Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hazelhurst Manor (Lilburn Mansion) - Ellicott City, Maryland

Businessman Henry Richard Hazelhurst hit it big during the Civil War in the iron industry.  He became very wealthy and in 1857 built his 20 room Gothic mansion in Ellicott City, Maryland.  He named it Lilburn, however some referred to it as the Hazelhurst Manor.  However, from the very beginning the home has had a torrid  history. It was not so much as history as it was a curse.  Some argue that this mansion is one of the most haunted places in America.

Hazelhurst Manor or Lilburn Mansion in Ellicott Cit, Maryland as it looks today, has had a very untoward past.

The Hazelhurst family was plagued by an untoward series of tragic events.  They lost three children in the house.  Two met their demise through unnatural accidents and disease.  The other, a daughter, died during childbirth.  Henry's wife then passed away making him the only surviving member of his family.  He too soon died in 1900.   The home sat for some time then was sold to the Maginnis family in 1923.

It was soon after the Maginnis family moved in that they started experiencing strange occurrences in the mansion.  Disembodied footsteps could be heard through out the home.  Some of the family believed that this was the spirit of Hazelhurst's daughter who died in the home having a child.  A fire broke out in the home destroying the  tower.  The Maginnis family rebuilt it only this time out of stone, removing the Gothic style turrets and making them flat castle style towers.  After this, the paranormal activity only seemed to get stronger.  Perhaps it was the spirits of the Hazelhurst family angered at the changes to their eternal home.  Or perhaps the destruction opened up some kind of portal which allowed the spirits to manifest themselves more easily.

During the 1960s the mansion was purchased by the Balderson family, who also claimed that they too could hear footsteps in the mansion.  Except this time, they were not always disembodied.  Some family members claim to have seen shadow figures of a man  and little girl walking through the halls.  Cigar smoke could be smelled in certain areas when no one was around.  A chandelier mysteriously began swaying during a party that was held there.  And some claim they could hear the disembodied sounds of a baby crying throughout the manor.  The family dog actually refused to enter one of the upstairs rooms.  One of the more mysterious occurrences is that of the unclosable tower windows.  The windows seemed to open on their own.  The Balderson's would shut them, then return to the tower to find them open again.  They resorted to tying the windows shut.  However, upon returning they would find that the ties would be undone and the windows open when no one was in the house!

The mansion has since then exchanged hands many times.  Each owner has claimed to have had no strange occurrences, but yet they keep moving out.  There was a bid to make the mansion into a bed and breakfast that failed and the building was once again put up for sale.  It seems as though the Hazelhurst family may want the house to themselves!

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