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    Thursday, July 25, 2024

    Captain Grant’s Inn in Preston featured in Netflix show on haunted sites

    Carol Matsumoto shows the Adelaide room at Captain Grant’s Inn Friday, October 14, 2022 in Poquetanuck. The inn will be featured on a Netflix show “28 Days Haunted” streaming starting October 21st. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Captain Grant’s Inn Friday, October 14, 2022 in Poquetanuck. The inn will be featured on a Netflix show “28 Days Haunted” streaming starting October 21st. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Preston ― As the owner of what is called one of America’s most haunted places, Carol Matsumoto stopped being surprised long ago at requests from ghost hunters to conduct paranormal investigations at the Captain Grant’s Inn on Route 2A in Poquetanuck.

    But the request in April 2021 from MAK Pictures in Los Angeles was different. The crew wanted to rent the entire seven-room inn for 28 days in July and August 2021, with no one else allowed in – not the owners, staff or other guests. And Matsumoto could not tell anyone about it.

    Matsumoto recently received an email from the executive producer of the Netflix show, “28 Days Haunted” giving her the all-clear to announce to friends, neighbors, guests and the media that the 1754 Captain Grant’s Inn will be one of three most-haunted buildings in America to be featured in “28 Days Haunted,” a Netflix show scheduled to be released Oct. 21. The other two buildings are in Denver, Colo. and Madison, NC.

    The 87-second trailer gives teasers of what the three teams encountered at the three locations, with fast-paced clips of ghost hunters running up staircases, shouting things like, “I just saw a full-out shadow!” and “What the hell was that?” and “I just saw something coming into the room with us. It just flew right here into the middle.” Along with several bleeped-out words.

    MAK Pictures founder and President Mark Kadin said all six episodes of the show will be available starting Friday, and each will have segments from the three locations.

    The concept was derived from theories put forth by famous Connecticut paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. They proposed that the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds would weaken with 28 days of exposure. So crews spent 28 days at each location, shut off from the outside world, with no internet and prior knowledge of their destinations, Kadin said.

    “At MAK Pictures, we’re always up for a challenge,” a statement on the company website’s home page says. “That’s why we’ll go to the ends of the Earth to discover the most compelling characters and bring back their untold, unforgettable stories. No matter the location, genre or subject matter, taking audiences into new worlds is our passion and why we love what we do.”

    Watching the trailer for “28 Days Haunted,” Matsumoto identified several clips from Captain Grant’s, including the wide main staircase. The Adelaide Room on the second floor is the most haunted room in the house, Matsumoto said, more specifically the bathroom off the side of the room. Another shot showed the inn’s basement.

    Matsumoto places diaries in all the rooms for guests to write their experiences. On one page in the Adelaide Room diary, one guest drew the outline of a woman’s face. On the opposite page, one guest, wrote that they felt “light touches” and one said in the kitchen, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a woman in her 50s with light brown hair.

    The Captain Grant’s Inn has been featured multiple times on TV networks. The “Press” page on the inn’s website now lists the upcoming “28 Days Haunted” series at the top, followed by lists of previous TV, newspaper and magazine features, including “Psychic Kids” in 2010 and “Portals to Hell,” produced by Jack Osborn in 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

    Matsumoto said she knew nothing of the hauntings when she bought the dilapidated historic farmhouse in February 1994. Intense renovations took over a year before her first bed and breakfast rooms opened Memorial Day weekend 1995.

    She said she could no longer ignore comments and questions from guests about noises, bumps in the night, images and unexplained experiences when in 1999, a New York City detective complained that she and her husband, Ted, were the rudest innkeepers he had seen, with constant stomping and banging in the attic above his room. Carol Matsumoto showed him that the attic was stacked with lumber for continued renovations, and no one could walk or stomp on the boards.

    In 2017, Matsumoto wrote “The Ghosts of Captain Grant’s Inn,” published by Llewellyn Publications. The book recounted her experiences from before she purchased the house through fortuitous – miraculous – events that aided her through the process.

    Matsumoto found she has an affinity with the spirits of the Captain Grant’s Inn, named for a 19th century owner, a sea captain who died at sea off Cape Hatteras, N.C., leaving pregnant wife, Mercy Adelaide and two children.

    “Although Mercy died in the 1800s,” Matsumoto wrote in her book, “she continues to occupy the home, as does one of her children. She says that she is still waiting for the captain to return.”

    One day, a paranormal investigator came to the inn with L-rods, two L-shaped copper rods, the shorter leg of the L sheathed in copper tube, which allow the rods to spin freely while a person grasps the shorter legs, the sheaths acting as handles of sorts.

    When Matsumoto first grasped the rods, they spun “like helicopter blades,” she recalled, and she dropped them on the table. She was reluctant to try again but eventually grew comfortable with using the rods, and with the Grant’s Inn spirits. Especially Deborah.

    Deborah, not a member of the Grant family, died at age 5 in the 1700s. She never lived in the house but is buried in the old cemetery that abuts the inn’s grounds. On Thursday, Matsumoto picked up the rods and asked if Deborah was there. The rods separated to 180-degrees apart. That means yes, Matsumoto said. She asked if Deborah liked the toy tea set that sits in the dining room. The rods spread apart to say “yes.”

    Matsumoto recounted the chilling story of the tea set in her book. A woman called the inn to make reservations for a stay. When the woman arrived, she carried a toy tea set. She apologized to Matsumoto that it wasn’t new. She had stopped at an antique store on the way and bought it.

    Matsumoto was puzzled. The woman said the little girl, Deborah, who was on the phone with them had asked for the tea set.

    And over the years, Matsumoto said, Deborah “plays” with the tea set, moving it around here and there.

    Her book is out of print, but Matsumoto said she plans to contact the Minnesota publishing company to try to get a second printing. She’s hoping “28 Days Haunted,” brings more business to the inn during the winter slow season. She doesn’t have to worry about October, she said, especially Halloween. She already is decorating for the upcoming holiday. Halloween night has been sold out since March, she said.

    Neatly folded T-shirts are printed with “I Survived a Night at Captain Grant’s.”

    c.bessette@theday.com

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