Located on the outskirts of New Castle lies one of the most popular western Pennsylvania ghost hunting locations- Hill View Manor.
The manor is an 85,000 square foot building that opened in the 1920’s as a “poor farm” and halfway house but was later turned into a care facility in the 1970’s. Its doors closed permanently in 2004 and remained lifeless until it was sold to new management a few years later who turned it into a prime spot for paranormal investigators, thrill seekers, and skeptics.
To date, Hill View Manor remains a deteriorating skeleton of what it once was- corridors once filled with those in need are now empty, left with only outdated checkerboard flooring, peeling paint, and the only occupants still residing in the building are the restless spirits who remain unaware of the facilities closure.
The Hill View Manor has been investigated by some of the most popular paranormal investigation groups including Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures Crew and SyFy’s Ghost Hunters.
The building has been standing since 1926, complete with three stories of rooms to accommodate the needs of residents and staff, a basement mainly used for storage, and a chapel where mass and viewings for those who had passed were held. It is estimated that 10,000 deaths occurred on the property during the time the facility was in operation.
One of the most notable casualties in the history of the building is that of Eli Saurri. Eli was a middle-aged man who was a resident there during the buildings early days as a poor farm and halfway house. Eli was a recovering alcoholic, which the building commonly hosted, however, alcohol was forbidden in the building. Due to the strict no alcohol policy, he decided to get his fix by leaving the building in order to go drinking. Eli was found by some of the other residents the next morning laying outside of the front doors passed out drunk, who then decided to carry him in and leave him in the boiler room to warm and sober up. Unfortunately, Eli never sobered up, he passed away in his slumber, likely from alcohol poisoning and now his restless spirit is said to haunt the boiler room area. The ghost of Eli supposedly enjoys taunting women- there are several reports of women saying they were touched, grabbed, and pinched by who they believe is Eli.
Many residents of the manor spent nearly their whole lives there, and many did not have any family; Mary Virginia, a Cerebral Palsy patient and resident of the home was one of these residents. She spent most of her time playing dress up and listening to music, and her room is still set up similarly to how she had it when she was a resident of the manor, complete with toys, dolls, make-up, costumes, jewelry, and a music player. Many of the rooms- and specifically the basement, are filled with personal belongings to many of the passed-on residents; paranormal experts call these personal items “trigger objects”- known to manifest the energy of those who had attachments to the items during life. According to paranormal reports, Mary’s ghost is friendly and responds well to her trigger objects- showing her presents by swinging the necklaces that hang above her bed, moving her dolls, and faintly playing her favorite music tunes into investigators recording devices. (pictures of Mary and her room below)
Another favorite spirit among ghost hunters is a child spirit suspectedly named “Jeffery”. Jeffery is supposedly a nine year old boy who lived in the manor with his 11 year old brother and according to what could be verified on records, the 11 year old brother was adopted but there is no further information on what became of the 9 year old. Since there is no actual record of a name for the 9 year old, he was named by paranormal investigators after he reportedly said into an EVP ghost hunting device that his name was Jeffery. There is no record of the exact room Jeffery lived in, however there are child toys scattered throughout one of the second floor rooms for his spirit to interact with. (pictured below)
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the old brick building is undoubtedly eerie by itself.
Rachelle Rozzo, the manager of the manor, said the amount of unexplained happenings at the building are what lead her to believe it’s haunted. “We always try to be skeptical about things, we try to find logical explanations before jumping to conclusions… But sometimes there are just some things you cannot account for logically, like watching doors open and close when there is no draft and no one else in the whole building.”
With a building that has seen several thousand deaths, there are far too many stories and claims to post about, if you’d like to know more about the many notable spirits that haunt the location you can book a guided tour of the building, or if you’re feeling really brave, you can schedule an over night stay and do your own ghost investigations. October event spots are filling up quick, to reserve your visit and to learn more about the facility, go to Hill View Manors’ official website.
Photos by Cassandra Douglas/EllwoodCity.org
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