Haunted castle in Vermont, “They’ll play tricks on you” | Entertainment
PROCTOR – Wilson’s Castle has been considered haunted since Cornell Wilson purchased it in 1939. Banner recently joined a group of paranormal investigators, led by Ghost Hunts USA, at the castle to see what would be uncovered.
Doug “Andy” Probst explained the history of the castle – and the hauntings. He has been involved with Wilson Castle since he was a child because his parents were friends with Cornell Wilson owner and granddaughter Denise Davine.
“There are two of us (who run the castle), her and myself,” Probst said. Probst acts as general guide and historian of the castle.
Wilson never wanted the public to think the castle was haunted, but according to Probst he had the castle blessed by a Catholic priest every spring.
Probst noted that every haunted place is different, but the interesting thing about Wilson’s Castle is that “nothing evil or demonic is here. Nothing tragic has happened.
The castle has six or seven “great travelers” who haunt the 32 rooms, but a portal in an upstairs cupboard allows other spirits to enter and leave the castle at will, he said. .
“It’s not like you’re going to be scared at the door, but they’re going to play tricks on you.”
Guests have reported hearing voices in the distance and music playing. During the investigation, this was confirmed. Several of the investigators reported hearing music coming from different floors of the castle.
The chateau is 13,131 square feet with 13 fireplaces.
“13 has no meaning here,” Probst said. The expansive space allows different areas of the castle to manifest different hauntings.
Probst has known people from the shadows under the stairs. He said that while he was washing his hands in the bathroom sink, he looked in the mirror and saw a shadow moving across the door. It was “clearer than anything because it wasn’t in my peripheral vision, it was behind me,” he said. He shouted so loudly that the tour group in the other room could hear him.
He also shared his least favorite area of the house, the third floor hallway where a figure is known to peek around the corner. The hallway itself has a shift in energy from the rest of the area, he said, adding, “I don’t like it at night.” said Probst.
The servants’ rooms are also believed to have a more sinister energy than the rest of the castle.
Probst showed a photo of a ghost child standing behind someone in a mirror.
“You know what sells me on this fucking picture? Look at the reflection of his socks on the floor,” he said. And he was right: the ghost is reflected in the mirror and on the floor.
“I would put our whole reputation on these photos, the fact that they weren’t faked or doctored,” Probst said.
History of the castle
The original owner of the house, Sarah Johnson, is a regular at the castle’s ghost robberies. Sarah and her husband, John, built the house from 1885 to 1892. They had two children together. Their first child was born in 1887 and died six months later of spinal meningitis. This second child, Elliot, lived to adulthood.
Sarah “never got over the loss of that child,” Probst said. She was also haunted by the belief that her husband had never loved her and only loved her money. When Sarah’s parents cut her off, John left Sarah, Elliot and the castle and was never heard from again.
Sarah spent a few years in the castle and then left around 1900, but returned to the afterlife, he said. She stays in her room keeping the gate in her closet.
“Sarah watches over the portal,” Probst said. He and others believe she haunts the castle because she never got over the pain of losing her firstborn.
Probst told the story of a group of women who spent the night in Sarah’s room. The next morning they thanked him for keeping the heat on. They heard the furnace go on in the basement and felt the hot air coming out of the grate near that wall. Probst said there was no furnace.
When investigators, led by Jackie Kurt of Ghost Hunts USA, spent time in Sarah’s room, it was never confirmed that the group had spoken with Sarah. But the group made a new discovery: one of the investigators’ surnames appeared in the device Kurt was using. Then the name of the participants’ grandmother came out. The investigator ended the session in tears.
For the investigation, Kurt brought several investigative tools, like pendulums and dowsing rods. Attendees swapped stories of how they had spoken to Sarah or other spirits, such as a ghost named Christopher who was in the navy.
Usually the third floor of the castle is closed to visitors, but the group was able to access it. Kurt brought motion-activated lights and flashlights to help communicate with spirits. Attendees asked questions as the flashlights turned on and off, seemingly by themselves.
Some people got stung in the back, others heard noises coming from the walls, and no one left the investigation without believing they had experienced the paranormal.
Paranormal investigations at the castle gave Davine and Probst the opportunity to give the structure the necessary upgrades. They focused a lot on repairing the slate roof and exterior brickwork, and fixed some minor cosmetic issues inside the building as well.
The investigations have brought people from all over the country, all the way to Washington State. The next paranormal event will be August 20, but daytime tours are almost always available. Ask to see the ghosts captured in the photographs.