Fall foliage has swept the Green Mountain State, painting the leaves with vibrant colors across our valleys and hills. At present, some colors remain, and among the fallen leaves you can still find festive seasonal décor and beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, perfect for memorable photographs in Manchester, VT, and our surrounding area.
Love it or hate it, it’s coming, the end of daylight savings time is November 6th. It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we will set our clocks back one hour and “FALL BACK”. Although nights will come sooner, Manchester, VT wants to “SPRING INTO SAVINGS”, offering you special deals and experiences to brighten up your soon-to-be shorter winter days.
Read on to learn more about our lodging and shopping deals and discover our Haunted History. After all, it’s just about Halloween and we are looking forward to a spooktacular time.
STAY FOR LESS IN MANCHESTER, VT
Whether you’re traveling from afar or in need of a staycation, there is no better place to get away, relax, or get your thrill on than in Manchester, VT. You can have the best of both worlds: outdoor adventure, world-class shopping, and arts & culture; or just sit back and relax, sip some hot cocoa, and finally catch up on your reading. Your journey starts with finding the perfect place to stay.
For a limited time, many of our boutique hotels and resorts, charming inns & bed and breakfasts, modern motels, and vacation rentals are offering special deals and amenities for you. Don’t wait, BOOK NOW for stay dates beginning 10/31/22 through 03/31/23, and take advantage of these special deals before time and availability run out.
A few of the many lodging participants can be found below.
If you are looking to be within walking distance of downtown Manchester, then the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton is as close as it gets. The centrally located 97-room hotel is just steps from many local shops, retail outlets, restaurants, and cafes. Reminiscent of a historic New England farmhouse, this uniquely designed hotel embodies tradition with modern sensibilities. Outdoor seating areas with a fire pit and lush landscaping welcome you and make you feel right at home.
With an indoor pool and whirlpool, it’s a welcome amenity for those traveling with children or those looking to have a soak after a day filled with outdoor winter adventures. The property offers both traditional rooms and studio suites all under one roof, with microwaves, small refrigerators, and coffee makers in every room. So, whether you’re traveling as a couple, family, or group, they have accommodations to suit your needs!
Within minutes of downtown, you can wake up each morning to one of the most spectacular mountain views in Manchester at the North Shire Lodge. Every room has a view of the Green and Taconic Mountain Ranges rising above the historic Battenkill Valley and they have all been recently remodeled. Guests who book direct (via web or by phone) can head over to the lodge each morning where you will receive a free, full, freshly-cooked breakfast.
The North Shire Lodge has private, clean & comfortable accommodations at the foothills of Mt. Equinox, and it’s one of the most scenic and historic places in the area. Each room has a sliding glass door leading out to your own private patio. What better place to take in the beautiful mountain views? Your uniquely designed room has cathedral ceilings and all the amenities you would expect from any quality hotel, inn, or bed & breakfast. Come stay with this us and explore the region.
Located in the historic Manchester Village is The Wilburton. A majestic destination resort crowning a 30-acre hilltop estate. With two turn-of-the-century mansions, spacious vacation homes, romantic suites, and a marble celebration pavilion, The Wilburton is a canvas for the Vermont vacation of your dreams.
Choose one of the rooms from the Maxwell Suites, a brick cottage with four spacious ground-floor guest rooms, located just a stone’s throw away from the main mansion. All suites have private ensuite bathrooms, TVs, microwaves, Keurig coffee makers, and mini-fridges. The Maxwell Suites offers you convenience, comfort, and privacy, and with 30 acres as your playground, why not build a snowperson, go snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing? Just 15 minutes to Bromley Mtn and 30 Minutes to Stratton Mtn, it’s the perfect home base for your next ski adventure. Don’t forget, pre-approved dogs are welcome in all four guest rooms for an additional $40/per dog, per night. As recent winners of TripAdvisor’s 2022 Travelers Choice BEST of the BEST Award, USA News & World Report’s top 10 hotels in Vermont, and USA Today’s top 10 dog-friendly hotels in New England, why wouldn’t you make The Wilburton your home away from home?
To see the full list of participating Hotels and Resorts, Inns, Bed and Breakfasts, and Motels, head to our Stay for Less page here: manchestervermont.com/stayforless/
SHOP EARLY, SHOP LOCAL AND SAVE
With cooler weather setting in and the holidays just around the corner, what better time to get out and SHOP Manchester? With world-class designer outlets, a host of boutiques, one-of-a-kind shops, and artisan galleries, you’ll find the latest styles in clothing and gear, specialty foods, home goods, and inspired one-of-a-kind gifts for that special someone, or… why not just pamper yourself? Take a stroll down Main + Depot Streets and experience the best shopping in Southern Vermont. With almost endless places to shop, and the Green and Taconic Mountain ranges in the distance, the views and deals are hard to beat. This season, Shop Early, Shop Local, and Save in Manchester, and visit any of our participating local retailers offering incredible deals and incentives to shop with us on Nov 11, 12, & 13, 2022.
Between all the shopping and excursions, you’ll want to keep your energy up. So, take some time and taste the flavors of Manchester. Whatever you may be craving, you can trust in the talents of the local bakers, chefs, artisans, baristas, bar keeps, and chocolatiers
Mystic Restaurant and Bar is a fantastic spot to grab a delicious and unforgettable meal. Serving lunch and dinner, Mystic is a one-of-a-kind culinary establishment with a menu inspired by the idea of simple and honest cooking. Menu items are created using fresh and sustainable ingredients—taking you on a culinary journey like no other. Each dish reflects their passion for high-quality food presented in a simple yet pleasing manner. Dive right in and take a bite; reserve with them today!
For a great lunch on the go, head to The Works Café. Good food for great people and a better planet. Today, The Works Café still reflects the early idealism of its founders from 1988. For a speedy pickup, order ahead! Visit workscafe.com to place an order online. Get access to special offers and earn loyalty rewards with the Works Café app.
To see a complete list of our culinary masters and their offerings visit our TASTE section.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention what comes at the end of this glorious month. Of course, we are speaking of Halloween. If you’re not a fan of the supernatural, don’t fear, because there is always plenty of hauntingly good fun to be found in Manchester, VT. Enjoy Halloween-themed celebrations that seem to sweep the town from Trick or Trunk with the Northshire Day School or the M.E.M.S. Halloween Parade, or bring the whole family to Halloween on the Hill at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Looking for a haunted house? EQX is hosting the spookiest, scariest Halloween haunted house event on Saturday, Oct. 29th at the EQX house: Frightmare on Elm St.! Parties of 8 people will be lead on a spooky tour of the haunted studio plus plenty of other surprises, with cider donuts and tasty fall beverages, too!
Check out our Daily Events Calendar to learn about all area events.
If you’re feeling extra brave and would like to take on some of Manchester, Vermont’s most haunted history then read on.
Now that the leaves have fallen, branches lay bare, darkness falls sooner, and jack-o-lanterns light up the landscape, even a simple drive along the Northshire’s back roads can be a bit spooky. Be sure to keep an eye out for the countless centuries-old cemeteries tucked away in the surrounding areas, including the ones right here in Manchester. If you’re really looking for some paranormal activity, local folklore reveals a few historic hotspots that have attracted ghost hunters for years.
The Equinox Resort & Spa
Mary Todd Lincoln spent several summers in Manchester and although she planned to return in 1865, those plans were cut short when her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated. According to the Only in Your State article, this Vermont hotel Is among the most haunted places in the nation: “Mary Todd Lincoln first visited the Equinox during the summer of 1864. She made reservations to visit again the following year with her husband and a special suite was even constructed in anticipation of the President’s visit. But before he could visit with Mary, Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865.”
A visit to Dellwood Cemetery
Manchester’s more concretized history is not without a hint of the supernatural, highlighted in the tale of the Demon Vampire recorded by Judge John S. Pettibone in his 1860 History of Manchester.
The tale begins with the young Rachel Harris, described by Pettibone as “a fine, healthy, beautiful girl” who wed Captain Isaac Burton (a deacon of Manchester’s Congregational Church) in 1789. Less than a year later, the young bride had died of consumption (tuberculosis) following months of declining health. Burton remarried in 1791, this time to a young woman named Hulda Powell, who was also said to be healthy and handsome upon their marriage. Once again, Burton’s wife began to show signs of consumption just months after their wedding.
This time the captain’s community became possessed with rumors and theories to explain the poor health that Powell encountered. The most prominent among them proposed that Harris had returned from beyond the grave to feast on the blood of her husband’s new wife, whose health continued to decline. And if Harris’s vitals were consumed by the ailing Powell, the townspeople believed, her life would be saved.
Thus, the body of Rachel Harris was exhumed three years after her death in a ceremony that was reportedly attended by up to a thousand people. The late bride’s liver, heart, and lungs (or what remained of them) were then burned within the forge of the local blacksmith, Jacob Mead, in a sacrifice to the Demon Vampire of Manchester. According to Pettibone, “it was the month of February and good sleighing.” The ashes were then blessed and administered to Powell in an effort to exorcize the demonic disease that gripped her, although the remedy proved (maybe unsurprisingly) ineffective. In 1793, Powell also passed away from tuberculosis.
Although Dellwood Cemetery did not exist at the time, local folklore speculates that the young Rachel Harris was buried—and later exhumed—in that very same plot of land. Judge Pettibone, however, is known to be buried in Dellwood Cemetery alongside hundreds of other historic figures. Even without a sighting of the Demon Vampire of Manchester, the hauntingly beautiful grounds of Dellwood Cemetery are not to be missed.
Legends surrounding the nearby Glastenbury Mountain date back centuries, with Native American lore describing the desolate peak as cursed and ongoing reports of disappearing figures, disembodied voices, and mysterious plane crashes. Recently, the area has become known as the “Bennington Triangle” due to the multiple disappearances that have occurred on the mountain.
The string of missing persons began in 1945 with Middie Rivers, an experienced hunting guide who had spent much of his 74 years navigating Glastenbury. On November 12, Rivers was guiding four hunters up the mountain when he was separated from the group. Although an extensive search was conducted for the missing man, neither Rivers—nor his body—was ever found.
One year later, Bennington College student Paula Welden left her dorm on December 1 for a hike on the Long Trail. Many observed the young woman walking toward Glastenbury Mountain, which both the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail traverse. Beyond those final glimpses, however, Welden would never be seen again. Following her disappearance, Welden’s father coordinated a massive search effort, one that would lead to the creation of the Vermont State Police in 1947.
Along the same stretch of highway that Paula Welden was last seen on, bloodhounds tracked the scent of 8-year-old Paul Jepson to no avail in 1950. On October 12, the young boy had disappeared when his mother left to feed their livestock. According to Jepson’s father, the child had described a strong and inexplicable pull toward Glastenbury Mountain in the days preceding his disappearance.
The final disappearance took place just 16 days later when 53-year-old Frieda Langer left her campsite on the Somerset Reservoir for a hike. Along the way, Langer slipped into a stream and promised her companion that she would return after changing her clothes. When she never did return to the stream or the camp, a fifth search effort on Glastenbury commenced—utilizing helicopters alongside hundreds of volunteers. Langer’s body was found the following spring near the reservoir, although the area had been carefully searched to no avail following her disappearance. Due to decomposition, no cause of death was ever determined.
Today, the unexplainable phenomenon continues to be reported on Glastenbury Mountain and the structures that occupy it, including the Long Trail’s Goddard Shelter and the Glastenbury Fire Tower. The most popular destination, however, remains the Glastenbury ghost town on the side of the mountain. Unincorporated by the state of Vermont in 1937, the town once enjoyed a thriving logging and industrial industry prior to its decline. While many of the town’s structures have decayed, numerous foundations and other artifacts can still be found on Glastenbury Mountain.