New owner to investigate allegedly haunted W-B house
February 12, 2014 – Citizen’s Voice
Tim Wood always wanted to own a haunted house.
The Californian found his dream – or should that be nightmare? – house in Wilkes-Barre: 46 S. Welles St., which has a well-established reputation for the unearthly.
Wood, founder and lead investigator of LiveSciFi, along with a fellow “extreme ghost hunter,” will conduct an investigation at the house over the weekend, which will be streamed in real time online at the LiveSciFi.TV channel on YouTube.
Wood, who lives in San Francisco, found out about 46 S. Welles St. through online publicity. When Katherine “Kaye” Watkins died, her daughter Stacey Evans inherited the house in Wilkes-Barre’s Heights section. Since Evans and her husband live in the Lehigh Valley, they opted to put it on the market.
Evans, who grew up in the house and was aware of its ghostly reputation, played it up in the real estate ads. Wood saw them and was intrigued.
A local group of investigators, Deadline Paranormal, probed the house in August using specialized equipment including thermal imaging cameras, a REM pod for communication, and Mel Meters to detect electromagnetic fields. Deadline Paranormal members analyzed their findings and concluded the house is definitely haunted.
In October, Wood and a group of fellow ghost hunters came to Wilkes-Barre to perform an investigation of their own – appropriately, on Halloween weekend.
Their findings were similar to those of the Deadline Paranormal group: electronic voice phenomena, strange balls of light and other anomalies, electromagnetic fields. Something unseen tugged at Wood’s shirt as it had Deadline Paranormal co-founder Jim Fazzi during his own group’s investigation.
Wood researched former occupants of the house, which dates back to approximately the 1870s on land originally owned by Wyoming Valley pioneer Col. Matthias Hollenback and later inherited by his daughter and then her son, industrialist Augustus C. Laning.
Over the next century, the house at 46 S. Welles St. had numerous owners and inhabitants, often as a rental property. There were deaths in the house, including at least one suicide, and several bankruptcies. Its last owner, Watkins, bought it at its third sheriff’s sale on July 21, 1982 and lived there until her death on Oct. 26, 2012. The previous owners, the Walker Bennetts, allegedly moved out abruptly in 1978.
Wood became the house’s most recent owner in December.
“It has a history that needs to be uncovered and told,” he explained.
Wood believes that once its story is told and certain details are uncovered, it will “heal” the house. He also plans to have an exorcism performed.
In the meantime, the paranormal activity has been getting worse, Wood said.
“I feel that there’s definitely something highly intelligent and negative in the house,” he said. “I do feel that there’s stuff in there that’s trapped.”
Wood set up www.welleshouse.com, where he uploaded evidence from his earlier investigation.
But at some point, might he give live ghost tours?
Not right now, Wood said.
“The activity in the house is too strong,” he said. “I don’t want random people to go in there and get attacked.”