Updated: Jan 14
To say this was the most haunted location that I have ever been in, would be an understatement. As a professional paranormal investigator for many many years (long before it was a popular thing), I grew a very close attachment to an 1818 built manor in Northern Vermont, The Highgate Manor.
This manor was abandoned for several years and in those years I spent over 300x exploring it, investigating it, and spending the night in it. And not ONCE did I not experience something during my trips within it's walls. With obviously too many stories to tell, I have summed up a few of my favorites.
This beautiful manor had been boarded up, all doors and windows locked and nailed shut. Expect a small kitchen window. This was the enterence I would use to get into the manor, squeezing in through it's small opening and then walking to unlock the backdoor to let any other teammates into the house with me.
On this particular night, I brought my mother.
I went up to the kitchen window as usual, but this time it was nailed shut. I tried all the doors and all the windows....each locked or nailed shut. I even scaled the 4 stories of the Highgate manor to try even the highest of windows...no luck. We stood at the back, ready to give up, but from within the house we heard a girls voice "Hello!" and then the back door creaked open. My ghostly friends were letting me in.
We walked into the first room which opened into a large living room area. The air was heavy and the presence of spirits were undeniable.
A short moment later a man walked by the window outside carrying a lantern. My mother, scared we were breaking the law, bolted outside. We waited for the man to walk around to the back and yell at us for breaking into the home, but no one came around the corner. We split up, walking each side of the house and meeting back up in the front....no one was there.
My mother had enough, so we went home.
In the Highgate manor, there were many spirits that I got to know, both through my psychic and medium abilities and also through other means during investigations.
One of my favorite spirits that haunted this house was a small boy.
Story has it that the Highgate Manor was once a Dr's home, back when in home practice was more of a thing. In his office, he was accused of doing testing on children, after all his patientes under 10 years old kept dying. This boy was one of those patients.
This boy loved to play with me, and would often sit in my lap during investigations and was super affectionate and sweet. One of his favorite ways of communicating was with a simple flashlight.
We would place a maglight in the center of the floor, a good 8-10 feet away from us and asked questions. This boy would answer instantly, through use of blinking the flashlight as many times as we asked.
For example: "If you're in here with us, please blink the flashlight twice" *Blink blink*
"If this is the little boy, please blink the flashlight 10 times very quickly"
"If you want to play a game, please blink the flashlight 5 times very slowly"
He was on point with instant and perfect reactions every single time.
We often used this to our advantage when bringing in "non believer" clients, Sending even the biggest of grown men out of the house screaming! Ha!
This boy would also talk to us through EVP. There was a little girl that he would often play with but she was much more shy.
On one particular occasion, after going to the Highgate manor for many months with waist length hair, I had cut my hair into a short pixie cut over the weekend. When going back into the house, my teammates watched as strainds of my hair were held up and over our voice recorder we caught an audio saying "Gasp! She cut her hair!"
Some common experiences within the Highate manor were;
Heavy boots stomping throughout the house, especially on the second floor. Possibly the Dr. Baxter
A little girl laughing or talking. This girl I believe died in the "Underground Railroad Tunnels under the house. She often played with the little boy ghost.
A woman walking in high heels on the 3rd floor. My belief is that she was a prostitue in the house and was murdered.
Noises of a party or many happy people in the basement ballroom and in the "Capone Bar" room.
The sounds of a large sack or body being moved across the floor.
Some videos we captured
In This video, the camera is set up at the back of the room. We are sitting in the center of the room facing the camera. Behind us are 2 doorways and a hallway. (I know impossible to see in the pitch black). After I ask a question to "show yourself" a strange light/face appears behind us, peeking in through the doorway on the left of the screen. You can see at one moment the flashlights quickly goes in that direction to light up the doorway. We did not see the face since we were facing the other direction. A few seconds later, it quickly disappears. What do you think it could have been?
In this next video there is something a bit more controversal....an orb.
Something I've never really liked to debate and typically dismiss them all. Either way, this one was interesting for 2 reasons. 1. It showed up as I asked the spirits to show themselves.
2. Because my camera guy, DJ, saw it with his own eyes and not through the screen.
What are your thought? (Ignore the old website, it is no longer active).
On this next video there is a bit more of a story. As I mentioned in the blog above, I grew very close to the spirit of the little boy that haunted the Highgate Manor. He often came to visit me in my own home as well. It had been several weeks since my last visit to the Manor and so the little boy came to me instead. He said they missed us and we should go back. I told him I would go back the following day if he promised to show himself on video in a form that others could see as well. He promised.
The following night I went back and caught a figure moving quickly infront of the window in the back room. I have tried to lighten this video a bit (I'm no professional editor by any means).
Here is the video lightened, repreated, and slowed down.
Some history on the Highgate Manor
In 1818 the Manor was built by Captain Steve Keyes.
During the Civil War, the house became a stop with the Underground Railroad Tunnels to help slaves escape into Canada.
In 1870 the house was sold to Dr Henry Baxter. The horrible Dr said to have been doing experiments on the children. To this day there is still blood stains on the Library (his office) wood floor.
Dr Baxter died in 1898
In 1917 the Highgate Manor was taken over by Philip Schmitt and turned into a vacation resort. He added an underground ballroom, where exclusive high end customers would frequent. Some of these people included: Al Capone, Benny Goodman, and other starts of the Big Band Era.
"The Capone Bar" was built for Al Capone, as he used the Highgate manor as a frequent hiding spot.
22 May 1950 The Highgate Manor caught fire and closed.
The Highgate manor was later reopened as an Inn, but closed down, leaving it abandoned once again.
Around 2009, the years I was investigating it, the Highgate Manor was for sale for the cheap price of $200,000.00.
This house includes 5 acres of land, the house is over 9,600sqft, the original property includes 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2x 1/2 baths, 3 lavatories, formal parlor, large kitchen, small kitchen, library, sitting room, 1st and 2nd level verandas, wine cellar, 2 bars, ballroom that can accommodate 150 people.
The Highgate Manor holds a very special place in my heart and when I reach my energy out, the little boy will often come visit me, still to this day!
~Sarah C LaBrie ETA: I have been searching for old EVPs of the Highgate Manor, especially the class A EVP of the girl saying "Gasp! She cut her hair". Though I have yet to find that one, I have found a few others (not as clear or good) that I had captured within the manor. Keep in mind when these were recorded NO ONE was walking, moving, or talking. All noises you hear are from the house ;)