It was like some dark undefinable menace, forever dogging my steps, lurking, & threatening …”
Sounds and Shadows …
It starts with the sounds. Creaking floors and slamming doors, fading footsteps down empty halls, whispered words in the wind. Sensations and shadows follow. A feeling of being watched, tingling taps on the shoulders, spectral shapes crouched in corners or gathered in front of fireplaces long gone cold.
These are just a few of the experiences related by visitors to The Mount, Edith Wharton’s hundred-year-old isolated retreat in the dark hills of the Berkshires. Tricks of the imagination in an old house once inhabited by a skilled writer of ghost stories … or something else?
When Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and the rest of the Ghost Hunters team came to investigate The Mount they found very significant indications of paranormal activity. Footsteps, voices, even a head peeping around a corner … just to prove what so many before them have claimed, that The Mount is indeed a center of ghostly activity!
We are interested in hearing from anyone who has stories about The Mount. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come to The Mount one evening and experience for yourself the hot spots of paranormal activity in the servants’ quarters, stables, and formal rooms on one of our special ghost tours! Dates and times for the 2014 season will be posted soon.
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The Mount has stood mute witness to stormy emotional currents from its very beginnings. Built in 1902 as a writer’s retreat, it was the scene of the final disintegration of the Whartons’ ill-fated marriage. Edith Wharton exiled herself to France and embarked on a passionate, yet angst-ridden love affair, and Teddy Wharton descended into years of mental instability.
Sold by the Whartons in 1911, The Mount became part of Foxhollow School for Girls in 1942. Residents reported unexplained noises and odd sensations while living in the old servant and family quarters. The school closed in 1976 and after several years of neglect Shakespeare & Co. used The Mount as both dormitory and theater. Actors reported not only odd noises, but also visions of figures in old-fashioned clothing calmly inquiring what they were doing there…
Edith Wharton was no stranger to the world of the supernatural. As a girl she was inordinately sensitive to forces she could never quite see nor escape. She was “haunted by formless horrors” and felt “some dark undefinable menace… I could feel it behind me, upon me; and if there was any delay in the opening of the door I was seized by a choking agony of terror.”
Even as a married woman in her late twenties, she could not sleep in a room with a book containing a ghost story. She said she actually burned books containing ghost stories “because it frightened me to know that they were downstairs in the library!” Years later, after writing many ghost stories of her own she perhaps drew on these early fears when describing what makes a good ghost story:
“If it sends a cold shiver down one’s spine, it has done its job and done it well.”
Find out if Edith Wharton and her beloved house can still make spines shiver.
Come to The Mount.