Adjacent to the shore of Town Cove in Orleans, Massachusetts sits an aging Victorian beauty. In 1875, Aaron Snow began constructing a beautiful mansion for his wife and seven children. The time and effort it took for him to build such a magnificent structure earned its past nickname, "Aaron's Folly". He ran a store on the first floor of this six-story building which included bootlegging and burying a stash in the waters of the cove. Snow's son, William H. moved the family business in to the center of Orleans where it continues to operate under by the Snow family. Aaron died on May 10, 1892, as well as his wife. For ten long years, this Victorian structure saw no life within its walls.
Then in 1900, two sisters bought it and turned the beloved home in to a boarding house. A seedier side of life was introduced during the Roaring Twenties. Some of the female boarders decided to "entertain" male clients in their rooms, leading to a scandalous reputation for the home. Two of these prostitutes met with death a few years later, one shot to death right in front of the parking lot. The home passed through many hands, including the Irish Mafia (allegedly), until the 1940s. The days of scandal were left behind. The northeast and southwest wings were added to the structure shortly after World War II and the building became first a summer, then a year-round hotel. The business prospered but tragedy would not be a thing of the past.
In the 1970s, a bartender named Fred was found hanging in the cupola. Most immediately wrote it off as a suicide but some think it may have been murder. Some time later, a dishwasher named Paul hung himself in the basement. Ed and Lauri Maas purchased the dilapidated inn during 1996 with plans to level the property. Once they learned of its history and alleged hauntings, they invested a couple million dollars in to restoring the structure to its beautiful splendor.
Three spirits are believed to haunt the Orleans Inn: Fred, Paul and the prostitute who was killed in front of parking lot and later named after a snow family member (Hannah) after her true identity could not be obtained. Doors have been known to open and close on their own. Shadows were seen by construction workers. Cats have often been heard particularly in the closet of Room 4 although there are no cats on the property. It's believed the two sisters who owned and ran the boarding house were fond of cats. Heavy footsteps have been heard going down the stairs in to the basement, a place where Paul is believed to occupy, along with disembodied voices. Fred has been seen and heard in the bar area. Glasses have a tendency to slide off tables. Candles which are blown out suddenly become relit. "Hannah" has been known to stroll around the property naked.