Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WHITE HILL MANSION - PART FOUR

We are slowly making our way through White Hill Mansion. So far, the floor plans have been relatively simple, but I found the second floor confusing. Remember, I could not physically climb the stairs and investigate on my own. I had to rely on verbal reports and photos via my part of the team. It was a bit frustrating, especially on my first visit where no one seemed to know which room was which. Thankfully, I was able to locate the floor plans I've been sharing with you via these posts. Now things should be easy, right?  Humm.....

Unfortunately, John (who did the lion's share of the photos) either took them out of sequence, or e-mailed them to me that way. LOTS of staircases going up, down, bottom, top, etc.  all of them hard to place. Also, both John and Bob had difficulty with some details. Example: I had a picture of a white, tiled, fireplace. Behind it, in the next room, was a brick one. Were they in the kitchen or the basement? Both said the basement. And Claude? Well, she swears that there are THREE fireplaces in the basement: one in the 1800s section, one in the 1700s section, and one in the 1600s portion.

The earliest part of the mansion wasn't built until 1722. See what I mean?

Thankfully my questions regarding the flow of the second story rooms were answers via several YouTube walk through tours. By reviewing them countless times, with floor plans and our team pictures before me, I was able to place stairs and rooms in order, and see several rooms that my folks hadn't captured.. For these few areas, I've taken static shots from the posted videos. I will identify them as I go along. To these YouTube folks, thank you so very much for lifting the veil for me.

There are three ways to get from the main floor to the second. The primary way is via the "grand" staircase. So we go from here...



To here...



...and on to the second floor. Here is the floor plan:



You are now standing in the 1885 Hall. If you turn left, and go to the end, you'll enter the master bedroom.  






In its day, it must have been an exceptional room, bigger than we see it now. The coat room and women's loo had originally been part of the bedroom.

On my first visit to White Hill, this room called to me, even though I couldn't climb the stairs to see it. In my mind I could envision a room with a mirrored fireplace, and knew it was here Mary Fields could be sensed. I asked team members to focus on this room, and take a few photos. Karen Timper took a final shot with her full spectrum camera, and captured this scene...



There appears to be a black mass blocking entrance to the room. Could this be Mary's spiritual attempt to keep the living from invading her privacy?  On this latest trip, no one picked up anything unusual in this room.

Leaving the master bedroom, there is a door immediately on your right. It's a sweet, little room with a bow set of windows.



This was the restaurant's coat room, once a part of the bedroom. 

Directly across the hall, you will find the ladies' room, and the 1760 nursery. My team did not take pictures of this area, so I am relying on these scenes from posted YouTube tours.






I was really surprised by the dimensions of the nursery. I anticipated it being sizable, but it is actually quite small.

Back in the hall, heading away from the master bedroom, you enter the Fields children's bedroom.



This room is  larger than it appears.Immediately to the left of the table, it has a bow of windows. On my prior visit, Maureen and I could hear children running down a hall and partially down the grand staircase. On this latest investigation, I could sense the children hiding in their room.  

Look at the floor plan. Outside the children's bedroom you will see a hallway marked as leading to the restaurant owners' living quarters.  If you walk to the end of this small hall, you come to a rather modest, and modern, kitchen.  This shot is taken from YouTube:



It's blurry, but it gives you a sense of its size and shape. It's strange how many folks not only fail to photograph this room, but actually forget it's there.  Maybe that's because it is right next to the infamous "red bathroom".

Identified on the layout as "The Glenk bathroom", you can see why it earns its nickname:





According to John, the turquoise hallway behind the cellar bar was the most frightening of the mansion, but the red bathroom ran a close second. On his live action shot, a large orb slowly floats from
the upper center of the photo, down and across to the tub, where it goes out of frame. At the same time, you can hear a noise like a sheet of metal rattling.  John claimed the orb was "the size of a dove". Well..not quite, but it was large.

Many investigators feel drawn to this area, some actually getting into the tub. I believe Nick Groff slept in it during one night of "Paranormal Lockdown". Neither John nor Bob felt so compelled.

The red bathroom has two doors, one from the hallway and the other leading to the Mayer bedroom. In fact, the only way to enter the Mayer bedroom, while on the second floor, is through the bathroom.

Between the bathroom and the Mayer room is a bit of a landing which contains the hidden back stairs.



I believe the door at the bottom opens to here...



This is another YouTube shot. It is a doorway in the short passage on the main floor, between the Crossley room and the kitchen. So, one could access the Mayer bedroom via these stairs, and from there through the red bathroom and onto the second floor proper.

There is one more way onto the second floor. We are coming to that...


The flooring in the Mayer bedroom isn't that safe, and there are usually chairs surrounding the center area, with signs reading, "Do Not Enter". (You can see one on the left in the photo.)  However, many folks walk down the sides of the room. That is the only way to get to John Glenk's bedroom from the second floor.



Please take note of the doorway to the left. You can just see the start of a handrail.  This is the third way to access the second floor.

If you were in the Fields' kitchen on the main floor, you would see two doorways...



The one on the left is the opening for the cellar steps in the 1700s basement. The opening on the right are stairs going to the second floor, with access to both the Glenk and Mayer rooms.



In the photo, on the left, you will see the door into the Glenk bedroom. At the very top of the stairs, you look into the Mayer room, and see this across from you.





This photo is from YouTube. Yes, it's a bathroom.  Well, what's so interesting about Mr. Mayer's loo? This!





There, right next to the toilet, is a secret opening to a set of steps that lead up to the bordello rooms.  That's right. In its day, part of the attic (two small rooms) were used for the oldest profession in the world. And it was there that we captured the best evidence of all.

Ah, but that's a story for next time.

Until then, be well and have a wonderful Summer Solstice!







Sunday, June 10, 2018

WHITE HILL MANSION - PART THREE

Continuing on with our investigation, we are about to tour the foundations of the mansion.

The Cellar

Down this hallway...



Through this door...



And down these steps...



You will find yourself in the dark basement of White Hill.


The first part you enter is the 1920s Rathskeller.  The last time we investigated, NJGO got their equipment to respond to various questions, and a shadow person was spotted. I personally saw light anomalies on the camera set up on the tables. This time, my folks felt like they were not alone. I'm not sure if Karen's portion of the team had any results.

In this photo, you can see the stairs coming down. The bar area would be on the person's left when they came off the steps.


Here's a shot   of the bar itself.....




And a slightly different angle...



Here is Claude at one of the tables, trying to communicate with any spirits there might be. This would be a view from the staircase.



You'll notice to the left of the photo, past the bar, is a table set aside. This is the alcove - the semi-circle seen on the layout.



I have seen, on Paranormal Lockdown, the docent  advise that there is a male presence behind the bar that resents the intrusion of the living. She also mentioned that this speakeasy was frequented by the mob, who used the tunnel (we'll get to that) for dumping their "hits" in the Delaware River. We were told none of this. No one during our investigation picked up on a cranky publican (but that doesn't mean he's not there).  I realize illegal drinking went on, and gangster types had come here, but floating dead bodies in the river doesn't sound like a practical disposal solution. BUT...stranger things have happened....

The bar has some nice touches, from the remains of a possible
dumbwaiter...



... to photos of flappers (or, possibly, "soiled doves"?) on the walls.



If you were to come down the stairs and turn right instead of left, you would enter a short hallway painted turquoise. There is a row of coat hooks in this area, so one could conclude it served as a coat check area in its day.

This is an area which really frightened John. It was pitch black and, when he took a live photo shot, the hall was swimming with orbs.  There were so many that he compared them to fireflies. Unfortunately, I'm not able to reproduce the live photo, and the obs are not captured on the static shot. Here is his photo. Do you get any vibes from it?



 At the end of this hall. if you make a right, you'd be back in the rathskeller, next to the bar.  If you make a left, you enter the actual cellar areas via a rough plaster and lathe hall.

Here is John's shot from the hall looking back towards Claude and the bar...


And here is his shot looking down the other way, to the end of the basement...


As you walk down this passageway, you pass a restroom, and a small electrical room, on the right. On the left you'll see the 1800s cellar and its various pieces of equipment.



Continue past this section and you come to the 1700s cellar, and a flight of wooden stairs that return you to the kitchen area.




Following the passageway to the end, you can just manage to make out the curved top of the small wine cellar doorway.



You can see a panelled wall to the left of the above photo.  This is actually a box-like area containing a small room, purpose unknown.



Finally, back by the wine cellar, we have the blocked off tunnel. I had mentioned earlier that it was reportedly used as a type of "body chute" to the Delaware for gang victims. More likely it was used to bring in illegal liquor for the bar.

Many have sensed a shadow man in this portion of the basement, including me. I also believe he moves from the tunnel to the turquoise hall, where he can cause harm to those using the stairs.

Even the picture of the tunnel area gives me the chills. What do you think?



Next time we'll take a tour of the second floor and its hidden stairways,

Have an enchanting week!





Sunday, June 3, 2018

WHITE HILL MANSION- PART TWO

Continuing now with our Good Saturday investigation, we take a look at the ground level ...

The Main Floor

When you arrive at White Hill Mansion, the first thing you notice is the security fence. It rather surprises you, but then you focus on the building behind the gates. Initially, you're struck by it crumbling beauty, then it sense of history... and then something else. I discovered on my first visit that there were - most likely - burials nearby,  either settlers or natives. The ground and the trees seem to hold their essence, and the feeling is enhanced by the Delaware River flowing closely behind the building.

The entrance to the main floor is decorated with the year the structure was built, and a historical marker.








This doorway leads you into the main floor. As you enter, you are immediately confronted by the staircase leading to the second level.  My first time in the house, I felt a strong female presence on the landing, and later two of us heard the tromping of children's feet. This time, those perceptions were gone, although I felt as though the children were hiding elsewhere in the mansion.




In the photo, you can see the entrance leading into the hallway. As you enter, there is a series of rooms to your left. The hallway runs back to a restaurant (which was a later addition),  and also the stairs to the cellar. To the right of the entrance is the formal parlor, where I was located..



This is a picture taken from the hall, looking into the parlor. (That's Claude sitting on the distant chair.)



This is a shot from the corner of the parlor, looking out towards the staircase. My wheelchair is in the center of the room.



Here is the view from my chair, looking towards the hall. If you were to make a right, you would be heading down to the newer, restaurant portion of the mansion.



..You can identify the restaurant from the outside of the building by taking note of all the windows.




In its prime, it must have been a grand place to dine. Even today, the view out its elongated windows is rustic and peaceful. The Delaware flows gently by.




This is the view from the hallway, looking back down to the entrance. About where the photographer is standing, to his right, are the stairs to the cellar.


..

Going back to the entrance (and looking at the floor plan) you will notice a series of additional rooms. The first is the Crossley Room.



It still has this beautiful fireplace and sections of lovely wallpaper, but - alas - age has taken its toll. For instance, the ceiling is falling away.



And yet, back in the formal parlor, we have this breathtaking chandelier. 



The Crossley room leads into the the original dining room, which then links up to the new restaurant.



If you were to continue straight through the Crossley room (the doorway is to the left of the fireplace), 


you would pass from the restaurant kitchen into the Field's kitchen.





Last year, Bob caught an interesting shadow in the Field's kitchen. He was alone, no one was behind him, there was no strap on his camera to interfere, and yet he caught this image:




Before I continue, let me introduce you to my part of the team.  This is (from left to right) Bob, John, and Claude. In the following picture is Claude, standing next to me and my wheelchair.





You can tell from the looks on our faces that we were not happy people. I had been terribly sick only hours before, and Claude complained of her sore back. Bob left an ailing wife at home, and John... well, John is hard to explain. He is a bit of a "man child" that has so much distracted energy that he bounces around like a human Tigger,  This is what he proceeded to do as Karen's team and I set up our various stations.  He truly tried to assist, but moved so quickly (and before directions were given) that things went flying.

  I had provided clipboards, pens, floor layouts, and protective black salt to everyone.  They were to go through the house using only their senses first. If they felt/saw/smelled something, they were to note it on the layout so it could be compared later.  We never got to the point of comparison. Were the layouts used? I'm not sure.  John was literally bouncing in place; he could not be contained. I finally handed him a lantern and told him to go.

Meanwhile, Karen had entered the parlor just as I noticed an immense cold spot behind me. I reached back with my arm as Karen said, "A shadow figure just passed across the fireplace." This was near where Claude was seated, but she said nothing.

Bob had located for me a small wire table on which I could lay out my candles, protection sprays, and singing bowl. I was trying to organize these when I felt a wave of tension behind me. Suddenly, Claude spoke. "Just because YOU aren't feeling well doesn't mean you get to strike out at John!"
Strike out at John? Humm. I looked over my shoulder and simply said, "Claude, don't start."
  "DON'T START??" Now, she was practically yelling. "Just because YOU'RE sick doesn't mean you can lash out at others!"

Again, I turned to her and said softly, "You know I never use this term, but you need to shut up now. Seriously."
That lit the tinderbox. She rose to her feet, gripping her cane, and screamed. "YOU shut up! F**k you! Go to Hell and F**K yourself!" And, with that, she stormed out of the room.

The atmosphere in the parlor got warmer. You see, I knew something Claude and John didn't. The spirit of Mary was said to be seen often in the parlor, sometimes crying. She loved this house and probably had many instances when she despaired of keeping it out of British hands.  John and Claude walked into the parlor and immediately started chatting how they would change, redecorate, and refinish the room...not something the spirit of the protective homeowner would want to hear.

Claude advised later that, as soon as she left the room, she couldn't figure out why she had just attacked me. She wasn't even angry.   Could she have been "jumped" by a spirit? There's no way to tell.


My various protection tools and singing bowl
Two other things happened on this main level.  Claude did return to the room, and the chair she had previously occupied. From outside the parlor window, we both heard a low growling.  Also, she stood and moved to the hallway, in order to take a picture up the staircase. As she raised her camera, we both heard a deep male voice say, very clearly, "Claude". (Her name is pronounced with a long "o" sound, like "clood") The voice said her name with the proper French pronunciation. Interesting to note that other investigators have also heard someone speaking French on these stairs.

SOMEONE defInitely knew she was there.

Next time: The Cellar. Until then, have a boo-a-ful week!