Beattie Mansion, known affectionately as the House on the Hill is an incredible building with a rich history. Built in 1854 by Armstrong and Eliza Beattie as their personal residence, the building originally consisted of just the east wing. Armstrong was the 1st banker in St. Joseph and was a shrewd and wealthy businessman. He was first elected mayor in 1857 and would go on to be re-elected 4 other times making him the only person to serve as mayor of St. Joseph 5 times.
Armstrong died mysteriously in 1878 after a “sudden bout of cholera”. Eliza died 2 years later in 1880 and the couple left no heirs. The home was sold to the Ladies Union Benevolence Association (LUBA) and became a “Home for the Friendless” accommodating the homeless and distressed. In 1895, along with funding from a private family, the home was expanded and the west wing was built.
Also in 1895 LUBA converted the home into the Memorial Home for the Aged which it served for 100 years. In 1995 LUBA, in need of more modern facilities for its residents, moved the aged home to another location and the building was temporarily used as a group home for the mentally ill and substance addicts. It was sold to the current owner in 2004 and has sat empty, with the plans to turn the building into a quaint B&B.
During attempts to renovate the mansion, numerous contractors experienced paranormal activity and many refused to return. Contractors and caretakers report hearing disembodied voices, seeing shadow figures and full bodied apparition. In 2017, the current caretaker, Rob, decided to contact a paranormal group to come in and help figure out the mystery of the mansion.
It seems that the most prominent spirit in the house is Eliza who lurks upstairs on the 2nd floor, guarding the hall connecting the east/west wings and she does not like males! Armstrong has also been discovered, pacing the halls, particularly in the East wing, whistling. On the 2nd floor, near the hallway connecting the 2 wings is a room housing at least 1 child spirit who has been captured yelling and laughing.
The 1st floor kitchen seems to also be a hot spot, with a variety of activity and various shadow figures of child size and tall male adult size seen walking through the kitchen. Down in the basement is perhaps, the most haunted floor in the house, housing a darker, male entity. He has been seen walking the hallway connecting the 2 wings, heard laughing, and often likes to taunt visitors. There is a room in the basement on the west wing that houses a male figure seen by 7 different people and described as being a tall man in overalls and a white shirt. He often peers out the window at the parking lot.
Additional claims have been piano playing at various times in the night, pokes, grabs, and scratches.
This is truly a paranormal playground!