Pineapple Hill Bed
An encounter . . . . PINEAPPLE HILL BED AND BREAKFAST
Innkeepers: Kathy & Charles Cookie Triolo, 1324 River
I first saw the Pineapple Hill Bed and Breakfast three years ago while
I was living in New Hope to work on a novel. Sitting back from River
Road on a small hill, the restored 1790 colonial manor house instantly
captures the eye with its beauty . . . but my eyes were drawn more
directly to the single window beneath the peaked roof.
There was something about that window that drew my attention every
time I passed by.
I never spoke to the innkeepers, however, having learned the hard
way that there are some people who really dont want to know
their homes may be occupied by more than just themselves.
Then, almost two years later, I got an e-mail from a freelance director
named Rob Child who wrote that he was about to start work on a documentary
about New Hope, PA. He found my name when he ran a web search looking
for anyone or anything connected with the town.
And with its ghosts.
My web site has both mention of the town and ghosts, so he thought
I might be interested in working with him on the documentary, AMERICAS
MOST HAUNTED TOWN (Luminence Films). I told Rob I was and immediately
made arrangements to fly back to New Hope. During the month I worked
with Rob on the documentary, I witnessed a number of events which
Ill write about in other columns . . . but the most impressive,
to me at least, was the night I spent in the attic room at Pineapple
Both Kathy and Cookie Triolo not only know theyre
sharing their inn with ghosts, but accept their unseen visitors as
part of the charm of the manor house. In fact, the Kissing Ghost
who wanders the second floor bestowing gentle kisses on womens
cheeks, has been written about in a number of books. But it was the
attic room, supposedly the most haunted room at the inn, that Rob
wanted me to investigate.
To get to the Tomlinson, a lovely two room suite with a working fireplace
in the bedroom and cozy sitting room, one must climb the narrow servants
staircase from the second floor; and I have to admit that its position
in the house, directly under the eaves, couldnt be more perfect
for a haunted room. The Tomlinson shares the uppermost floor with
another suite, but that night which (naturally) was dark and
storming I was to have not only the floor to myself but the
original section of the house.
I have to admit, this did send a bit of a shiver up my spine when
I was told this I am human but that apprehension disappeared
when I opened the door and walked into the bedroom. The room was warm
and comfortable and I instantly felt at home. Of course, the first
things I did was look out the window and was a bit disappointed
when I didnt feel anything. Darn.
Rob had already done some research on the room and told me that a
number of guest had been awakened in the night by what they described
as the sound of a spinning wheel turning. As there was
a spinning wheel in the room, my job along with getting whatever
feelings I could from the room was to set up a
video camera facing the spinning wheel before I went to bed.
Kathy Triolo also suggested that I might like to look at the rooms
journal. Each room at Pineapple Hill has a room journal where guests
can write down comments or suggestions. At first I was reluctant.
I didnt want my perception to be swayed by anything I read,
but eventually, I sat down and began glancing through the pages.
There were a number of entries about guests being woken up by the
sounds of a spinning wheel turning in fact, one man wrote that
after being roused for a third time he called out that he had to get
up early in the morning and asked whoever it was to please stop making
noise . . . and was rewarded with silence for the rest of the night
as well as an equal number of comments about the stuffiness
or thick air of the sitting room.
I was in the sitting room at the time and didnt notice anything
particularly stuffy about the air. True, the room has no window, but
the air seemed fresh and clean to me.
It was almost ten when I finished reading the journal and there hadnt
been so much as a creak from the spinning wheel in the corner, so
I decided to compensate for a so far uneventful evening (ghost-wise)
with a little TV. The following section is transcribed directly from
the notes I made that evening:
March 29, 2001 Thursday, Pineapple Hill Inn 10:15 PM
Everyones gone now and Im here in the spinning wheel room.
Everythings calm, everythings still. The TV is on, USA,
showing The Last Don. Im not frightened,
nor am I afraid. There is nothing but peace and the feeling of security
here. And yet There is a heaviness in my chest and a feeling
of tightness in my throat. I can breathe, but not easily. My heart
is pounding as if Ive just run a mile uphill . . but there is
still nothing but peace and stillness in the room. In fact, I feel
at peace despite the hammering of my heart. Very strange.
The air is heavy here, hard to breathe but I think its
because someone had trouble breathing. That she had trouble breathing
for some reason.
10:30 The feeling of heaviness is passing. Its getting
easier to breathe. Heart no longer pounding. The sensation of peace
remains. Now that I understand, she seems content.
When nothing else happened, I finished watching the movie and then
set up the video camera and went to bed. I had my doubts about the
camera actually catching something. The spinning wheel
that was in the room was only for show . . . the one the guests heard,
I felt, was as much a ghost as the spinner herself.
Sometime later I couldnt see the clock on the mantel
I was awakened by a rhythmic whirring sound. My first thought
was that the heater had kicked in and this was what guests had thought
was the sound of a ghostly spinning wheel. Again I was disappointed
and would have gotten up to turn off the video camera if I had been
able to move. I was flat on my back legs together, right arm
bent at the elbow, hand curled on my chest, and my left arm was straight
at my side. The only thing I could move was my head, and then only
from side to side.
It felt as though my body, from the neck down, had fallen asleep.
Surprisingly, all I felt was the same sense of peace that Id
felt earlier and fell back to sleep.
I was woken three more times that night and each time to the sound
of whirring. And each time I woke in the same frozen position. The
last time I woke up, and even though I suspected it was just the heater,
I said Okay, I hear you. Good night.
When I woke up again, it was morning and I was curled onto my right
side. Then the heater came on and I heard only a soft hissing as warm
air filled the room. I apologized to the spinners ghosts as
I put the video camera away. As I suspected, the spinning wheel it
had been aimed at remained still throughout the night, although I
think the audio may have picked up the whirring sounds.
Rob Child came to pick me up later that morning. Wed just descended
the attic stairs and were moving toward the staircase that led to
the kitchen when I began telling him about what had happened in the
sitting room shortness of breath, heart pounding when
I reached out to grab the newel post . . . and immediately experienced
the same thing. I must have gone pale, because Rob asked me if I was
all right. I told him I was fine and, when I let go of the post, I
was. There was no shortness of breath, no pounding heart, nothing
of what Id just fell. When I touched the post again, the manifestations
And then I understood.
The spinner had lived and died in the attic room of consumption. Thats
why the air in the sitting room her chamber when she was alive
feels so heavy and why I experienced her struggle for breath.
Despite this, the haunting is a gentle one. She only wants to be recognized,
if not remembered. Just be sure to tell her Good night
before you go to sleep.
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