Monday, August 31, 2009

Ghost Stories - The famous Pink House of Wellsville New York



On the corner of West State Street and South Brooklyn Avenue in Allegany County, NY stands the beautiful but odd Victorian mansion known as the "pink house" Although the house is a tourist attraction in its own right, it is reportedly haunted and the stories that surround it are quite interesting and have even inspired a 123!
No modern day accounts of any supernatural activity exist but the history of the house prevails, keeping it one of those places that children will take care to cross the street when they get near it. The hauntings have not been verified but the two deaths that did occurred there are factual and do have all the hallmarks of a great ghost story.
The story starts in 1957 and involves a pretty young blond girl named Frances Farnum who was engaged to E.B. Hall, the man who built the pink house. Sadly, Frances was not in love with Mr. Hall, but was in love with "Paul" whom her rich father thought was not good enough (meaning not rich enough) for his daughter. He forbid his daughter to see him again. Furious and vowing to make himself worthy of Frances, Paul set off to law school and the couple wrote to each other and kept their love strong.
Unfortunately, Frances father found out about this and forged a letter to both of them stating neither one of them wanted anything to do with the other, so when Paul came home on holiday from school and passed Frances on the street without looking at her or speaking to her, her heart broke. Within a few weeks she married E.B. Hall and settled into a loveless marriage for the financial purposes of her father. The two men were very happy but Frances was so devastated, she committed suicide. The story diverges here. Some say she drowned herself in the fountain on the property, others say she died in the nearby gristmill. Wither way, the grief-stricken girl died an unhappy soul that was unfulfilled and cheated in life.
A twist to the story was that Frances was immortalized in the poem "Pauline" that was written by Hanford Lennox Gordon who was in reality "Paul". This poem is 123 pages long and was quite famous in its day. It is about a dying soldier talking to his captain at Appomattox about a heartless father, beautiful daughter and her one true love.
Anyway, it would seem that Mr. E.B. Hall wasn't too upset by his wife's demise because he married her sister Antoinette shortly after. When they returned to the Pink House after their honeymoon, they brought a small daughter with them. When the child was about two years old, she drown in the fountain, much like her dead aunt had. Legend has it that the spirit of Frances was angry that her husband had remarried so fast, she took her vengeance out on the child.
After a few more years, Antoinette had another child and fearing the spirit of her sister would harm this child as well, she decided to make a bedroom in the tower room of the house. In the window, was placed a candle that was never to burn out. All servants were instructed to keep the candle burning at all times to keep the candle lit. To this day, although replaced with electric lights now, the light remains in the tower window.
And so the stories go. Two deaths, unrequited love, vengeful spirits and a beautiful poem. I think it's a good story.

38 comments:

barbarakosciewicz said...

This is great! I grew up in Wellsville and never knew the full story. I only remember the girl in the well!

With Love, From The Mother 'Hood said...

I also grew up in WLSV and I remember the story as the grandfather sitting on the porch helpless in a wheelchair while the little girl fell into the well.

Amy said...

I also grew up in wellsville and remember hearing of the girl drowning in the well but have never heard that story thank you for sharing this

Thelma said...

Sweet story if factually incorrect. Frances Farnum was never engaged nor did she ever marry E. B. Hall. Frances suffered from melancholy, an old fashioned term for depression, and she took her own life in 1857 - well before the Pink House was built. E B. Hall did marry Antoinette, Frances sister. This lovely little story above takes parts of Hanford Gordon's fictional poem (he did live in Wellsville for a time) and assumes they are true. Sorry to bust the bubble.

Kathie said...

Thank for the info. It's always good to weed out the truth behind the stories.

Kathie

joe said...

i used to live in wellsvillle this house is creepy

batbob said...

I used to trick-or-treat at the Pink House as a child, having lived on South Brooklyn Ave. It was like a dare between my sister and me. It is a beautiful piece of Wellsville history. I always make a point to drive by numerous times when I visit Wellsville.

Viagra Online said...

It makes me remind a history that my grandparents told us to be quiet at night they said that there was a woman that had died in their houses and she walked at night so we always were quiet and silence.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Wellsville in the summers as my mom shipped my brother and I there to spend them with my many cousins who lived there. I loved the Pink House so when I grew up and bought my own much smaller Victorian house, I talked my husband into painting it pink. I love it!

Anonymous said...

My oldest daughter lives in Wellsville and to get to her house, you pass the pink house. I love this house regardless of the history. I walked right past it a few times and I'm spiritually sensative and there was a different feeling to it but not one that I felt threatened by myself. I recall a chandelier being inside and after seeing briefly inside; that is an example of what my dream home is. i heard about the girl drowning in the well as well as a suicide there but I did not know it was associated with love. Love can be a battlefield but I feel as a mom myself that parents after the child is old enough to wed; the parents can warn them and give them advice but not control them. But this house is the best one in Wellsville and when I come up from Texas I'm going to be sure to pass it.

Anonymous said...

I belong to a paranormal research group. Has anyone ever done a paranormal investigation at the Pink House. I saw the house in the early 70's. It is very beautiful. I have a painting of the house hanging in my livingroom.

rebecca said...

My grandparents lived in wellsville my whole life. They lived on niles hill rd.We would visit every summer and I have heard the stories my whole life but this explains it all...my great grandfather worked as a grounds keeper as a young man and would later tell my grandmother spooky stories of unual things that he experiance. My grandmother also owed a rocking chair from the pink house that no one was ever allowed to sit on. It belonged to my great grandfather who somehow got it as a gift from the owners at the time. I wish it would go up for sale so I can see inside!

viagra online said...

I have heard about this story, but just a little bit, my grand parents told me it, I think it is an awesome story. thanks for sharing it.

dounia2363 said...

My husband and I came to Olean for my bithday and stayed at the old library inn.we were looking for some old haunted Victorians and someone told us of the pink house.plan on driving by on the way home .thank you for the story.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the nearby town of Andover, NY...The story I've herd by my grandparent and by people of Wellsville that the little girl was playing with a ball that had landing in the well and the little girl leaned over and fell into the well and never retreaved from the well. I never here the story that is above till now, but over time things like this cange change from decade to decade, I think the only way to really find out the truth is to have a paranormal team come in like TAPS "The Atlantic Paranormal Society" out of Warwick, RI which goes all over the country and another way is look at old newspapers at the libery there in Wellsville and see what can be found, it will take research to find the acutal facts.

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Gail C. said...

My parents used to live in Wellsville, I used to visit there man times. I used to pass the "Pinkhouse" on the way to
their house.
I have read many stories about this over time.
This seems to be the only
story that seems to be true!
I know that it says in the
decree that it shall always
remain "pink" as this paint is
inport from France.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in Wellsville, NY. Have always loved the Pink House, though never enetered it. (sigh) I was friends briefly with a classmate whose father lived there as care-taker whist he started the Weslyan Church now located on the Andover Road. It is NOT a Victorian or French, but Italian Provicial. Whatever, it still haunts me, even here in Florida. NOTHING like it here!! Steve Knapp

Amy M said...

I lived in Wellsville for 5 years and fell in love with The Pink House. Even now, after returning to my Indiana home, I still have both a picture of it hanging in my home and I have a wooden cut-out of the house that I bought at Bartholomew's Card Shop.

Of course, I heard the story of the little girl and the well, the grandfather on the front porch who couldn't save her. But never felt that the house held a spirit.

What really moves me more than the stories is the silent presence that this home has in the community. Who lives there? (it's willed to the next generation in the family)
Who maintains it? (there is a caretaker who lives on the grounds)
Hum....

You don't see normal day-to-day activity at the home, there is never a family picnic with the grill going and games in the side-yard. Or a Christmas tree in the front window, and a wreath on the door. It simply stands in a frozen-in-time silent perfection.

One would think that the owners/inhibitors of a beautiful home like this, being kept in a family for over 100 years wouldn't be able to hide in small, tight-knitted community like Wellsville.

That's what "haunts" me more than a ghost story.

walter sabo said...

well it's upstate new york, it's all wacky and depressing

Brenda Emmons said...

i too, have a paranormal research team. does anyone know how to reach the owners or any pointers as to how to get permission to go inside?

Kittermanz said...

Well, I have my own team and It would be an amazing experience to go into the Pink House. Shadow Watchers, please ask the owners for me!! I need to get into this house! I remember a true story of when my older sister Vanessa went into the house. It was Halloween and she swore to god that she saw an ungodly creature-A Hellhound. She said she saw it three times and she died 2 years later on Halloween. I Will find out what this is!

annw said...

my husband is from wellsville and i had always admired the pink house when we visited from houston,tex--a friend made arrangements for us to tour and we got to meet the owners. it is lovely and we truly enjoyed it.very well main
tained. ann

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the area...my dad always told us the story.
He also used to tell that they had tried to paint it different colors and the paint always peeled off showing the pink.

love the pink house said...

OK my great grandmothers and grandparents grew up in wellsville along with my dad then my sibling and i did also our whole lives and the story here tho its creepy is not true a little girl drowned in a well my great grandmother was the nurse when they brought her to the hospital and my other grandmother who owned a house across the street new the owners and went to the lil girls funeral she drowned in the well that is now filled in and the gazebo sits on it! I believe the house is haunted i have seen strange things in the windows when i was walking home to pine street!@ The pink house was much scarier when i was a kid it had a wall all around the property also the artical doesn't mention that u have to keep the house the same color if u buy it!

Tim Lunn said...

I know there was a book written about this house because it was in the Bolivar School library when I went to school there. I believe it was simply titled "The Pink House In Wellsville".

Anonymous said...

Is the year for the above story meant to be 1857 rather than 1957????

Angel Matson said...

I was born in Wellsville and now once again live in Wellsville and I was interested about the legand of the pink house and decided to investigate. I went to the local historian place and found anything I could on it. I did not find much so me and to other of my friends who wanted to know the truth so we went and put a flyer for us cause we r certified babysitter. We babysat for a girl that had to kids and lived in one of the apartments that the pink house was made into. we could not even stay the full night we were hearing voices and I went outside and heard a little girl screaming at the pavilion that was built over the well. We all swore we would never go back and now I myself think I am living in a haunted house things have came up missing and I hear and see things that are not there and no one else see's or hears it.

ariel said...

I was born and raised in wellsville. I heard about the story of the little girl and grandfather.. my brother and I went to the house one year for holloween and it was creepy. Only family can live in the pink house and the color can never be changed from pink!

Anonymous said...

There was a caretaker by the name of Gene, several years back, he is friends with my sister..I am going to see if I can message him and maybe find out some more information to help with this story. I love the Pink house!!

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Wlsv all my life and not far from the Pink House. On Halloween now, each window is decorated with a lit plastic pumpkins. I have been in the front room only. There is a photograph that includes a mirror in the background that was taken in the house. There is an eerie looking presence in the mirror that is not in the front of the photo, nothing that appears reflected there. Very spooky. I have heard all the stories,too. There is also a large home at the top of the street on the hill that is reported to be haunted.

Brandi McAhon Dun said...

I also was born and raised in wellsville and upon returning for visits with family, my sisters and I did some research at the library. The book " things that go bump in the night " has this story in it. Which was based on the tragic love triangle and the little girl. Beautiful home and definatley a big part of my hometown.

Anonymous said...

I visit Wellsville once a year and would like to photograph this house. Do owners permit camera folks on property for different angle images?

Carol Dodds Collins said...

I grew up on West State Street and walked by the Pink House 4-5 times a day. It was pretty spooky after dark. Eila Shea's family lived in the apartment on the side in the late 50's-early 60's. Eila lives in Houghton now I believe.

I live in Columbus, OH now and was surprised when my Aunt Reba Mitchell told me the Wolf family from Columbus own the Pink House. The Wolfs are a prominent family here and own the Columbus Dispatch. I wrote to Mrs. Wolf several years ago inquiring as to how they became owners and my letter was never answered so the mystery continues.

Anonymous said...

That was similar to what people from there say / I'm from WLSV the " pinkhouse " is just intreging / like the Library :-/

Anonymous said...

Years ago there was a picture of the Pink House in a magazine in Florida and it didnt even tell where the House waas at -but if you knew Wellsville you knew that pic. Yes I also was told about a grandfather and a little girl, but I heard it was a small goldfish pond she fell into there the mound is in the front yard.Do you ever wonder what it looked like when first built???

Anonymous said...

I had heard of a little girl and the grandfather in a wheelchair but was told she fell in a goldfish pond in front of the house.

Jay Woelfel said...

Hello to you all. My name is Jay Woelfel my great great grandfather E.B.Hall built the Pink House and it has been kept in the family ever since. My parents do have a house in Columbus Ohio, so the one post about The Wolf's of Columbus owning the house is half right, if you see the Woelfels own the house. I bring this up as a good example of the, at half true, stories here and in books etc., that continue to come out about the house. I hope to someday tell the real story and stories about the house as I am a writer and filmmaker. The true stories are more fascinating than the ones commonly known, as long as you aren't looking for a ghost story. The house, though haunting, is not haunted. My family has many friends in Wellsville and since it's a private family home only family and friends have been inside it. With a house as unique as the PINK HOUSE is, that may and has created mystery but, of course, it's no different in that way than any other home. Interest from the town of Wellsville, and outside now as well, has always been appreciated as it takes much care, time, money to keep the house up.

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