The Haldeman Mansion
Situated on a small hill next to the Susquehanna River is the Haldeman Mansion. It’s made of stone, as is common in old Pennsylvania homes. The land was granted by William Penn to the Galbraith family. The first building on the property was probably constructed in the 1730s or early 1740s. Before that the Shenks Ferry, Susquehannock, and Conoy Native Americans occupied it. When the Haldeman family owned the property, many rich and famous people were entertained there. Today the house is in serious disrepair, but one can imagine how grand it looked.
Greg, Beau, and I investigated the three floors of the house, cellar, summer kitchen, and lawns. We utilized our Mel meters, K2s, laser, spirit box, digital recorder, flashlight, and cameras. While Greg and Beau took some pictures, I sat on the steps of the children’s staircase and introduced myself. Someone must have misheard me, because, on an EVP, a voice asked, “Betty Jo? Hey, Betty?” We can also hear a voice saying, “pappy.” At the end of the session, a voice told me, “Farewell.”
I moved into the parlor. Again, I experienced some relevant interaction. I turned on the spirit box and asked to speak to the spirits of the property. “We’re right here.” I invited the spirits to use the equipment to communicate. Listening to the recording later, a voice said, “No, turn the light down.” It seemed like an instruction from one to the other. A woman’s voice declared, “They’re funny!” I suppose we do seem funny at times to those on the other side. In response to me saying, I told you our names, a female voice said, “Yes, you did.” I continue, “I told you where we’re from.” “Did you now?” was the retort. I asked about the Civil War, since there were Haldemans living on the property then. The icy answer was, “I killed.” When I asked, “How are you feeling”, the answer was, “Poor and alone.” That makes me sad. We used the laser because we did hear some sounds and thought we might be able to discern a figure. It got quiet, so Beau said, “Hey, come back!” An EVP commented, “Beau’s not listening to me.” Immediately, Beau said, “What was that?” It was almost as if he heard the spirit.
In the Artifact Room there are furniture, books, and other personal belongings of the family. A soul told us her name was Felice and she was a stable girl. We heard the names Dylan and Frank. When we asked about rowing out on the river, a voice replied, “Probably did.” We were told that sometimes the spirt of Frances Haldeman plays her piano. We played piano music on a phone, hoping to trigger a recital. We didn’t unfortunately, but as the camera panned to her portrait, a voice said, “That’s me.” Maybe she was there, but was not playing that night.
Outside, we sat on a step and wondered what the building might have been that was no longer there. Greg managed to get two pictures of me with a lovely green energy around me. We don’t know who it was, but it was definitely positive.
In the summer kitchen, we asked if someone wanted to turn off the light. The light blinked off, and I said, “Thank you.” Our EVP, heard later, was the reply. “You’re welcome.” It may be the cook who is supposed to inhabit the building. Using the spirit box, we heard what sounds like a woman calling, “Virginia.” The voice also said, “Our bedroom,” “I’d best get up,” and the word, ”apple.” A child-like voice called, “Papa!” When we asked, “Do you stay in the kitchen?” a voice answered, “I do.” When we asked about the Haldeman family, a voice replied, “They loved me,”
In the house, we spent some time in the master bedroom. Beau believes he was touched. There are two children who have been reported in the house. It may have been one of them. We did hear the names on our recordings of Tommy, Rachel, and Dora. I asked if the little boy was the girl’s brother. “Brother,” was the affirmation. When we remarked that the house had been closed for a long time, a voice through the spirit box said, “I know that!” That was very relevant. Greg took a picture of spirit energy. “Is that your picture?” I asked. “My picture?” a voice replied. The energy was dark, so I noted, “You’re sad.” “I know,” was the retort. The spirit of a boy named Jacob is thought to be in the house, too. Beau spoke to him and a told him he hoped Jacob would communicate. “Good luck,” said a voice on our EVPs.
In Jacob’s room, we commented that he must have been angry and sad when he was asked to leave. He had been shooting at birds and been warned several times. Later, they found him dead, because he had nowhere else to go. “It was alright,” was the response. “Is this your room,” we asked. “My bedroom,” was the answer on the EVP. A voice also told us, “I like this room!”
In the office, the camera went in and out of focus, although I was the only one to be seen. Maybe there was someone else in there with me. Beau and I tried to carry on a flashlight with someone. The light turned off and on for a few questions. When I asked what letter the name began with, an EVP told us, ”M” for me.” That was funny, and showed a sense of humor. The door opened slightly, even though there was no wind. During a spirit box session, a male voice spoke, “That’s Beau!” A female voice replied, “Um, yes.” We asked about the Haldeman family. “Who you?” was the challenge. We asked if anyone knew Sigmund Freud, who was a friend of the family. “Who that?” was the answer. “Can you see us?” we asked. “At window.” We asked how many were in the room. “10 of us. 10 of us are here!” was the reply.
In the cellar, someone called my name. Beau asked if anyone was there. “With you!” a voice told him. “Did you live here?” we wanted to know. “Once,” was the reply. We did ask if the house had been part of the Underground Railroad. “No.” We didn’t seem to have as much activity down there as other parts of the home.
We moved into the children’s room. We asked, “What was life like in the 1800s, living at the house?” An EVP responded, “It’s safe, but it’s hard.” That’s an excellent response. We also caught part of a conversation between two of the spirits. “I want it,” said one. “Never, you work for me,” responded another. “Promote him,” said a female sounding voice. “We’re working!”
In the parlor, a woman’s voice said, “Hello” in a British accent. We were told her voice has been heard before. A man’s voice said, “My beer.” The name Grace was said twice. When I thanked the soul whose picture we had just taken, I was told, “You’re welcome.” That happens many times! Another voice begged, “Don’t burn me!” That was rather disturbing.
Although we were told to “Get out” a few times, we believe the spirits at the Haldeman House are not malicious, and are willing to communicate. None of us felt threatened at any time, and we sensed the playfulness of the children there. There is much to learn about the history of the property from those who are still there. We hope the Preservation Society will be able to restore it.