"The Haunted Victorian Mansion"
May 20th, 2014
This place never lets me down, the Haunted SK Pierce Mansion in Gardner, MA. You have seen it in just above every paranormal investigation show. It truly is haunting beautiful.
My friend, Joni Mayhan, who is a paranormal investigator and author has just released her book, "Bones in the Basement – Surviving the S.K. Pierce Haunted Victorian". It is filled with research about the mansion’s history right up to the experiences that the current owners and paranormal investigators have recently (and still) experienced. It also contains photos from Joni as well as some from myself and Jason Baker.
If you are into the paranormal, history and some good ghost stories, check out here book here: www.amazon.com/Bones-Basement-Surviving-Victorian-Gonzale…
Some info on the mansion taken from Joni’s book:
"Bones in the Basement – Surviving the S.K. Pierce Haunted Victorian Mansion by Joni Mayhan. Available on Amazon.com or BarnesandNobles.com for ebook or paperback. Includes interviews from paranormal experts: Carl L. Johnson, Andrew Lake, Michael Robishaw, Lucky Belcamino, Marc Arvilla, and more. Forward written by Thomas D’Agostino.
Contains photos, as well as audio and video links of evidence captured at the Haunted Victorian Mansion.
When Edwin Gonzalez and Lillian Otero purchased the historic S.K. Pierce Victorian Mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts, in 2009, they scoffed at the ghostly legends surrounding the house. They didn’t believe in ghosts.
The house soon proved them wrong. By the fall of 2011, they were forced from their house, narrowly escaping with their lives.
Excerpt from Chapter 5: At the turn of the previous century, Gardner was known as “Chair City,” a nickname earned for its prolific furniture manufacturing. S.K. Pierce, the first owner of the Victorian, was one of the men responsible for the furniture boom.
Pierce was a self-made man. Growing up in near poverty, he worked in a local chair factory, carefully saving his money. In 1845, he bought out the owner and quickly began building his wealth. That same year he married Susan Jackson, the twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prominent Gardner townsman. They had a child together eleven years later, a son they named Frank. By 1875, S.K. was one of the wealthiest men in the entire country, and he set out to build a house more befitting his status.
The two-hundred-man crew worked around the clock to complete the massive mansion, finishing it in just a year and a half. The stunning results were a true work of art. As a furniture manufacturer, S.K. spared no expense with the woodwork inside and outside the house. Elaborate hand-carved moldings and doors graced every room, while crystal chandeliers hung from the ceilings. Tradesmen as far away as Boston came to install the fixtures and equipment. A Winthrop furnace was installed in the basement that heated every room in the house. Gas fixtures lit every room.
Even the servant’s areas were given special treatment. His craftsmen created a lavish butler’s pantry with floor-to-ceiling cabinets and built-in bins for flour and grains. S.K. should have been the happiest man in the world when he moved into his mansion but fate had other plans for him.
His wife Susan came down with a deadly disease known as erysipelas, an acute bacterial infection that affected her hands and face. Lesions appeared on her skin, ravaging her beauty and slowly eating her alive. She died a painful death in the house, just two weeks after moving in, leaving Sylvester alone with their twenty-year old son.
S.K. remarried two years later to twenty-eight-year old Ellen West, a woman who was thirty years his junior. She was an active member of the First Congregational Church in Gardner, as well as a member of the Afternoon Club, the ladies division of the Gardner Boat Club. She and S.K. had two children of their own, Stuart, born in 1879, and Edward, born in 1882.
After S.K.’s death in 1888, skirmishes flew between his heirs. Ellen took legal action against her stepson Frank for excessively spending against S.K.’s estate, stating that she was fully capable of handling the probate on her own. Her personalized safe still sits in the second floor landing, a testament to her importance in the household. Not many people had safes in the late 1800’s, especially not women.
After Ellen died the house went to the three Pierce sons, but it didn’t end well. Lawsuits flew back and forth between them for the rest of their lives, expensive evidence of the growing friction between them. Money could buy a lot of things, but it never brought the Pierce family the happiness they longed for.
Edward, the youngest son, ended up gaining possession of the mansion. He turned it into a boarding house, where rumors of prostitution and gambling grew rampant. The condition of the house declined, decade by decade. By the time Edward turned it over to the next owner, it was rundown and dilapidated, stripped of its former grace and glory.
The next owner put over a hundred thousand dollars into the mansion before he mysteriously abandoned it, leaving it standing vacant for twenty years.
It was no wonder the spirits were in such a state of unrest.
The house needed new owners; someone who could bring it back to the way it used to be without asking too many questions.
It had a lot of secrets, but not all of the ghostly occupants wanted them revealed.
Tagged: , haunted , Victorian , ghost , ghosts , paranormal , investigation , Bones in the Basement , Joni Mayhan , author , history , historic , mansion , Gardner , MA , Massachusetts , New England , S.K. Pierce , decay , abandoned , spooky , creepy , dark , Frank C. Grace , Trig Photography