Some of the world's most beautiful and unexpected places sometimes happen to be the place where you can stumble upon some of the best hidden treasures and maybe even a few unexplained events if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the right place at precisely the right time. The 32-room Baleroy Mansion, located in the affluent Chestnut Hill garden district of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania contains all of the above mentioned. The haunted mansion is famously known to contain thousands of historical pieces that have been handed down from notable subjects including Napoleon Bonaparte, General George Mead and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, just to name a few.
One of the most fascinating and unexplained elements concerning the mansion is that not only has it been documented as being one of the most haunted places in the United States, it is also reported as having a proverbial "death chair," located in the infamous blue room, the area notorious for unparalleled paranormal activity. The Baleroy Mansion was built in 1911. It was last inhabited by George Meade Easby, whose parents M. Stevenson and Henrietta Large Easby, bought the mansion in 1926, and is also a direct descendant of seven signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the great-grandson of General George Meade, who defeated General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.
Before his death in 2005, George claimed to have seen several apparitions and ghosts hovering in each and every room connected to the mansion, and he has stated that it all began early on in his childhood. His first experience with paranormal activity occurred in the outer courtyard fountain when six year old George and his younger brother Steven stopped to look into the cool fountain water while making faces and laughing at their silly mirror images that peered back at them from the water.
After a few moments of innocent child's play, what they next witnessed in the fountain water horrified George for much of his life, and indicated an impending death for his brother as Steven's reflection mirrored a skeletal image while Georges appeared as a normal boys would. Not long after that fateful day Steven passed away, but his childlike ghost remains at the mansion still to this day and George has witnessed his brother's ghost on many different occasions along with several other ghosts that live on at the mansion, including George's mother, Henrietta Easby and Amelia, whose visibly disembodied face appears during the foggy ectoplasmic blue mist. The ghost of Thomas Jefferson often appears beside the clock in the dining room and the ghost of an unknown elderly women walking with a cane has been seen in the upstairs hallway.
Family friends and guests were always being toyed with by the spirits when visiting the mansion and it was never uncommon to hear knocking and phantom footsteps, but it became serious when family and friends reported flying objects, especially when a respected minister was hit in the head by a copper pot that flew like a missile out of nowhere straight into his head during a party where over twenty guests witnessed the horrific scene.
Over the years George often came into direct contact with an overbearing spirit that liked to clutch onto his arm. He once confessed to his trusted friend and fellow antique collector Lloyd Gross that a number of ghosts, including his uncle sat with him on his bed while he laid there afraid of what would happen next. The events proved to be harmless as the ghosts always disappeared just as fast as they appeared, but they remained in George's mind around the clock.
Intense work on the mansion for several decades has caused a flurry of reports concerning paranormal activity and ghost sightings. One sunny afternoon while working at the mansion, restoration specialist David Beltz and a crew member witnessed Steven's ghost as his face appeared in an upstairs window while they were working near the courtyard fountain.
Steven's ghost appeared as if he was a real living child. The blond haired boy ghost had his hands on the window sill and was staring down toward the yard, and then his image simply faded away. The basement is another hot spot that workers avoid going into at all costs. Far away voices tend to call out the worker's names from the deepest depths of the darkened basement, and when the bravest of all men decide to investigate, nothing is ever found other then the sensation of not being able to breathe and the feeling that you should leave immediately.
By all accounts the most reported incidences of ghostly encounters come directly from the Blue Room, home of the "Cursed Blue Chair." Many paranormal observers believe that a female ghost haunts the blue chair due to a deadly curse caused from insanity. George himself dubbed the over active spirit that lives in the Blue Room, Spectral Amelia.
An ethereal blue mist manifests out of nowhere when Amelia is present, and anyone who dares to sit in her chair while in her presence quickly meets their demise. To date four brave souls, one a former Baleroy curator has boldly tempted fate and took their chances at reclining in the blue chair, and as the curse states, not one of them are living to tell about it. The blue mist has been captured on film and is often seen when a gathering of two or more people are present.
Mrs. Easby's bedroom, located in the eastern part of the 5900 square foot mansion has had several people running for the terrace for fresh air and a moment to collect their wits. During a charity event Lloyd Gross lead a reporter on a tour of the mansion only to discover that Henrietta's ghost was in no mood for company.
The journalist's tape recorder was yanked out of his hand and launched into the air in a trajectory motion, and although no spirit was actually witnessed, there was no doubt in either man's mind what had just taken place before their eyes. After catching his breath, the reporter quickly exited the bedroom and remained with the charity group for the rest of the evening. The mansion is no stranger to paranormal activity and that includes lights magically turning on and off on their own accord. George Meade once stated in an interview that the electrical fields in the house attract lightning, and the electricity goes off with little to no explanation.
Prior to George's death, he was lead to an old desk by his deceased mother's ghost. In the desk drawer he discovered a letter written by his father that stated "I was brought up not to believe in ghosts and to trust only what science could explain, however I have seen the ghosts and there is no reason to be afraid." Speculation over the various ghosts, apparitions and paranormal activity throughout the mansion are believed to stem from the many antiques found throughout the estate. George Meade was himself a major art and antique collector, who during his life inherited over 100,000 antiques and personal items, many of which had been in his family for centuries and were simply brought home when placed in the mansion for safe keeping.
Some of the world's most beautiful and unexpected places are where you can stumble upon some of the best hidden treasures and maybe even a few