The land on which the remnants of the Cresson Sanitarium now lay abandoned was once…
Sitting atop a bluff overlooking the Delaware River in New Jersey lies a ghoulish looking mansion. Peeling paint and wallpaper, damaged fireplaces, as well as creepy empty rooms are all that remain of this home and its rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War. Stepping foot onto the grounds causes the hairs on the back of your neck to rise and the feeling of being watched never quite goes away.
What makes the entire thing even more unsettling and spooky is the chain-link fence seemingly blocking the world from the spirits wandering within. This mansion has had unique occupants over the years but no matter who took up the residence, the ghost sightings never seemed to die down. This is the story and haunting of White Hill Mansion.
The Tragic Origins
There seems to be a theme with haunted locations and the people who called those areas home having tragic backstories. White Hill Mansion is no exception. The land itself was inherited by a man named Robert Field back in 1757 and he constructed the mansion. Life seemed to continue happily, and he married a woman by the name of Mary Peel in 1765. Robert himself was a successful businessman who ran a farm, fishery, distillery, and more. For years, Robert and Mary lead a life of apparent fulfillment.
As with all these stories, however, tragedy struck in the form of Robert’s untimely and suspicious drowning in the Delaware River on January 29th, 1775. What made this so suspicious is the fact that Robert was the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondence for his county and argued to Parliament for representation by the New Jersey Colony. He was known to be resistant to Britain and their actions leading up to the Revolutionary War which has cast a shadow of doubt on the circumstances of his death. In fact, he was on his way back from a meeting in Pennsylvania when he died, leading many to believe loyalists tracked him and carried out his killing.
Regardless of the cause, Robert’s tragic demise left Mary and their three little children in charge of the entire estate. Shortly after the death of her husband, the Revolutionary War broke out in full swing and White Hill Mansion ended up being used by soldiers on both sides. Ironically enough, Mary was often accused by both loyalists and patriots of harboring the other group, but she held strong.
As the war died down, Mary passed the home on to her oldest son, Robert Field Jr., who lost the house due to financial reasons in 1801. From there, the mansion traded hands for a number of years and was used for a number of purposes…
1800s – Present
The entirety of the 1800s saw White Hill Mansion home to inventors such as David Bruce and Joseph Mayer, but the 1900s are where this sites history got interesting once again. Heinrich and Katrina Glenk purchased the site in 1922 to create an upscale German restaurant and the basement was dug out to create a bar. Two tunnels capable of smuggling alcohol made this a popular spot during prohibition for politicians and the mafia alike.
From inventors, restaurant owners, political figures, mafia leaders, and even a man who opened an ice-cream shop, White Hill Mansion has been used for a variety of purposes over the years. No matter who owned the site, however, reports of unexplainable occurrences have left many to consider White Hill Mansion as one of the most haunted places in New Jersey. For years, the reasoning for the hauntings remained a mystery, but recent archeological digs may have cast a light on why many spirits cannot seemingly rest…
The Haunting of White Hill Mansion
Restoration digs were performed on the site and over 30,000 artifacts were discovered. Among these, however, were indications that the mansion had been built on an ancient Native American settlement. Many now believe that the spirits inhabiting this bone-chilling mansion cannot be at peace due to the land the building was built on. Speaking of those spirits, though, the paranormal at White Hill Mansion is enough to make anyone quiver in fear. Here are some of the common reported sightings:
The Shadow Man
Of the spirits that walk White Hill Mansion, one of the more commonly reported is the shadow man. Supposedly, if you stay near the basement long enough, a dark figure may creep into your personal space before slinking back down to the depths of the basement.
Over the years, the basement housed run smugglers during prohibition served as a bordello as well. It isn’t surprising that a spited spirit enjoys scaring guests who step too close to the eerie and secretive basement. There are also reports of a man in a pin-striped suit and it is unclear if these two spirits are the same or not.
Unidentified Sounds and Objects
As with a large number of haunted locations, White Hill Mansion has its share of disembodied sounds with voices reportedly as loud as resonating throughout the house. Children can be heard playing and the late Mr. Glenk can reportedly be heard from somewhere in the attic.
A worker at the site reported being down in the basement behind the bar when a plastic vase abruptly bounced off the wall behind her, where her head would have been if she were not fiddling with a drawer. They attempted to nudge the vase to see if it was possible it just fell, but the velocity and horizontal trajectory of the vase wasn’t possible from a simple nudge.
That same worker had another incident a year later when she was giving a tour. She was wearing a beaded necklace and behind the bar and felt the sensation of someone tugging at the necklace. Her necklace snapped and she couldn’t seemingly find something it could have been snagged on. Clearly, a spirit is not a fan of people being behind the bar.
The Bloody Bathroom
One of the creepier rooms in the house was coined “the bloody bathroom” for two main reasons. The first was the red accents in the room. The second reason, however, is far more bone-chilling Rumors exist that a person either killed themselves or were murdered in the bathtub of the room at some point during the mansions’ history.
It is said that, when sitting in the bathtub, a pressure forcing you downwards or pressure around the neck can sometimes be felt. Disturbingly enough, some psychics who have visited the house even report seeing the bathtub full of blood. There is no official documentation of anyone dying but, then again, this is a house steeped in mysteries and secrets over the years.
When it comes to White Hill Mansion, the tragically rich history combined with elicit activities is enough to make anyone stop and wonder about the paranormal activity within the decaying walls. From being around during a time of war, providing a safe haven for mafia criminals, and even hosting an ice-cream shop in the mysterious basement, this home has all the ingredients for a haunted experience. Combining this with the recent indications that the land may have been built on an ancient Native American settlement and it is no wonder this house is considered one of the most haunted locations in New Jersey.
If you are feeling brave and wish to experience this haunted location for yourself, and perhaps even spend time in the bathtub, check out our event schedule to see about booking a tour and visiting the sometimes-friendly spirits.