Loudoun House

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Two female entities are spending their after-life here for their own reasons.

 

DESCRIPTION

loud-house-paranormalThe National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

WOW! This truly glorious 1850 Gothic Revival mansion is well worth the effort to visit, with influences from the Romantic Movement that were so popular at that time.

Loudoun House is on The National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, and it is owned by the city of Lexington, who leases this lovely mansion to the Lexington Art League.

When we finally found and traveled down Castlewood Avenue, suddenly it appeared on the right. Loudoun House is made of brick painted white, then dusted and covered with layers of sand and paint to resemble stone. The mansion is long, shallow, and two storied, with lovely castle-like towers framing its grand entry way. The crenellated tower on the right of the main entrance is bigger, and probably holds a study at the top, as there are four large, stained glass windows there. The rounded window arches are made of limestone, and the roof is a handsome slate. The roof line is interesting, with all its turrets, parapet walls, and pinnacles on the important gables. Peeking in the windows of the closed mansion, one sees large rooms for serious parties/assemblies, now used for events sponsored by the Lexington Art League. The woodwork inside is all walnut.

Francis and Julia put the best in their home, from the stencil-painted medieval designs on the ceilings to the enameled glass panes, plasterwork, marble mantels and custom-made furniture from New York.

 

HISTORY

Francis Key Hunt, one of the sons of John Wesley Hunt, was the driving force in Loudoun House’s construction, a real labor of love. After being educated at Transylvania University in Lexington, which was close to his father’s home, and the Episcopal Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, Francis became a lawyer. After returning to Lexington to practice law, he married a local, wealthy socialite, Julia Warfield. Her parents gave the young couple a wedding gift of 60 acres on the Bryan Station Pike, located next to the Warfield Estate.

When John Wesley Hunt died suddenly of cholera in 1848, Francis inherited nearly a million dollars. He hired a local Lexington architect, John McMurtry, to build a castellated Gothic Revival villa using a custom design he’d found in an 1838 catalogue of blueprints, “Rural Residences”, by prominent New York architect Alexander Jackson Davis.

Planning between Davis and Francis was problematic, as it was done long distance though the mail, which drove up the cost. Francis intended to spend $10,000 – $12,000 dollars. The final price tag was $30,000! Finally, in 1852, Francis and Julia had their dream villa, distinctly different from the common Greek Revival homes usually built by Lexington’s well-to do. It was called Loudoun, after Julia’s favorite song, “The Bells of Loudoun.” Both Francis and Julia loved their new home and lived together, raising their family in it from 1851 – 1879, when Francis died.

In 1884, Julia sold Loudoun to Colonel William Cassius Goodloe and his wife, and moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, Maria Hunt Dudley and Dr. Benjamin Dudley. The Goodloe family enjoyed living in Loudoun House from 1884 to 1921. J.F. Bailey was the next owner, but he only lived there a few years before he sold it and its property to the City of Lexington in the 1920s. Lexington transformed this beautiful building into a community center, and the home’s extensive grounds into Castlewood Park.

In 1984, Loudoun became the home of the Lexington Art League, an organization who actively promotes the arts through shows, classes and events held here. The city still owns the property, but leases the building to this fine organization.

 

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS

Two female entities from the 1900s don’t want to leave just yet, and have chosen to spend their afterlives in the home which they loved.

I suspect that one of the entities may be Julia Hunt, who may have had to move out before she really wanted to do so. For some reason, she had to sell their beloved home, which had so many good memories. I’m guessing that either she didn’t have the funds to keep the home and estate, or perhaps her health wasn’t good. For some reason, she needed to move into her daughter and son-in-law’s home, and didn’t just buy a smaller place, more suited for a single woman.

The other female entity could be a former servant, still waiting on dinner guests, or a lady of the house, being the model of hospitality.

Someone’s kitty also suffered a quick demise and didn’t know what hit him or her. Still thinking it hadn’t used up its nine lives, the kitty hangs around in the afterlife.

 

MANIFESTATIONS

The Entity of the First Woman

Dressed in Victorian attire, she has been seen in the western part of the mansion.

The Entity of The Second Woman

Also dressed in Victorian garb, she has been seen in what was the formal dining room.

The Entity of The Cat

The spirit of a black cat has made appearances all over the mansion.

Sensory paranormal activity

The light scent of a 1900s floral perfume has been noticed by the living in one of the upstairs bedrooms, now used as a studio.

The living have heard disembodied voices and soft, background music, played at 1900s balls and events.

STILL HAUNTED?

Probably, as it is listed as a haunted site on several sources. They are gentile and polite, and must appreciate all the events that the Lexington Art League hosts in this mansion.

 

LOCATION

209 Castlewood
Lexington, Kentucky 40505

The Loudoun House, now the home of the Lexington Art League, can be tricky to find. Tom and I got royally lost searching for the Bryan Avenue turnoff from East Loudoun Avenue and had to ask a policeman where it was located. Best way to find it is to take E. New Circle Road to Bryan Avenue, turn left onto Bryan Avenue at the end of Castlewood Park on the left. You will see Maple Avenue Make a left on Maple, and another quick left on Castlewood.

You can’t miss this glorious gothic mansion, with its huge front yard. If you miss Maple, you will shortly come to Castlewood, and you can turn left there. If you miss this street as well, you will come to East Loudoun Street, which means you have come too far!

lexington

SOURCES INCLUDE

  • National Register of Historic Places – Loudon House
  • Shadowlands.net – Haunted places in Kentucky

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

 

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