Most Haunted Places in America: Baleroy Mansion
It is said that the Baleroy Mansion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania contains more than just an extensive collection of antiques. Several spirits are said to inhabit this nearly century old mansion. Up until December of 2005, it was owned by George Mead Easby, who had some significant ancestors. He was the great-grandson of General George Mead, the great Union general in the U.S. Civil War, as well as a descendant of seven signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
George Mead Easby was many things: an actor, a cartoonist, a radio host, a government employee, but most of all, he was a collector of antiques. At the time of his death, he owned over 100,000 antiques, most of which were passed down in his family. Some of the more notable items include items owned by his great-grandfather George Mead, Napoleon Bonaparte, Josephine de Beauharnais, and Thomas Jefferson. His life-long fascination and desire to collect antiques are thought to be the cause of the Baleroy’s haunting.
The first paranormal experience known to occur in the residence was said to have happened the day young George Mead Easby moved into the house. Six year old George and his five year old brother Steven were playing in the courtyard fountain of their new house. Examining their reflections in the water, George’s reflection appeared normal while little Steven’s reflection revealed a skeletal image. It wasn’t long before Steven passed away. Steven was gone from this world, but his ghostly apparition was still seen by restoration workers around the same fountain that predicted his death. A picture of Steven, that still hangs on the wall, once threw itself with great force and still landed intact.
The most active spot in the house is the Blue Room. The two-hundred year chair inside is said to be cursed by a spirit named Amelia. Four untimely deaths have been attributed to the chair’s curse. She can often be seen as a blue mist which hangs in the air of the Blue Room and the connecting reception area. Despite the curse, a psychic once claimed that Amelia is not a malevolent spirit and is actually quite friendly. She has been blamed for driving a former curator into madness, thereby causing his death.
George Mead Easby has claimed to see apparitions of his uncle and his mother, as well as sensed the presence of his deceased brother. He was often kept awake at night by pressure on his bed, as if someone was sitting on it. During his years in the house, he heard knocks and footsteps daily. The ghost of an elderly woman with a cane is said to haunt the second floor. She is said to cause feelings of despair and fear in people who walk the second floor hallway. Another permanent guest on the second floor is a friendly monk. He tends to materialize in the second floor bedroom and is seen in a brown habit. Perhaps the most famous spirit in this house is Thomas Jefferson. He has been seen standing in the dining room, next to a tall clock.
The Baleroy Mansion can be toured during the afternoon and evening. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area, this amazing house shouldn’t be missed. It’s a paranormal hot spot and a piece of American history. The hundreds of thousands of antiques inside are said to have come with their former owners attached. That serves as a lesson for all of us. Next time you bring home an antique, you may be inviting an unexpected guest into your house, much like George Mead Easby.