Monday, April 12, 2010

Case Files: The Lehmann House

Though this Romanesque Revival home was originally built in the 1860's for Edward S. Rowse, it's more known for Frederick and Nora Lehmann who took over the property and lived there for over thirty years.  The house would go on to pass through several other owners before landing in the lap of current resident and innkeeper, Marie Davies.

Since taking over the property in 1992, Marie has done an outstanding job of renovating this house and she now hosts one of the best bed and breakfasts in the area (the historic Lafayette Square neighborhood).  Guests who stay in the Lehmann House get to choose between four different rooms for their stay:  The Presidents Room (named for the fact that several U.S. presidents were known to have visited the house during the Lehmann's residency there), The Map Room (where Frederick once stored his map collection), The World's Fair Room (which commemorates Frederick's membership on the Board of Directors for the 1904 World's Fair) and The Maid's Room (named for the obvious reason).

But what about the haunting of this bed and breakfast?  Tales vary.  If you research online, you'll quickly figure out that most think the spirit of Edward is still lingering in his old bedroom.  Marie has heard some of these stories--and has had her own experiences in the home--though she reserves a certain amount of skepticism regarding some of the more extravagant claims (as is often good to do).  Of course, like most homes of this age, there have been deaths there (all of natural causes), so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that somebody from the home's past could still be there.

During my visit at the B&B, I stayed in The Map Room, an area where others have claimed to have seen shadowy apparitions and heard footsteps/voices.  After several hours of snapping infrared photos and performing EVP work throughout the house, I turned in for the night for several hours of restless sleep.  It would be after my review of the audio recorded in the bedroom that I would know why I slept so fitfully...

Over the course of the night, sounds within the room would shake me awake--primarily the sounds of whispers/voices and objects banging/moving.  Here are a few examples of this:

Clip 1:  Here you'll hear what sounds like a voice whispering in the room and then a bang that wakes me.  The audio recorder was on a nightstand beside the bed.

Clip 2:  In this clip you'll hear a gasp/sigh that's me suddenly waking up.  At the same time, it sounds like a female says something (almost like her voice woke me).

Clip 3:  Here you'll hear a female voice say a couple words, then hear me wake up and turn over in my bed.  I actually remember waking up for this one.  I looked around the room and found nothing, so I went back to sleep.

Clip 4:  This is the same as Clip 3, only I have enhanced the audio so you can hear the female voice a little clearer.

Since most of the tales involving a ghost seem to involve a male family member who lived there, it's a little surprising to have captured a female voice.  But that's the way it goes sometimes.  Like I said before, there were family deaths in the home...

Visit the Lehmann House B&B's website for more information regarding the home, its restoration and to book your own room for a stay you won't forget.