It’s said Baleroy Mansion, built in 1911, in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of America’s most haunted houses. Until December 2005, it was owned by George Meade Easby, called Meade, the great-grandson of distinguished Civil War Union General George Meade and a descendant of seven signers of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to a vast antique collection, there are ghosts, an alleged cursed chair and other paranormal activity.
Meade – Master of Baleroy Mansion
George Meade Easby was a child when his parents, M. Stevenson and Henrietta Large Easby, bought the mansion in 1926. Meade is remembered as a philanthropist and antique collector.
When he died, he owned over 100,000 antiques. Some of the items include those owned by his great-grandfather and Thomas Jefferson. The first paranormal experience known to occur at Baleroy happened on the day the Easby’s moved into the house. Meade and younger brother Steven were peering into the courtyard fountain. Meade saw his reflection, but his brother’s was a skull. Steven died shortly afterwards.
Meade’s Paranormal Encounters in Baleroy
He saw his uncle’s and mother’s ghosts, sensed Steven’s presence and often heard phantom knocks and footsteps. Meade related that he was alone in the house one night when he felt someone sitting on his bed. He thought it was a burglar. Something grabbed his arm. When he turned the light on, no one was there. The next morning, there were bruises on the arm that was grabbed. Meade hosted a party honoring a visiting minister. More than twenty witnesses saw an ornamental copper pot fly across the room and hit the minister on the side of his head.
The study was lined with books from floor to ceiling. One, a poetry book, was sticking out, looking like it was ready to fall. Meade took it from the shelf and noticed an envelope inside. He turned to the page where it was and felt a chill. The envelope said, “To my son Meade in the event of my death.” The poem was Longfellow’s “The Children’s Hour” and the envelope was empty.
Baleroy Mansion – Blue Room’s Cursed Chair
Spectral Amelia, as Meade named her, is the haunter who is said to own the two-hundred year old blue upholstered wing chair in the room. Some allege she cursed the chair because four people who sat in it died soon after.
It’s said that she drove a former curator insane when he sat in the chair and that he died because of her curse. A gelid blue mist that some believe is Amelia has been seen frequently in the room. The same phenomenon precedes the arrival of her specter.
A Former Skeptic’s Experiences in Baleroy
Meade’s longtime friend, Lloyd Gross, was skeptical about his paranormal experiences in the mansion. Gross was giving a reporter a tour of the house. When they were in the East Room, Henrietta’s former bedroom, the reporter’s tape recorder flew out of his hand, sailed up in the air before falling to the floor. The man said something pulled the device out of his hand.
Gross saw a blue mist while he was helping to prepare the mansion for a charity event. He told Meade the haze indicated that it was getting cold outside. Meade’s reply was that it was ectoplasm, the term he used for Amelia’s paranormal mist.
Other Baleroy Mansion Paranormal Incidents
People have seen Steven’s ghost near the fountain and in an upstairs window. Once, Steven’s portrait inexplicably flew fifteen feet away from where it was hung, leaving the nail it was hung from and the wire attached to it intact. An elderly woman’s ghost, holding a cane, haunts the second floor. People who have seen her feel fear and despair. The wraith of a monk in a brown robe has been sighted in the second floor halls and the master bedroom. Thomas Jefferson’s specter has been witnessed, standing near a tall clock in the dining room. David Beltz Jr. was working in the mansion’s basement when he heard someone calling his name. He thought it was his father. It wasn’t. Beltz Sr. was working on the third floor.
Baleroy Mansion Today
Although none of the ghosts of Baleroy have been photographed, the blue mist has been.
The Baleroy Mansion is open for tours. Antique buffs will find the place a treasure trove of items from the past. Ghost hunting enthusiasts are attracted to the mansion because they might encounter one of the spectral residents.