FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

College Football and … a Ghost?

by Tracey Cullen

Oct 23, 2023

Ever since my daughter started attending college at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, in 2021, we have wanted to attend a football game there. This weekend we finally had our chance.Appalachian State University

We were lucky to get tickets to this sold-out game against rival team East Carolina University. It was even more fun for us because we live only about 30 minutes from ECU, so we had a lot of friends rooting for the visiting team, also. I thought, “Well, I can’t go wrong; I will be happy no matter which team wins.” But once I got there, boy, was I wrong! The energy of the App State fans in the stadium was palpable. I knew right away that I was rooting for App State all the way! Roll ‘Neers!Appalachian State University Appalachian State University

It was a close game, and App State was down 16–21 at halftime. But the Mountaineers were not about to give up at their home stadium, “The Rock.” As the third quarter began, the fans increased their volume in the stadium, which was already roaring. It felt as if the App State team fed off our cheers. They came back to win 43–28. I was entertained when the enthusiastic students stormed the field as the announcers kept reciting, “Only football teams and staff are allowed on the field!” It was, however, a moot point because by then there was a sea of black and yellow celebrating the big comeback win on the field.Appalachian State University

After the game we treated my daughter and her friend to the Wild Craft Eatery for dinner. It was definitely a step up from stadium hot dogs and popcorn. We enjoyed their delicious Watuga Farm burgers to wrap up a fun day.

Then my husband and I headed back to Blowing Rock, a quaint town just outside Boone. Our hotel, The Green Park Inn, built in 1891, is the second-oldest operating resort hotel in North Carolina. The hotel exudes historical charm yet had updated guestrooms so it didn’t feel like we were staying in a museum. The History Room offers an interesting glimpse into the past of the grand manor hotel. I found it fascinating that the hotel once housed the town’s post office. There is still part of the sorting system on display.

Their website boasts an impressive list of past memorable guests including Annie Oakley, J.D. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Margaret Mitchell (who penned part of Gone with the Wind while a guest at the inn).

Before we left for Boone, I had been working on an upcoming article in our Trazee Travel issue about haunted tourism, so ghosts were on my mind. As I curled up in bed, I decided to do a quick Google search to see if the hotel was thought to be haunted. And to my surprise, I found it on a list of one the Top 25 Most Haunted Historic Hotels. This is a fact that the hotel doesn’t actively advertise, but apparently the hotel also keeps a “Ghost Log” in the lobby for guests to document any ghostly encounters. I was a bit alarmed to read that Laura Green, daughter of the inn’s founding family, died in Room 318 after she was jilted at the altar. Reports are that she and her would-be groom’s spirits continue to roam the third floor. Luckily, we were on the second floor, so I didn’t lose an entire night of sleep! But in the wee hours of the morning, I did hear loud footsteps above my bed. I wondered for a moment if that could be the footsteps of a ghost, but then I remembered that I was in a hotel with real, live guests staying in the room above mine . . . or were they?

Be sure to check out the article about haunted tourism in our special Trazee Travel digital edition, out in October.

— Tracey Cullen, art director

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