PANICd - Paranormal Database PANICd - Paranormal Database

Old Iron Horse Inn

Old Iron Horse Inn paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 07/28/2017
DBA Approved: Y

Larger Map

PANICd#: 1880

Visited by PANICd

Top Paranormal Sites

The Iron Horse Inn, located on Potomac Street in Harpers Ferry, was built around 1798.

221 Potomic Street
Harpers Ferry , WV 25425
Open to the public: No

Lat: 39.32474010000001
Lon: -77.73228870000003

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 4
History: 2
Stories: 1
Claims: 5
Evidence: 0
Resources: 0
Retrievals: 6903
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 0

Rate this Location
<- Get Location Badge Code


History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

I-house. Brick house, metal roof, rubble stone foundation with stucco finish . Two stories, three front bays. Low pitched end gable metal roof and twin flush gable chimneys. Bays have 6/6 double hung sash windows and mullioned casement window. Front veranda with heavy wooden squared columns and railing. Arched windows span the masonry porch supports. Porch is a newer addition. This house is located directly across the street from the site of the main armory building and served as the home of armory officials. The original owner of the house was the U.S. Government.

Circa 1830

Added by: sdonley on 07/28/2017 DB#:297

The Iron Horse Inn, located on Potomac Street in Harpers Ferry, was built around 1798. It served as the first home to the superintendent of the U.S. Armory. During the Civil War, the building, being a government facility, housed both Union and Confederate soldiers at different times. After the war, the building was auctioned off, became a private residence, and in the late 1960s, was turned into the Iron Horse Inn. The term "Iron Horse" comes from the building's close proximity to the railroad tracks, located just across the street.

Added by: sdonley on 07/28/2017 DB#:298


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

In the early 1970s, Shirley Doughtery was the owner and proprietor of the Iron Horse Inn. It was quickly realized that she had bought more than just a restaurant...a resident ghost was thrown in for free! Trouble started when Shirley's daughter-in-law and son were closing up for the evening. As the daughter-in-law was upstairs changing clothes, she heard the door begin to shake violently. Right after, she heard the unmistakable sounds of something or someone falling down the stairs...hitting EVERY SINGLE STEP on the way down. Thinking her husband had fallen down the stairs, she quickly ran down and met him. He was in a similar state of panic, believing SHE had fallen down the stairs!

Shirley and family began asking the locals and old-timers in the area if they knew anything in the building's history that could account for such a strange phenomenon. Finally, someone came forth with the following tale:

During the time of the Civil War, the town was occupied by Union troops. A young Confederate spy was sent to infiltrate the area, and gain as much information as he could. Unfortunately, as he was walking down Potomac Street, he noticed guards up ahead. He quickly turned around and began going in the opposite direction. When the guards called out to him to stop, the boy panicked and fled into the nearest building. He ran up the stairs, and attempted to gain entry into a room at the top of the staircase. Unbeknownst to the young Confederate, he had stumbled upon a room full of Union officers. One of the officers pulled out a revolver, shooting the boy in the chest. The impact knocked him backwards, and down the stairs, where he hit each one on his way down. He was dead before he reached the bottom.

Although this series of events would most likely fall into the realm of a residual haunting, either the ghost of the fallen Confederate, or someone else, seems to still be sticking around in a more intelligent way. For over 2 months, a kerosene lamp would hurl itself across the room on a weekly basis. The ghost also likes to play with water, according to some witnesses, including one family who had water thrown at them from the area of the staircase.

According to recent sources, the building is at present unoccupied, but it still remains a stop on the Harpers Ferry Ghost Tours. In fact, it is believed that the creation of the tour is a direct result of the Iron Horse! Now deceased, Shirley Doughtery was intrigued with the history and the haunting of her restaurant, and sought out additional tales from around Harpers Ferry. As a result, the tours were born, and have been going strong ever since!

Added by: sdonley on 07/28/2017 DB#:1248

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
2427 07/28/2017 sdonley Doors and door handles have reported to shake violently.
2428 07/28/2017 sdonley Sounds of someone falling down the stairs late at night.
2429 07/28/2017 sdonley Kerosene lamp was thrown across the room on a weekly basis for two months.
2430 07/28/2017 sdonley Water has been thrown at residents by the stair case.
2431 07/28/2017 sdonley The door at the top of the stairs would unlock and open by itself during the night.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

To add evidence for a claim, you must submit it to for approval to be entered into the database.

No Evidence Reported Yet!

Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

No Reources Yet!

Location Comments

Please leave a comment about this location. Your comment can pertain to anything you find on our site about the location including: location demographics, history, claims, evidence, resources, or other comments.

If you have additional information about this location, please be sure to contribute.