There’s nothing wrong with this house – nothing you can see, anyway.
The elegant, 3-story mansion in Joliet, Ill. was built in 1882 by architect James Weese for Hiram B. Scutt, who held early patents for barbed wire. Now known as the Hiram B. Scutt Museum, the mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The property was recently foreclosed on; the 4,960-square-foot mansion has been listed at $159,000.
If the price seems oddly low for a property so large and elegant, that’s because it is. However, the house also has a dark history; some even say it is haunted.
The house has seen multiple deaths: in 2004, 19-year-old Steven Jenkins was fatally shot during a party at the home. Within a year, the house was bought by Seth Magosky, a local historian and John Wilkes Booth impersonator. In 2007, just six months after he started working on turning the mansion into a Victorian museum, the 39-year-old man suddenly died in the house.
Real estate agent Maria C. Cronin allegedly had an energy reader come to the home, who reported that the house was not haunted.
Many paranormal investigators, however, disagree: one paranormal group claims that the house is inhabited by not only the spirits of the home’s two original owners, but also by the spirits of children.
Lending itself to this belief is the home’s third floor “doll room,” which allegedly has a particularly high concentration of paranormal activity.
In 2010, spiritual observer and psychic reader Edward Shanahan wrote on his Chicago Paranormal and Spiritual blog that the mansion is “very haunted.”
“The years that have (passed have) seen many human tragedies within its four walls, from sudden deaths to a murder in the past that have left their emotional energy in the place,” Shanahan wrote.
Multiple paranormal groups have also posted videos that supposedly strengthen the case that the mansion, known as “Barb Villa,” is indeed haunted.
For some, however, the house’s beauty outweighs the possible presence otherworldly inhabitants. Cronin reports that the house has already been shown to several interested parties.