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Carolina ghost stories: The Carolina Inn

Among the Inn’s reported ghosts, longtime resident of suite 252 William Jacocks is said to haunt the Inn as a fun-loving presence, moving things around and locking out guests. Jacocks lived there from 1948 until his death in 1965. 

Carolina Inn sits in the shadows.
Among the Carolina Inn’s reported ghosts, longtime resident of suite 252 William Jacocks is said to haunt the Inn as a fun-loving presence, moving things around and locking out guests.

Nestled on the hill for which Chapel Hill was named, the Carolina Inn is an iconic destination for locals and visitors alike. With its beautiful architecture and luxurious accommodations, guests find it hard to leave the Carolina Inn and return back home. And some never do.

The Carolina Inn was built in 1924 and quickly became a popular hotel for visitors and graduates of the University. In 1948, the Carolina Inn’s most long-lasting guest checked-in—and apparently never left. Dr. William Jacocks, a fun-loving man with a witty sense of humor, had recently retired from practicing medicine and decided to make the Carolina Inn his final home. He lived in Room 252 for 17 years before his death in 1965.

As shared by the Carolina Inn, guests that have stayed in Jacocks’ old room report being inexplicably locked out of the suite. One time, the lock was so stubborn that a workman had to use a ladder to break into the room! Visitors have also noticed strange occurrences such as messy bath mats and previously closed curtains being pulled wide open. Some have encountered the smell of freshly cut flowers, despite none being in the room, and felt their bodies become strangely cold for no apparent reason.

In 1990, the Carolina Inn underwent renovations, and Jacocks’ room was partitioned into four rooms. Though newly electronic door locks replaced the traditional locks, it seems that Jacocks still plays his favorite joke and lock guests out from time to time. Want to pay a visit to Jacocks? Guests can still book and spend the night in what is now Room 256 … if they dare.