The Banshee of Brewster Mansion

by Connie Mroczkowski for Porch Stories™ Ghost Tour 2009, Hudson, Ohio

Welcome to Brewster Mansion, where late at night a man working alone in his basement office heard the thump, thump, thump of footsteps treading across the floorboards of the closed shop above him.  He crept up the creaky stairs to check. The narrow hall was dark and empty, like a waiting coffin.  He peered through the lightless window and saw that the shop was deserted. Thump, thump, thump, footfalls, distinct footfalls, echoed from the locked room.  He closed his office and hurried home.

The Brewster Mansion

Yes, this is Brewster Mansion where doors locked by dead bolts mysteriously open on their own and paintings move from the walls to the floor during the dead of night, when no one is here – at least no living person.  But who haunts Brewster Mansion?

Sally Brewster died suddenly in this home on December 29, 1889.  On December 30th, David Duncan Beebe, her son-in-law, died as he ran up these steps to attend Sally’s funeral.

Sally was born Sarah Porter White, in 1812 in Granville, New York, and she came to Hudson to help her ailing sister, Lucy. Sarah Porter White met Anson Brewster, Jr. at Brewster’s Store in the building that now houses Citizens Bank on the corner.

Anson and Sally married in 1832 and built this Gothic-style brick and sandstone mansion in 1853. Anson Brewster died in 1864, but Sally and her unmarried daughters continued to live here.

One Brewster daughter, Ellen, married David Duncan Beebe and moved to the house on the other side of the church next door. This section of the street became know as Brewster’s Row.

After the Brewsters’ deaths, the mansion was sold to become the Park Hotel, and during the 20th century, it served as a rest home, where more than one resident may have passed on to the other side.

As you can see, the mansion now houses several businesses and, perhaps, a paranormal persona.  Is it Sally, Duncan or Anson?

Maybe the chilling story of the piano will help you decide. It seems a small wire sculpture of a piano was put on prominent display here in the front showroom window of Hudson Fine Art and Framing. On several occasions, when the shop opened in the morning, employees found the piano in the middle of the floor, upright and undented, several feet from where it was on display the day before.

For a period before its sale, the storekeeper kept the little piano locked in storage case, its small white price tag dangling by a string from one of its curved wires. More than once, she found the price tag laying on top of a showroom counter the next morning, the piano still locked in its case.

An unsubstantiated story about Sally Brewster said that during her windowed years, she formed a close relationship with a concert pianist.  Moreover, an old write-up of her death said Sally “rarely ever desired to go beyond the circle of a domestic world, where she had so long been the presiding spirit.”

Take heed you pass the darkened houses on Brewster’s Row at night; there may be more than one “presiding spirit” lurking in the shadows – Sally and Duncan and Anson may all be out and about.


About Kathleen Franks

Kathleen Franks is a writer, artist, storyteller, and community volunteer based in Berkeley, CA
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