Phelps Mansion; located at
1738 Elm Street, Stratford, Connecticut.
It was not far from the famous
Stratford Shakespeare Theater. Stratford is located next to Bridgeport,
off I-95 in southwestern Connecticut.
This Mansion was built in
the first half of the 19th century, and has 3 main floors as well as the
customary basement and attic.
The Phelps Mansion was lived
in by the Dr. Eliakim Phelps, a a Presbyterian minister and his family,
which means that the mansion may have been owned by the Presbyterian Church,
as a parsonage. The Phelps and perhaps other pastors and their families
lived there until 1947, when it was turned into a convalescent nursing
home. In 1968, the Mansion was abandoned and became a refuge for Stratford's
dregs of society, mainly drug addicts and vagrants. In 1998, the Mansion
was spared the wrecking ball when it was assimilated into the hospital
being built on the property next to it.
HISTORY of the Manifestations:
It seems that Dr. Eliakim
Phelps was fascinated by the occult and spiritualism, and as a hobby tried
to get in touch with spirits through holding numerous seances, which is
very dangerous for an amateur to do. In March of 1850, he inadvertently
summoned a rather bad apple, the disgruntled spirit of a witch, possibly
Goody Bassett, who was hanged in 1661.
1) When the Phelps family came
home from church, they all saw a phantom corpse laying on their parlor
table, later identified as being Goody Bassett.
2) Later that same afternoon,
various family members found their clothes laid out on their various
beds, in positions suggesting the way bodies are posed for their coffins.
3) Strange life-size, life-like
bodies made from stuffed clothing would appear unexpectedly.
4) Apports in the form
of strange puppets and dolls made of material scraps would appear out
5) Poltergeist manifestations
began to take place, increasing in degree and veracity.
a) Family heard a constant
stream of strange knocking noises.
b) Small objects around
the Mansion began to move by themselves.
c) Two of the Phelps
children, 12 yr. old Harry and 4 yr. old Anna suffered nightly attacks,
being physically thrown out of bed, and beaten by an invisible presence.
d) In front of other
witnesses, furniture, such as tables and chairs would rise off the
ground. A candle stick beat itself against the floor until it broke.
e) As the haunting intensified,
many people witnessed furniture throwing itself through windows, and
moving across the floor effortlessly by itself.
However, when Harry and
Anna were sent off to boarding school, most of the hauntings stopped.
It seemed that this spirit was drawn to these two children, and was
able to draw energy from them to do its mischief.
The hauntings began again
in 1947 when Phelps Mansion was converted into the convalescent hospital.
6) For 20 years, the staff
reported hearing strange voices whispering in dark places, heard unexplained
knocks and saw heavy doors open and close all by themselves.
7) In 1971, police spotted
a little girl inside the now deserted, disheveled Phelps Mansion. They
chased the little girl into a third floor bedroom, where she vanished
into thin air.
The Phelps Mansion was investigated
by the ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren. No one knows for sure who
the little girl is, but it is theorized that it could be Anna Phelps,
who came back to the home she loved, materializing as a child.
Resources: Picture of house: prsne.com
Haunted America by Michael
Norman, Beth Scott , 1994
The National Directory of
Haunted Places, Dennis William Hauck, 1996