Old Windham Inn

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The old inn, now an apartment building, is said to be haunted by Elizabeth (Betsy) Shaw. When unmarried Betsy turned up pregnant in 1744, the townspeople scorned and taunted her, even speculating that her own father could be the father of her baby. The child vanished after it was born, and was found dead near a cliff. Betsy’s father turned her in, some say to keep himself from being blamed. She was found guilty by an all-male jury and was hanged. Her ghost can be seen walking along the road and at the former site of the Old Windham Inn.

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Geographic Information

Scotland Rd and Windham Center Rd
Windham CT
United States

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41.69973030000001, -72.1576935
Windham County, Connecticut
Nearest Towns:
Windham, CT (0.0 mi.)
South Windham, CT (1.5 mi.)
Willimantic, CT (2.7 mi.)
Mansfield Center, CT (5.0 mi.)
Mansfield City, CT (6.0 mi.)
Baltic, CT (6.8 mi.)
Storrs, CT (8.9 mi.)
South Coventry, CT (9.0 mi.)
Lisbon, CT (10.0 mi.)
Coventry Lake, CT (10.3 mi.)


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Comments (13)

  1. I resided in an apartment at the Windham Inn during 1984. My apartment was on the second floor on the southeast side on the building. It’s the one with the fire escape going to the ground floor. I was a beautiful apartment with an open floor plan. It wasn’t unusual for us to hear strange sounds in the middle of the night. The bedroom doors had iron latches like you’d have on a gate versus traditional door knobs. On several occasions, the gate unlatched itself and swung open making an eerie creaking sound. The window panes at the time were colonial style. Each pane was about six inches square. As the inn settled the frames of the panes shifted in to a more of a parallelogram. I always thought that it was odd that the glass didn’t crack or shatter as a result. It wasn’t until years later that I found out about the legend of Elizabeth Shaw. All the unusual and potentially paranormal activity made sense. I never felt in danger at anytime but it was clear something was making it’s presence known to me while I resided there.

  2. I’ve see her walking down rt 14 and disappearing into the Windham Inn’s front door. She’s always in a long white dress, and seems to be calling for her child

    • totally true! Shelby, you are SO right, whoever you are. i saw the same thing here and it was CREEPY. i left a day early and have never been back since.

  3. Elizabeth Shaw was buried forty some years before the inn was built. She was a young teenage, simple minded girl, from now Hampton Connecticut. She was hung at Gallows hill in Windham. Buried in an unmarked grave. Gallows hill was aprox. one mile southwest of Windham Center. She was held in a jail house, near the Windham Inn, the two story jail burned down many years ago. Her father was suspected to be the father of the child. However it was found to be a neighbor. Her father by the way, rode to Hartford Ct. to stop the hanging, but was unable to get back in time to save his daughter… due to the weather. The lady in white is another ghost story not related to the
    unfortunate story of E. Shaw. The Windham is now empty and for sale. The date of the inn is on a sign on front.

  4. On June 29, 1745, Elizabeth Shaw, a “weak, simple girl, deficient in mental capacity,” gave birth to a boy in Windham, CT. She was not happy. Her son was a bastard child, which could not only bring punishment and public humiliation upon her, but also incur the wrath of her “stern and rigid” father. She decided to rid herself of the problem by taking the baby into the woods, hiding it in a nook along a ledge of rocks, and leaving it there to die.
    Town lore says that Shaw’s father grew suspicious and, implausibly, saw Elizabeth perform the deed (why didn’t he stop her or rescue the child?). When he could not get his daughter to confess the crime, he turned her over to the authorities. A search party was sent out, and they found the expired baby hidden in the rocks.
    On September 17, a large audience watched as Shaw was tried and found guilty of murder by the Superior Court, but an even larger crowd showed up on December 18 to see Shaw carted from the jail where she was being held to the gallows that was erected on a small hill one mile southwest of the Windham Green. Shaw sat on her coffin in tears as she moved through the streets, crying out, “Oh, Jesus! Have mercy on my soul!”
    Some people said afterwards that Shaw’s repentant father traveled to Hartford and procured a last-second reprieve from the governor. The father raced back to Windham, but a sudden snowstorm made the rivers impassable, so he never made it back in time to stop the execution.
    She was hung at gallows hill December 18th 1745. The Windham Inn was built in 1784.

  5. I lived at the Windham Inn around 1990. I was unaware of this story when I moved in. I kept having a repetitive dream. A young girl would come into my house to visit me. During her visit, men dressed in black with bizarre hats would come into my apartment through the windows and doors. They would command me to stay put. I was horrified. They would drag the girl out behind the Inn and hang her from the tree. All the while she would be asking me “Why are they doing this to me?” I would answer that I didn’t know. I had this same dream nearly every week when I lived there. I would also wake up to the sounds of a woman crying. I could hear someone walking around d my bed. So I always lit a candle and prayed for this lost soul to find peace. I later found out about her story. I now understand. It is tragic if she’s still around and hasn’t found peace. Poor girl. May God take her soul to rest in peace.

  6. The Windham Inn is in danger of being demolished!
    If you’re local to the area, there is a meeting on April 25, 2018 at 7PM, Windham Center School.
    Please attend and help save this piece of haunted history!

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.