Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gardner’s "The Victorian"

Mansion in the early 1900s
Locals in Gardner, Massachusetts call an old spooky mansion in their community “The Victorian.” For many years the residents have told tales of the scary ghosts that reside in this home.

Sylvester K. Pierce originally had this home built in 1875. It was placed on a piece of land right across the street from his successful furniture business, which made chairs.

In 2008, Edwin and Lillian Gonzales were seeking a change. Edwin was given the opportunity to work from home, and Lillian had always wanted to renovate a Victorian house.

They decided to move from Boston.

Lillian’s sister told them about a home in Gardner that was selling for a very reasonable price and was the ideal Victorian property.

When Edwin called the realtor, he was surprised by her attitude. She quizzed him on whether he really wanted to visit the mansion, which he found odd and then ignored.

When the couple first walked into the mansion, Lillian fell in love with it at first sight. The couple brushed off the realtor’s warning that the home was haunted.

The Gonzales’ bought the house. But as soon as they moved in, they noticed something wasn’t quite right.

The couple discovered several of their possessions had been moved. At first, they ignored this. But by the spring of 2009, the activity took a turn for the worse.

One afternoon, while Edwin worked in his home office, an image of a man appeared right in front of his face. He then saw a hand swing at him--he put his own up to deflect the blow.

After this incident the Gonzales noticed more strange activity--it occurred both day and night and especially during full moons.

One room in the mansion called the Red Room had a violent history. The story told is a client became angry with a lady of the evening and murdered her in this room.

At one point a medium and a small group toured the home. The medium went into a trance while in the Red Room. She attacked another member of the group--it seems the murderer had taken control of her and attacked a woman in the group that reminded him of the prostitute he had killed.

The Gonzales noted that anytime women visited this room they had trouble breathing. Men who visited, on the other hand, felt nothing.

The original owner's oldest son, Edward Pierce is said to haunt the home’s cellar. He while alive claimed he saw his dead mother in a hallway in the mansion.

This son lost his family home in a poker game and the winner of his house, feeling bad, let him stay. But he had to live in a room in the cellar. 

In this cellar, people have sensed a negative energy.

Near the cellar’s cistern children have been heard laughing, and shadows are seen. Two little girls are known to have died in the home--one drowned in the back pond and the other named Rachel died at the age of 5 in 1918.

In 2011, new neighbors moved in next door to the Gonzales. Edwin noticed that one young son from this family kept staring up at his office window. The mother of this boy knocked on their door the next day.

She asked how many children they had, he told her they had none she then asked who was the young boy dressed all in white that had invited her son to come play with him the day before?

A Massachusetts paranormal investigator, Eric Perry has been in the mansion several times. His team has seen shadows, heard voices and footsteps in the Red Room and collected several EVPs.

In the cellar, he has heard a child’s voice requesting, “Come play with me.”

He believes the mansion is haunted because it is on a ley line. He also believes the house has a portal * to the left of the grand staircase. In this area, people have reported something pulling them back.

The television shows Ghost Hunters and Paranormal Witness have both highlighted the Gonzales mansion in episodes. Paranormal Witness did the reenactments for their episode in three other homes--they found the real mansion too scary to film in.

* I discuss Portals in another post here.

The Gonzales decided to have the mansion blessed. This, unfortunately, exacerbated the situation.

Lillian began to feel sick while inside the home--once she went into the yard she felt fine again.

She decided to sleep downstairs because the activity upstairs became annoying. One night while sleeping downstairs she woke up at midnight screaming, “Get it off of me.”

Edwin Gonzales
She had felt something heavy on top of her. At the same time, Edwin began to see an apparition of a lady in one upstairs window.

Deciding the activity was not something they wanted to deal with any longer the couple packed up--they left 80 percent of their possessions behind. The couple still owns the home, but in 2013 they moved into an apartment in Gardner.

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