A Haunted History

Do you believe that any house could be dangerous in itself? If so, it could be the house on 46 South Welles Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The local people refer to the house as Pennsylvania’s very own Amityville Horror. But why?

The house on 46 South Welles Street in Wilkes-Barre, PA was built around 1860 by Augustus C. Laning.  Augustus Laninglanning shocking death welles (1808-1875) was one of the first industrialists to    come to Wilkes-Barre. He lived there until he sold his company in 1869. Soon after the home was built, there were a number of odd deaths that occurred on Welles Street and tragedy hit Mr. Laning’s fortunes. Laning’s factories burned to the ground in 1850, and death on welles streethe lost his nephew in a terrible lightning accident. His nephew was working with the horses in the barn when a bolt of lightning hit the barn and the barn caught fire.  He was trapped under the carcass of a horse who had been killed in the fire and was unable to get out of the barn and he also perished.

There are reports of man who suddenly dropped dead in front of the house for no apparent reason during the mid 1800′s.

The house from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century was primarily a rental property, however this did not mean that its owners did not encounter any hardships. The house during these times went through 3 sheriff sales, and had 2 confirmed suicides and 4 deaths on its premises.  Even though the house was mainly used as a rental since it was built, most of tenants resided in the house for long periods of time.Over its 160 year history it is believed that house has been rented more than 50 times.  Is it that the house develop a demonic personality or has it always been there?  It seems quite apparent that it’s past inhabitants have noticed its destructive effects, which include many forms of psychiatric illnesses, physical illnesses, alcoholism and chain smoking on the property.

There were two families that reportedly experienced demonic paranormal activity at the Welles House during the 1970′s.  The two families that documented their experiences through the press were the Johnsons and the Bennetts.  The paranormal claims that were documented in the news papers included:

One of the first articles to cover the house was, Wilkes Barre’s Times Leader which covered the Welles House in October 31, 1979 and featured the story on the “Johnson’s”.  The article refers to the house as, “Wilkes Barre’s Amityville Horror isn’t just a Halloween Joke.”

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On March 3, 1980 the Welles House again was featured in the Times Leader when Ed and Lorraine Warren also visited the house in 1980.  For some reason they were not allowed to enter the house.

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August 9, 1982, the house was again featured in the Times Leader, Haunted house sold in Heights.  Interesting enough a Psychology Professor from Wilkes College remembers the Welles house to be haunted going back to the days of the depression when he was of 13 – 17 years of age.

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