Paranormal programs coming to Wheeler mansion in Orange

  • The Wheeler mansion at 75 East Main St. in Orange. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2021 5:34:47 PM

ORANGE — The Wheeler mansion on East Main Street will be visited by paranormal enthusiasts and, with any luck, a few spirits this weekend.

A New York group called Misfits Paranormal is coming to Orange for a paranormal investigation while The Crooked Path, an occult apothecary store in Burbank, Calif., hosts The Symposium Khthonia, billed as “a spellbinding weekend of witchcraft and the paranormal.”

Melissa Savage of Misfits Paranormal said she and her crew will be on site to participate in “The World’s Largest Ghost Hunt,” which will take place at roughly 150 presumed haunted locations all over the world at around the same time on Saturday. She said she and her comrades will meet mansion owner Cindy Butler at the property and an investigation will begin at 11 p.m. Saturday, with a livestream lasting from 2 to 3 a.m.

“My mother (Jackie Graham) is actually a medium,” Savage said. “So she actually speaks with the spirits and we’re hoping to get a lot of direct answers from them — fingers crossed, some apparitions and maybe some orbs. We’ve been lucky — about 90% (of the time), we get a lot of direct responses because we’re sensitive and we have … the medium.”

Medium and psychic Patti Negri, known for appearances on Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” will be on hand. Negri said she will hold a seance from midnight to 2 a.m. on Sunday.

“It’s going to be very magical. It’s going to be a big beautiful party of spirits,” Negri said. She is a bit of a celebrity and known as “The Good Witch of Hollywood.”

Savage said she is anxious to meet Negri, who is one of her idols.

“I’m going to be a little starstruck, to be honest with you,” Savage said. “I adore her. She’s amazing.”

Savage said her crew will use a special camera that will map anything paranormal, digital recorders, motion detectors and trigger objects to entice ghost children to play.

“We’re looking for intelligent responses,” she said.

Visit bit.ly/3CDR8XG for the livestream and nationalghosthuntingday.com for more information on “The World’s Largest Ghost Hunt.”

The Symposium Khthonia will consist of a meet-and-greet, a flashlight tour of the mansion and a class on Friday; an amulet-making class, ritual and spirit summoning, a seance and paranormal investigation on Saturday; and an investigation review, brunch, another class and a closing ritual on Sunday.

Negri and Sal Santoro, The Crooked Path’s owner, will headline the event. Presenters will include mansion owner Butler as well as Jeff Cullen, Scarlett Amaris and Juelz Cullen.

According to his biography, Santoro, who was born in New England, began studying occultism as a young adult.

“Witchcraft is often overlooked as a tool to help connect with the other side, so it has become our mission to bridge the gap and share our workings to help summon the spirits of the land,” he said in an emailed statement. “And what better way than to bring in a paranormal team with all their gadgets and a psychic medium to conduct a seance to help prove what is unseen.”

All attendees are required to be fully vaccinated. More information is available at bit.ly/3u5kKKd.

According to the Wheeler mansion’s website, Butler won the mansion in a competitive property auction on June 17, 2020.

Then-Athol Daily News writer Allen Young wrote in 2015 that the property is the North Quabbin region’s only Gilded Age mansion. It was built in 1902 and 1903 by John Wheeler, who made his fortune manufacturing and selling sewing machines, becoming the president of the New Home Sewing Machine Co. Wheeler built the home for his wife, Almira.

Young reported the building was owned by the Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic sisterhood, for much of the 20th century, serving as a home for its elderly members. The Eastern Star closed the building in the 1980s, and Karen and Robert Anderson bought it from the Star Realty Trust for $240,000 in 1996, according to Young. The new owners had intended to open a bed-and-breakfast called Anderson Manor, but those plans did not come to fruition.

The 20-room, 15,406-square-foot brick mansion sports eight bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to the real estate website Estately.com. The property consists of roughly 2 acres.

According to the mansion’s website, Wheeler died in the building in 1910 and he deeded his home to the Order of the Eastern Star.

More information about the Wheeler mansion is available at revivalwheelermansion.com​​​​​​.

Reach Domenic Poli at dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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