Haunted Conrad-Caldwell House

they say Oh Louisville is America’s most haunted neighborhood and it’s come to be a nickname that the residents here have come to embrace people are very proud of their haunted houses down here and it’s a it’s a self proclaimed kind of title it came from the books I wrote about the neighborhood no one rivals Old Louisville for being the most haunted neighborhood in the country it’s not surprising because I myself have investigated or researched over a hundred profess cases of haunting down here one of the places is the pounder at Caldwell house which is said to be one of the neighborhood’s most haunted mansions the mansion was built by Theophilus Conrad the Kabul house sits on the original site of a southern exposition on st. James Court which is one of the first neighborhoods in the country the Conrad family lived here first for about 1895 until about 1905 actually emigrated from alsace-lorraine to Louisville where some of his family was he started off with a small tannery and he kept buying more businesses he arrived in Louisville as a young man in the mid-1800s he had two dollars in his pocket they said he had just finished his apprenticeship as a leather Tanner in France and he made his way to Louisville and took that $2 and turned it into an empire by the end of that century he was one the wealthiest men in the city and this house was built as his retirement home it cost about seventy five thousand dollars which with conversion rates we’ve been able to figure out was close to a million dollars so this was a an advanced beautifully constructed home in the late 19th century we have at least 120 fleur-de-lys on the first floor that we’ve been able to count you know I throwback to the time that mr. Conrad lived in France we have a lot of unique features about the house a number of of things we have a chandelier in the library that mrs. Caldwell had created after chandelier in a home in Europe that she saw that she really liked we also have a fireplace in the middle of the house which a lot of people would question the flue actually is designed so that it kind of leaves sideways and goes up of a flue in the middle of the house so that’s very unique you spent the last ten years of his life in the house one day in 1905 he was going up the back stairs and collapsed of a heart attack and died and we believe he laid in state in this room that were sitting in which is the parlor so there’s a chance that you know he he still wants to make sure that our home is is taken care of and that we’re doing everything we can to keep the doors open and keep people interested his wife after she buried him didn’t want to stay on in the big house all by herself so she sold it to some friends the Caldwell family and then William Colville purchased it in 1905 William Caldwell is best known as the owner of the W e Caldwell company which is now known as the Caldwell tank company they were very wealthy and it is very evident by just the attention to detail in this home he and his wife spent about two years rehabbing the house or or modernizing the home mrs. Caldwell had spent some time in Europe and wanted everything to be the top of the line so they lived in the house for about 40 years and then it became the Rosana Hughes home for Presbyterian widows and so they maintained the home from sometime in the 40s until 1987 when the st. James Court historic foundation purchased a home to turn it into a museum there are a number of people who died in the house not surprising that there are a number of ghosts who are said to haunt this place today one of them seems to be mr. Conrad himself they say when people go into the house for the regular tours that are offered people who are I guess like me nosey and sneak off and want to open doors and drawers and things like that and see what they can find those are the ones that have the encounters with mr. Conrad they say he’s a very short man he sort of appears as a misty apparition and it takes the shape of a man with a goatee in a bowler hat and he never says anything to anyone he just shows up and sternly looks at them and does this as if to say you shouldn’t be doing this and then he disappears and throughout the last years have been lots of people who have reported this apparition just one of many apparitions that are supposedly afoot so one of our docents believes that there are three women from the Rosana Hughes Presbyterian home that still inhabit their old room on the second floor which is the sitting room if we move things they tend to get a little upset and still they’ll open doors or move things as well so we’ve had that instance and one of our docents will say hello to them in the morning just to make sure that she you know has talked to them sometimes I think there’s a ghost and everything like the elevator goes up because it’s a huge noise right in my office and it startled me my first experience with ghosts here was I was giving a tour on the third floor and out of the corner of my eye I saw a ball of light go flying by now probably wouldn’t have thought anything about it but then a second one went back so I thought maybe the people in my group were swinging purses or umbrellas but I turned around they were all just standing there many people have had other experiences here I once had a lady who came through for a tour and she asked to see the piano in one of the rooms and as we were walking through she said do you have spirits here and I said yes I think we probably do she said there is a lady standing right behind you she’s wearing an ivory dress she has her arms out like she’s encompassing the whole house one time I was on the second floor and I saw a gray shadow figure go darting across I thought it was our assistant director and I came down and asked her why she was in the middle of my tour she said I wasn’t there we have a housekeeper here in the house and apparently it was raining outside she was the only one here she heard a voice start saying hurry hurry close the windows it’s raining outside she went upstairs the window was open it was raining in I love when people walk in and just exclaimed wow this is such a beautiful place you know getting to work with the volunteers who are excited to be here every day and to tell the stories that we do you know just making an impact and trying to keep history alive it’s

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