Welles House, A Haunted and Tragic History
The Welles House is located in PA’s Wilkes Barre, on 46 South Welles Street. Many locals have believed for years that the house was haunted, however it wasn’t until the 1970’s when the Bennett’s moved into the home that the paranormal reports finally came to light. Ed and Lorraine Warren, along with Mary Pascarella conducted numerous investigations in the house as well, and determined that the hauntings were demonic in origin.
The house on 46 South Welles Street in Wilkes-Barre, PA was built around 1860 by Augustus C. Laning. Augustus Laning (1808-1875) was one of the first industrialists to come to Wilkes-Barre. He lived there until he sold his company in 1869. Soon after the home was built, there were a number of odd deaths that occurred on Welles Street and tragedy hit Mr. Laning’s fortunes. Laning’s factories burned to the ground in 1850, and he lost his nephew in a terrible lightning accident. His nephew was working with the horses in the barn when a bolt of lightning hit the barn and the barn caught fire. He was trapped under the carcass of a horse who had been killed in the fire and was unable to get out of the barn and he also perished.
There are reports of a priest who suddenly dropped dead in front of the house for no apparent reason during the mid 1800′s.
The house from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century was primarily a rental property, however this did not mean that its owners did not encounter any hardships. The house during these times went through 3 sheriff sales, and had 2 confirmed suicides and 4 deaths on its premises. Even though the house was mainly used as a rental since it was built, most of tenants resided in the house for long periods of time.Over its 160 year history it is believed that house has been rented more than 50 times.
Did the house develop a demonic personality or was the land cursed? It seems quite apparent that it’s past inhabitants have felt its destructive effects of what some call a curse. One only needs to do simple research to find many examples of bad luck, financial issues, depression, suicide, psychiatric illnesses, physical illnesses, and alcoholism which all have affected anyone who has owned the house. In 2014 we conducted paranormal investigations at 46 South Welles Street, which were live streamed for three months straight. It is our conclusion based upon our documented research that house is haunted by a demonic presence that cannot be removed nor is it safe for anyone to live in.
46 South Welles Ownership Timeline
- May 11, 1846 – Laning’s mother deeded the Welles Street parcel over to Augustus C. Laning, and he is said to have built the house at 46 S. Welles St.
- May 29, 1875 – After Laning’s death on May 29, 1875, the parcel was divided up, and on June 28, 1876, one B.R. Honeywell bought the land that would become 46 S. Welles St
- 1894 circa – The 1894 map of Wilkes-Barre shows Honeywell as the property owner, but at some point — county records don’t indicate when — Samuel Sussman gained ownership.
- Aug. 22, 1919 – Benjamin R. and Margaret Jones bought the property at sheriff’s sale and sold it for $6,000 to Katie Basch on Aug. 22, 1919.
- May 3, 1939 – Mose and Lillian Rashewsky for $1 on May 3, 1939.
- May 17, 1965 – Samuel Jacobs bought the property for $5,000 from Lillian Rashewsky’s estate.
- March 6, 1975 – The property went up for sheriff’s sale again in 1974, however it is finally purchased by Walker and Marianne Bennett. In 1978 however the Benett’s abruptly move out to due to paranormal activity.
- July 21, 1982 – Katherine “Kaye” Watkins, purchases it from its third sheriff’s sale on July 21, 1982, and lived there until her death on Oct. 26, 2012.
- December 2013 – Tim Wood purchases the estate.
Types of Reported Paranormal Activity
- Demonic oppression and possession.
- Unexplained bangs, and scurrying noises from one end of the house to the other.
- Clothes / Hair being pulled violently
- Unexplained illnesses and depression.
- Nightly visits from a well-dressed phantom man and the appearance of a ghost of a young girl who walks through doors.
- Shrieks, moans, and crying that seemed to be coming from the attic and within the house’s walls.
- Bloody spots appearing on walls and floors in the living room.
- A daughter being pushed down the stairs only to mysteriously float to the bottom of the landing on her feet unhurt.
- Unexplained scratches, in groups of threes, would appear on the resident’s bodies.
- Sounds of boots tramping up and down the floors and in the walls of the house when there was no one on the stairs.