Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Haunted Object--The Wedding Dress

Although most people associate hauntings with buildings, spirits can also attach to objects. 

In other posts, I have shared information about-- Haunted Mirrors, a Haunted Doll called Annabelle, a haunted portrait at Shirley Plantation and recently, The Scorched Bed. In future posts, I will share more stories about objects that are haunted.

The Wedding Dress

Baker Mansion Museum
In 1849, Anna Baker was the third child of a wealthy family who lived in Altoona, Pennsylvania. She had the misfortune to fall in love with a worker without means. 

Her father, Elias Baker, who made his fortune as an ironmaster, refused to give his consent for the two to marry. He then used his power and influence to have this man kicked out of Altoona.

Anna angry refused to marry anyone else. As the years passed, she became a bitter old maid. When she died in 1914 she was still living in the family home.

Before her father’s refusal, in happier times, Anna had picked out a beautiful wedding gown that she intended to wear at her wedding. Within the year another Altoona debutante, Elizabeth Dysart * then bought this gown. She gloated for she knew Anna had hoped to wear it.

Years later, this wedding dress was given to the Blair County Historical Society, who eventually donated it to a local museum. This museum is housed in what was once the Baker home.

This gown is displayed in a large glass case in a second-floor room that was the dressing room off Anna Baker’s bedroom.

Witnesses have seen this dress move of its own accord--especially during full moons.

People have seen this gown swaying from side to side. One witness stated it is as if a bride is holding this gown out in front of them as they admire it in a mirror.

The dress has also been seen shaking violently to the point where staff feared the glass case would shatter and harm the old gown. **

Investigators have searched for a draft in this room or any other possible cause, but nothing has been found to explain why this dress moves.

Some feel this dress moves because Anna Baker has just reclaimed what was supposed to be hers.

* Elizabeth Dysart’s maiden name was “Bell” her father was also an early Altoona ironmaster.

** According to the museum, the dress is no longer on permanent display because of deterioration caused by exposure to sunlight and air pollutants. But one has to wonder if this is the real reason.

Here is a brief summary of the history of the Baker family.

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