Haunted Dwelling — Parry Mansion Museum
45 South Main Street
New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938
Web Link * (215) 862-5652
General, drop in tours: Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 and 3 PM from May 1st through October 31st. Admission is free. Group tours for ten or more people are available year round. $5.00 a person, Reservations for group tours must be made in advance by calling 215-862-5652 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Parry House Museum can be found on S. Main St., just south of The Logan Inn, near the corner of W. Ferry/E. Ferry intersection and S. Main St. The Parry House Museum is right across the street from the old Parry Barn structure, which has partially been put to work, housing artisan shops.
In 1784, a founding father of New Hope, Benjamin Parry, built this two story, eight room stone Georgian-style, Colonial house for his family. Benjamin built and ran the lumber mills, as well as managing other economic endeavors, providing jobs for many, as well as making a very good living to support his family. When his Prime Hope Mills burned down in a fire in 1790, he simply rebuilt them, giving the mills a new name, New Hope Mills; bringing hope to the people as well. Benjamin Parry was a mover and shaker, an inspiration to many; as a community leader who cared about his town, and a successful businessman with not only a mind for commerce, but the courage to follow through on opportunities.
Five generations of the Parry clan raised their families here, until 1966, when a family member, Margaret Parry Lang, sold it to The New Hope Preservation Society, who with great care restored the Parry family house, with each of the eight rooms representing different historical eras when the Parry clan lived here, up until the year, 1900. The Artwork and furnishings tell the story of the "decorative changes", during the years 1775 throughout the 1800s up into the turn-of-the-century.
On their website, they have a detailed description of each room: I found their descriptions fascinating. Unfortunately, when we were in New Hope, the museum wasn't open to drop-in tours.
( Colonial Entrance Hall * Colonial Kitchen * Federal Drawing Room * Late Victorian Library * Empire Dining Room * Empire Bedroom * Victorian Music Room * Victorian Bedroom * Child's Room )
The historical society has paid attention to detail, redoing the original wallpapers using the small samples found. It was painstaking work, but well worth the trouble. Descendants of the Parry family have been willing to part with family heirlooms and many of these treasures have found their way back to the Parry House Museum. These personal affects and belongings add special touches of meaning to each room.
This New Hope Historical Society became a force for restoration way back in 1958, when they saved the Parry barn that sits across the street from the Parry House Museum. They have proven to be very capable of raising money to keep up with repairs needed at The Parry Mansion as well as other buildings they have saved for posterity. For instance, in August of 2006, this New Hope Historical Society got together with the George Nakashima Studio and co-hosted "Party Under the Trees," a fundraiser that raised the money needed to help cover the costs for repairing The Parry House Museum, and other restoration projects. Some of the money raised was used for a new roof for The Parry House Museum that was badly needed.
In the Parry House Museum, The New Hope Historical Society has an office in the museum itself, making them aware of the paranormal activity; suggesting to the staff that the various members of the Parry family may be there to help, perhaps supervise a little, as well as go about their own business.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
People who have strong attachments to their beloved property because of strong memories, sometimes choose to visit or stay there after leaving their bodies, passing over to the spirit world. Restoration and renovation of a home really encourages this kind of manifestation. They want to remember and perhaps relive some moments, help the living, as well as continue to enjoy the property.
Five generations of the Parry family called this house their home.
( Kelton House * Madrona Manor * Whalely House * Kleinschmidt House * Stranahan House * Hemingway House )
Personal belongings that were near and dear to people while they were alive, can draw them back into this world, as they may not be ready to let them go. Personal mementos, furnishings, and other possessions of members of the Parry family are on display throughout the house.
( Ashton Villa Mansion * Speed Art Museum * Wood County Infirmary *
MacArthur Military Museum * Lilly Library )
Children who die from illness or accidents sometimes like to stay around their most comfortable surroundings, like their family home, or even the place where they passed on to the other side. Sometimes when people die, they return to the place that they were most happy. Some appear in their childhood form.
Benjamin's oldest son, Oliver, and his wife had 12 children, of which 8 survived. One of their sons died from a condition he got while fighting in the Civil War; perhaps a disease or wound. The other three may have died as children.
( Kehoe House * Robert E. Lee Mansion * Gibbs Farm House Museum * Lafitte's Guest House * Hotel Bethlehem )
Apparitions described as floating forms have been seen by staff at the Parry Mansion.
An apparition of a woman
There have been clear sightings of a female entity, dressed in a black-beaded dress, going about her business in the upstairs area.
While filming a historical documentary in the Parry Mansion, the sound recorders inadvertently picked up footsteps of some curious spirit children, perhaps wanting to see what the living were up to in their home.
An unintentional audio recording picked up the footsteps of entities of children.
The staff of the Parry Mansion have had personal experiences with the spirits.
Staff have reported seeing free-floating apparitions in various parts of the house.
There isn't much hard evidence presented publicly, and it would be nice if move evidence was either captured or shared. Perhaps private investigations were conducted, and the results are being kept private, for some good reasons.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Entities from the Parry Family seem to be pleased with the job that The New Hope Preservation Society has done in restoring the structure, especially the decor and furnishings. Since the staff have some benign, spirit company, and coexist peaceably with these spirits, the folks in charge probably don't see the need to bring in psychics and paranormal investigators, which may stir their fellow spirit companions up, having outsiders in the house who want to contact/bother them. The spirits don't seem to need to be noticed by the living, and are in this world just to enjoy their beloved home.
Most importantly, more reports of paranormal activity will take away somewhat from the mission of The New Hope Preservation Society. They wish to run a house museum, and be a place of education and preservation; not be a magnet to ghost hunters, psychics, and paranormal enthusiasts.
The Big Book of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories
by Mark Nesbitt and Patty A. Wilson
Stackpole Books, 2008
newhopehs.org * usgwarchives.net/pa/bucks/history/local/davis/davis44.txt