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The Haunting of Baleroy Mansion and the "Death Chair"

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The spooky tale of Baleroy Mansion

The spooky tale of Baleroy Mansion

The Baleroy Mansion

The Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to the Baleroy Mansion. Besides being rich in history, the mansion has also been reported as one of the most haunted homes in the United States.

The Baleroy Mansion was built in 1911 by the family of Civil War General, George Meade. The house contains 30 rooms, and it is believed that there are ghosts in every single one. Almost everyone who has visited the mansion has reported some type of paranormal activity.

Other tales of hauntings at Baleroy include Easby’s mother, President Thomas Jefferson, a chair that kills people who sit in it, an unknown elderly woman, a monk, random objects flying around unprovoked, unexplainable electrical blackouts, and nonexistent 1930s phantom cars heading up the driveway.

— Kevin Feeley, neighbor of the Baleroy Mansion

The Blue Room and the Death Chair

The Blue Room, which contains the exact sterling silver that was used at a celebration dinner attended by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is particularly creepy. This is due to a 200-year-old blue upholstered wingbacked chair (which some say once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte) that resides in the room. It is also infamously known as the Death Chair, as several people who have sat in it have died shortly afterward.

The infamous 'Death Chair'

The infamous 'Death Chair'

Alleged Victims of the Death Chair

A malevolent ghost known as Amanda supposedly haunts the mansion and is said to lure people to the chair. There are at least three reports of individuals dying after being compelled to sit in the blue upholstered seat.

The Death of Paul Kimmons

One victim was Paul Kimmons, a former Baleroy curator. Kimmons had been working at the mansion for several years and was skeptical about the place being haunted, as he had never experienced anything himself. However, while escorting a psychic on a tour of Baleroy, he saw Amanda floating down the staircase.

After this incident, he claimed that he saw her everywhere he went, including in his house, when he was walking down the street, and in the rearview mirror of his car. This caused him a great deal of stress, and one day he felt so exhausted that he decided to sit down in the chair in the Blue Room to rest. He died a month later.

General George Meade, the builder and original owner of the Baleroy Mansion

General George Meade, the builder and original owner of the Baleroy Mansion

The Easby Family

Another spirit that is said to haunt the mansion is Steven, the younger brother of the last owner of the house, George Meade Easby (who died in 2005) who was also the great-grandson of General George Meade. Steven, who died as a young child, has been seen and heard inside Baleroy.

George Easby had said that one time while he was entertaining guests at the mansion, a crashing sound was heard coming from the gallery room (no one else was inside the house at the time). When they went to find out what had happened, they found a portrait of Steven lying on the floor fifteen feet from the area where it originally hung. The nail was still tight in the wall, and the wire was still firmly secured on the picture. George was not able to come up with a logical explanation for how the incident could have occurred.

George's uncle and mother are also believed to inhabit Baleroy. Prior to his death, Easby claimed that his mother's spirit led him to an old desk. Inside one of the drawers, he found a letter written by his father that read: "I was brought up not to believe in ghosts and to trust only what science could explain, however, I have seen the ghosts and there is no reason to be afraid".

Perhaps now George Easby has joined the many spirits that still call Baleroy their home.

Fact or Fiction?

What do you think, is the Baleroy Mansion actually haunted? If it is, do you think it's truly the most haunted house in Philadelphia?

Unfortunately, unlike other supposed haunted houses, there are no longer any tours available of the Baleroy Mansion. The house was sold to an individual and now remains a private residence. According to Kevin Feeley, a resident neighbor of the Baleroy Mansion, the current owners have had the house blessed.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Frances G on April 25, 2015:

Thank you for this story - it sounds super creepy! I would love to visit it some time and as for the chair ..... :D

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on July 24, 2012:

Thank you Handcrafted! I'm glad you liked it. :-)

Handcrafted1 from Central Illinois on July 24, 2012:

omg.... I am a true believer in spirits in all forms and things that can't be explained. I am so glad to have met you, i really enjoyed this Hub

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on July 12, 2012:

Thanks Gypsy. :-) I'm glad you found it interesting.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 12, 2012:

Voted up and interesting. Love the paranormal. Sounds like a place I wouldn't mind visiting. That chair could give one nightmares. Super hub. Passing this on.

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on July 11, 2012:

Thanks for commenting Seeker and RunningDeer. Yes, the chair is very creepy and definitely not one I would want to have in my home. :-)

RunningDeer from Iowa on July 11, 2012:

This sounds so cool! I just toured an old mansion in a town in Iowa. It was super cool and elaborate, but no hauntings. I wish it had had some! The chair is creepy. Neat find, great hub!

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on July 08, 2012:

Wow! What a place! The history is fantastic and so are the ghost stories - the 'death chair' is particularly fascinating but creepy!!

When I hear about child ghosts in does make me very sad, but having said that, for some reason I do find the thought of child ghost also very creepy! It might be due to the fact that a story I heard many years ago was about a malevolent ghost (like Amanda in Baleroy Mansion) who would giggle and whisper like a child but was actually a nasty spirit acting like a child to lure people into a false sense of security. When people approached the area of the giggling/tiny voice, this spirit would then start throwing objects and produce bad odours and would laugh - the sound of the laugh was adult and male - that scared the crap out of most folks.

This was an excellent hub and a thoroughly absorbing read! Voted up!

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on July 07, 2012:

Thanks prasetio and lyric- I'm glad you found it interesting!

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on July 07, 2012:

Voted up, awesome, useful, and interesting. Awesome write up Jenn. I have heard of this place before, seems like through the Civil War rather then the paranormal, but I may be wrong. I always wanted to visit places like this, although I know they can be trouble. I get scared to be honest, from past experiences. However, it would be fun and exciting. Great job on the history and everything else.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 06, 2012:

I love something about mystery. Thanks for share about this house. It's so scary at night. Voted up :-)

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on July 01, 2012:

Thank you for the follow and share MsLizzy! It must be an interesting experience to say the least to share your home with a spirit.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 01, 2012:

Fascinating. I am a student of the paranormal, and have done a bit of minor ghost-hunting in our own home. (We have a young girl spirit, who can be quite mischievous.)

I wonder if the group, "T.A.P.S." has ever investigated this mansion of which you wrote? We've seen just about every show of theirs, and this name does not sound familiar.

Voted up, interesting, awesome and shared. You have some great topics, and a new follower.

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on June 25, 2012:

Thanks for commenting lipnancy and lucybell. I'm glad you found it interesting.

Bonny OBrien from Troy, N.Y. on June 24, 2012:

Great hub. I found it really interesting to read! And that chair sounds really scary.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on June 22, 2012:

Love the pictures of the place. It looks like it was built to be spooky.

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on June 14, 2012:

Thanks kashmir- I appreciate it. :-)

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on June 14, 2012:

Hi jennzie, great interesting information about this haunted mansion within this well written hub ! I enjoyed reading your hub,well done !

Vote up and more !!!

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on June 13, 2012:

Thanks for the comment and link goody- I don't mind at all!

goody7 from over there under the sycamore tree on June 13, 2012:

I've never heard of this place before either, but this was one very good story. I find this topic to be totally fascinating, and I put a link from my hub to yours here. My hub has become known as "Ghost Central" now on the hub pages. If you don't like the link, then just please let me know and I'll remove it for you at once. Also stop by when you have a moment and check out my latest unbelievable hub, It's right up your alley & it's true. Keep on hubbing :)

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on June 11, 2012:

Thanks efeyas! I don't blame you-I wouldn't want to be near that chair either!

Elizabeth from Some Sunny Beach, USA on June 11, 2012:

I liked this hub, voted up and awesome! I had never heard of this place before. Won't catch me ever sitting in that chair though!

Jenn (author) from Pennsylvania on June 08, 2012:

Skarlet- Thanks! I appreciate it.

Manofmystery- I would love to visit this place as well, though I highly doubt I would have the guts to sit in the chair, let alone go anywhere near it. Thanks for commenting!

Mary- I agree, it looks like any other chair just by looking at it. I still wouldn't want to be too close to it, though!

Thanks for commenting!

maryhoneybee from Richmond, Virginia on June 08, 2012:

That chair looks so beautiful and innocent, but I guess looks can fool you. Interesting hub! That mansion is gorgeous, in a creepy, admire-from-afar kind of way.

manofmystery24 on June 07, 2012:

Great paranormal hub. I want to investigate this place! At the same time though, I'd like to stay as far away from that chair as possible! Voted up!

Skarlet from California on June 07, 2012:

Interesting hub. Love old homes and their stories. Truly excellent, and voted up