The state of Pennsylvania is home to incredible American history. There is a tremendous amount of beauty to be enjoyed when visiting the state. Pennsylvania is also a place where one can enjoy outdoor activities, venues for great entertainment and tremendous culinary delights. Pennsylvania is also a state that is home to more than its fair share of paranormal and ghostly activity. One of the most haunted places of note in New Castle, Pennsylvania, specifically in Shenango Township, is the Hill View Manor. Due to the incredible amount of activity reported at the Hill View Manor many of the most popular professional ghost hunters and visited the location. What many ghost hunters have found, upon investigating the Manor, is that there is legitimate evidence to back up the claims of ghosts and paranormal activity.
History of Hill View Manor
In New Castle, Pennsylvania working farms and homes for the elderly were common place. The New Castle City Home, which had been around since 1867, was reaching a point where a new facility was needed. Bids for a new Lawrence County Home for the Aged, were being accepted starting in June of 1925. A bid and a design by A.L. Thayer, an architect, were eventually accepted and construction on the new facility began. The official opening for the new facility, which had multiple names over the years, was 1926.
The people tasked with running the Lawrence County Home for the Aged, were Perry and Mary Snyder. They had previously been in charge of the New Castle City Home that the new facility was replacing. The Snyder’s moved into the new facility with their two children and 12 staff members.
The new facility featured three main sections. There was a two-story west wing where the men were to be housed, a two-story east wing for the women and then a three-story center section. The center section boasted a kitchen, laundry facilities, a hospital as well as quarters for the nurses and a private residence for the superintendent. The facility, which was to house 110 residents, also had a bomb shelter, small working farm and a cemetery.
When the doors first open 20 residents moved in. The residents were typically people with mental illnesses, homeless, or elderly people with no family to speak of. As most of the residents were adults, it was rare that one of the first residents to move in was a young boy. According to news reports from the time, the residents of Hill View Manor, as it would come to be called in the 1970s, were referred to as inmates, not patients or residents.
Up until 1944, the Snyder’s ran the Hill View Manor. It was in that year that the county welfare officials decided that Snyder’s were no longer competent to run the facility as they were in their seventies. They were forcibly retired but allowed to stay in the facility with pensions. They were eventually forced to vacate Hill View roughly three months later ending more than 30 years of service to the community. The new superintendent of the facility became Mantz B. Hogue.
The Hill View Manor underwent some conversions in the late 1960s. Once completed Hill View was officially a skilled nursing center. By that point, Director Clarence E. Covert, was the man in charge of the facility. He remained in place until 1973 when he resigned to do lack of county support. The following year additional remodeling was done at the insistence of the county. There was a new 3-story addition added which allowed for 30 or more new residents. The facility remained in working order until 2004 when it could no longer remain open due to financial reasons.
From 1926 to 2004, hundreds of people called Hill View Manor their home. In some cases, the facility would be their last home. A number of the residents died from natural causes while housed at the facility. Other people committed suicide while on the residence. It is said one person died when they hung themselves and others went to the roof of the building, jumping to their deaths. A large percentage of those that died while the facility was in use are buried at the Hill View cemetery with unmarked graves. Reports state that many of those individuals had no records on file, thus the unmarked graves.
Hauntings of Hill View Manor
When you mention Hill View Manor to avid ghost hunters they will either recount stories of personal paranormal experiences at the haunted facility or stories they have heard. People interested in the Hill View Manor can also find information related to one of the most haunted locations in Pennsylvania courtesy of multiple investigations performed by the likes of famous TV ghost hunters. Three respectable groups in the paranormal field who have done investigations at Hill View include the Ghost Hunters, Ghost Lab, and Ghost Adventures.
When Zak, Nick, and Aaron from Ghost Adventures went to visit the Hill View Manor they walked away with a considerable amount of ghostly evidence. Zak made multiple claims of physical contact from the other side. He stated that someone grabbed his arm, another person tugged on his shirt, and he made another claim that he felt a hand moving up and down his back. In all of his claims nobody was close enough to do anything to him. A shadow figure was seen down one of the hallways according to Nick. The group also recorded roughly a dozen or so easily understood EVPs. Some of the EVPs included someone saying, “Get out of this room,” “I got a question,” “I’m Jim,” and “I plan on fixin’ them.” They group also captured an anomaly on camera that set off motion sensors.
Other people who have come to investigate Hill View Manor have had their own success in seeing ghosts and experiencing paranormal activity. It is not uncommon to hear stories of people hearing doors slamming shut, footsteps in the halls, and voices. There have also been people who have heard what sounds like scratching, pipes rattling, and banging. Objects moving on their own from one location to another are relatively common as well.
One of the ghosts that numerous people have seen over the years is that of a little boy. According to reports he is roughly six or seven years old and people call him Jeffrey. There is an urban legend attached to him that says if you see him you will perish. Another ghost that haunts Hill View is located in the boiler room. He is an older man who does not like anyone in his space and will order people to leave. A woman by the name of Mary Virginia once stayed at Hill View. Records claim she stayed in room 105 and people have reported to feel her presence. Her room has a bed, chair, and a bed stand. There are a number of dolls and other items left for her there by people who have visited the room.
The number of EVPs captured by people investigating the Hill View Manor is staggering. It is not uncommon for even the novice paranormal investigators to gather people saying things. Two brothers went to visit Hill View as they used to visit their grandmother who stayed there. An EVP was captured with someone using a family nickname that the person with them never would have known. Another distant relative of someone who perished at the facility stated their grandmother played the piano in the facility. At times people on investigations have heard an unattended piano being played.
Some former employees of Hill View Manor have their own experiences with ghosts and other paranormal activity. One woman who worked as a nurse had numerous experiences while working. On one occasion while walking from the east wing to the west wing she claimed a very cold and cloudy form passed through her. It did not frighten her, only gave her an incredible chill. On other occasions when on the second floor near the break room it would not be uncommon for her to see what appeared to be someone walking down the hall but upon checking things out, nobody was ever there.
When one group of paranormal investigators went to Hill View they had their own chilling experiences. While in one area on the third floor, two investigators were setting up their video camera. Out of nowhere they heard the sound of someone running down the hallway towards them. The sound stopped just before it reached them. Moments later the running continued, only it came from a completely different direction. People visiting and touring the Manor have made countless claims that it is possible to see people staring out of the windows of the facility when no one is inside. On one occasion someone on a tour looked up into a window and saw an older woman looking out the window. She smiled and waved at the individual then vanished after he waved back. Regardless of whom you are, the majority of people who have visited Hill View Manor agree it is one of the most haunted places in Pennsylvania.