Sunday, January 18, 2009

Alfred's Victorian

Alfred's Victorian

Middletown is Dauphin County's oldest community, located at the midpoint between Lancaster and Carlisle. The town was laid out in 1755, and the Raymond-Young Mansion is one of its grand dames. And not too surprisingly, it comes with a history.

Now a fine restaurant, the Victorian home was built as the residence of Charles Raymond. It's supposed to be haunted by Emma, the second wife of 1902 owner Simon Cameron Young. She died in 1948, but likes to keep her hand in the going-ons of her old house.

Her rocking chair can be seen rocking back and forth with no one in it. The scent of her lavender perfume can be caught wafting through the air and sometimes her voice is heard. She's been known to toss a thing or two around, and like many spooks, loves to play with electronic gadgets.

In fact, one of the owners, taking a group picture of the staff, caught Emma on a frame in one of Pennsylvania's more famous spook shots. What the heck, why should she be left out of the house portrait?

She isn't alone. One visitor heard the voice of an entity assumed to be the second owner, Redsecker Young, who bought the house from the Raymonds in 1888 and later sold it to Simon (although it could be him, too - the ghostie didn't ID himself), in an upstairs room. He told him "Emma is here," and then said "Out!" after the guest starting snapping some photographs. Some ghosts love paparazzi, some don't. Go figure.

Kelly Weaver and the Spirit Society of Pennsylvania have investigated the place, and feel that Emma is a harmless spirit, attached to her home and trying to show the living that she's still the lady of the manse. They've also heard voices and captured some pretty good EVP's.

They figured the spot was spooky enough that late every autumn, Kelly and her husband host "Haunted Dinners" at Alfred's Victorian. Ya can't beat a steak and a spook during the Halloween bewitching season.

To add to the tale, a reader that lives across the street in a clone of Alfred's Victorian wrote in and said that they made contact with a spirit in their home during a Ouija board session. That's one spooked-out neighborhood!

And if you'd like to read up on Emma and Alfred's Victorian, they're featured in The Big Book of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories by Mark Nesbitt and Patty Wilson, the encyclopedia of eerie for Keystone spooks.


Anonymous said...

I lived in the victorian home across the street and one night we were playing with a ouija board and the spirit said "momma dose not want me on the vapanda." We looked vapanda up in the dictionary and found the wourd veranda we did not know what that was and evidently it is a small balcony we looked slowly to the end of the hall as we read that it is a small balcony. One is on the the third floor across from Alfred's at the home that is a twin to Alfred's. We did not play again.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - H&H isn't a paranormal hunter or any such thing; the next spook he spots will be his first. But if there's one common thread among the tales we pass on, it's that a Ouija board sitting almost always leads to no good, inviting spirits into the places they ought not to be.

Not "playing" with the board is probably the wisest decision a sensitive can make.