A secluded and historic island situated on the Ohio River right in the middle of Ohio and West Virginia, Blennerhassett Island is currently a state park including a single roadway and only a limited number of docks. This island connects the two states via the Blennerhassett Island Bridge and is still host to the historical Palladian Mansion owned by Herman Blennerhassett. Even though the original mansion was burnt down, a perfect replica was constructed on the same foundation and the building can still be toured to this day. Much like the time and lifestyle of the 1800’s, the island and the mansion were strewn with slaves who served the Blennerhassett family. Unfortunately for all of those living here, illness also was commonplace, and both the family and their slaves had children who succumbed to deadly diseases, leaving those lost souls to wonder the island for all eternity.
Even before the Blennerhasset family emigrated from Ireland, the island was home to Native Americans who were rumored to utilize the grounds for burial sites. Burial mounds and Native American artifacts have been dug up and retrieved from the area proving that at least these natives used the land, if not made it their home.
Harman Belnnerhassett, along with his wife Margaret, made their way to the area from their native island of Ireland in late 1789. This wealthy couple was in need of a fresh start away from their former personal indignities and prosecution. After they had established a prosperous plantation, in 1800, the young family with a child on the way constructed a mansion based on George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
Beginning their life in the mansion was not the easiest as they lost their child to an undocumented illness. In the coming years, they also lost their home to the former Vice President Aaron Burr as he pursued a militarized expansion to the American southwest in 1805. This expansion was rumored to be a cover up for a treasonous conspiracy to create a new country separate from the young nation. During this conflict, the Blennerhassett’s mansion was burnt down in 1811 and the family fled to the island in fear of them being persecuted as traitors.
After the mansion was burnt and the scandal of a proclamation of rebellion, the island was left to time and Mother Nature. It was essentially abandoned until Margaret passed away and the family returned to the island to bury her nearby.
In the early 1980’s, a replica of the mansion was constructed on the former foundation and is currently open to the public for tours allowing both locals and tourists alike to appreciate the former beauty that once overlooked the once booming and bustling island.
Many guests to the island have reported strange experiences to tour guides and local law enforcement. There have been multiple accounts of people asking the tour guides if there are others dressed in historic Native American garb as they spotted groups of what appeared to be Indians walking through the woods. Some have even gone so far to follow them in hopes of seeing a historical camp only to have these natives disappear into the tree line.
Desperate and eerie hymns have been called into the local police as some believed teenagers or a small homeless population took to a party ground or new home on the abandoned island. Upon review and combing the island for unauthorized visitors, no one has ever been tracked down to these sounds. The location of these songs is seemingly traced to where the former Blennerhassett slave houses once stood. Some believe that these sounds are none other than those of the slaves who perished and even those who worked and lived the majority of their lives here.
On some moonlit nights, an older woman dressed in a long flowing white dress has been spotted wandering around the mansion’s property and even has been heard crying. Local legend tells that this is the specter of Margaret Blennerhassett, returning to her once gorgeous home that she was ripped away from and weeping for her child who passed on much too young.
There have been two separate groupings of sightings in the mansion and the island. Inside the mansion, a little girl has been spotted running the halls and giggling. This entity has only been experienced by younger children and simply reported to nearby adults and the tour guides. The other paranormal activity is typically only experienced by older visitors. These adults have experienced footsteps, treading lightly as if a child is running in the halls. They have also seen objects in the mansion like doors and chairs move on their own with no worldly explanation.
Whether these otherworldly experiences have been playing on a loop brought by the sadness and tragic past or if there is a more intelligent entity here is to be seen. But what can be agreed upon by visitors and employees alike is that there is definitely something going on in the mansion and on the island that is out of this world and possibly drawing on energy of the living to tell their long lost stories.
This was an experience we have never been a part of: camping and ghost hunting. This was all thanks to the wonderful ladies of Hidden Marietta. This has been our fourth investigation with them, and we have enjoyed these investigations a great deal thanks to their kindness, hospitality, and generosity. Being that this was just as much a camping trip as it was a paranormal one, we had to think a little differently, and almost back to our roots. We packed a little lighter (at least on the investigation side of things) and more mobile. We didn’t bring our hardwired cameras and tripods. We based most things on our recordings and handheld camera. Around 3:30 PM, we arrived at Point Park in Parkersburg, WV to catch the ferry to truly be secluded from the rest of the world. The ferry departed around 4:00 PM, and naturally we had to keep lighthearted and goofy as we posed looking for our own Heart of the Ocean (in the Ohio River). We survived, unlike Jack, unpacked our camping equipment, and jumped right into the tour of the Blennerhassett Mansion followed by an enjoyable horse drawn carriage ride around the island, hearing stories of both historical and paranormal value along the way.
We packed up our vests with mobile equipment and made our way to our first location around 7:30 PM. We took advantage of the camping opportunity and stayed the entire night, investigating until about 3:00 AM and sleeping on the Native American burial grounds (because why not?).
Throughout moments of the investigation, we were joined by a few of the members of Hidden Marietta. Throughout the evening, we used different equipment in different locations mainly based on our distance from our camp and the rest of the equipment and the amount we could carry. We had two handheld cameras, one recorder, one K2 meter, one SB7 Spirit Box, one Phasma Box, one Rempod, one Ovilus, one FLIR thermal image camera, two IR lights, one EMF pump, and our pack of light up balloons. We did not even attempt any hardwired cameras or monitoring system, nor did we utilize any type of stationary camera. Being that we were in and out, mainly outside, we did not bother with the temperature gauge or laser grid pen.
During our night on the Blennerhassett Island, we believe that we experienced numerous oddities and occurrences that we would consider paranormal. These things that occurred have simply no scientific grounds or explanations. As we toured, namely the mansion, we felt different sensations like a pins and needles feeling in the lower back and neck and the sixth sense of someone just walking up behind you and watching you in both the Walnut Room and outside Margaret’s Bedroom. While we weren’t allowed inside these rooms during our investigation due the historical value and sensitivity to many of the furniture and decorations, we were allowed to sit outside the rooms to investigate but we were allowed to be inside during the tour, which we are grateful for that opportunity.
We did capture a little photographic evidence via both our flash photography and the FLIR thermal imaging. However, the majority of our evidence was captured through the recorder and handheld camera. Some of these were simple EVP recordings, like at the Block House, while others were based off of Spirit Box and Phasma Box communication, like in Margaret’s Bedroom, the Nursery, the Walnut Room, and the Hanging Tree.
One of the odder scenarios occurred as we were completing our investigation and heading back to the camp. After we investigated Ed’s Dock, we gathered up our gear. One piece that we didn’t check for was our hand-held camera. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to use it as it had begun raining before our trek to the Hanging Tree. But because of this, we clearly remembered carrying it around for no practical reason. As we neared the camp site, we checked for the camera, but it was not on any of us, not our pockets, vests, anywhere. We headed back to the Hanging Tree, thinking we set it down there. As we walked back, we scanned the pathway side to side with our flashlights. It was not at the Hanging Tree so we headed to Ed’s Dock. We once again checked the pathway as we worked our way toward the dock. It was nowhere to be found. Our last resort was that we might have left it at the campsite, but as we walked, we spotted the shimmer of the silver casing of the camera right on the pathway we just came from! This was one of the stranger occurrences we’ve really ever experienced. The question of why and how the camera just disappeared then reappeared still sits in the back of our minds.
According to our personal experiences and evidence gathered, we believe there were multiple active locations throughout the island during our investigation. Inside the Blennerhassett Mansion, Margaret’s Bedroom, the Nursery, and the Walnut Room appeared to be highly active. Outside throughout the island, the former Blockhouse location and the Hanging Tree were both active during our time there. We captured voice communication at all of these locations and even a few odd photos including one thermal image of something almost laying on top of one of the investigators as well as another in the woods which appears to be something peeking out from behind a tree. In those same woods, we heard footsteps and felt like we were being watched from a distance. We had some consistent Rempod activity in Margaret’s Bedroom telling us who was in the room and when they wanted us to leave.
After we reviewed the evidence gathered from our overnight paranormal investigation, and camping experience, on the Blennerhassett Island, we can definitively conclude that the historic island and reconstructed mansion act as host to a multitude of spirits throughout the property and the building. It seemed as though the island itself was more inclined to hold spirits of the far past from the Native Americans original occupancy of the land, while the mansion held otherworldly residents from the Blennerhassett family and their minimal but tragic time spent there. We were lucky enough to spend a little time inside the mansion recording names and communication as well as some intriguing thermal photographs. We had the majority of the evening to explore the island itself and managed to capture even more voices, sounds, communication, and photographs of some strange anomalies and paranormal activity.
During our evening we came across multiple areas which intrigued us where we captured otherworldly activity, but the most active locations seemingly appeared to be Margaret’s Bedroom, Nursery, Walnut Room, the former Blockhouse location, and the Hanging Tree. These locations across the Blennerhassett Island provided us with a range of experiences and energies including voice communication and photographs. The energy in the majority of the mansion felt light and welcoming at first until we seemed to have our time wear thin and their patience run out. The Rempod activity in Margaret’s Bedroom helped push us out as we asked if they wanted us to leave paired with the K2 activity in the Walnut Room telling us that they did not want us to leave left us scratching our heads to the entity’s identity only to conclude that there were multiple throughout the mansion.
Outside its’ walls, particularly at the Blockhouse location and the Hanging Tree, the wooded areas and abandoned structures seemed to watch us from afar as we heard footsteps and saw figures poking their heads out from behind trees but eventually want us to leave as we began to take the deaths which occurred there a little lightly.
The energy and activity throughout the Blennerhassett Island stretches back through time when the Native Americans still ruled the “New World” and were at war with rival tribes. The death tolls rose, and the body counts grew leaving countless and rushed burials and blood strewn across the land. Even as the untamed land became settled by the Blennerhassett family, they too left behind different energies based upon death and tragedy. Even leading up to modern times, the island somehow still draws in more death and unfortunate events dating back only a year ago. The tragic past that the island has experienced seems to play on a loop with the sounds of chanting and screams in the night. Other souls seem to be trapped here, like that of two-year-old Maggie and her mother Margaret who possibly don’t even know that they have passed away. Whatever the case may be, Blennerhassett Island truly holds an interesting and eclectic group of hauntings across the three mile land mass.
As always, it was a pleasure to work with the team of Hidden Marietta. Their professionalism, hospitality, and investigative abilities are unmatched. Without their work at conserving and advertising these types of historic, haunted locations, many could be lost to time. We always look forward to joining Hidden Marietta any chance we get. We look forward to working with them in the future and applaud their hard work and dedication to the other side.
This is our second time visiting and investigating this beautifully secluded and well-preserved island that is hidden in plain sight right along the Ohio River in between Ohio and West Virginia.
Our night started out a little different than most. We were invited by Hidden Marietta to help mainly with the investigation aspects of the event. We arrived on the island earlier in the day to transport our equipment and camping supplies. We took the boat back to help check guests in, assign them to tour groups, and introduce ourselves, making them aware that we’d be available throughout the evening.
After setting up our campsite and getting settled in, we greeted guests and shared stories. The sun set, and we began our journey around the island starting around 8:30 PM. We skipped out on the mansion tours and wagon rides since we’ve done both before, although we do highly suggest both if you get an opportunity to venture to the island. We investigated on our own for a little until we were joined by some of the Hidden Marietta investigators as well as some of the guests inside the mansion. Overall, the investigation lasted until about 3:00 AM.
Since the majority of the locations around the island required a little bit of a trek from our campsite, we bought a backpack to transport as much as possible from location to location. We utilized pretty much every tool we could fit in our travel bag including a cell phone camera for a Facebook Live stream, a recorder, a MEL meter, a K2 meter, a SB7 Spirit Box, a Rempod, a FLIR thermal imaging camera, a Phasma Box, a SLS camera, an EMF pump, an IR light, and an Ovilus.
Early on, we spent some time at Margaret’s and Harman’s graves. This quick session provided us with a little activity, mainly involving the flashlights we set at opposing corners of Margaret’s stone burial marker.
From there, we moved inside the mansion where there was an incredible amount of energy which led to a phenomenal amount of paranormal activity. It seemed mostly friendly and willing to communicate with us, just not willing to speak through our devices. Most of the first floor seemed to not want Dan around but once he arrived upstairs, the atmosphere changed Margaret’s Room. While in the upstairs bedroom, Dan caught a glimpse of a full figure of a small girl standing in front of the fireplace. We spent a lot of time inside the mansion, but as we made our way back outside, we ventured toward the Blockhouse area. Even though this didn’t provide much activity, during our entire walk towards this spot we felt a presence behind us and even heard footsteps in the gravel. There were some odd sounds off into the wooded areas surrounding us reminding us of the feeling we had last investigation as we witnessed and photographed the Watcher.
Most of the evidence captured and our personal experiences during our night on the island was through voice recorders, the Spirit Box, and the Phasma Box. Some of our more physical experiences include the full body apparition of a small girl in Margaret’s Room, the phantom footsteps following us down the staircase inside the Mansion followed by a white figure passing by the inside of the doorway, and plenty of flashlight and Rempod activity all throughout the Mansion. We also experienced footsteps and odd sensations of being watched and followed while walking toward the Blockhouse as physically.
Based on the gathered evidence and our experiences on Blennerhassett Island, we believe the historical island hosts an incredible amount of residual and intelligent spirits. The rebuilt mansion seems to be a specific haven for those who lived there and spent most of their time on the island here, mainly the Blennerhassets. Outside the mansion on the island, it seems there is quite a bit of residual energy left over, mainly from the Native Americans who once called this island home. These spirits communicated and interacted all throughout the island and with numerous individuals, not just us. However, the most active locations, according to our evidence and experiences, include: Margaret’s Room, the Second Floor Hallway, the Parlor, the Dining Room, and the Blennerhassett Graves. The Blockhouse and trail that led to it felt like they held some type of energy, but we’re unsure if it’s more intelligent or residual as they didn’t seem to want to contact us and simply watch from afar.
After a complete review of the evidence we captured during the night we camped out on Blennerhassett Island for a paranormal investigation, we can conclude that the historic island and mansion holds an incredible amount of energy and a slew of spirits spread out between the mansion and the island. Based upon our evidence gathered intertwined with our personal experiences, we believe we encountered intelligent and residual communication, paired up with some more physical phenomena such as seeing a full body apparition of a young girl, hearing footsteps, and even the feeling of presences moving about around us inside the mansion.
Being that there are so many legends and lore about the deaths and tragedy on the island (even if only a small portion of them are true) it would be no wonder why so many spirits would be left to wander here for eternity. Some of these spirit energies seem to be well-aware of their passing over, or lack thereof, and seem willing to share their names and even interact with guests to the island. Specifically, Margaret and her family seem to be lingering in the Blennerhassett Mansion, only that Margaret refuses to leave the island until she finds her daughter, Snowdrop. Others, like the Native American Watchers, seem to want to watch from afar, simply ensuring their island and eternal home is safe and secure. There are a few that may be playing out their lives or specific actions time and time again, regardless of what’s going on around them.
Most of the energy throughout the mansion and island felt more positive in nature and most spirits we communicated with seemed willing to speak with us in some fashion, even if just manipulating our devices like flashlights and Rempod. The verbal communication we captured was thanks in large part to the Spirit Box and Phasma Box. We did manage to record a few names like “Margaret” and “Scott” but at other times we were told to “Go” and “Leave.” However, we never felt any darker or malevolent presences around the island.
We feel that there was enough evidence and experiences for us to prove that the Blennerhassett Island hosts multiple spiritual energies throughout the land and the walls of the Blennerhassett Mansion. Our analysis of our evidence goes on to show that there is a combination of both intelligent and residual energies tied to the historic land. These energies vary from remnants of the Blennerhassetts to the Native Americans even to past employees and volunteers to the state park. It’s highly likely that these spirits, while living on the island, held it in the utmost regard and a very important part of their lives, which ultimately is what drew them back here in the afterlife.
This event continues to hold special meaning to us. Any time we are able to spend with Hidden Marietta is worth the trip from Pittsburgh. What makes the event even more exciting is that we get to spread the respect and interest we have for paranormal research with all the people that join us for the event. We are always humbled by the reception we get from people that follow our content online. Getting to meet them face-to-face and getting to meet so many interesting people is why we do what we do. As always, we thank Hidden Marietta for inviting us along on these incredible journeys and can’t wait to do it all again in August for the next overnight camping event on Blennerhassett Island!
Follow Up Investigation
The weather was perfect, and the atmosphere was naturally set and featured wonderful natural and manmade features around the island. The exploration of the island includes a multitude of wooded areas where Native Americans hunted, gathered, and even utilized the area for burial grounds as well as more modern features that the new world began to bring in like the Blennerhassett Mansion, Neale House, former Block House, and boat docks.
Our third investigation of the island was not as thoroughly recorded or captured as we spent most of our time helping the guests and guiding them alongside Hidden Marietta. However, we did capture a flurry of activity back behind the Neale House utilizing flashlights and the Rempod. Here, we realized we were speaking with Mr. George Neale Sr. and his son George Neale Jr.
During our return here for this fourth time, we once again captured plenty of otherworldly activity both behind the Neale House and inside the Mansion. The light and paranormal tool activity continued here in both locations including flashlights, Remopods, K2 meters, and our new Spirit Light. We had differing experiences in both spots, but we do believe we made conclusive contact in both areas, albeit in different fashions.
As we arrived on the island with Hidden Marietta, we greeted the guests numbering over fifty-five total, and introduced ourselves, and explained that we would be available to help explain the equipment and guide them through investigations throughout the evening. Once we had the campsite set up, and helped a few of those guests struggling with theirs, we began to spread out and begin the horse wagon rides and the mansion tours. We set up outside the mansion so once guests completed their historical tours, we would explain the equipment available to them throughout the night. We then set out for our first investigation location; the Neale House.
Right around 6:00 PM we began the tours and began our trek to the Neale House right around 8:00 PM. After about two hours behind the Neale House, where we received a lot of flashlights, Rempod, and Spirit Box communication, we headed toward the Mansion. We spent some more time here with Hidden Marietta and the guests then moved on to the rest of the island. Overall, our investigations lasted up until about 2:30 AM.
We utilized some of Hidden Marietta’s tools along the way but mainly stuck with whatever we could haul in a backpack. We left off the live streams this time around as well as the Phasma box since its’ attached to our tablet (not the best tool for a hike) and left the bulky SLS camera behind. We did take with us two recorders, one MEL meter, two K2 meters, one SB7 Spirit Box, one Rempod, one FLIR thermal imaging camera, one EMF pump, two IR lights, three flashlights, one Ovilus, one brand new Spirit Light, and two stationary video cameras.
As we started back at the Neale House, we quickly utilized our light-up energy required tools including the flashlights, Rempod, K2 meters, and Spirit Light. As we had hoped, we picked up essentially where we left off left time and the flashlights jumped to life. We captured a few voices and seemingly intelligent communication thanks to the Spirit Box, Dowsing Rods, and Ovilus. The FLIR thermal image camera captured perhaps some of the most intriguing evidence we had seen all night.
As our time dwindled here, the Rempod began to light, signifying our time was up.
As we made our way to the Mansion, there was already some significant activity taking place involving a pair of light-up cat balls and K2 meters. Unfortunately, we were not around for those moments, but we did get lucky enough to experience a few experiences ourselves. After setting around more light-up devices, including the Spirit Light which did not activate even once the entire night up until this point, we had moments where all of the lights shone bright, and the sounds buzzed on as if someone had entered the area. We also recorded a new name here as well as an astonishing moment of the chain appearing to be pushed down causing a strange stretching effect of the metal chains across the Walnut Room doorway. Eventually, we were told to get out and move on so we begrudgingly obliged.
After a short break, we moved upstairs into the mansion. We did not record too much activity here, a few phrases thanks to the Spirit Box but an interesting moment occurred right before we packed up where we had something kicked or thrown around the room which sounded like small pebbles. This occurred on two separate occasions followed by phantom footsteps.
Even though that was the end of our evening, we still had a little more evidence to review. We left a stationary camera in the Kitchen to just record and listen to at a later time. The area is closed off for investigations, but we were lucky enough to at least have a few devices in here. Nothing too far out of the ordinary was noticed here, but there were a few clicking noises, what sounded like a wine or champagne bottle popping, and even a few moments of flickering lights.
Throughout our evening, a heavy portion of the evidence and individual experiences were captured via light-up energy tools such as flashlights, Rempods, K2 meters, and Spirit Lights. However, we did also experience some voices and communication largely thanks to our Spirit Box and simple voice recorders. We experienced quite a bit of physical anomalies thanks to some FLIR thermal photographic evidence by the Neale House, footsteps upstairs in the Mansion, and pebbles being thrown around in that same area.
Thanks to our guides at Hidden Marietta, we have been able to return for the fourth time in attempts to debunk or prove some type of otherworldly activity occurring on the island, and with building evidence from each visit we can confidently conclude that Blennerhassett Island plays host to numerous strong energies in the form of both intelligent and residual spiritual activity throughout the island. The reconstructed mansion, purchased by and constructed for the Blennerhassett family seems to hold quite a bit of intelligent energy as well as the Neale House which the Blennerhassetts’ stayed at during their mansion’s construction and holds a plethora of local legend and lore surrounding the former slave owners and their treatment of those slaves during the Underground Railroad. Surprisingly enough, the upstairs of the Mansion showed signs of intelligent energy, likely wanting us to leave, and the Kitchen produced quite a bit of residual energy creating noises reminiscent of a working Kitchen back when it was in operation.
Once we reviewed all of our evidence and discussed our firsthand experiences from the camping event on Blennerhassett Island, we have concluded that our follow up paranormal investigation was conclusive in proving our previous claims were correct are unable to be debunked as well as finding even further proof that the island and historic mansion hold an interesting collective of energy and paranormal anomalies. We believe that during this particular experience that we discovered and interacted with both intelligent and residual spirits and energies. Combining the photographs, FLIR thermal images, recordings, and videos, we can confidently conclude that we captured a significant amount of paranormal evidence.
With such a rich history linked with the island, most notably the island namesake of the Blennerhassett’s, paired up with the undocumented or limited documentation of the Native Americans there can be no doubt that spirits have been drawn back to this location in the afterlife. Some of these spirits seem willing to communicate, showing their knowledge of their passing and strong energy to share their stories and responses with us. Others, however, do not appear to be aware that they have passed and are more hesitant to speak with us or they are simply confused. There are seemingly a few more spirits trapped or drawn to the island, whether they be former residents who are more likely to be residual energies or natives to the island who may still be watching over and protecting the island.
Outside the Neale House showed a few several types of energies and unique experiences. While we did capture some verbal communication as we addressed George Neale Sr. the majority of the activity seemed to be either children or Native Americans playing with the flashlights then hiding behind trees and peering out to watch and see what happened. These moments were more playful and fun. However, as mentioned above, as we addressed George Neale Sr. and his rumored torture antics, he seemed displeased and quite aggravated. The Mansion, on the other hand, seemed very welcoming and friendly during the entirety of our stay there. We even gathered a new name we have never heard before, Grace. We also managed to get a lot of yes/no questions answered through the flashlights, K2 meters, Rempod, and Spirit Light including that Grace was from Ohio. Even though the mansion was indeed welcoming and warm, we did seem to wear out our welcome at the Walnut Room as the energy tools ceased their activity and the Spirit Box told us to leave. As we moved upstairs, the phantom footsteps coming behind us and eventually the pebbles being kicked or thrown at us were a clear indication that we were no longer welcome in this area, and no one genuinely wanted to communicate.
We believe that there were enough experiences, both by us and the guests, which prove our past and new evidence gathered from the Blennerhassett Island show that numerous energies are drawn to the area and the mansion. Both intelligent and residual energies take form and can be seen all across the island and our analysis shows that this combination is quite active and varies in origin from the Blennerhassett family to the Native Americans, all of whom are strongly tied to Blennerhassett Island. While there are countless explanations and theories as to why some spirits are specifically attached to certain areas, we believe that this island was held in high regard by these returning spirits as well as some of the most important memories and aspects of their earthly lives.