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“Good Fun” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Haunted Cottage / Booth House

The Haunted Cottage / Booth House
43 Old Taylor Ln, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
+1 304-885-0707
Website
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Type: Mysterious Sites
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The Haunted Cottage is regretfully out of business. Due in no small part to our ability to promote and advertise ourselves being maliciously hindered, we felt it was time to move on.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator
Sterling, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good Fun”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

My husband and I, along with his siblings and their spouses, purchased a Groupon for The Haunted Cottage, and had a great time! The host is passionate about his work, and that shows throughout the roughly 2 hour experience. We enjoyed learning the history of the Jersey Devil and the story of the Mothman, and thoroughly enjoyed the seance at the end of the evening where we summoned the spirit of Jack the Ripper and were getting quite the noisy response until the host broke the circle saying that he felt an almost human touch on his right side, which seemed to concern him greatly. Some in our group believe in ghosts, and others were skeptics, but regardless of if the experience was real or for show, we had fun, and the night has provided us with a lot to laugh and talk about these past few days.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fenton, Michigan
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“What an absolute joke! The most famous resident didn't even stay here!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

Where to start and where to end!
Found this darling gem on Groupons with the following description.... "Though spectral forms and shadowy figures still reside in The Haunted Cottage, its greatest legacy is as the occasional vacation home of assassin John Wilkes Booth. Also known as the Booth House,"
Thought "Wow" this will be cool.
I should have trusted my first, second and third gut feelings when I tried to book it, I had no way to reserve an exact date. So I called the number. No answer the first time. No problem, maybe closed. Left a message. Waited a day. Called again. No answer. Left a message. Called a third time. He answered but told me he was in the middle of a tour could he call me back? Really? You answered the phone during a tour? When I finally got a hold of him I told him I was booking thru Groupons and wanted to make sure he had space in the tour I needed. He said don't book thru Groupons they take 1/2 MY money and it takes forever to get paid. Pay me direct and I will give you a deal. So I booked it but not the time I wanted. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! He said he would e-mail me a confirmation. Never came. Had to call 3 times to make sure I had a reservation.
So we got there! Holy Moley! I should have cut my loses. NO PARKING first off.
Second we came in to a dirty, musty, smelly, I mean smelly room. We sat down in cheap fold out broke down chairs around a table that was beyond gross. I don't know what was on it but it was nasty. It was a combination between candle wax, cookie crumbs, dirt bunnies and who knows what else. Our tour guide matched the table. He was smelly, coughing non stop and totally lost half the time. He kept claiming sinuses. Ummm clean the house, it would help!
He said he was waiting for 6 more people so he did a very lame palm reading on one of the only other 2 people there. She told him right off she was a librarian. And he kept going back to vague references to books, history, etc.... REALLY? Still waiting for the 6 mystery people he give us a run down of rules, etc....
NO PUBLIC BATHROOM! We were there for an overnight 8 hour thing. NO BATHROOM? We could use the bathroom at the KOA campground up the street? Seriously?
This house was so dirty that I was grateful for KOA's cleaning policy.
So back to the..... hmmmmmm tour.....
For the next hour he explained the levels of ghosts. The levels of hauntings. The levels of evidence. Asked carnival show questions to get responses he could play off. Told us all the shows on TV, Ghosthunters, Paranormal Activity, etc.... are staged and scripted. AND That despite what people may say on websites that there was no actual proof John Wilkes Booth stayed in this house.... WAIT!!!!!! WHAT????? Please refer to the beginning of this! No proof John Wilkes Booth was ever there? What? What about your own advertisement and website?
So on to the tour...... I am so laughing right now writing this!
We went into this very small room that had props right out of the Halloween store you see pop up all over America in September. Was this a joke? Nope this was what he considered a tour. He told us stories about the New Jersey Devil, Vampires, etc..... while showing props. Umm History Channel has this. Sci Fy Channel has this. This room again was a dust filled petri dish from hell. Then he had us get on a ladder to look upstairs thru a trap door. It was just a old room with a baby doll in a carriage.
So on with the tour....... By this time my contacts were covered in grime, my nose was stuffed and I was so beyond done.
So upstairs to the seance (LOL) room. We tried to go up but the light bulb was out. So he went upstairs for a few minutes to "Fix it". We finally got up to the next room with more props and he started to give us yet again a long winded speech on seance, Wee-Ji Boards, etc... and when he asked what we thought of Wee-Ji boards I said I don't ever play with them. He went on for 15 minutes how I shouldn't be afraid of them and that I was wrong for thinking they were evil. I didn't say I thought they were evil, I said I don't play with them.
Then he did some stupid parlour game with a coin that he didn't even have all the parts for.
By this point I was done and very politely left.
He said I needed to stay just a bit longer for the seance. Another 2 1/2 hours? Um nope.
This place is a joke. He is a joke. Everything he tells you could be learned on Sci Fi, the History channel and Google.
There wasn't anything haunted in that place. It was a very old house in need of a good cleaning.
Don't waste a dollar on this place!
And I am sure there will be a comment defending all the negative parts of this as thou he said in the initial rules, he reads all the comment blogs and defends himself. Defend away Vince, Defend away! Because everything I have said about this place is true!

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vincent W, Owner at The Haunted Cottage / Booth House, responded to this review, May 11, 2014
You were in a bad mood when you got there.

Interesting to come to a 200 year old haunted farmhouse and complain about "dust". Oookay. I admit, it is a constant battle, but I do what I can.

Your review was very emotional. You complained about the content of the lectures. That is problem we are going to have to live with. I can appease fans of the ghost hunting shows. I am sorry, but they are not accurate. I am sorry if this offended your perceived notions.

As far as things you are wrong about:

1. There was plenty of parking. You drove past and never even asked about it.
2. NEVER EVER said John Wilkes Booth wasn't here or there was no proof. Were you really listening? You looked half asleep. Booth stayed here, the correction was, it was not a summer home.
3. On wet or humid nights, you can smell the musky odor of the houses horse hair plaster. This came up later after you lied to us and left early.
4. Nothing I speak about is found on the History Channel or SyFy. It stands apart from that.
5. As was explained to you, we have no "public" bathroom. We can not allow the public to use it anymore since, unfortunately, others damaged it. Not our fault.
6. You came on a nice windy Spring day at the height of pollen season and was surprised I was coughing? I was coughing when you called on the phone for your reservations.
7. Yes, it was either answer your call or let you disturb my group even more since you called after 9:00 pm!
8. Those folding chairs are not cheap. They are designed for comfort and can support 800 lbs each.
9. You DID NOT call 3 times. Just once and we got it fixed.
10. I did do a quick palm reading to kill time. I was trying to give the missing people time to show.
11. DO NOT insult the curiosities room by trivializing them just because you are bitter. They ARE NOT Halloween props. They are expensive and original displays collected over years. Many of them can be found NO WHERE ELSE.
12. There was nothing polite about how you behaved. The rest of group commented after you left they we glad you were gone.
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Charles Town, West Virginia
2 reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Not even sure what to say...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

The price is reasonable...that is about the only thing I can say good because had I paid more I would probably be really upset. This is most definitely not for those with a weak stomach. While the host (I believe his name was Vince) is nice enough he really needs to make himself and his attraction more presentable. The place is filthy and the host has breath you can smell from 10 feet away. I felt like I needed to run home and take a bath when I left there (and that is just what I did!) Sadly, this COULD be a great attraction if the owner/host would clean the place up and clean himself up but he looks as if he barely has energy to walk. He also needs to drop the "know it all attitude" because it is obvious he doesn't know half as much as he thinks he does. Additionally, people go wanting to ghost hunt, not see cardboard figures, cheesy props, dead animals in jars of formaldehyde, etc. (He should lose the junk and leave the rooms open for GHOST HUNTING! There is barely room enough to turn around in there with all his "junk" ) I had my doubts when I pulled into the yard. I should have followed by intuition and left then.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vincent W, Owner at The Haunted Cottage / Booth House, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Even thought all of our advertising recommends calling in advance for reservations, I still like to take people in if they show up at the door. If I remember correctly, the reviewer showed called literally 2 minutes before showing. I was sitting down and having lunch with my family. We had pepperoni and sausage pizza. I like to dip my crust in garlic, so sorry if I did not have time to run to the bathroom and brush my teeth for you immediate arrival after rushing my family and a large JUST DELIVERED UPS order out of the way. We offered her several options for that day. She did NOT chose one with ghost hunting. Not sure how she cold know how "ghost huntable" it was. Snow and wind storms had been tearing our front yard up and I apologize for the "filth" that only Spring can fix. It is also nice to be called nice and then have your knowledge of your chosen career insulted by someone who clearly got their entire education from ghost hunting shows on TV.
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Haunted Cottage was very intetesting!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I went with a few friends a couple months back and had a great time!! He did a private tour for us which included stories and little tricks and Vince's own little "museum!" The mood was very light due to all the little jokes involved, but it was very fun nonetheless! We all sat at this big table and listened to Vince tell us stories of his ghost encounters and different myths he believed or didnt believe! We got to tour the house and see where I believe he said was the slave quarters! The one downside is you have to drive a block down the road to use the bathroom due to others ruining his. On the plus side though, you can get snacks!! I would definitely reccomend this for anyone who enjoys a good ghost story!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Honest and knowledgeable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

My wife wanted to stop in and check out the haunted cottage. Upon arriving, it appeared the place was closed, it was a holiday during the off season, so I would not have been surprised. My wife rings the doorbell, and Vince answers, when my wife asked if they where open, he said hang on a second, I'll straighten up and let you guys come in. Upon entering the house, Vince was very upfront, honest, and knowledgeable. He is not going to tell you to come in give me ten bucks and I'll show you a ghost, he will however educate you on the paranormal, and is quick to point out, a lot of what you se eon tv is just that, for tv. I would like to stop again sometime for an overnight, it's an interesting house and my wife did later on say she felt an uneasy sickness in the one room upstairs......

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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