Prosperity had always come easily to the Ghostly family. From their first immigration to the Americas, to being some of the first settlers in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, their choices and plans always seemed to work out well for them.
As the fledgling country grew and became a powerful nation, the Ghostly family’s power and wealth grew with it. Generation after generation, the Ghostlys amassed fortunes. They owned real estate and businesses, and some say they owned government and the law too.
They were friendly to everyone, employed thousands of people and rubbed elbows with the nation’s elite. Were they too good to be true? How could good fortune last for so many years in one family? Some said they had sold their souls to the Devil. But surely that must have been jealousy working in the minds of the less successful. The murmurings of a dark secret, hidden agendas and loyalties couldn’t be true. And in that newly enlightened age, people didn’t believe in those things anymore, did they?
Life went on and for the most part, any negative thoughts about the Ghostly family were more than outweighed by the good. In the late 1800’s Ellsworth Ghostly, eldest son of the family’s current patriarch Malachi Ghostly, had established himself in his own successful business. No one really knew what he did in that office all day. Ellsworth seemed to be one of very few who ever entered his business. The local people dismissed it as an oddity of another successful generation of Ghostlys.
His success seemed to be fulfilled in earnest when he met the lovely Elizabeth Mayfaire. The two began courting and after the turn of the century planned to be wed. To say that Elizabeth’s parents didn’t approve of the engagement was an understatement. They vowed to fight the marriage but, in a strange twist of fate, Elizabeth Mayfaire’s parents both died after being bitten by a rare and deadly spider. No one seemed to know how the spider had gotten into their private rooms but the authorities claimed it was just a tragic accident.
Now, Elizabeth Mayfaire was completely alone in the world and dependent on her fiancée to take care of everything. Plans were made that, in the fall of 1902, just as their new mansion was being finished on the national road, they would hold a wedding no one would ever forget. There wasn’t time to completely furnish the home before the wedding, but Ellsworth convinced Elizabeth that it didn’t matter. Their mansion was a work of art, after all, and everyone who attended the Ghostly wedding couldn’t help but be impressed. The guests were invited, wedding clothes procured, and all was set for what would surely be the social event of the season.
The day of the wedding was all sunshine and flowers, with many well wishes and gifts for the happy couple. Everything was going exactly as Ellsworth had planned. After the guests had arrived, the short ceremony was concluded, and the reception was set to start, Ellsworth went to his front doorman, and asked him to please close and lock all the doors and have the outside staff wait until they were called upon.
The beautiful new doors were closed with a low ominous thud. The sound of keys turning in locks could be heard as door after door was shut, just as the master of the house had requested. The doorman could see lights flicker from within the mansion and then the sounds of the party became eerily quiet. The doorman, along with the rest of the staff that were outside that day, still stand and wait for Mr. and Mrs. Ghostly to appear more than 100 years later. They seem to be unaware that time has passed. No one has ever been seen entering or leaving the Mansion since that fateful day. The only ones who may enter this home are those with an invitation to the Ghostlys’ wedding. But, enter at your own peril. No one has ever discovered what terrible secrets the mansion holds or why its guests were never seen again.
Had the gossip been true after all? Were the Ghostly family successes bought with their souls? Or had Elizabeth’s parents kept their vow to stop the marriage at all costs? Had they come back from the dead to exact their revenge on their daughter’s new husband?
To this day the outdoor staff remains to take care of things. They never enter the Ghostly mansion themselves and try to warn away anyone who asks to enter for any reason but one. Enter if you must, but make sure you have a wedding invitation. The servants are a bit odd now and get disoriented and angry if you claim to be anyone but a guest. Be sure to play the part well. If you don’t convince them all Hell may break loose.
If you still want to go in don’t say we didn’t warn you. Take care though, not to upset any of the servants inside either. Remember, play the part, don’t let them see you don’t belong. And whatever you do, don’t offend Ellsworth and Elizabeth Ghostly or their servants. Tread carefully, watch closely and play the part of a happy wedding guest and you may find out what happened that day and why all who entered the mansion are prisoners there to this day. Maybe it’s just old stories, superstition and jealousy as some still say… and maybe there is a much darker reason for what has happened here…