Somerset New Jersey
Evert Van Wickle House
Spirits are kindly and protective, others are annoying!
When the annoying behavior led to a human outburst, spirits appeared to make amends.
DESCRIPTION / HISTORY
This beautifully restored 18th century home was built as a wedding present for Evert and Cornelia Van Wickle, in 1752. The young couple died on the same day, on March 3rd, 1757, way before their time. They are buried on a hill, under some trees, although there is a Revolutionary War era cemetery located on the house’s estate, which was established in a time after their death. The house has a main downstairs, an upstairs and an attic. Sometime in its history, the second floor was made into a residence by itself. The house was privately owned up until 1976, when the Franklin Township officials bought the whole estate as a historical site, to be restored to it’s former greatness.
The Meadows Foundation, an organization which excels in preserving and restoring historic sites, now owns the property and opens the home for community activities and special events. Restoration has included the addition of such important new facilities as an outdoor stage, formal gardens, a canal bridge, wetland boardwalk, program center, nature trail and youth camping site.
“The Meadows” has long been known to be haunted. Several people have had recent experiences which tell of the sometimes rascally, sometimes helpful, and sometimes tormented entities, who occupy the house.
Kay & Ed had bought and lived in the house, from 1975 to 1978, and rented out the second floor unit to other people.
They had moved in with visions of having peace and quiet, but found that the house was crowded with unexpected company.
a) Kay found a pool of water on a chair in the living room where she had been sitting only a moment before. The puddle seemed to come out of nowhere, when she had gotten up to get something.
b) While walking in the living room, a doily, which had been on a chair, flew past her head, landing on the floor, way across the room.
c) The couple’s dog and cat would sit together in the living room, looking up at the ceiling. The dog would be wagging its tail, while the cat would be hissing.
d) Kay and Ed lived with daily annoyances, such as unexplained, self- slamming doors, and a radio which would turn itself on loudly and unpredictably during the night.
e) However, on several occasions, the blasting sound of the radio woke up Ed when he had overslept, so he could get to work on time.
f) Kay heard a woman’s voice that was calling Ed’s name.
g) After shouting to the unseen entities that he would burn down the house, if they didn’t behave themselves, Ed awoke one morning to find that there were 5 misty apparitions appearing before him. Two were standing at the foot of the bed, while the other 3 were sitting on the bed. On cue, they all floated into the bathroom together and disappeared.
Matt and Leslie moved into “The Meadows” in 1978,
to be the caretaker and the curator of this historical home which was now owned by the Franklin Township. Annoyances and unusual occurrences started right away.
a) After moving in, their sleep would be interrupted by a noisy knocker on the front door, which would knock all by itself.
b) Various items and objects in the house would disappear and turn up somewhere else, or vanish altogether.
c) Some unseen entity knew the cost of electricity, for lights would turn themselves off when the couple would go to another place in the house, or outside.
d) Both heard unexplained sounds in the attic.
e) While Matt was working on a conduit under the house, an icy, unseen hand touched his shoulder gently, as if to tell him to be careful.
f) On two different occasions, Leslie awoke to find a middle-aged lady apparition, dressed in past-era clothing, standing at the foot of the bed. The couple wasn’t scared of her, for she was a kindly spirit who was there to protect them, they felt.
In 1979, a new caretaker, Harry, moved into the upstairs unit, that had been renovated by Matt.
a) One night, Harry was awakened by a blood-curdling, tormented scream of a tortured soul, which came from below the kitchen window. The next morning, Harry found that the kitchen windowsill’s potted plant had been broken in the middle of the floor. In 1980, Harry heard the same horrendous scream again.
b) When his daughter, J., came to visit, she complained to him one morning that someone was noisily doing the dishes in the middle of the night, complete with pot banging and dish rattling.
It is assumed that at least 5 restless ghosts reside here. Two are thought to be the spirits of Evert and Cornelia Van Wickle. When their graves were temporarily dug up, only their ashes were found. As cremation was banned during the time that they were living, it’s assumed that they perished in a fire.
The other three seen apparitions are perhaps former owners of the house. Sometimes, those unfortunates who are killed before their time, may have trouble passing on to the other side. They may not know that they have died. Or, they try to live out their normal life time, perhaps trying to be helpful. In some cases, they try to get revenge in some way on the living, through pranks, annoying or scary behavior. Also, they sometimes reenact their horrible death over and over to the living, who don’t understand it.
1289 Easton Avenue
Built before the Revolutionary War, in 1722, one can find this restored, historical home in Franklin Township, New Jersey. It was built in a secluded area, which is hidden by the trees and where a person can gain access to the house only after traveling a narrow, curvy road.
- Photos from TheMeadowsFoundation.org
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr