Welcome to Darklore Manor, where spirits of the dead do not rest easy, nor do they find release from their eternal sorrow. The history of this household is a grim and tragic tale, steeped in darkness and blood.

Stories of haunted houses abound throughout America and Europe, but few can boast as many ghostly and unnatural occurrences as Darklore Manor, the haunted Victorian mansion that once loomed over the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, just up the coastline from Salem.
     Strange tales have been passed down from the time of the earliest settlers to the region. Native American tribes named the area "the place where shadows walk," and seldom ventured near the surrounding forests. It is also believed that the area was originally settled by citizens of Salem who fled the town during the infamous witch trials in 1692, and that the place became a haven for practitioners of black magic.
     The mansion was built by Edmund Darklore for his lovely young bride Delarosa. Construction of the three-story, forty-room Victorian manor began in 1889 and was completed three years later. During the course of its construction, two stone masons were crushed to death beneath a wall of bricks when a hoist rigging mysteriously snapped in two.
     Over the next forty years, a series of tragedies and deaths plagued those who would call Darklore Manor home. In 1941, the last of the Darklore bloodline, Damon Darklore, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Belladonna vanished without a trace overnight, leaving the mansion deserted.
     Abandoned and left to fall into disrepair, this once elegant manor began its decline into decay. Eventually, tales of ghostly sightings began to surface around the deserted mansion. Throughout the years there have been numerous reports of strange lights and sounds coming from inside the house. A dark form known as the "Shadow Man" has been sighted at the entrance gates. Another ghost, known as the "Lady in Black," is believed to be the spirit of Belladonna Darklore, and has been sighted wandering the manor grounds and halls. It is said that her dark form appears when the clock strikes the midnight hour.

Mysterious Deaths

On the night of November 27th 1961, area businessman, Theodore Thompson and his wife were killed in an automobile accident when their car crashed into a tree in front of the mansion. They were survived by their six year old son, Theo Jr., who told the police that his father swerved the car to avoid hitting a woman dressed in black who was standing in the middle of the road, directly in front of the gates leading to the house.
     On March 13th 1962, local councilman Richard Franklin was found hanged to death inside the manor. Although no note was found, the case was ruled a suicide. One curious footnote concerns the fact that Councilman Franklin was the last surviving member of the Brotherhood of Thule †, a masonic order of town elders that was founded by Edmund Darklore.

There have been rumors that a note was found near Franklin's body, but the facts were later covered-up. The alleged suicide note was said to have had the words "forgive me" written in Franklin's handwriting. Other rumors alleged that the word "sinner" was carved into his forehead.

† The Thule Society was founded in Germany near the end of the Victorian era. According to legend, Thule was an island located somewhere in the far northern Atlantic Ocean. This mysterious and secluded isle was said to be the last outpost of an ancient advanced race of beings that inhabited the earth long ago. These "Ancients" or "Masters," as they were called, could be contacted through mystical rites and black magic and could enlighten and endow the initiated with supernatural abilities. Thule ceremonies involved ritual chants and sacrifices that would allow communication with the Ancients. Membership into the inner circle of the Thule Society was closed to women, and for this reason certain sects were also known as the Brotherhood of Thule.

Belladonna Darklore

The Darklore Curse

In a 1967 article appearing in Haunted Havens Magazine entitled "The Curse of Darklore Manor," the mansion is reported to be the site of more than a dozen mysterious deaths. According to the article, these fatalities are believed to be connected to the occult rituals practiced by the Brotherhood of Thule. A letter written by Damon Darklore that was said to have been recovered from his study claims that his ancestors fell victim to a curse brought on by their own macabre delvings into the realm of black magic.
     According to popular accounts of the legend, the Darklores conducted arcane ceremonies involving black magic and sacrificial rites within a secret chamber deep below the manor. Whether intentionally or by accident, they awakened an ancient evil which caused the plague of deaths surrounding the mansion throughout the years. The legend goes on to state that whatever was conjured forth not only claimed several human lives, but also stole the souls of those who died within the manor, leaving them cursed to haunt the mansion and grounds for eternity.
     Many believe that something unnatural still dwells there, lying in wait for unwary visitors, hungering for the blood of the living and the souls of the dead.

Mysterious Music

Ghosts from the Past

Several months after the Haunted Havens article was published, noted spiritualist Sandra Faraday investigated Darklore Manor and alleged to have detected the presence of several paranormal entities. She claimed to make contact and speak with the spirit of Belladonna Darklore, who told her that she and her family were murdered and that their bodies remain hidden within the walls of Darklore Manor, however, a thorough search of the home revealed no trace of any human remains.
     Members of the paranormal investigative team reported hearing a music box playing an eerie melody, though they could not pinpoint the source of the ghostly music. Several members of the team also reported detecting the unmistakable aroma of lavender and being overwrought with an unexplainable feeling of sorrow while inside the house.
     Faraday's visit was cut short after her assistant, Pamela Moore was traumatized by a dark entity that appeared on the main staircase. Miss Moore claimed that she was startled as she was ascending the stairs when an icy cold chill passed through her. She turned to see a man dressed entirely in black, wearing a Victorian-style tophat and coat, standing directly behind her on the stair. The man lifted his head to reveal two gaping black holes where his eyes should have been. Moore was visibly shaken by the encounter and refused to return to the house. Though photographers shot several rolls of film inside the mansion, none of the pictures could be developed.

The Hidden Chamber

The Darklore curse reached its zenith in 1968 when three area teens were reported missing after setting out to hold a séance inside the mansion on Halloween night. Seventeen year old Eric Shipley, along with sixteen year old James Murphy and Andrea Mather were never seen again. Theories have arisen that the teens somehow gained access to the mansion and, once inside, the three held a séance to speak with the dead. But instead of merely communing with spirits, they disturbed and awakened some unnatural force that trapped them within the house and eventually caused their deaths.
     On Halloween night in 1971, Darklore Manor was the scene of a mysterious fire, and the mansion burned to the ground. The official police report lists the cause of the fire as arson, however, there are rumors of a cover-up concerning certain facts of the investigation including the discovery of skeletal remains of several bodies found deep in the foundation of the ruins. Though few traces of the mansion remain, reports of the Lady in Black continue to this day near the site of the old manor house, and the mystery of the Darklore curse remains unresolved.