Ghostly happenings puts spirited spotlight on two Owego properties

Ghostly happenings puts spirited spotlight on two Owego propertiesPictured is the Historic Parkview Inn & Pub located at 145 Front St. in Owego, which is undergoing renovations to become a hotel. Known for its haunted happenings and mysterious stories of spirits, the Parkview is a stop on the Haunted History Trail of New York State and has become a favorite trail stop year-round for true ghost-lovers and the curious alike. (Photo by JoAnn R. Walter)
Ghostly happenings puts spirited spotlight on two Owego properties

Pictured is the Calaboose Grille, located at 176 Main St. in Owego.  Another property listed on the Haunted History Trail of New York State, the restaurant, the former home to the Tioga County Jail, serves patrons inside jail cells and is also known for its ghostly stories. (Photo by JoAnn R. Walter)

The Halloween season sparks extra enthusiasm for the ghostly stories that make Owego’s Historic Parkview Inn & Pub and the Calaboose Grille stand out, and while featured on the Haunted History Trail of New York State have become favorite trail stops year-round for true ghost-lovers and the curious alike. Both establishments have garnered notoriety for their haunted happenings and mysterious tales of spirits that are said to frequent the properties.  

The owners of Owego’s Parkview, Beth and Mark Johnson, have been busy transforming their beloved property located at 145 Front Street.  Originally built in 1867, work continues at the popular dining spot, which is set to become a destination hotel in addition to their popular restaurant and pub.

Bringing life back into a property that was once a bustling hotel, 11 rooms on the second and third floors are being created, with furnishings and amenities evolving around an early 1900’s theme, along with the addition of four studio apartments.  

The added hustle and bustle of daily renovations at the Parkview has, perhaps, awakened a few more spirits.

Beth shared a story about a carpenter who was working on one of the upper floors and encountered one of those spirits.

The carpenter felt a tap on his shoulder, and, at first, Beth said, he thought nothing of it. But then, a few seconds later, he felt another tap on the shoulder. Something or someone said in his ear, “Do you work here?”

Since that experience, Beth remarked that the workers politely share a goodnight before they leave for the day, and in hopes that the spirits have not minded the disruption.

One signature story at the Parkview is about a vintage dinner bell, an old-fashioned bell that Beth found in a hotel room at the time she and Mark purchased the property, and that is known to ring at random times.

Beth explained on one evening, Mark, a friend, plus herself, were conversing after staff and guests had left, when suddenly they heard the bell go off in the kitchen. Moments later, the bell rang again.

Beth chuckled, “I actually played with the bell for a week trying to figure out how it could possibly ring on its own.”

One conclusion is that a spirit ringing the bell is that of Marguerite, a two-year old girl who, while rocking in a rocking chair in 1909, came too close to a warming fire when her blanket on the chair caught fire. Marguerite later lost her life from burns she sustained.

Other ghostly souls are said to sit at the Parkview’s famous handcrafted oak bar, one being Floyd Hooker who won $45 million from a New York State lottery ticket sold at the Parkview, and yet another being that of Hugh Dugan, an Irish immigrant who was a landlord of the original 1867 “Exchange Hotel,” and, later as owner, added onto the building.  

Three cowboy spirits believed to have murdered a man in the basement crawl space may bump elbows with you at one end of the bar. A bathroom renovation at the Parkview dug up some old bones, and likely those that belonged to the victim. 

Other mysterious secrets include a sealed-off room from a 1970’s fire that Beth discovered, and then another room, referred to as the “Crying Room” has stirred up tearful emotions of several visitors. Beth explained that a paranormal professional identified the room as the site of a child’s death.

For an exclusive experience, patrons at the Calaboose Grille, located at 176 Main St. in Owego, can dine inside jail cells that once housed inmates. The Calaboose, which is a Cajun word for “jail,” was for decades the home of the Tioga County Jail.

Original architecture and innovative details from about 1910 still exist today. According to the Haunted History Trail website, the foundation is said to have been laid down by prisoners of a chain gang who were made to work in the town stone yard when not in their cells. The story goes that the spirits of a handful of the prisoners have stayed behind.

One such suggested spirit is that of Daniel Searles, who was hanged for the murder of a Newark Valley farmer. Newspaper archives from 1880 indicate that nearly 200 spectators were present near the jail yard, and where the execution is said to have taken place.

Also according to the Haunted History Trail website,, a sampling of spooky occurrences at Calaboose include staff feeling like they are being pushed from behind when working on the second floor, the witnessing of glasses falling off empty tables, and the hurling of a wall hanging some 15 feet from where it was hung.

For more information on the Parkview, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or visit

For information about the Calaboose Grille, find them on Facebook or visit

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