Do You Dare Spend a Night at 1867 Parkview Inn, the Haunted Hotel in Owego?
October 25, 2023
A dinner bell ringing in a defunct kitchen. Ghostly figures at the bar. Bumping into someone who isn’t there. Sounds of someone weeping in an empty room. The historic hotel in downtown Owego, New York has many stories to tell. And many unexplainable experiences that can only be described as other-worldly. Through over 150 years of its history, the inn has been the site of many unusual events and deathly tragedies. Now, the 1867 Parkview Inn has been beautifully restored, welcoming visitors from all around. But behind the modern renovations, will you encounter a ghostly guest from its past?
Thank you to Tioga County Tourism and Beth Johnson at 1867 Parkview Inn for hosting me with my cousin.
The History of 1867 Parkview Inn
The story of the Parkview Inn begins as many haunted tales do – with a fire. But before we get into that, let’s take a step back to the origins of Owego and the sordid history of the inn.
The Exchange Hotel
The village of Owego was establish in 1787. It was incorporated 60 years later, in 1827. In 1854, a man named Robert Cameron purchased the property at the corner of Front Street and Park Street. There he built the Exchange Hotel. A little over a decade later, the hotel burned. Records state that a granite slab was embedded in the building’s exterior wall. It stated:
"Burnt by the torch of vile incendiaries & thieves Oct 5, 1867. Rebuilt & occupied by R. Cameron & sons Jan 1, 1868."
The Temperance House & The Dugan House
A few years later Cameron hired an Irish immigrant, Hugh Dugan as the ‘hotel keeper’. Dugan lived at the hotel full time with his family. After several years, Dugan purchased the property in 1882 for just $7,500. He renamed the hotel “Temperance House”.
But the name only lasted a short time. Unfortunately, Dugan passed away three years later, leaving the property and business to his wife and son. Jeanette remarried and ran the newly renamed “Dugan House” until it was sold again in 1909 to Isaac Norton and William Barry.
The Page Hotel
Norton and Barry ran the hotel together for a few more years before it sold, yet again. Charles and Lillian Page purchased the building and renamed it the Page Hotel. Over the next quarter-century, the Pages were on-again, off-again owners amidst a slew of other entrepreneurs. During this time, the hotel was painted white and the iconic second-floor balcony, reminiscent of New Orleans style buildings, was added. When Charles died in 1940, Lillian sold the hotel to their daughter, Alice Shaufler.
The Parkview Hotel
In 1946, the hotel found new owners, a new paint job, and a new name. Again. This time the new owners, John and Rose Kaufelt, painted the building red and renamed it to the Parkview. Over the next several decades, the hotel’s ownership continued to change hands more often than you’d buy a new car. Joe McTamney and his family owned it for the longest period of the late 1900s, and was the one who painted it green in 2008.
The 1867 Parkview Inn Today
If you are someone that believes everything happens for a reason, then you can appreciate the inn’s crazy history. Because eventually it led to its owners today: Beth and Mark Johnson. And Beth believes in its fate too. She felt a calling to purchase the property, as if it was meant to be. When I visited the Parkview Inn, I had the chance to sit down with Beth and talk about her journey purchasing the property.
In 2011, as the Johnson were getting ready to purchase the property, Tropical Storm Lee came through Owego and flooded the entire building. It destroyed what was already in great disrepair. The upper floors hadn’t been used in 75 years! To say that the inn needed someone to come in and show it some love would be a huge understatement. But Beth and Mark were up for the job.
In addition to the hotel on the upper floors, the first floor of the building remains a restaurant and pub. It’s name, Dugan house, is in honor of longtime owner Hugh Dugan. And yes, his ghost is said to be seen sitting at the bar often.
So with so much history, there are sound to be some sordid tales throughout the inn’s past. In fact, owners, workers, and guests alike have all had stories to tell about unusual experiences at the hotel. And during the Johnsons’ renovations, they uncovered several interesting finds. Together, these occurrences have placed the Parkview Inn on the Haunted History Trail of New York State.
Parkview Inn’s most famous spirit is that of a 2-year-old girl named Marguerite. Legend has it that Marguerite was curled on on a rocking chair by the fireplace, trying to get warm in 1909. Unfortunately, her blanket caught on fire and she sustained life-ending burns.
Workers at the hotel say they often hear the dinner bell ring in the kitchen when no one else is around. They think that is Marguerite’s way of letting them know she is around, and having a bit of fun.
The spirit most often seen around the property is that of longtime owner, resident, and restaurant namesake, Hugh Dugan. Many people have reported that they’ve seen Hugh sitting at the bar, tipping back a pint or two.
The Homicidal Cowboys
Hugh isn’t the only one who is regularly seen at the bar. People have also witnessed a trio of cowboys sitting there. The men were rumored to have murdered a another man in the basement. During the recent renovations, human bones were, in fact, discovered in the hotel.
On St. Patrick’s Day 1999 Floyd Hooked visited the pub and bought a lottery ticket that would change his life. He won 45 million dollars. Rumors say that he still comes around and visits the bar that was so lucky for him.
The Mother without her Child
On one of the upper floors, crying is often heard down the hallway. Paranormal investigators have visited the spot and report that a woman lost her baby in one of the rooms. And now she lingers at the sight of the tragedy, weeping over her child that never got to grow up.
Another room was uncovered during renovations that had apparently been sealed off. The room was said to be the site of a tragic fire in the 1970s