The rumors are true. A hotel that is said to be haunted in Central New York is reopening as a bar and grill.

The Matteson Hotel in Ilion was built around 1850. It was first called the Slaughter House, after William Slaughter, the owner. The building served as a trading post.

Credit - Christine Huxtable
Credit - Christine Huxtable
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Over the years the building changed names. It was known as the Cedar house, the Cedarville house, and the Matteson Hotel, after Louise Matteson who is rumored to have died inside the hotel where her spirit still remains. "I believe she's still there," said Christine Huxtable who is working to restore the building. "Weird things happen all the time but her spirit isn't mean."

Credit- Christine Huxtable
Credit- Christine Huxtable
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Credit- Christine Huxtable
Credit- Christine Huxtable
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For more than 2 decades the Matteson Hotel had been home to a bar and grill operated by Christine's parents Jay and Debbie Derby. "My parents open in January 1998 and when they bought the building, it was in sad condition," Christine said. "The previous owner left one night and never returned."

The Matteson Hotel closed down when the coronavirus pandemic hit. "My mom intended to re-open but as the pandemic dragged on, she realized she liked retirement," said Christine who wanted to take over running the bar a few years ago.

Credit - Christine Huxtable
Credit - Christine Huxtable
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Christine has spent more than 15 years working in the medical field. She worked on the front lines all during COVID and lost her job when the vaccine mandate when into effect. "We all have different views and I don't agree with the mandate. So when it went into effect and I lost my job it made the decision of reopening the hotel easier."

For the past few months, Christine has been busy restoring the old building with new floors and paint, hoping to reopen this month. She even got her liquor license which she thought would be the hardest part. But the Department of Health wants her to install a water filtration system first, which could take 6 to 8 weeks. "Here I am with a liquor license I cannot use yet," Christine groaned. "It's just one more hoop I have to dance through."

If all goes well, in 6 to 8 weeks Matteson Hotel will reopen as a place for people to socialize. "There is plenty of room at the bar or at tables so everyone isn't on top of one another."

Credit - Christine Huxtable
Credit - Christine Huxtable
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In the coming months, Christine hopes to offer pitch and dart tournaments during the winter and cornhole tournaments in the spacious backyard during the summer. There will be live music and plans to turn the upstairs into an Airbnb. "I have big dreams and a little wallet," joked Christine.

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