Ghosts of Bryn Brooke Manor

Ghosts of Bryn Brooke Manor

How did you get in here?

September 4, 2013


O, ghostly apparition!

I do not believe in ghosts. I don’t disbelieve in them, either. It’s one of those questions that falls under the category “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Thank you, O Crazy Dane and creator Willie S.

However, living in a 130 year-old Victorian with its share of nooks and creaky stairs, and a fair number of former occupants who likely died on premise, the environs are certainly suited to apparitions. Several residents and bed and breakfast guests tell tales of seeing visages of children in the Porter Room, a formidable woman dressed in black patrolling the hallways, a menacing silhouette dubbed “The Grey Girl” on the third floor, and a young workman all over the place. There’s a swaying bed incident in the mix, too.

I never see them, never experience anything paranormal. Ever pragmatic and skeptical, I believe that ghost sightings are the product of wishful thinking or overactive imaginations. Depending on the poll, 45% of Americans disagree with me. Daughter Liz swears that no spirit will appear to me for fear I’d put them to work. She is referring to the house rule that any non-paying guest is required to pitch in if their visit exceeds two hours. Hey, it’s a big house with never ending chores. During her teenaged years, if her friends wanted to take advantage of the pool, they could also learn to clean it.


Our Sully

There is one recurring event that defies explanation. On a half dozen occasions our dog, Sully, has gone missing. He’s only absent for as long as it takes for someone to say, “Where’s the dog?”, usually a half hour or less. He’s always found in the same place, he’s safe, and tail-wagging happy. Sully is either in Room 2 or 3, connecting chambers listed as the Porter and Mercer rooms on the Bryn Brooke website. It’s the same place where the ghostly children are seen. The girl is about 12  years old. The younger child, a boy, is about 7. They are usually seen together, the girl sometimes on her own, but the boy always in the company of who appears to be his older sister.

Our big old house is all egress with too many doors and windows to bother to count. Three of the five bedrooms on the second floor can connect by unlocking doors, an architectural convenience when suites are needed. The Sully-luring rooms have two entry doors each, plus bay windows. He is always found behind a latched, sometimes locked door. The first time it happened, maybe the second, it was a curiosity of “How did you get in here?” and easily dismissed. By the fourth, fifth, and last Monday’s sixth time we’re asking “What’s going on here?”

Exterior Front Facade

Bryn Brooke Manor

Because of the multi-door layout, the assumption is that he simply comes in through another opening, but each time the other doors and even windows are secured, not that the windows are a possibility because of the second floor location. Even if he nosed his way through a door left ajar, how would he manage to close the door behind him? It usually happens when there is only one person in the house, precluding the possibility of pranks.

This circumstance is Sully specific. It never occurred with our two previous dogs, Jetta or Gracie, though the new cat, Hester, has been found similarly. Cats are mystical imps anyway, so she probably transported herself.  Sully’s a smart boy, but still lacks the opposable thumbs necessary to turn a doorknob.

Hester, the impish cat. MoMo is in the background, apparently unaffected by ghosts.

Hester, the impish cat. MoMo is in the background, apparently unaffected by ghosts.

The malleable human heart yearns for the explanation that the spirits of two children just want some playtime with our loving Sully. I still scoff. There must be a logical explanation why Sully repeatedly finds himself behind closed doors in the same second floor bedroom, completely content.

Ya got me.

The Porter Room, where Sully is usually found.

The Porter Room, where Sully is usually found.


The Mercer Room, which connects with the Porter Room. Sully is found here, too.

The Mercer Room, which connects with the Porter Room. Sully is found here, too.


About Brenda Berstler

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Brenda Berstler is the founder of Savor USA, a social media site that celebrates the USA as a work in progress, profiling its character, its great moments, its stumbles, its quirks and curiosities. Follow her travels and experiences at and on Facebook at Savor USA. Visit us every morning for our daily "Good morning, America, how are you?" post.