset Inn has welcomed travelers on their journey to areas such as Boston, Massachusetts and Albany, New York. The inn became a popular stop for many to partake in some food, beverages, and fresh beds. Many stayed for weeks or even months as the region provided many outdoor activities and exploration.
There are thirty-five beautifully decorated guest rooms, and several are part of the original structure where guests can enjoy the views of Vermont’s picturesque countryside. The Dorset is also renowned for its fabulous cuisine. The Wine Spectator voted the establishment as one of America’s best restaurants in 2008. Diners can enjoy fine fare in the historic red dining room or tavern. They may have the opportunity to meet the oldest guest of the inn, a ghost the staff affectionately calls “The General.”
The general has been seen by staff and guests alike. He is dressed in a dark military uniform with gold braid, much like that of the Civil War. According to members of the Dorset staff, he is often seen in the taproom. One employee claimed to have seen him on the third floor, but his appearance there is rare. He has also been accompanied on occasion by a woman in an old-fashioned long skirt and a child. No one knows when he will make his appearance, and his exact identity is lost to antiquity, but he still likes to make an appearance now and then.
Our friends and fellow paranormal investigators, Robert Hughes and Victoria Julian-Hughes, once stayed at the Dorset Inn during one of their many tours of Vermont. As avid paranormal enthusiasts and investigators, it was natural for them to want to explore the premises during their visit. Owners Steve and Lauren Bryant allowed them to do a vigil or two around the building and even showed them the cellar, which was reported to be a part of the Underground Railroad.
During their investigations, they collected a few interesting pieces of paranormal evidence. One is what appears to be a bluish orb moving across the basement, and the others are EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). The EVP session took place in Room 35, where The General is reported to visit from time to time. Among the several questions asked during a particular EVP session, Vickie politely inquired, “How old are you?” The answer was very audible and sounded like “Ten.” Simultaneously, the lights on a piece of a spirit communication device lit up and stayed lit. She then asked, “Where did you come from?” A faint, one-word answer came through, “Here.”
The rest of the investigation was quiet, but it appears they may have contacted the child’s spirit that sometimes accompanies the ghost of The General, or perhaps it is altogether another spirit. With a place that is over 225 years old, it can be assured there is a lot of energy lingering within. But, do not worry, all of it is friendly and positive. That is why the Dorset Inn is such a wonderful place to visit and stay; it has the endorsement of some permanent guests. If they are not in a hurry to leave, then it must be a nice place to relax, at least for an evening or two, while basking in the history and hospitality the inn offers.