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.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Posted by Kathie at 6:26 AM