Audrey and Orville Orr, owners of the Buxton Inn since 1972, said they never advertise their inn as haunted, but the stories of the ghosts that inhabit the 199-year-old building have gotten around, resulting in recognition by TripAdvisor.com as one of the "10 Most Haunted Hotels in America."
Orville Orr said that when he and his wife first purchased the property, they didn't even want to talk about the strange happenings at the hotel, being of a conservative background. Even when he saw the apparitions with his own eyes, he says he didn't want to believe it. "I couldn't understand it."The inn was originally a tavern and has operated continuously since 1812, on a major road heading west through which many supplies were traded and travelers passed. By 1972, there was talk of razing the building for a parking lot, but the Orrs stepped in and completed a full authentic restoration of the four buildings and 25 guest rooms. Major Buxton was one of the owners and operators of the inn from 1865-1902 and can periodically still be spotted on the first floor of the main building. Ethel "Bonnie" Bounell was an owner from 1934-1960 and her favorite scent of gardenias can still sometimes be smelled wafting through the hallways. The Orrs have long made peace with their permanent guests. "A psychic told us we don't want to get rid of them, they like coming back to visit," says Orville. The Orrs wish to respect their predecessors' dignity by not hyping the ghosts, but they don't mind when the curious come to see if they can experience them too.