Over two thousand years ago Halloween was a holiday to honor the spirits. It was believed that the spirits rose to the earth and mingled among the living. The spirits were definitely among us while guests visited the Farnam Manor! These occurrences happen year-round at the Manor -not just at Halloween! We want to share some of the happenings on our tours.
The Farnam Manor was built in 1834 by Everett Farnam, one of the first settlers west of the Cuyahoga River. Farnam built this glorious home for his bride Emily Oviatt and they raised 5 children here. The Farnam spirit is still alive, as many of the Farnam's have been seen and spoken to as they linger at the estate. The tragic death of his daughter, Emily, will never be forgotten. Little Emily drowned in the cistern in the house when she was only 7 years old. Emily has been seen by visitors on
many occasions , and for years legend has it that Emily has been seen playing in the yard.
“There is a little girl sitting on the chair there-she's kicking her feet and giggling”
“ I see a little girl in a white dress with yellow flowers”
“ There is a little girl with a white dress with pink and yellow flowers on it”
“ Does Emily wear a white dress?”
“ I see a little girl sitting on the bed with her dress spread out smiling as if to say “Aren't I pretty?”
“ There is a child running in circles around the kitchen table”
“ I feel something holding my hand as I go through the house-it's a strange feeling, sort of like a little pressure”
“ You keep talking about the little girl, but I sense a little boy.”
This woman was most likely sensing little Ichabod. Spiritualist Lorraine Scott has spoken to him. Evidently, he lived down the road, and has come here to stay with little Emily. He told Lorraine that he wants to be called Timothy because he doesn't like his name Ichabod. He was kicked in the head by a horse and lived for a few days, but then he died. Timothy is an ornery little guy. He likes to hide in the wardrobe and pop the door open when visitors are around. It's the strangest thing. The first time it happened, the tour guide almost had a heart attack! She was talking to a group about the beautiful 1800 antique, telling about how the grain painting on the door was a very sought after craft back in the 1800's . The door had been locked since the piece was acquired. Suddenly, the door popped open! We were told later that Ichabod was in there and was able to push the door open. The orb in the picture of the wardrobe was caught on film right after the door opened. The spirits of Ichabod and Emily have gone into two dolls that are at the manor. When the spirits are in the dolls, the eyes come alive and sparkle. When the spirit leaves the dolls, the eyes become dull and lifeless again. Sometimes the arms and lips move on the porcelain dolls....Crazy!
Lorraine Scott has spoken with several of the Farnams. One night she talked to Everett's father, John Farnam. John brought his family here from Connecticut in 1812. This was still hostile Indian territory back then. A tree still stands in the yard of the manor that was used to mark the Indian trail(now Brecksville Road) John asked Lorraine “what happened to my land?”
Just last week, Emily Farnam, Everett's wife made an appearance. She told Lorraine “the kitchen is different”
Emily, the little daughter, told Lorraine”I didn't mean to do it-I tripped”
Several people have seen a woman in a long white dress. In 1921, Ella Mayer, the widow of the Akron Police chief bought of the property and operated an exclusive club for the Akron policeman. It has also been known as a brothel. This woman is believed to be a mistress waiting for her lover to return.
She told Lorraine her name is Maryland and she was supposed to be married to a soldier.
Something happens on every occasion we have a group of people in the house. The spirits feed off the energy of the crowd and become very active.
Usually there will be one or more people whose cameras will malfunction.
“ I just put new batteries in before I came, and when I walked in this room, my camera died.”
There is a family portrait that has popped up momentarily on camcorders on several separate occasions. It just lasts for a second and then it's gone. We don't know who the people are in the portrait.
Lots of orbs are caught in photos. Check out the orb gallery!
Sonya Horstman's son got a feeling that he should not enter the front bedroom. He went ahead anyway.
Upon entering, he felt something grab his shoulder. He reached for a candle to shed more light to the area, and the candle moved away from him.
We always have a lot of activity in the room where this happened. One lady on the tour asked ' did someone die in this room?' She was right- it was the room where Everett Farnam, the first inhabiter of the house died. In 1880, he took one last carriage ride around his 3200 acre estate. When he returned home, he said “my clock has run out” and he laid down and died. Also, Mr. Kirk, who owned the Danish Smörgåsbord Restaurant from 1948-1972, died in that room according to his daughter. And then there is the image of a soldier seen laying face down in front of the fireplace—not sure who he is, but our dog would always walk around that spot. He might be the soldier Maryland was supposed to marry!
Although we have no evil spirits, one teenage girl felt instantly sick as she entered the Manor. She got very, very hot and sick to her stomach. It was very cold that night. The minute she walked out of the house she felt fine. She must have been very open to the spirits and it was a bit more than her body could handle.
There is a picture in the library that was turned completely upside down inside the frame. Now how did that happen? Mary Ann Winkowski was visiting that night and she said it was just a spirit trying to get some attention.
During the Richfield Home and Garden Tour, which was the first time a crowd of people had been in the house for years, we had some activity, too. The Manor was the Danish Smörgåsbord restaurant from 1948 till 1972. During the tour, a silver creamer and sugar set began to vibrate on the table in what used to be the buffet room of the restaurant. Kita Lyons was in the room at the time. She is the daughter of the Kirks who owned and operated the restaurant. Having grown up there, she knows of the spirits, but doesn't like to talk about them. She simply muttered “ Oh, stop it, now. We don't need people to know.”
Lots of people feel strange vibrating in their body. A skeptic entered the porch of the manor. Our tour guide mentioned that if you hold out your hand, sometimes the spirits will touch you. He said
”yeah, right” When he held out his arm he felt an electrical shock go through his whole arm and the sensation lasted the duration of the tour. He's not a skeptic anymore.....
One lady was in the carriage house last year and she said--”why is the floor vibrating?'
Another said “ I feel like my feet have fallen asleep-it's like pins and needles are going through them”
Several times while leading groups through, the tour guide had the experience of an electrical shock going through her feet.
Last week, Lorraine sensed a dog in the room. Two people on the tour put their hand down as to pet the dog and felt an electrical type shock in their hands.
The spirits sometimes make themselves known using the electric in the house. Sometimes a light will not turn on when we flip the switch. Other times, the light will pop on by itself—it happened on a tour just last week—the kitchen ceiling light turned on while we were talking with the group about little Emily. No one in the room was anywhere near where the switch is, and we did not hear the “click “ of the switch when it came on!