Portal To Hell – Emerald Hill Estate

Posted by junketseo in Ghosts of Gettysburg
Portal To Hell – Emerald Hill Estate - Photo

‘One by one, all seven men went into the mansion. The door slammed shut. The mansion began to rumble with a noise that could be heard from town. I could hear one of the men scream. Then. Silence.’

Joan Millington Synge, November 2nd, 1894

Known ever-so-lovingly as Carrolton County’s ‘Demon House,’ Emerald Hill Estate has graced Pennsylvania for over 150 years. Where it stands was once a Native American burial ground. With a past of witchcraft, untimely deaths, and Native American curses, it’s no surprise that the Emerald Hill Estate, also known as the Emerald Hill Hell House, has so many reports of malevolent hauntings, strange activity, and has even been redefined as a 21st-century haunt when October arrives.

Let’s dive into the real history behind the home and separate fact from fiction.

History of the Emerald Hill Estate

Legends have swirled around this 17-room home for decades — and it’s easy to see why. Set back off of the road near the West Penn power facility, the Emerald Hill Estate was once called the Emerald Mansion. It was the home of a family at the top of Monongahela’s social and economic elite.

The home is exquisite, overbearing in stature, and a testament to the detailing of the architecture of the past.

The Mystery Begins

Little is known these days about the home’s history, but what has been unearthed is rather disturbing. The Emerald Mansion or McCue Mansion (named for a Brentwood native who invested more than one million dollars in the home) is layered with horrors and tragedy.

Sometime in the late 1860s, a young widow named Carla arrived in the area by train. She was ready to start a new life in Pennsylvania, and with her propensity for the finer things in life, she commissioned the building of a large estate in 1871 on land that had been transferred to her by her Scottish uncle.

Records are somewhat unclear, but she held the title to this plot of land. During the excavation for the mansion, workers dug up hundreds of bones, all in all, digging up about 70 unmarked graves — this is what probably started the trend of restless spirits at the home.

Rumors swirled around the area, and workers of nearby railroad camps began to state that the land was once an ancient Native American burying ground.

News of the macabre discovery didn’t seem to bother Carla; legend states that she asked to keep some of the remains. It’s said that Carla was known in the community as a healer of some sort, or a witch in the eyes of others. People would come from as far as Scotland to visit Carla and seek healing and saving from their ‘possessed souls.’

On October 13th, 1894, a man named Pat Caldwell arrived with his ailing daughter, looking for help from Carla. He found the estate empty, desolate, even.

He called the local sheriff, and an investigation ensued as they began to search the home.

The Investigation Begins

Chad Nichols was the deputy sheriff at the time of the report, and after talking to locals in town, it was decided to investigate Carla’s and her son’s whereabouts. Around this time, a letter arrived that was addressed to a ‘D.H.D.’ and told of a person with the initials ‘ E.V.L.,’ who ‘did not want to die like the others.’

One woman, a niece of the Deputy Sheriff, watched from the gates of the estate as the search party went it. They never came back out — no person was ever seen at the house again. It remained this way until 2004.

Modern Day Haunts

The home was purchased in 2004 by the owners and operators of the now-haunted attraction Demon House. The current owners say that negative energy hangs over the home, regardless of its use.

Visitors and staff of the haunt report strange apparitions without cause when the home is closed for the day, and there should be no actors or spooky attractions going on. The general feeling of unrest and uneasiness is commonly reported, and some believe a portal to another realm exists within the sprawling historic abode.

The mysterious disappearances of Carla and the search party have never been solved — perhaps Carla just ran away, or maybe there’s a dangerous hole in the ground or some portal in the home that sweeps people off, never to be seen again.

Perhaps Carla’s witchy practices led to the opening of some black hole-like doorway that sucked in the souls of those who entered the home. It sounds far-fetched, but the truth is usually stranger than fiction, as we all know.

While the home gives us nothing but more questions when we seek answers, one thing is for sure — the Emerald Hill Estate is filled to the rafters with intrigue and mystery. If you’re brave enough, you can even head over for a haunted house tour starting in September of each year — perhaps you’ll find out which haunts are fake and which ones are real.

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