Saturday, January 29, 2011

Erie's "first' Haunted House


The first colonists to Erie Pennsylvania arrived in the mid 18th Century, building a small town adjacent to the newly constructed French Fort Presque Isle. With wars and migrations soon to follow, English settlers would also arrive in the area by the end of that century and build a permanent settlement.

Since the time of those first settlers Erie’s history has been awash with folklore tales of mysterious places where the paranormal seems to manifest itself quite frequently. Be it cursed Indian burial grounds or old dwellings where spectral apparitions of the past startle the present owners; Erie has a rich history of unexplained phenomena.

However, it was not until the late 19th century did one of these locations rise to prominence in the imagination of the local populace to a point where it would become infamous. It was in name if not in fact Erie’s first haunted house. And few today have ever heard of it, since it was long ago lost to popular memory for those who encountered its horrors have long turned to dust. This lost Erie legend is the old Crowley Mansion of Lawrence Park.

The house was located on the west side of Walbridge Road, less than a hundred yards south of East Lake Road. It was built by a member of East Erie’s first pioneer families, the Crowleys. The Crowley family very were wealthy and owned considerable property and built the brick mansion as their family homestead. Beautifully manicured, the grounds of the mansion boasted a diverse orchard and lush gardens...

Read it all on my Examiner Page

6 comments:

Jessica Penot said...

Wonderful post! Interesting history.

Ken said...

Creepy indeed! The Mansion hold lots of secrets that only time can tell.

www.thekenhudnallshow.com

SecretFace said...

God Bless You Brother, I'll be praying for you!!! You have so much good work yet to do and lives to touch.

Brandon said...

Very nice article, as a resident of Lawrence Park, the house the you write of is not in Lawrence Park, but in Harborcreek Township. Lawrence Park Township to the East ends at Nagle Road which is a few roads to the west of Walbridge Road.

sallie parker said...

The 1832 Crowley house was and is at 3506 East Lake Road, Erie, near the old Crowley property at Lawrence Park. It is viewable on Googlemaps street view. Your photo seems to be of another house. Michael Crowley and his brother Thomas (my great-great-great-grandfather) owned hundreds of acres in the vicinity, but they not "very wealthy," merely prosperous farmers. Michael's son, also named Thomas, was police chief of Erie on two occasions as well as being a renowned private detective.

Anonymous said...

Saw what Sallie Parker wrote, my mother was Mary Ann Crowley and the stone house on the East Lake Road was the original homestead. The mansion must have been built later. The police chief was my great-great grand father and the wealth was in land. Nice to meet a cousin...
Michael Fitzgerald
fitzgerald@psualum.com