|GLENN WERSHING IS AN ARCHAEOLOGIST and runs the local historical society in the Huntsburg Section of Sussex County. We visited Glenn one day inquiring about local lime kilns. During the conversation, our Weird New Jersey travels came up, and Glenn told us he and his wife Jackie live in a haunted house. We were invited over, and this is their story.
Glenn: This is the Thomas P. Hunt house and it was built in 1835 along Bear Creek which adjoins the property. Along the creek are ruins of mills: saw mills, distilleries and other buildings that date back to 1780. Our driveway was once called the "Old Colonial Road."
The house had a series of owners and was once an inn, a stagecoach stop and home to multiple families. This was once the industrial center of the town, and went by a variety of names such as Huntsburg, and Hunt's Mills.
We moved here in 1961 with three children. As soon as we arrived we knew there was something strange about the place. On the third floor we would hear footsteps going from the back of the house to the front of the house, then a big "thump." I think I must have run upstairs a hundred times with a flashlight to see who or what was there, but never found anything. On many occasions, too numerous to elaborate about we would hear footsteps coming down from the third floor and stopping in front of my daughters room. Footsteps coming right down the wall, scaring my daughters half to death! Many times when we would be out, and we would come home only to find our children at the neighbor's house or out in the screen house waiting for us. They wouldn't go back into the house. I had some dogs who didn't like the third floor one bit.
We would continue to hear these noises, sounds like radios and a baby crying. My father and mother were alive then and living with us, and they heard the noises also. In one instance, we were upstairs and we thought we heard the kids coming home from school because we heard the noises and the door opening and closing. But when we went downstairs we saw the schoolbus pulling up the driveway, dropping the kids off. One time our daughter was on the second floor and she heard her brother (whose room occupied the third floor) coming down the stairs. As she was descending the stairs to the first floor she heard the footsteps following right behind her. When she got to the first floor, she saw all of us outside and took off out of the house like a rocket! Whatever it was right behind her!
Then we started having odd instances of the poltergeist type. One night Jackie and I were watching tv, sitting on the floor with some pillows and a bottle of wine. We had a nice evening and the next morning when we walked into the room, there on the floor was a hurricane lamp, and an oil painting, stacked upside down, perfectly balanced on the floor where we had been sitting.
Jackie: It was odd because a hurricane lamp has two sections, and if it had just fallen, it wouldn't have landed like that.
Glenn: Another time I had misplaced my bankbook and we searched all over the house for it. About a week later I had come home and there it was, sitting right there in the bedroom. I said to Jackie, "Where did you find it?" and she said she hadn't even been upstairs.
Jackie: Those were prank things, even kind of funny. Nothing harmful.
So there was never anything that really scared you?
Glenn: Oh yes, this gets better! We would go through this constantly. The kid's friends would be over and they would hear the noises and we would laugh about it. The lamps would start swinging back and forth. Then one night my youngest daughter wakes up screaming, and at the foot of the bed was a ball of light, just hanging there, in the air. So I got up and walked towards it, and it floated around the bed and stopped. I walked over to it and it went right across the hall and past the bathroom. I walked towards it again and it went right in to my son's bedroom. I was worried because I didn't know what it was. Whether it was ball lightning, or St. Elmo's Fire... or a ghost.
Was it a bright light?
Glenn: No. It was a very dull white, About the size of a basketball. Then it vanished. Let me go back a bit. We went down to Drew University to hear a lecture by the Warrens who are ghost chasers, ghost busters... all of that. We told them about our place, and they knew all these things we were experiencing, they even told us things! They asked if we had children. We said yes, and they asked us if we had any girls reaching puberty. We said yes again and they said that can contribute to these encounters. When someone dies there is this energy force that is left which can manifest itself in the conscience or the sub-conscience. It can't tell you what horse to bet on. It's just a reflection of the past, a sort of wavelength that's stuck on the wall. Young children and especially girls going into puberty exude an energy that seems to bring these things out. They also said there are two kinds of energy, a good force and a bad force. And these bad forces are what started happening to Jackie and my son.
Jackie: I actually only saw the ghost once. Except for that ball of light. The Warrens told us that if we had left that ball of light alone, it would have manifested itself into a form. We even tried to analyze what had been happening to us and what was causing these things to occur. The main road is far away from our house, so it couldn't have been headlights. Then we thought maybe it was a burglar shining a light into the window. What we forgot to say is that most of these things would occur during the change of the seasons, spring and fall. Glenn went out and tried to shine a flashlight into the window, but we knew that wasn't the case.
Glenn: Whatever it is, it's in the house.
You're holding the October Historical Society meeting here?
Jackie: Yes. We decided to do that because they wanted to see the house and I figured it would be nice for the historical society, I don't open the house to the public though.
What was the most recent happening in the house?
Jackie: Well, the last thing that happened was about a week ago. I was working on the third floor cleaning up and the door to my son's room just SLAMMED shut, and it was already closed! When the room gets cold, you know they're around. Then as I was going down the stairs, the heating units started to shake. I ran down the stairs and shut the door. Of course you can't keep them away anyhow, but in your mind you like to. I can see they're starting to act up with the change of the season. One time when we were asleep in the bedroom, it got very cold. It gets ice cold when these things occur. I woke about 5 in the morning and you could just start to see the things in the room. There, standing in front of Glenn's dresser was a lady with extremely long hair who had a flowing sort of nightgown on. I was looking at her, not trying to move because I didn't want to scare whatever it was away. I remember just barely opening my eyelids just the littlest bit, trying to see a face in the mirror, the one mirror we have in the room. I thought if I could only see the face, maybe I could figure out who this ghost was. We have some old photographs of the family's that lived here before. Absolutely nothing was reflecting in the mirror.
Was she transparent?
Jackie: No, she was totally three-dimensional and just gray and white. She had small features, She was just standing there looking into the mirror. Maybe it was her bedroom at one time.
Glenn: The Warrens had also asked us if anyone had died here. It seems strange because everyone that has live here loved the place. It's and it was common for people to die in their home.
Jackie: It wasn't like we had a murder here, or anything like that. We just figured these people just weren't ready to go yet. The Warrens told us not to bring a medium or psychic in to stir things up because that usually makes things worse.
Glenn: I know something is happening in this house. I've said I don't believe in ghosts, but something is happening here. The Warrens said if they really start to bother us, to give them a call and they would help us out. At that time our children had grown and started to leave and things slowed down. It used to be three or four times a week things would happen, now it's about twice a month.
Have you talked to any of the previous owners about this?
Glenn: No, but none of our neighbors have ever heard of anything happening. Our son, who used to have the third floor, used to go crazy with all this. He even had our minister come in and bless the house, but it didn't work.
Jackie: We would never tell the kids anything that happened because we didn't want to frighten them. They were frightened enough. One time Glenn was away on travel, and I was asleep. The house got bitter cold. You can't help but wake up. I felt like there was a heavy pressure in the room holding me down in the bed, and I could not get out of the bed. I remember I was screaming to try and get out of that bed but couldn't. I asked the kids the next day if they could hear any noise but they said no. My screams were muffled, I guess. I woke up around 5 a.m. I believe I woke from a faint, because sometimes I don't even hear the alarm go off, and my ankles had red marks on them from where I was held down! Something had actually held me down in the bed and forced me to get these bruises on my legs!
Glenn: We had three or four more incidents like that happen after that. Our son said one time (when his room was on the third floor) a whirlwind of cold air came into the room, pinned him to the bed and he couldn't move. He said all sorts of wild things came into his mind. With his last bit of strength he threw himself out of bed, grabbed a pair of jeans and tore out of the house into his car and spent the night at his friend's house.
Jackie: You never know when or what is going to happen. The change of seasons are the only thing we relate to. The other time when I thought they were really getting to me was the time I thought we'd move out of the house. Usually you walk through the house and you hear noises and you say, "Hi!" or "Hi Uncle Harry!" You always feel something is around. This time though, when I went to bed (it was again one time when Glenn was away) I had awakened with something lying alongside of me, behind me. I could feel the heartbeat behind me, leaning up against me. This thing was breathing behind me, leaning up against me! I remember reaching back, to touch it, and it felt like course hair, like an animal or a dog's hair. Then it started talking through me, through my mouth. It was making a guttural voice way in the back of my throat. That scared the hell out of me!!! I got up and ran out of the room and stayed up all night until it was time to go to work. When that happened, I thought, "It's finally reached me, it's using my body to try to talk," and I didn't want any part of that. That really scared me the most. The other time (and this was the same week) our daughter was in college and I was sleeping in her bedroom because I didn't want to sleep in my bed, and I was awakened again with this ice cold air, and no sooner as I opened my eyes I felt this WHACK and I was flipped over in the bed. I remember getting up out of the bed and I heard the words "Found you!" It was real slow, like "Found yooooooou." In other words, I changed bedrooms, but it made no difference. They found me! This hit was so hard that two days later this yellow bruise appeared on the side of me. I mean, I was hit, just pushed right over in the bed. That's the second time I was hurt. Another force was in the house and that's what was bothering me, that these negative forces were in the house and it was scary. After that happened, I just tried to find a warm spot in the house, where they aren't. I mean at least they aren't there at the time. Then I thought to myself, "This is foolish, I have to go to sleep." So I called up our daughter and I asked if she'd mind If I came over. She said, "What's the matter? Is there somebody trying to break in?" I said, "no, it's just the house." So she said come on over because she knows something's occurring in the house. They put me in the guest room and their cat came into the room and jumped up on the bed and I let out a SCREAM! After going through all that at the house, the cat jumps on me!
Glenn and Jackie gave us a tour of the house and where the happenings occurred. They are currently trying to get a historic grant or declaration to designate the area a historic district. The area is rich with Indian lore and the early American Industrial Revolution. Glenn has been studying Indian artifacts since he was five years old. Jackie currently works with the local historical society. Both are retired.