Sunday, September 7, 2008

Heilbron Mansion

heilbron mansion
The Heilbron Mansion from Delaware County Paranormal

"If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all" should be the motto of this house. The home, built by the Murchison family on the corner of Painter's and Rose Tree Roads in Middletown Township in Delaware County, burned to the ground a few years after its' construction.

Seven Murchisons died in the blaze, and their crypt was built on a hill under an oak tree. Another home was built by the Edwards family, the new owners, in 1837, called Chroledale, and the graves were within view of their digs. In fact, it was built on the blackened foundations of the Murchison house. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

In 1864, 14 year old Margaret Edwards was supposedly raped and murdered under a large maple tree in the yard. She was lured out of the house by Elisha Culbert, a farmhand on the estate. He was lynched by the other workers when the body of Margaret was discovered in the creek.

Her distraught and increasingly unhinged mother began spending her time in the library, Margaret's favorite room. She eventually hung herself from a beam above the third floor window (some say it was at the nearby creek.) All three spirits are said to haunt the mansion and its grounds.

Culbert and the mom could be heard, but not seen. Culbert's footsteps were heard approaching the front door from the coachhouse, while the mother's footsteps retrace her final act sometimes, and just wanders the halls looking for daughter at others. They were heard going from the library and up the stairs to the third floor where they end.

It's said that the library was her private domain. If anyone entered it, a book would fly off the shelf and hit the floor with a retort like a gunshot to show her displeasure with the unwanted visitor. Margaret was reported seen upstairs.

The basis for this tale is from a book released in 1977 entitled "Night Stalks The Mansion," written by Constance Westbie and Harold Cameron. It's purported to be non-fictional and based on their experiences from living there for two years in the 1960s.

Unfortunately for wraith fans, the Philadelphia Inquirer squelched a great ghost tale. The primary evidence against the tale is that Margaret showed up in the 1870 census, six years after her alleged death. She seems to have survived her murder quite well. And with no crime, no spooks.

There's also the little matter of the Murchison's, since the grounds were in the hands of the Edwards clan since the 1660's when they bought 82 acres from George Smedley, and stayed in the family until 1877. The story is news to the Edwards descendants and the area historical society.

Other locals, though, remember an old legend of a murder-suicide there, which may be the basis for the book. There was talk of building a B&B there decades ago, but the home was torched in 1987 by arsonists and a high-end housing development popped up on the old estate instead. But it's said the bad vibes remain.

The things real estate agents forget to tell you.


Anonymous said...

This home is located on Rose Tree Road and Painter Road. Painter's Crossing, is miles from here. I am a Realtor and sat at this home on Sundays in the late 1980's. It was renovated by Volpe builders. I never experienced anything out of the ordinary at this home. Today, it's is beautiful and looks nothing like the photograph here.

Ron Ieraci said...

Heilbron Anon - thanks for the update and correction; I fixed up the address.

Jeremy Holmes said...

My name is Jeremy. I passed by this house every school day while attending Springton Lake Middle School for 3 years. If there was nothing crazy going on after the rebuild, why would people move in only to put the house up for sale. It seems it was for sale for 3 years! Also, my family had a weird experience checking this place out in the early 80s. My Mom was into this stuff and had my Dad stop by there on evening after a dinner outing. While sitting in the car in the driveway, my older brother starting freaking out saying he saw something looking at him from behind a tree. We quickly left. After we returned home, my brother freaked out again and swears he saw it in our yard!

Ron Ieraci said...

Thanks, Jeremy. It does seem to be one of those homes that effects folk different ways; some see an old house, and others see a spooked out mansion. C'est la vie, at least in the realm of the paranormal.

thomas wyatt said...

my name is thomas wyatt i am reading the book and i wanted to knwo about the house can someine plese send me the address i whould like to look at it on google maps my e-mail is and if you know were anypic of the house are online plese send me that link thankyou

Anonymous said...

The name Heilbron means "beautiful safe haven". It's as close as I can get to a translation of the name. People often named their homes for what it represented to them. For example: the Amytiville house was called "High Hopes".
What is interesting is that in the case of both homes it becomes an oxymoron due to the tragedies that occurred.

gluglu garcia said...

cual es la dirección yo paso por aquí todos los días voy por Rose tree road y doy vuelta en painter pero no e visto la casa

gluglu garcia said...

cual es la dirección yo paso por aquí todos los días voy por Rose tree road y doy vuelta en painter pero no e visto la casa

Unknown said...

Read the book years ago, would love to read it again, no book store I've gone to has it.

Unknown said...

I'm curious to know if Enoch was a real person.

Unknown said...

I was looking for the house to show it to a friend of mine who had never been there before late one night. We were having some difficulty finding it in the dark.It had been some ten years or so since I had been in the house myself. I used to live in the are as a teen. We ended up being pointed in the right direction by the ghost of the murdering servant who took the young girl's life as we stood just a few feet from the creek where the deed was done!

Debra Anne said...

I read the book in an epub form years ago. I just looked on Amazon, given the comment from last year, and it looks like that's where I "purchased" it in 2012. It was probably a one day free or cheap offer.

I did not know the history at the time, but I kept thinking as I read it how much it sounded like Rose Tree Road, Park, Tavern. That's when I first looked it up. I was just telling a friend about it yesterday, hence my interest today.

So the book is available in multiple formats on Amazon and probably other resellers.

Anonymous said...

Actually I know the exact address and it's not on the corner of painter's rd, but I'm not leaving it on here because after what happened to the poor people in the Conjuring house in RI, there obviously is too many wack jobs out there. The house in fact might not look exactly like the original, but even after the fire, much of it was restored to the exact same style house. Many of the original walls and setup and pretty much the same size house is all there. They basically renovated the entire house as I didn't think the fire destroyed everything, and used much of the same exact stone walls and remnants to recreate and renovate the mansion.

Anonymous said...

I attended Malvern Prep and on our way home from school me and 2 friends would stop by the house occasionally. This would have been in 1986 and spring of '87. We would walk thru the house---tons of empty beer cans and other debris,but one day I saw a rope and noose looped around a tree. I saw it clear as day,and being 17 and just coming home from school all my faculties were intact. Here's the deal, MY OTHER 2 FRIENDS SAW NOTHING!!!! I had the feeling that PURE EVIL was all around me and something bad was about to happen. A female voice whispered "who's there" just to me. I was scared sh*tless as my buddies saw my panic stricken face. Next thing I remember was my one buddy telling me we were at my house. I was in some catatonic trance after seeing the lynch mob rope and hearing that female voice that lasted about 2hrs. The house mysteriously burned down shortly after that visit---which was my last one. I found out that day true evil does indeed exist.