Does the Harry Packer Mansion look familiar to you?
If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World, then it might ring a bell. The facade of the Harry Packer Mansion was reportedly the inspiration and model for the Disney World “Haunted Mansion”.
The Harry Packer Mansion is located in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania and is now used as an Inn.
A man named Asa Packer built this stately Italianate style home in 1874 as a wedding gift for his son Harry. Asa Packer was a wealthy railroad baron who also founded Lehigh University. The red brick 2.5 story home was designed by Philadelphia architect Addison Hutton.
In 1880, after his father’s death, Harry added the front veranda and the study wing. These additions were designed by renowned Quaker architect Addison Hutton. The veranda is constructed of New York Blue stone and still boasts its original Mahogany ceiling and tile floor. Herter Brothers of New York City were commissioned to finish the interior following the renovations.
– from: http://www.murdermansion.com
Have a look inside…
The interior features 15 foot ceilings, marble fireplaces, gilded mirrors, period antiques, artwork, and luxurious fabrics.
Below is the magnificent study…
The mansion wasn’t always this grand, however.
During the twentieth century the estate became rundown and neglected. It was apparently even abandoned for a period of time. By the 1980’s the plumbing and heating systems were shot and the roof was falling in. The forlorn mansion was purchased by brave new owners in 1983. They spent many years restoring the home to its former glory.
The work and money they must have poured into this place is truly jaw-dropping. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s a special place in heaven for people who undertake these restorations!
In addition to being a full service inn, the Mansion also hosts “Murder Mystery Weekends, First Friday Wine Tastings, Private Functions and Self-Guided Tours.”
This is the famous veranda:
And have a look at some of the elegant guest rooms….
The original carriage house has also been restored and can accommodate guests as well.
The entire property really does have a haunting quality about it. However, the mansion doesn’t actually have any tawdry true-life tales of murders or mysterious deaths. Yes, the staff do conduct a fun ‘murder mystery’ dinner for guests at the Inn, and it is rumoured to be haunted, but I could find no actual accounts of hauntings or ghosts (or murders) at the mansion.
It simply has gained its reputation from looking spooky – and having been abandoned for years.
The house’s website assures potential guests that it is no longer a spooky place.
For more information please see the official Harry Packer Mansion website.