Lynnside Manor, Monroe County West Virginia

img_5071

Lynnside Manor is located in Monroe County, West Virginia and is the main building of the Lynnside Historic District. Lynnside is a Greek Revival structure built in Jeffersonian style. It was built in 1845 and was the ancestral home of the Lewis family of Virginia. The Lewis family founded the Sweet Springs Resort and St. John’s Catholic Church. St. John’s was the first Catholic Church in the area. 

img_5069-2

During the Civil War, General David Hunter and his Union soldiers raided the mansion and the General ordered the mansion to be burned. It is believed that General Hunter’s harsh treatment toward the Lewis family was because Mrs. Lewis was the daughter of Confederate General John Floyd. According to local folklore, Mrs. Lewis was a brave and resourceful woman who repeatedly put out the fires set by the drunken Union soldiers until they left. The soldiers left very little food or fuel for the family and the livestock had been destroyed or driven off. Despite the devastation and obstacles to overcome, the family made the best of the situation. The manor remained home to the Lewis family and later the Floyd family.

In 1933, there was a fire that gutted the mansion. Partial restoration was initiated by the family in the 1950’s but they were forced to abandon the project when they ran out of money for the project. The red brick Greek Revival home has sat vacant ever since. 

img_5071

Lynnside is about a mile away from the historic “Old Sweet Springs Resort” and St. John’s Church.

At the top of the hill toward the rear of the house is the Lewis Family Cemetery and the Catholic Cemetery.

timothy-lewis-family-cemetery-cindie-harper-lynnside-manorimg_9395134913411330132813271318

Virginia Governor John Floyd and his wife Letitia Preston Floyd are buried on the hill beyond the house. He died here in 1837 while visiting his daughter Letitia Preston Lewis. His wife Letitia Preston died in 1853 at her home in Burke’s Garden, and her body was brought here to lie beside her husband’s.

The governor was supportive of the Catholic Church. Letitia converted to Catholicism very late in life. Many relatives were active church members. There is still an association between the Catholic Church and Lynnside even today.grdy9400

By: Cindie Harper

 

 

 

Advertisements

Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg West Virginia

img_6107

 

The Old Stone Presbyterian Church was built in 1796. It is the oldest church still in continuous use west of the Allegheny Mountains. It was erected under the direction of Col. John Stuart who also composed and carved the inscription stone above the main doorway. The church has rough limestone walls, stands two stories tall, and has two tiers of rectangular windows with shutters. The original square meetinghouse was expanded in 1830 which gave it the current rectangular shape. In 1834, an octagonal belfry with an ogee-domed roof was centered on the new hipped roof. The bell was cast in 1855 by Meneely Foundry of Troy, New York.  

IMG_6115

In 1909–1910, a brick Sunday school building with a Doric portico was built north of the church and hosted the denomination’s General Assembly in 1910. A few years after that, The Presbyterian Synod of West Virginia was formed there.

The church cemetery is the oldest in Lewisburg. There are many old stone markers that are said to have been carved east of the Alleghenies and brought in by oxcart. Henry Erskine’s marble tombstone stands six and one-half feet tall and is decorated with a carved Masonic insignia that was commissioned in 1848 by Erskine’s son-in-law.

13408934_1455843801

 

img_6110img_6113img_6116img_6117

 

It is thought to be West Virginia’s only remaining example of a design by Alexander Jackson Davis. Davis’s daybook contains sketches of the monument, along with records of its cost. It was fabricated and carved at the Tuckahoe Marble Quarry in Westchester County, New York.

By: Cindie Harper
 

The Angel of Death in Lewisburg, West Virginia

The Old Stone Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lewisburg, West Virginia has its very own “Angel of Death.” This statue marks the final resting place of an 11 year old girl named Maud Mentague (Montague) Mathews.

IMG_6110

It should be noted that West Virginia Vital Records has Maud listed as Maud “Mentague” Mathews but her tombstone actually reads “Maud Montague Mathews.” Different local folklore versions say that Maud passed away from fluid on her lungs, influenza, or pneumonia. Being the curious researcher that I am, I checked her death record and confirmed that Maud passed away from pneumonia.

maudmathewsdeathrecord

Maud was born on October 2, 1876 to Alexander R.F. and Laura G. Mathews and died on May 30, 1888. Legend tells that Maud’s grief-stricken parents had the carved angel statue made to mark her final resting place. Maud’s friends and family held a small ceremony to commemorate the placing of the angel statue at the site of her grave. During this ceremony, folklore states that two of Maud’s best friends, a set of cousins who were said to be approximately 14 years old, each placed a kiss on a cheek of the angel in memory of their lost friend. Shortly after the ceremony, one of the girls fell ill herself. The legend states that she contracted the influenza virus and died of fluid on the lungs, similar to the way Maud had died. A short time later, the second girl broke her ribs in a carriage accident. Her lungs were punctured, causing them to fill with blood which resulted in her death.  The three young girls dying from fluid on their lungs, less than a year apart, caused quite a buzz in this small town. Shortly after that, the locals began referring to the angel statue as the “Angel of Death.”  Legend states that anyone brave enough or foolish enough to kiss the statue will die within a year.

 

IMG_6111

Although I was unable to find any details, there are rumors that the angel is able to foretell the deaths of some of the people who come to visit the ominous “Angel of Death.” So far, I have not been able to verify the deaths of the other two girls mentioned in this legend. I was able to find a few death records that leave room for the possibility of some truth to it though.

If you plan on visiting the “Angel of Death,” it is located in Section C-2 of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lewisburg, West Virginia. When I visited this cemetery earlier this month, I was immediately drawn to this statue and even remarked on how creepy and ominous it appeared to be. Perhaps the fact that the statue had a children’s play area and a picnic table nearby, made the “Angel of Death” a bit more creeptastic to me. Since I am not one to accept others’ beliefs as my own, my curious nature got the best of me and I gave that Angel of Death a kiss on each cheek!! All in the name of research of course.

IMG_6107

By: Cindie Harper

 
 

Marion County Children’s Shelter, West Virginia

The CVB building is restructured from the former Marion County Children’s Shelter. Since 1941, the original building was one of the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) final projects in the state. When the historic site was in the pathway for the construction of the Gateway Connector road, the efforts to preserve it began. The building wasn’t sound enough to be moved but with the help of the Federal Highway Administration, the county reused the carved stone of the exterior to create the Visitor Center. The structure was carefully pulled apart, chiseled out stone by stone, and re-built to become  the visitor welcome center for Marion County.

 

 

Marion County Visitor Center Children's Home Fairmont WV Cindie Harper

The Aull Center, Historic Garlow House, Morgantown, West Virginia

The Aull Center is located in the historic Garlow House.  In 1907, this Queen Anne Revival home was designed by Elmer Jacobs. It belonged to Aaron J. Garlow, president of the Second National Bank. The 1907 completion date is displayed on a blind-arch window below the pediment on the second floor.

Aull Center Morgantown Public library Historic Cindie Harper

The Garlow House is currently owned by the Morgantown Public Library. The Aull Center is located next to the main public library building. The second floor of the Aull Center houses the J.D. Rechter Holocaust Memorial Library. The library was created through generous donations by Edith Levy and with the assistance of Massachusetts book dealer, Ken Schoen. The Holocaust Memorial Library contains over 1,000 books on the Holocaust, making it the largest collection in West Virginia.

Garlowe House Aull Center Historic Morgantown WV Cindie Harper

The collection is named in honor of Edith’s father, J.D. Rechter, who died at Auschwitz.  The Aull Center’s books are available to the public.

The Aull Center is located at 351 Spruce St, Morgantown, WV 26505. Their phone number is: 304-292-0140.

Wheeldon Manor Experience

Toward the end of the night at Wheeldon Manor, I was sitting alone in “Jerry’s room” on the edge of the bed conducting an EVP session while recording with my video camera. All the other paranormal investigators were in a separate room when one of them asked me if I was willing to turn off my camera so we could all be in “pitch black.” I agreed. I sat there alone for another fifteen minutes until the only other female in our group decided to join me. She explained that she felt a little apprehensive so she decided to sit down next to me on the edge of the bed. We were both facing the doorway that led into the hallway. We had all electronic devices turned off so that there was no source of unnatural lighting. The room was very dark but we were able to vaguely see the doorway. I caught a glimpse of something that briefly appeared to darken the doorway.  Curiosity got the best of me so I began to stare directly at the doorway.  The room’s temperature seemed to drop as I could feel the chill bumps forming on my arm. A few minutes later, a very large (over 7 feet tall), black, human-shaped shadow figure appeared in the doorway. Although there were no discernible features to indicate gender and I did not see a mouth, nose, or eyes, the being seemed to have an intimidating, masculine presence.  It moved extremely fast across the doorway and disappeared out of sight. I felt a slight gust of air and the other female investigator yelled, “Did you see that?” Still in disbelief, I managed to yell, “What? Yes!” The rest of the group heard the commotion and came down the hall to check on us. As we were telling the group what we saw, we confirmed that we both witnessed that same large, black, shadow being move quickly past the doorway.

This encounter left both of us in disbelief as we confirmed that the shadow figure was definitely not a member of the group as we were all present and accounted for as confirmed by all members of the group. We could find no other logical explanation for what we witnessed. The fact that we both saw it and reacted at the same time just left us with more questions than answers.

Upon review of video and audio footage from that night, I was able to hear several interesting EVP’s. A few of the EVP’s were questionable so we decided not to present them as evidence. We also received a few direct responses during the PSB-7 session. I am still kicking myself for turning off my camera at the end of the night. While I am aware that video proof of the shadow figure would not prove anything to anyone who is committed to debunking it, it would really only confirm my experience.  It was an experience that I will not forget and one that compels me to return to this location for the second time this year.

So did I experience a Shadow Figure/Shadow Being? Ghost? Demon? Jinn? Sgili? Alien? Time Traveler? Or was it my imagination?

Well, since another person witnessed it at the same time, I am going to have to rule out the possibility of it being my imagination. I am also ruling out the possibility of it being the phenomenon known as Hypnogogia since it is very unlikely that we were both sleeping and having the same dream.

What are some other theories?

Quantum and theoretical physics, suggest that shadow people could possibly be some sort of other-dimensional beings whose dimension of origin occasionally overlaps with ours. Science now tells us that most of the universe is composed of dark matter that we are unable to see. It is believed that there are many dimensions that are invisible to us. The shadow being phenomena might be caused by other dimensions that overlap our own and occasionally intersect.

We also know that electromagnetic impulses can interfere with the human brain causing as altered perception. Recent studies in Canada have shown that people who are unknowingly exposed to a magnetic field often feel an unseen presence. Since electromagnetic fields are everywhere now, this may account for the increase in the number of shadow beings and other phenomena being reported.

Right now, there’s no law of physics that prevents time travel so some people believe that Shadow Beings could actually be visitors from the future passing through. Other people suggest that there’s a connection between aliens and shadow beings.

Then there is the concept of subconscious thought. Some people believe that shadow entities can be created by powerful emotions and psychic energy. This could account for the reports of heightened “activity” at locations where something traumatic has occurred.

Some people claim they can leave their body at will through meditation (astral projection) and other theories claim that we all travel out of body when we sleep. This concept makes it possible that shadow beings could be a product of astral travelers or twilight travelers.

We cannot ignore the fact that shadow beings have appeared in legends throughout many cultures. There are Native American stories that portray shadow beings as shape shifters and in pre-Islamic mythology, shadow beings were called djinn or jinn. In almost all legends, these shadow beings are said to be able to change their shape and believed to inhabit a parallel world to humans. Many people still believe in their existence.

IMG_3243

So what did I experience at Wheeldon Manor? I am really not sure but I am hoping to experience it again this weekend and with any luck, I will catch it on video.

I am planning to livestream from the location this weekend so hopefully you will tune in and participate in the experience.

IMG_3242

 

By: Cindie Harper