“Wake up! We’re leaving!”
Her husband’s sharp exclamations awoke her from her sleep. Groggy and
disoriented, for a moment she forgot where she was. Then she remembered—room
216, at the Fryemont Inn. Her favorite room. Their favorite room. One she had
slept in many times. She looked at her husband who was hastily throwing clothes
in his suitcase.
“What’s going on?” she asked. He turned and looked at her.
“I just woke up and Amos Frye was standing at the foot of the bed,” he said.
Amos Frye had been dead for 12 years.
In the early 1930s the couple had stayed in room 216, along with their toddler daughter, for an entire season. The man had been an engineer for Alcoa, sent to the area to assess the property purchased for the site of the future Fontana Dam. Later there would be housing for the builders of the dam, but Fontana Village was yet to be constructed and the family needed a place to live for several months.
They approached Amos and Lillian Frye about becoming permanent residents at the Inn for one season. A happy arrangement was reached and they moved into room 216. They grew to be close friends with the Fryes, often dining together or playing cards. Lillian and Amos became temporary surrogate grandparents to their daughter. At the end of the season they returned home, but kept in touch. In 1935, Amos died.
In 1947, the couple returned to spend a week with Lillian. Their visit lasted less than 24 hours.
Decades later, the woman would tell innkeeper George Brown, “You have to understand, my husband was an engineer. He didn’t believe in ghosts. But he refused to ever again step foot in the Fryemont Inn.”
Although Sue and George Brown have never personally seen or heard anything supernatural, they did have an odd experience. Sue had been working in the kitchen, when late one night she approached the office where George was posting room bills. Pen in hand, he had dozed off. She gently nudged him awake and both were bewildered by what they saw. While sleeping, George had written on a room bill, “Who is here tonight?” Perfect sentence, properly spelled and punctuated—in somebody else’s handwriting!
In 2014, Sue Brown was contacted by a young lady—a former guest—with an interesting proposal. She had been a frequent guest, along with her mother and her aunt, when she was a young teen. Her visits here, she said, had been the beginning of her interest in the paranormal, and now she and several friends had formed a company dedicated to the investigation of paranormal activity. She wanted to bring her team to the Fryemont Inn. Somewhat bemused, Sue agreed.
A week or so after the Inn had closed for the season, the team arrived. They spent the night with their equipment—infrared camcorders, electronic voice phenomena recorders, temperature sensors and more. In the upstairs hallway they noticed several sudden drops in temperature. Was it drafts or something else? In the dining room one of them felt the presence of a young girl. The girl was dressed for a party and had a blue bow in her hair. Could it be ESP or an overactive imagination? But the EVP recorder was interesting. The device scans high frequency “white noise.” It clearly recorded what sounded like a male voice saying, “Good job, Betty.”
“It’s my first visit to the Fryemont Inn”, said the nicely dressed middle-aged woman, “and everything was wonderful.”
“I loved the food and the fireplaces”, she told the front desk clerk. “Can’t wait to come back.”
She turned toward the front door, stopped, and turned back.
“You know,” she said matter-of-factly, “you have a presence here.”