South Mansion Inn
It is described as an 1863 three story
American bracket, post and beam villa; a seaside palace which was the
summer country estate used by rich industrialist George Allen and his
family and descendants for 83 years. Southerners used to escape the
heat in the summer months by going to Cape Cod. George Allen was inspired
by southern architecture, and built the ultimate summer home which reflects
this southern style. The glorious beige colored mansion sat on a huge
land estate, that had beautiful Italian gardens. Nothing but the best
was used and the palace was a beautiful summer home.
George Allen's niece, Ester Mercur and
her husband were the last of Allen's family to call the mansion home.
Ester loved the mansion, and when she died, her husband, Ulysses couldn't
bear to be there without her, and sold the whole estate with all the
furnishings for only $8,000.
The new owners bought the property with
the idea of turning the place into a boarding house, as a income producing
property, not becoming someone's cherished family home. They painted
the mansion white, and proceeded to convert the mansion into many small
rooms, bringing into the community a lower income bracket of clientele.
After 50 years, the mansion was in awful condition because little upkeep
was done to it and the construction done during the conversion process
weakened the structure. The grounds were overgrown and an eyesore. The
boarding house license was finally taken away in the 1980s, leaving
the owners no way to make an income until they would spend big bucks
to make the mansion safe. So, the whole property was put on the real
estate market, as a fixer- upper in need of major expensive renovation
before the living could call the place home!
In early 1994, the mansion was rescued
by the current owners. In just 18 months, the mansion was fully restored
and renovated to its former glory days, back to the original architectural
design and elements; quite an undertaking. The outside of the mansion
was taken down to the bare wood and repainted the original beige color.
New I beams replaces the rotting original ones. All five chimneys were
rebuilt with the original bricks. Lots of worn out/dilapidated items
were replaced, including the slate and tin roofs, copper gutters, porches,
trims, moldings and fascia boards.
After going through 130 years of Allen
family furnishings and mementos, 25 dumpsters took away the garbage
and junk, but the fine things were put back into the house. While they
were at it, the gasolier fixtures, walls, ceilings, floors, stairs,
doors and windows were all restored to their original glory.
The grounds and Italian gardens were
also replanted and whipped into shape, once again beautiful to see as
one walks around the vast grounds.
In 1996, people could live there once
again! A new south wing was added, with 10 guest suites, 12 bathrooms,
a second ballroom, a gallery, verandah, solarium, two grand staircases,
all which is built in the original style of the main Southern Mansion
The Southern Mansion is now a high class,
glorious Bed and Breakfast, with plenty of space for weddings and receptions,
and of course southern hospitality reigns supreme!!
Renovations to old buildings often activate
the entities. Ester Mercur who dearly loved her mansion and all the
wonderful times she had here with her family, must have been overjoyed
when the mansion was rescued from the decay of time!!!! Also other unknown
entities also are enjoying the place now, though not much is known about
1) A well-dressed female
entity, Ester haunts the house. She is a joyful spirit, and is delighted
that the mansion was renovated so closely to how it once existed in
a) Her strong-scenting perfume waifs
through the rooms.
b) Her laughter is heard as well.
c) Her apparition dances throughout
d) Her petticoat is heard as well
as her presence moves by the living.
e) She loves to be in the mansion's
kitchen, keeping her eye on the meal preparations.
2) There's one particular
room in the house that psychics have claimed bring a lot of tension
in the house. The owner believes that someone died in this room.
The South Jersey Ghost Research conducted
two investigations of this beautiful mansion.
a) They were able to obtain numerous
positive photos with orbs and several EVPs.
b) In both investigations, investigators
sensed many presences and were touched softly by an entity or entities.
c) Felt unusual cold spots in several
d) In one case a door locked all by
itself, just after it was checked by two people on the investigative
team and found to be unlocked . Some entity was getting some chuckles
at the living's expense!
Yes indeed; Not only by a very happy
entity, Ester, but also by several other entities, who are benign and
non-hostile. The mansion has a long hiThe story of many people living there,
and some are enjoying the fine mansion it has become once again.
mythmission.com * southjerseyghostresearch.org/cases2/04005.html