October 21, 2021

Spooky season may stir restless spirits

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Three Bear Inn owner Sharon Toussaint says bartenders have seen ghost-like figures passing through this original 1820 section of her restaurant in Marathon.

If you’re looking for haunted houses in Cortland County, you may have to search far and wide before finding them.

In Marathon, the 200-year-old Three Bear Inn has reportedly been the scene of ghost sightings.

Owner Sharon Toussaint said Friday that ghost sightings at the inn, located at 3 Broome St., have occurred in the old dining room, which is part of the original structure.

Toussaint has been the owner of the inn since 1987 and the reports of ghosts sightings have been occurring just as long, she said.

History of the inn dates back to the early 1800s when Abraham Brink built the original structure in 1818, Toussaint said. The tavern ran until 1833 when Brink’s son, Chester, closed it’s doors against selling “intoxicating” beverages.

For 120 years the building served as a farm and apartment house and did not operate as an inn or tavern until it passed into the hands of Lena and Henry Forshee in 1957. From that time it passed through several other owners before coming into Toussaint’s ownership.

Most of the ghost sightings happen late at night in the part of the inn’s dining room which remains from the original 1818 structure, Toussaint said.

Reports of two ghost, one man and one woman dressed in old garbs, passing across the room have been made by employees of the inn, Toussaint said. Other reports also include the dining room door to the upstairs rooms of the inn opening by itself and when employees go to shut the door, it closes by itself, Toussaint said.

Toussaint however, has not yet had an experience with the two ghostly figures but she does not discredit any of the reports made by employees. “I’ve lived upstairs and have never had anything happen,” Toussaint said.

Another report of ghost activity which dates back to the 1800s comes from Virgil.

It is reported that in the 1800s on Virgil Creek Road an older man along with his son and daughter-in-law moved in to a house on the road, said Marsha Powell, town historian.

During their time in the house the old man and his daughter-in-law did not get along and one day the old man suddenly died, Powell said.

Not too long after, a family moved into the house and it wasn’t long before they began hearing strange noises, Powell said. It was reported that the family held a seance, during which it was revealed that the old man had been poisoned.

After exhuming the body, it was confirmed that he was poisoned, Powell said.

Powell said she has not been able to find the exact location of the former house and she believes it was demolished sometime in the past.