Playing around with seances can summon bad apples.
Restless spirits may feel invited to get their chuckles by frightening the living.
Sometimes spirit children will stay where they felt love and comfort.
This Mansion was built in the first half of the 19th century and has 3 main floors as well as the customary basement and attic.
The Phelps Mansion was lived in by the Dr. Eliakim Phelps, a Presbyterian minister and his family, which means that the mansion may have been owned by the Presbyterian Church, as a parsonage. The Phelps and perhaps other pastors and their families lived there until 1947, when it was turned into a convalescent nursing home.
In 1968, the Mansion was abandoned and became a refuge for Stratford’s dregs of society, mainly drug addicts and vagrants.
In 1998, the Mansion was spared the wrecking ball when it was assimilated into the hospital, Alliance Medical, being built on the property next to it. However, Phelps Mansion was finally demolished, in March of 1972, because of the unforeseen financial troubles of Alliance Medical Inns.
It seems that Dr. Eliakim Phelps was fascinated by the occult and spiritualism, and as a hobby tried to get in touch with spirits through holding numerous seances, which is very dangerous for an amateur to do. In March of 1850, he inadvertently summoned a rather bad apple, the disgruntled spirit of a witch, possibly Goody Bassett, who was hanged in 1661.
Strange Beginnings of Mischief
When the Phelps family came home from church, they all saw a phantom corpse laying on their parlor table, later identified as being Goody Bassett.
Later that same afternoon, various family members found their clothes laid out on their various beds, in positions suggesting the way bodies are posed for their coffins.
Strange life-size, life-like bodies made from stuffed clothing would appear unexpectedly.
Apports in the form of strange puppets and dolls made of material scraps would appear out of nowhere.
Scary Poltergeist Manifestations
Poltergeist manifestations began to take place, increasing in degree and veracity.
Family heard a constant stream of strange knocking noises.
Small objects around the Mansion began to move by themselves.
Physical Attacks & Mayhem
Two of the Phelps children, 12 yr. old Harry and 4 yr. old Anna suffered nightly attacks, being physically thrown out of bed, and beaten by an invisible presence.
In front of other witnesses, furniture, such as tables and chairs would rise off the ground. A candle stick beat itself against the floor until it broke.
As the haunting intensified, many people witnessed furniture throwing itself through windows, and moving across the floor effortlessly by itself.
However, when Harry and Anna were sent off to boarding school, most of the hauntings stopped.
It seemed that this nasty spirit was drawn to these two children, and was able to draw energy from them to do its mischief.
New 1947 Hauntings
For 20 years, the staff reported hearing strange voices whispering in dark places, heard unexplained knocks and saw heavy doors open and close all by themselves.
In 1971, police spotted a little girl inside the now deserted, disheveled Phelps Mansion.
They chased the little girl into a third floor bedroom, where she vanished into thin air.
The Phelps Mansion was investigated by the ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren. No one knows for sure who the little girl is, but it is theorized that it could be Anna Phelps, who came back to the home she loved, materializing as a child.
- Picture of house: prsne.com
- Haunted America
by Michael Norman, Beth Scott
Tor Books – 1994
- The National Directory of Haunted Places
by Dennis William Hauck, Athanor Press – 1996
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr