Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Paranormal Group Finds Bones Behind Historic Mansion Wall
A historic Brooke County, W. Va., mansion is at the center of a police and paranormal investigation after skeletal remains were found hidden behind a brick wall.
Gene Valentine, the building's owner, told Steubenville news station WTOV that it all started when a paranormal research group came to the Aspen Manor to hunt for ghosts.While there, some members of the Brooke County Paranormal Society said they sensed someone was buried in a basement wall and said they followed the voice to the area."A couple of the psychics that were part of that group got physically sick when they went down there and they couldn't figure out why," said Valentine.
The paranormal group came to the 76,000-square foot mansion in search of spirits, but had no idea they would find skeletal remains."It wasn't what we actually went in looking for," said Kathy Larntz, a member of the group.Larntz said they found a bone on the floor, so she picked it up thinking it was probably an animal bone. She kept digging, and as she did, she found more and more bones.Sheriff Richard Ferguson said the bones had "been chopped up into pieces" and had saw marks on them.The remains were removed from the wall and are being sent to the state medical examiner, who will determine if they are human or animal."They found some questionable bones and I still cannot confirm or deny that they're human," Ferguson said. "They appear to be very old, but still intact, and we have no time frame. We're actually looking back into the history of this area.
"In the meantime, in the former nuns' quarters, Larntz said she, her husband and another investigator made another finding. She said the trio was using electronic voice phenomenon equipment and heard clicking sounds."Nuns would use these clickers when kids would get like really loud (and) wouldn't settle down, they'd start clicking," she said.Valentine said he isn't surprised by the findings."I've had a few psychic friends walk through here and they've had really bad reactions in the house," Valentine said. He said he is restricting access to the mansion until the sheriff's department gets more answers.
The sprawling Aspen Manor mansion was built in 1895 by the Vandergrift family as a boys' getaway that hosted gambling and cockfights.Later, the Catholic community took over and turned it into an assisted living home where nuns and priests once lived. The mansion has since been converted to a bed and breakfast.