Beardslee Manor: The Ghost Hauntings

Beardslee Manor
Beardslee Manor

Beardslee Manor has a history that goes back as far to 1792, with John Beardslee himself. The hauntings itself is eerie enough to tell a story that comes from the graves today. In upstate, NY, near St. Johnsbury, there stands this little eatery with a quite a reputation if I do say myself. Beardslee Castle Restaurant has a very unique distinction for both great reviews in culinary magazines such as "Strange Tales of the Supernatural" and "The Ghostly Gazetter". The manor sat for many years, squatting in patches of overgrown weeds and shrubbery. The castle stood two stories high, with great stone walls smothered in orange flowering vines and the broken windows staring blankly toward the road.

Somewhere in the middle of the 1700's, there was a french and Indian war. A fortifed homestead stands on the property where Beardslee Castle is today. The Mohawk Valley was a central supply point for the militia along the northern borders of the colonies back then. It's told that late one night, a group of Indian 's had crept into the home and made their way into the tunnels where the munitions were stored. Munitions and powder were stored at the homestead here. As the story goes, one of the Indian's torches ignited the powder and the Indians had been blown away.

John Beardslee had left Connecticut in 1781 to set forth his fortune, where in 1787 he arrived in Whitestown, New York. He had built Mills financed by the sale of shares and later selling his portions for a tidy profit. Between 1790 to 1796 he built the first bridge across the Mohawk at Little Falls. Mr. Beardslee had settled at East Creek, a mile from the Mohawk, in the 1800's. When the Erie Canal was built, bringing much trade to the South side, Beardslee Mills fell on hard times which later became abandoned. John had passed in 1825, the same month the Canal opened. John's son Augustus Beardslee had carried on the Beardslee tradition. Augustus was very respectful in the law, elected to the state legislature, and even serving time as a member of the judiciary. He was even selected by Lincoln as one of several representatives in Virginia to stave off civil war. Augustus Beardslee managed the manor by investing in New York Central Railroad. He built the castle in 1860, and a covered walkway was constructed leading to the East Creek station and a private semaphore installed so he could stop trains to travel to New York. Augustus' son, Guy Beardslee was born in 1858 after being appointed to West Point Military Academy for 4years. He later came to return to East Creek to handle the family estate at Beardslee Manor.

By 1879, Guy Beardslee married Ethel Shriver and had settled at the Beardslee Manor to work on a project that intrusted him the creation of electrical power. At that time, Thomas Edison and Nickoli Tesla had been working on a pet project of their own, which was a machine to speak to the dead. Which many probably are unaware of. Guy Beardslee must have gotten interested because during this crazy venture there were numerous accounts of blue and green arches of electricity emerging from the Manor house. It's been said right after that, the fires and stories of restless souls emerged from these incidents. Electricity has a way of changing the molecular structure of the atmosphere in the surrounds around it. After a lightening storm, most people, such as myself, can smell the ozone and feel the static electricity in the air. Spirits, ghosts, and entities need this supply of electrical chemical or biological energy not only to remain on this earthly plain, but to maintain some kind of physical form of course. Guy Beardslee had proved his theory through this and with his creation the East Canada Creek Electrical Company was made. The original plant still operates and sits about fifty yards from the ruined remains of the Beardslee family crypt. It had created so much static energy to attract earthbound spirits from miles and create a large portal way in the astral vale to allow others to come through and stay this earthly plane. Not a good thing I would say, and very creepy as such too.

Guy Beardslee had done some time in the Army, assigned to Fort Niobrara in Nebraska. The army was setting outposts to take over land then from the Sioux. If Mr.Beardslee ever saw battle, who knows. One thing is for sure, he returned to East Creek with three full Sioux war bonnets and a collection of tomahawks, knives and some other ceremonial articrafts. Sioux war artifacts are very sacred and their mere presence in a building could have profound effects. Especially if they been taken into battle. Unfortunately, all of these Indian articrafts had been destroyed when the manor had burned in 1919.

The first fire of Beardslee Manor had broken out in 1919, while Guy Beardslee and his wife were vacationing in Florida. The Manor had been completely gutted, leaving nothing but the stone walls.  Newspapers claimed the cause was arson to cover up a theft, and that a mysterious man had been seen in the area days before the blaze.  Precious articrafts and furnishings gathered in the Beardslee's world travels had been destroyed.  The main was rebuilt only, leaving the second floor without a floor and railings across the windows open.  The back of the building had turned into a garden space, with the stone walls draped with flowers and vines.  Two of the original three tunnels had to be closed off and they were sealed off forever.  The Beardslee had continued to share the home until Guy passed away in 1937.  Ethel had passed away in 1941, where she was laid to rest next to her husband, as they had no children during their marriage to carry on the name and tradition.

Back in 1911, Guy Beardslee had sold his business to the Adirondack Power and Light which later became Niagara Mohawk. Somewhere in the 1950's, it's said that travelers driving along a Route 5 would  see bright yellow or blue lights that would 'rush' out at their cars from the trees, to even chasing them down the road.  The light was blinding at time, according to reports and sometimes seen floating in the distance through the woods. One true story that I am told about is back in the 1960's, there was three teenage individuals who had broken into the Mausoleum, or the Beardslee Crypt. This was a common place for teenagers to make out and drink back then.  Most of the head stones had been vandalized or even stolen and the Beardslee vault was no exception either.  The three teenagers had desecrated the graves this one night, all being drunk of course.  One of them, had pushed opened the slab , baring the names of those who rested within and fished out the skull of one of the Beardslee.  To make matters worse, the individual had put the skull in the dashboard of his converted hearse, no lie.  Supposedly, his other two friends had passed by suicide and the other by an unexplained illness. Unfortunately for him, he was discovered in Little Falls, New York and arrested.  The skull, found in his closet, was that of Augustus Beardslee himself.  The mausoleum still exists of course and far back into the woods of the tall pine virgin trees.  You can still find here beer cans from the sixties that were scattered and left untouched.

When Guy and Ether Beardslee passed away, Ethel's sister, Gertrude Shriver had sold the estate of the Manor to Adam Horn and his wife who had lived in the castle for about a year.  They had then sold it to Anton "Pop" Christensen who opened the estate to the public as "The Manor" and it stuck for 45 years.  Pop Christensen and his wife had resided in the small cottage beside the castle which is now the west courtyard.  However, as years went by, Pop Christensen became terminally ill.  After many failed attempts, and being depressed, he had finally succeeded by hanging himself in the ladies room of the castle which is now the side entrance foyer.  There is also a story in the 1800's of a school teacher and a minister that were supposedly found dangling from a beam in the Beardslee cellar.

By 1983, the owner of Beardslee Manor had wanted to find out the truth to the ghost stories and reports.  Norm Gauthier is a ghost hunter from North Hampshire Institute for Paranormal.  When he had investigated Beardslee Manor during the course of a night, he had brought in his equipment, which included tape recorders.  When Mr. Gauthier played the tapes back, at the end of the tapes, faint voices were heard whispering concluding there was spirits in the manor. Mr Gauthier concluded there was about two spirits in the Manor.  People had identified these spirits as a young woman, in white, on the grounds to walking , to standing by a window.  Most know her as Abigail by the story legend.  Abigail was either a Beardslee maid or niece back then, on a wedding day. It had been on her wedding day that  Abigail choked from an epiletic fit as she got ready, and it had turned into a funeral instead.  An employee tells a creepy tale that she had returned to walk upstairs when she suddenly saw the spirit of Abigail.  Abigail glided across the floor toward the bathroom, when the door opened and shut again as she passed through it with a touch to the knob.  The employee then opened the door minutes later, to discover the bathroom was empty.

Years would pass and a renovation had changed the Manor interior.  The stairs the lady of Abigail walked would be taken away.  As the Manor changed Abigail changed her appearance and became mean spirited toward those who had wanted to have their wedding receptions here.  Restaurant staff would find after setting up, tables overturned, glassware broken and a carving knife stuck in the wedding cake. Other stories follow the line of why spirits haunt the Manor.  Few staff members had decided to play with a Ouija board when the lights suddenly went out and a tremendous force had hit one of them in the chest, pushing him across the room.  Tales of overturned tables and chairs when the first employees arrived in the morning, to silverware flying around the room, and glasses breaking.

In December 2010, the television show, "Ghost Hunters" had decided to investigate the Beardslee Manor themselves to find out if the Manor was truly haunted.  Hunters Steve and Grant had gone off to work to debunk in the kitchen. However, the door that opens and closes by itself did so, whenever Steve opened another door.  In the dining room area, where lattice work, and bumpy stonewalls could easily create shadow play, Steve leaves to drive around the building to recreate the shadows.  Grant is taken aback by sounds of singing. At first he suspects it is Amy,but discovers it's not as she too hears it, but as laughing noise, but coming from outside.   When Brit goes outside to investigate, there is no one there .  Steve, meanwhile, does his sweep of the area, debunking the strange shadows in the dining room.

Kris and Dave are on the second floor when they hear what sounds like keys jingling and knocking sounds.  In the basement, Steve and Grant pick up some high EMF readings that creep them out. While in the dungeon area, they hear footsteps above when noone is on the first floor.  At the pool table, Brit explains to Amy that electricity could create the balls of light people claim to see.  Evidence had proved some debunking while some activity couldn't be explained.  Such evidence included a deep voice speaking on tape and the camera caught what seems to be a box passing in front of the building.  Definetely a residual activity at the Manor if you ask me.

The Manor was purchased in 1992 by a young couple who worked as teens at the Manor.   The couple had left the area back then and returned to find the manor building destroyed and up for sale.  The restaurant opened as Beardslee Castle , having reported no fires since then. However, the ghosts and residual activity here still continues on and will as long as the building shall stand on this property.



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