Sunday, March 20, 2016

Asheville’s Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate
This privately owned grand home and estate are open to the public year-round.

The 26- year old Vanderbilt heir, George Washington Vanderbilt had this house built for his ailing mother as a vacation home in 1886. The estate encompasses 125,000 acres, and cost Vanderbilt a large portion of his inheritance.

Vanderbilt had his own railroad line built to the home so family, friends, and guests could travel to the estate with ease. At the time the mountains where the estate is located were a distance from Asheville,—today this city with its expansion is closer.

In recent years, this estate with is views and winery has become the largest tourist attraction in the state of North Carolina. Its home and gardens were featured in the Peter Seller film, Being There.

George Vanderbilt and his wife Edith held lavish parties in the home. Guests were often invited to stay for weeks at a time.

George and Edith Vanderbilt
George was an avid collector of rare books, and the Biltmore’s library was his favorite room. His guests noted he would retreat to this room during storms. It is here where his ghost is seen most often.

His wife’s voice is heard calling the name “George” softly in this room, during storms—wanting him to join his guests.

Biltmore library
When Vanderbilt died in 1914, from complications connected to appendicitis, Edith would spend hours in the library talking to her deceased husband. The servants feared she was losing her mind.

She is heard to this day having conversations with George in the library.

After Vanderbilt’s death his daughter’s sons inherited the estate— they opened the home to the general public.

Three of many gardens.
The Biltmore estates’ indoor pool is another active spot. Even though this swimming pool has been drained for years visitors and workers report hearing splashing sounds coming from this area while in the home—especially at night.

Indoor swimming pool
Diabolical laughter is heard coming from the drain at the bottom of this pool. And the apparition of a “lady in black” appears to be connected to this area.

Throughout the home, witnesses report hearing the sounds of clinking glasses, laughter and snatches of music. It appears one of Vanderbilt’s big parties is still in full swing.

Several full-bodied apparitions have been seen over the years, and unexplained screams have been heard.

Other witnesses have seen a headless orange cat roaming the area between the garden and the Bass Pond.

This estate can be reached via exits off both 1-40 and I-26 in Asheville. Signs clearly mark the way.

View of Biltmore from Parkway.

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