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Haunted Garden House Bed and Breakfast
While dining at LaBinnah Social Club in Hannibal, Missouri, my friend and I engaged our friendly waiter, Arif Dagin, in a conversation about the Garden House Bed and Breakfast located a few blocks up the street. Arif rents a room in the B & B, and assists Innkeeper Chris. Arif told me he had experienced some paranormal occurrences there, and I am always interested in hearing a good ghost story.
When Arif first arrived in the United States from Turkey on June 06, 2006, he didn’t believe in ghosts. After only a short time in the Garden House, Arif began to change his mind. He had heard the story of Melissa Sexton, who had stayed at the bed and breakfast while managing LaBinnah.
Melissa stayed only a few nights, before taking lodging elsewhere because of the ghostly activity she observed. She heard footsteps walking around at night, and smelled men’s cologne when there should be none. Her Siberian Husky began to act strange, as if he was being tormented.
One night, Melissa saw a “translucent figure which scrambled away in the kitchen.” It seemed to “bounce off the walls,” and “then to concentrate itself into a blue dot.” Melissa left the bed and breakfast immediately. Soon after, she left Hannibal altogether.
The first step in Arif’s transformation into a full-fledged believer, was a photograph that he almost deleted from his digital camera, because he thought it wasn’t any good. Something urged him to look a bit deeper, and in the reproduction of the Iris Dining Room, he discovered the shape of a man’s face, and a huge, very bright orb, as well as some other unexplainable dazzles of light in the photograph.
Arif was still resistant to the idea of a ghost, and thought little more about it, until the next life-changing event
Sometimes Arif stayed alone in the Garden House, when Chris was out-of-town, and there were no overnight guests.
The dining room table (yes it’s that pesky Iris Dining Room again) was always kept fully set with plates, silverware, etc.
One morning, Arif walked downstairs to discover the silverware scattered all over the table. Alone in the house with only one other guest, Arif just assumed the boarder was a rude one. The next morning, alone with a different guest, Arif awakened to the same scenario: silverware scattered all over the table. How can two different guests on two different nights be so rude? On the third morning, when Arif awakened to the scattered silverware, he knew it was no guest. There weren’t any. He was alone in the Garden House. Arif was well on his way to being convinced.
One snowy winter day in 2007, Arif’s classes were canceled, and he was looking forward to a nice relaxing snow day at home in the Garden House. There were no guests, and Chris was in Chicago.
Arif fell asleep about 10 that night, but was awakened at 12:25 a.m. by the sound of footsteps tromping around downstairs. Who could it be? Chris wouldn’t have had time to get back from Chicago. Was it a burglar? Why did this have to be the one day he didn’t have his cell phone with him? It was downstairs charging.
Arif jumped up and locked his bedroom door, thinking “take whatever you want.” He looked at me with a sheepish grin, telling me he’s a chicken. He heard someone running around all over downstairs. Then, he heard the foosteps coming up the stairs to where his bedroom was located. They went into the room next to his.
Arif thought, “that’s enough,” and summoning all his courage, grabbed a bottle for protection. He stepped into the hallway, stood in front of the open door into the next room, reached his hand in quickly, and snapped on the light. There was nothing there. He called, “Hello.” No response. He looked in every nook and cranny, but there was nothing there.
Thoroughly frightened now, Arif rushed out of the room and back into his own. Immediately, Arif heard footsteps running back down the stairs. He flew out of his room, prepared to chase the intruder, but the sound of the footsteps stopped halfway down the stairsteps!
Arif turned on every light in every room on every floor. He spent the entire night looking everywhere, all over the entire bed and breakfast, but didn’t find a thing out of place . . . not even the silverware! In addition, the screen door leading outside was locked . . . from the inside!
Arif considered calling the police, but didn’t know what to say to them. When Chris called the next morning, and heard Arif’s story, he knew immediately was the culprit had to be. “You know that’s the ghost,” he said to Arif. “Yeah,” Arif agreed, “that’s right.”
Arif now has no doubt that ghosts exist. His plea to the spirits is a simple one, “Okay, I believe in you. Don’t appear to me anymore.” For the most part, Arif’s wishes are respected., although many guests continue to report orbs and other odd encounters in the Garden House.
In 2006, representatives from NBC’s Today Show contacted the Garden House Bed and Breakfast to film a documentary that October. They had found numerous comments online, submitted by previous guests of the Garden House, telling about orbs and other paranormal experiences while staying there. After filming the segment, The Today Show listed the Garden House Bed and Breakfast as one of the top ten places in the United States to sleep with a ghost.
Gilbert, Joan. Missouri Ghosts III. MoGho Press. 2007.
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