Cape May New Jersey
Positive Enthusiasm Reigns.
Let’s be joyful and Have fun!
It is described as an 1863 three story American bracket, post and beam villa; a seaside palace which was the summer country estate used by rich industrialist George Allen and his family and descendants for 83 years. Southerners used to escape the heat in the summer months by going to Cape Cod. George Allen was inspired by southern architecture, and built the ultimate summer home which reflects this southern style. The glorious beige colored mansion sat on a huge land estate, that had beautiful Italian gardens. Nothing but the best was used and the palace was a beautiful summer home.
George Allen’s niece, Ester Mercur and her husband were the last of Allen’s family to call the mansion home. Ester loved the mansion, and when she died, her husband, Ulysses couldn’t bear to be there without her, and sold the whole estate with all the furnishings for only $8,000.
The new owners bought the property with the idea of turning the place into a boarding house, as a income producing property, not becoming someone’s cherished family home. They painted the mansion white, and proceeded to convert the mansion into many small rooms, bringing into the community a lower income bracket of clientele. After 50 years, the mansion was in awful condition because little upkeep was done to it and the construction done during the conversion process weakened the structure. The grounds were overgrown and an eyesore. The boarding house license was finally taken away in the 1980s, leaving the owners no way to make an income until they would spend big bucks to make the mansion safe. So, the whole property was put on the real estate market, as a fixer- upper in need of major expensive renovation before the living could call the place home!
In early 1994, the mansion was rescued by the current owners. In just 18 months, the mansion was fully restored and renovated to its former glory days, back to the original architectural design and elements; quite an undertaking. The outside of the mansion was taken down to the bare wood and repainted the original beige color. New I beams replaces the rotting original ones. All five chimneys were rebuilt with the original bricks. Lots of worn out/dilapidated items were replaced, including the slate and tin roofs, copper gutters, porches, trims, moldings and fascia boards.
After going through 130 years of Allen family furnishings and mementos, 25 dumpsters took away the garbage and junk, but the fine things were put back into the house. While they were at it, the gasolier fixtures, walls, ceilings, floors, stairs, doors and windows were all restored to their original glory.
The grounds and Italian gardens were also replanted and whipped into shape, once again beautiful to see as one walks around the vast grounds.
In 1996, people could live there once again! A new south wing was added, with 10 guest suites, 12 bathrooms, a second ballroom, a gallery, verandah, solarium, two grand staircases, all which is built in the original style of the main Southern Mansion structure.
The Southern Mansion is now a high class, glorious Bed and Breakfast, with plenty of space for weddings and receptions, and of course southern hospitality reigns supreme!!
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
When a structure is beautiful restored, the spirits that are attached can be very pleased.
Hartford Twain House, CT (The Mark Twain family was so pleased with the restoration of their forever home that they no only moved back in but welcome visitors).
Southern Mansion was rescued from its creaky fixer-upper status and fully restored; inside and outside after the investment of a boatload of funds by the new owners.
People who enjoy their home while alive, sometimes choose to stay and enjoy their memories and special places there.
The Allen clan really enjoyed their forever home.
Spirits can be attached to their old possessions and furniture.
The new owners put the finer items, moments and furnishings belonging to the Allens back into the home. Guess who may want to visit or reside now?
Spirit of Ester Mercur
She is described as a joyful spirit and is thrilled that her forever home is restored as she knew it.
Ester’s disembodied laughter is noticed by staff, owners and guests.
Her apparition is seen dancing throughout the house.
Ester’s strong-scented perfume waifs through all the rooms.
Her petticoat is heard as her unseen presence moves by the living.
Ester as Supervisor
Ester loves to be in the mansion’s kitchen, keeping her eye on the meal preparations.
She cares that the guests of the B and B receive great meals as she considers them her guests too!
Spirits of the Allen Clan and former Boarders
They are all described as being benign, friendly and non-hostile; the perfect spectral residents for a bed and breakfast.
There is not a Grumpy Gus or Possessive Paula among them which is unusual.
They may be playful with people, but nothing mean or scary or too annoying.
Not only to guests, but even to Paranormal Investigators!
In both of their investigations here, The South Jersey Ghost Research sensed many presences and were touched softly by an entity or entities.
Felt unusual cold spots in several rooms.
A Spirit was also playful. In one case, a door locked all by itself, just after it was checked by two people on the investigative team and found to be unlocked. Some entity was getting some chuckles at the living’s expense!
Not only by a very happy spirit, Ester, but also by friendly members of the Allen Clan, as well as probably some of the boarders who lived here over a period of fifty years. They all have good manners, even temperaments, a friendly playfulness and a willingness to help and share. In essence, they are the perfect spirit people for a bed and breakfast and wedding venue!
The South Jersey Ghost Research conducted two investigations of this beautiful mansion.
- They were able to obtain numerous positive photos with orbs and several EVPs.
- In both investigations, investigators sensed many presences and were touched softly by an entity or entities.
- Felt unusual cold spots in several rooms.
- In one case a door locked all by itself, just after it was checked by two people on the investigative team and found to be unlocked. Some entity was getting some chuckles at the living’s expense!
The owners, staff and guests have all had pleasant personal experiences with the resident spirits. The mansion’s kitchen staff don’t mind having a spectral, good-natured supervisor.
Leave to psychic mediums to find the one room in the house that has a lot of tension. The room is where a person died. His or her physical difficulties in the process of dying still remain in residual emotional energy.
720 Washington Street,
Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 884-7171 * (800) 381-3888
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr