Reporter, photographer stalk the paranormal at the Mansion View Inn
It starts with an inquiry to John DuVall, the 46-year-old the caretaker of Mansion View Inn, and his agreeing to allow Blade photographer Amy E. Voigt and me to stay the night in the 10,000-square-foot home.
Located at 2305 Collingwood Blvd., Mansion View Inn was built in 1871 and was home first to Charles Reynolds and later to Jay K. Secor, both members of prominent Toledo families. The mansion was converted to 15 apartments in the 1950s, and was reverted to its original state in the 1980s for a conversion to a bed and breakfast. The Mansion View Inn features 18 rooms, six and a half bathrooms, six fireplaces, and more than 75 windows over three floors, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is also rumored to house more than one spirit who refuses to check out. In the three and a half years Mr. DuVall has lived there, he said he’s seen the ghostly image of a woman materialize and then disappear only inches from his face, a disembodied hand on top of a staircase post, and heard faint laughter coming from the front parlor.
Jason Schneider, co founder of Lake Erie Paranormal, a local group of retired and current law enforcement officials that investigates area homes and businesses purported to be haunted, has also experienced paranormal activity at Mansion View Inn.
Yes, this looks like one of the hundreds of EXACTLY the same article that appeared all over the U.S. at Halloween time. Place is supposedly haunted, ghosts hunters find weird stuff, the legend lives on…
But this one was slightly different. First, the author of the piece was not a ghost hunter but captures his own evidence, a light blur.
But I knew at least I had something to show for my efforts: a mysterious white blob on the stairs that, oddly enough, we captured in the first few minutes of the investigation. While it wasn’t necessarily a ghost, it was at least something unexplained, ergo, paranormal.
AH! Arguement from ignorance. I don’t know what it is, therefore paranormal. No, that’s completely illogical.
He shows it to the ghost investigator.
In the end, he said the pictures could be classified as paranormal.
“I think it is a good picture. Whether it’s a ghost or not, it can’t be explained.”
AH! No. Did you exhaust every possible idea? Then, the best you could say is “I don’t know”, not “It can’t be explained”. That’s a leap too far.
This story has more to it. This piece was discussed on the Strange Frequencies radio broadcast. Bobby and Jason, former ghost hunters, now skeptical, live in Toledo area and knew some history about this mansion. What they shared was particularly interesting to me considering the annoyance I have with paranormal tourism.
You see, Mansion View Inn has never had ghosts, until recently.
Bobby calls the phenonmena of assuming an old mansion must be haunted, the “architectural fallacy” – it looks like it should be so it’s plausible.
But he had some inside info on the place from a family friend.
Bobby’s father knew the previous caretaker for the mansion, Don, who for some 5-7 years lived there, talked to everyone who stayed there and did all the maintenance. Several years ago, when Bobby was in a ghost hunters group, he asked Don to allow their group to investigate. Don said sure but there’s no claims, no ghosts here. After this article, Bobby emailed Don and mentioned that it notes the place is haunted. Was he sure that there were no stories? Don replied that he never heard ANYTHING about the place being haunted until he read this current article – never saw anything while there or heard stories from guests.
If there had been ghosts, he would have heard about it, don’t you think? NEVER was a claim made about ghosts by guests who commented how they enjoyed their stay at the bed and breakfast.
The new caretaker, however, says he has seen and heard things since he’s lived there and that guests have made claims just in the past few years.
Jason looked up guest reviews for the place online and could not find any claims that mentioned paranormal events. If guests are having experiences (as casually mentioned in thirdhand in the piece), they are not talking about it in their reviews. Suspicious.
So the mansion is suddenly haunted. It wasn’t haunted 3 years ago or for 7 years before that. Now there are “stories” and ghost hunters are finding paranormal “evidence”.
Is this a ploy to drum up business? To make the mansion more interesting to guests or to other ghost hunters? Historic locations often charge for paranormal investigators to spend the night and collect evidence.
Jason and Bobby asked the lead investigator of the paranormal group from the story to come on their show to talk about it to get their perspective. No reply was received.
Jason notes his disappointment, “Ghost hunters are helping people get taken advantage of by documenting ‘hauntings’ as locations.”
What’s the evidence? Start with “stories” (from wherever), then you are guaranteed to have the obligatory EMF spikes, EVPs and unexplained photos from the ghost hunters. The “haunting” is all rather etherial, wispy and very fishy.
Listen to the episode here, starting at around 36:26.