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The Yankee Express

The Carriage Inn, North Kingstown, Rhode Island

By Thomas D’Agostino

The Carriage Inn, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, was founded in 1760 as an inn and tavern stop known as Old Acres. After many changes of ownership and renovations, it became Hoof, Fin & Feathers. In 2008, the restaurant’s owner brought in Ghost Hunters of Sci-Fi fame to investigate the strange goings-on inside the historic structure. There were several ghosts that allegedly called the place home. In 2014, the establishment changed hands and was renamed Carriage Inn. In 2017, Roy Ring took ownership. Though some renovations were necessary, he was adamant about keeping the building as close as possible to the original inn, when travelers visited in the 18th and 19th centuries. An upper balcony displays carriages and wagons from a long-gone era and be seen as one pulls into the inn’s parking lot. Inside, the old fireplaces and other accouterments transport guests back in time to where life was simple and much slower. There is also a walled-up door that was once the main entrance to that room, showing yet another almost lost vestige of its former life. It is, at present, a cozy, family-friendly establishment boasting fine dining, an extensive menu, daily specials, and an atmosphere that is laid back and unpretentious with historic and rustic charm.

Since taking the helm, Roy and his staff have worked to make the Carriage Inn a special place to visit for a drink, a meal, or a special event. They have also experienced a lot of paranormal phenomena that seem to have stayed on through the centuries.

An area near the entrance shows signs of a catastrophic fire that took place in 1957. The stone wall is charred black, and despite many attempts, Ring could not rid the blocks of the stain. He related a story of one of the ghosts, a little boy who is heard crying because his father was killed in the fire. Not only did people hear the phantom sobbing, but Roy took a photo of the wall and caught a misty figure standing in front of it. The visage of a little girl with burn scars is also seen in the lower rooms near the fireplace. She may have been burned in the great fireplace that still occupies that room.

Other strange phenomena include shadows passing through the rooms, a drawer that refused to open until it was good and ready, a lock on a basement door that began swinging on its own, and female voices heard upstairs. Female bartenders have been shoved, slapped on the backside, grabbed by the shoulder and turned around. They also had their hair pulled in front of staff and patrons. Ring said he had witnessed their hair raise and get tugged, causing the bartender’s neck to jerk backward. He surmised that men did not like women tending the bar back in the day.

There is also a ghost of a woman who wanders dressed in clothing from the 18th or early 19th century. A man dressed in a black suit is also seen carrying a book. Perhaps the book was a ledger or guest book from when the place was an inn for overnight guests. There are also rumors that the inn was once a brothel, and some of the ghosts may be from that era in the building’s history. Another child also haunts the inn, pleading for someone to play with him. Cold spots that suddenly come and go and disembodied footsteps are common occurrences at the Carriage Inn. The spirits of the inn are not harmful in any way; they go about their business as they did when they were of mortal frame.

Dining With The Dead 1031 is hosting interactive paranormal investigations and dinners at the Carriage Inn throughout 2024. Guests get a wonderful buffet dinner, and the event includes door prizes and a presentation of the inn and its haunts. The guests then break into smaller separate groups, where each group, in turn, investigates the haunted areas of the inn using the equipment that is provided in each room. Guests are encouraged to use their equipment or phones to record the investigation. All evidence from video to audio is then gone over and sent to the guests via email. Visit for more information.

Other events, including Psychic Nights and Comedy Shows, are held throughout the year. The Carriage Inn is also available for private parties and catering. 1065 Tower Hill Rd, North Kingstown, RI. 401-294-0466.