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The Woodstone Mansion is a Victorian 18-bedroom mansion located near Amelia Parish in the Hudson Valley north of Ossining, New York on Route 134. Located off Woodstone Road (Route 21) north of town. the historical residence also has a reputation of being haunted. Melissa Strickland finagled an entry into a paranormal investigation William Collins led here in 2002 just before her research into Lucy Rose.
Resting on eighteen acres of woodlands and fields near a small lake and marsh, the two-story manor house includes a study, library, five and a half bathrooms and a turret stairway in the rear of the structure. It is the second of two mansions on the grounds. The first of the two mansions was a post-Revolutionary War structure which was built between 1753 and 1761 by Heinrich Woodstone, a member of the Woodstone (Wodestein) family from the area of Wodestein Forest near modern Darmstadt, Germany, many of whom were later hired as mercenaries by the British armies against the Colonial Army in the Revolutionary War. Woodstone had the title of baron, but without any legal basis, and despite his claims, he was not related to the German aristocracy. He arrived in the area sometime between 1740 and 1745, seizing parcels of land in the Hudson Valley with permission of the British upon which he built his estate upon 400 acres of land in modern Westchester County. Traveling back and forth between the colonies, England, France and Germany, he gained the reputation of being a robber baron in the area, building a grand two-story mansion on his property with bricks excavated from the limestone quarries of Upper New York near Ashford Falls, windows crafted in France and furnishings taken from craftsmen in Germany.
Making a fortune in textile and paper mills in the area, Heinrich Woodstone died just prior to the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 after a lifetime of heavy drinking and excessive eating. After his passing, the structure was abandoned by the family ahead of the British forces in the Revolutionary War. Colonial forces used it as a base until they had to abandon it, but after the war, the structure ended up abandoned. It is known it was used as a pest house for cholera victims in the 1832 Cholera epidemic in New England with around 75 to 80 deaths in the area, but the medical records of the victims was quite lax and the number might be as high as 120. A graveyard was established on the grounds for the deaths, which still exists a few yards from the house, now neglected and forgotten in thick foliage, while other graves might have been covered by the artificial lake created in the 1870s reconstruction. After the last death, the house became considered contaminated and was burned down to eradicate the disease.
During the Civil War, the Woodstones departed the area and ended up owning other homes on Manhattan and on Long Island, but eventually Heinreich’s son, Edward Wilheim Woodstone, inherited the property and began the process of building a much larger and grander version of the original house. Elias Tabbert Woodstone, a member of another branch of the family, finished the construction, joined by his wife, Hedwig (“Hetty”) Woodstone, Edward's daughter, who was married to him over a business deal. She is said to had been born in the original house, but this is unlikely as she was only 56 when she died. She led much of the construction as Elias upheld the family’s business dealings. Reconstruction is said to have started in the 1870s (by the latest 1880). Elias however turned out to be just as ruthless as his ancestor to establish his fortune, employing child labor in his father-in-law’s textile mills and eschewing union regulations with his employees, but he also turned out to be quite a philanderer. He disappeared on December 3, 1873 under reasons unknown, possibly murdered by Hetty, a disgruntled business associate or by a jealous suitor or husband, leaving Hetty to raise their five children alone, assisted only by Herschel Manheim, a Dutch caretaker and manservant.
The history of the family afterward is unclear. Hetty was a much more reserved person and instead kept herself involved in family and household affairs, but she was also quite a socialite after her husband passed, having parties for the local elite and especially business savvy with a series of managers to run the mills. Many family members had been lost in the yellow fever epidemics of 1859 and 1862. Hetty herself passed away in 1887 after enduring a short illness, the mansion staying in the family through her son Bernard’s descendants, eventually reaching his great-granddaughter, Sophia Woodhouse in the 1940s. Over the years, the family fortune was quickly being depleted, and various family members had to sell off several parcels of their property to meet their debts, but their surviving fortunes did allow them to keep the mansion and live there into perpetuity. The family lawyers often encouraged her to rent the property out for weddings and gatherings to cover living expenses, allowing for a portion of the grounds to be adapted for public use. Sophia and her husband, Emil Brimble, had only one son, David, who died in 2006. Emil himself died in 2007 from a stroke.

Sophia Woodhouse-Brimble

In the years after Hetty's death, the structure started developing a reputation of being haunted. Hetty's daughter, Victoria, wrote about several ghosts on the estate in her diary and even had seances in the house through the 1930s. Her journals described a large scowling huntsman figure that lurked in the guest bedroom in the front wing of the house and even a Native American figure often standing on the staircase and watching people coming and going. A figure she named "Hamilton" (based on his Colonial garb) was often seen and felt. Voices and sounds of individuals were often heard mulling around the first floor and basement, and Victoria's niece, Nicole, even perfectly described seeing Victoria's mother in the house. Over the years, there were also a string of mysterious and sudden deaths on the property. A jazz singer named Alberta Haynes died for unknown reasons at a party in 1929, and in 1957, a greaser named William "Crash" Cressler was killed in a gang altercation. In 1984, local scoutmaster Peter Torrance was accidentally felled by an arrow, and in 2000, a financial advisor named Trevor Lefcowitz passed under mysteriously circumstances after having sex during a party with Sophia's son, David, in the mansion. Other deaths were recorded in connection with this curse, but these are the only ones recorded in due proximity to the house.
In the last years of her life, Sophia became bed-ridden and became attended by her household staff and servants. Curious if there was an afterlife, she had a number of paranormal researchers on the property to document the ghosts. Of the few she favored, William Collins caught voices and photos of wispy figures. To join the investigation, Melissa Strickland coerced her way into his team and even befriended Sophia, who compared her to her great niece, Samantha.
After Sophia's death from cancer in 2021, the house and surrounding grounds were inherited by her only surviving relative, Samantha Arondekar, a descendant of her late brother, Bernard Woodhouse, possibly because of being reminded of her by Melissa mentioning her sister, Samantha Strickland. At last word, Samantha and her husband, Jay Arondekar, were hoping to convert the mansion into a bed and breakfast.

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