The Carolina Inn is located on the campus of the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This AAA 4-Diamond hotel is currently on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. It boast 184 guest rooms/suites and has been a favorite for many generations. The Carolina Inn can be found online at www.carolinainn.com Our thanks and appreciation to the staff of the Carolina Inn for the opportunity and help in researching the Inn's history and conducting an investigation.
The Carolina Inn was originally built in 1924 and from day one was a popular destination and important part of Chapel Hill life. Built by University of North Carolina graduate John Sprunt Hill, the Inn was given to the University 10 years after it opened and remains on the University campus today serving it's intended function as a welcoming place for visitors to and residents of Chapel Hill. The Inn is historically significant in it's role in Chapel Hill and UNC. Architecturally it evokes a remembrance of time past with it's Mount Vernon (home of George Washington), Colonial style and ante-bellum Southern features. It is truly one of the more beautiful places on the attractive UNC campus and provides a graceful and elegant place to dine, lodge or gather for weddings and other events.
Dr. William Jacocks - a physician note for his involvement with the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, is said to remain here at the Inn, his residence during the last 17 years of his life. Dr. Jacocks is reported by all to have been a friendly, kind and gentle man with a penchant for jokes. Since his death, he appears to enjoy himself by playing such practical jokes as locking guests out of the 2nd floor room he called home. The Inn was renovated in 1990 and Dr. Jacocks' living quarters became part of several rooms. Apparently he didn't let a little thing like renovation stop him - their are still periodic reports of the new electronic locks not working and the door refusing to open, once even requiring the intervention of a maintenance worker with a ladder to gain access to the room. Other minor mischief and reports have been gathered and will be investigated as well. Harmless to all (indeed he rather seems to enjoy guests), Dr. Jacocks lends a little historical cache to the Carolina Inn.
Investigation took place July 14, 2002 for approximately 4 hours, with Micki Rowlette and Jim Hall present. Three rooms (all rooms that have reported activity and/or are part of the original Jacocks living quarters) were the subject of this particular night and allowed us to set up and secure equipment in several locations, keeping them secure and untampered with. It seems that the reported activity does (for the most part) center in these rooms and not in other rooms or parts of the hotel.
Preliminary walk through tests showed that the electronic locks would not set off the EMF detectors, as well as allowed notation of locations of any possible reflective objects or things that may have interfered with data gathering. During the early part of the evening, indeed a connecting door between two rooms did close by itself! The momentary glee subsided with careful examination which revealed pressure on the floor in front of the door caused the event.
After careful examination of the rooms, infra red video recorders and audio recorders were set up. A later check of the audio reveals the sounds of footsteps in the empty and secure room, and a door slamming shut in the same empty/secure room - in addition a "bump" noise was capture. (EVP being evaluated and will be posted)
Several other experimental methods were attempted and the results are still to be evaluated at this time. Shortly after 10:00pm activity did increase for approximately 20 minutes... a strong sense of someone else in the room was felt independently by both investigators present at the time, and one felt a sensation like someone's breath on the back of the neck. During this period several rolls of film were shot and digital photos were taken... several digital photos from this specific period show what appears to be an object in motion across the frame.
Later as evaluation of the Infra red video and other EVP began (still in process at this time and will be posted), the video reveals the faint sound of music notes. Verified by the audio tape recording at the time, it is clearer on the Audio and appears to be a piano. There was no piano or any other music playing at this late hour in the Inn. Perhaps music from another era?
In all it seems there may be a little touch of Dr. Jacocks still at the Carolina Inn. The evidence collected has piqued our interest and certainly seems to carry great potential.
UPDATED - Haunted North Carolina recently returned to the Carolina Inn for an investigation on September 28, 2009. Investigators present were Jim Hall, Noel McCreath, Waverly Hawthorne, Steve Barrell, Deborah Donati, Deonna Kelli Sayed, Robert Odear, Missi Brandewie, Sandra Shelton and one guest. The group split into three teams, with one group staying in Dr. Jacocks' suite, one group interviewing hotel staff, and one group investigating a separate location. At one point in the evening, Noel reported getting an impression of a man who was a heavy drinker (Dr. Jacocks was NOT known for being a drinker) and distinctly got the impression of ice being dropped into a glass. Shortly thereafter, Deonna and Robert were taking a break in a sitting area just outside the suite, and clearly heard the same sound. They captured the sound on audio. Nearby rooms were unoccupied at the time, and the nearest ice machine was some distance away (near the elevator.)