Haunted Hill View Manor

Posted by junketseo in Pittsburgh Ghost Tours
Haunted Hill View Manor - Photo

Hill View Manor glowers over the town of New Castle, Pennsylvania, an imposing edifice perched upon the highest point in the area. The manor contains the secrets of many lives. Although slowly rotting away, the manor still attracts many visitors because it is allegedly so incredibly active with hauntings.


Why is Hill View Manor Haunted?


There are many reasons for the abundance of otherworldly activity, but first, we must go back to the start and visit the fertile garden before the seed was planted. Love to hear horror stories in person? Book a Pittsburgh ghost tour with Pittsburgh Ghosts!

Hill View Manor is rooted in the town’s history, but its history begins with the uprooting of previous histories. This was the territory of the Senecas, Delawares, Shawnese, and various other indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Two villages of Delaware were in this locality, the center of village life fixated on the large settlement known in the aboriginal tongue as Kas- kas-kunk. Long before Hill View was constructed, the inhabitants of Kas-kas-kunk used the high hill that overlooked their territory as a place to bury their dead.

Then, the white settlers arrived in this area, and soon disease would come to Kas-kas-kunk: smallpox and syphilis, then conflict, the French and Indian War, the death knell for the aboriginal until, finally, not a single Native American was left in Pennsylvania.

At least not a single living Native American.

But their beloved dead lingered in the sacred ground at the top of the hill in peaceful repose until 1926, when it was decided that a particular spot would be a prime location to build a poor house.

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Built of the Bones of the Forgotten


Built on desecrated sacred ground, Hill View Manor was known initially as the Lawrence County Home for the Aged but was generally referred to as the Poor House or the Poor Farm. The building housed the county’s mentally ill, severely destitute, and elderly residents who were without families. In fact, residents here were called “inmates” and had to work the farm in order to stay. Sadly, when the first inmates were admitted, one of those inmates was a boy around the age of twelve. Even in this era, it was rare for a child to be admitted to a poor house, but work needed to be done, and children worked much quicker and were more productive than the elderly.

Perry D Snyder and his wife, Mary A Snyder, ran the manor with their two children and about 12 staff members. Very soon, strange happenings began. One employee threw themselves off the second-story roof to their death. Another employee hanged themselves within the building. Inmates would die, and more inmates would come to take their place.

It seemed the Snyders lorded over a veritable house of horrors. It was discovered that they were burying bodies in unmarked graves on the property and not reporting the inmate’s death to collect the money given to them for that person’s upkeep. Even to several of the employees, death seemed the only logical way out of this house of torment.

It wasn’t until June 1944 that county welfare officials finally caught on to the Snyders, who were by now in their late seventies. Accused of incompetency at the home, the Snyders were retired with pensions but permitted to stay at the home. However, by late August of that year, the Snyders were given three weeks to vacate the premises, ending their 30-year reign. At this time, the director of the welfare department stepped in and took over control of Hill View Manor.


The Manor on Haunted Hill


The manor continued to operate for many years but with a decidedly more humanitarian aim. Then, in the latter half of the 1960s, the manor was remodeled and slowly converted into a skilled nursing center. Hill View Manor remained a nursing facility until it permanently closed its doors to the living in 2004.

Today, Hill View Manor is quietly decomposing; its over 80,000-square-foot structure submits to time and the elements, adding a certain eerie mystique to anyone who visits the building. The halls are still open, and many of the rooms where the inmates and residents lived remain intact.

On the first floor, the morgue can be visited. Besides the manor, the property contains a bomb shelter and a cemetery. Occasionally, someone walking a dog will be startled when their pooch returns with a human bone in its mouth, but even to this day, the legacy of the Snyders is evident. Quickly buried human remains are often found scattered throughout the property, leading one to wonder if all these deaths were from natural causes.

It is outside on the spacious property that many ghosts have been seen, and recorders have picked up electronic voice phenomena (EVPs). The apparitions of former residents and Native American spirits have been seen wandering the grounds, which are also reported.


Hauntings at Hill View Manor


Back in 1934, an inmate by the name of Eli passed away in the boiler room on Christmas Eve. It seems he was out decking the halls with some alcoholic libations and was found freezing to death in the snow outside the building. He was brought in the hopes of warming up near the boiler, but alas, it was too late, and he expired on the cement floor. He makes his presence known by pulling hair or giving ladies a firm smack on the behind.

Another inmate who died in this place was Mary Virginia,  an orphan who came to live at the location for most of her life until the building was closed in 2004. This poor soul was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and remained in a childlike state all of her life. She was also born without eyes. With an intense sense of humor, Mary Virginia would often remove her artificial eyes and lay them on her bed to frighten the caregivers. She often reveals herself by swinging her favorite necklace when you ask her to let you know she is with you and trying to communicate.

The chapel within the building, used for Sunday church services and other more secular functions, is a hotbed for otherworldly activity. One resident loved listening to Johnny Cash in this area, and many times, investigators using spirit boxes will be taken aback by the sound of I Walk the Line echoing from their device.

It is believed a twelve-year-old was admitted when the doors to the manor first opened, although there is no record of him. It would not be beyond the insidiousness of the Snyders to cover up the boys’ whereabouts and use him as a kind of servant at the manor. Of course, visitors often leave toys for Jeffrey, and balls and toy cars have been witnessed rolling around the room without anyone pushing them and no other force acting upon them. All of this paints a very sad picture, and it becomes even more grievous if we are to believe that a boy’s soul still lingers in a place that would have caused him obvious trauma.  However, recent findings may prove Jeffrey to have more sinister origins.

On the same floor where Jeffrey is said to reside, a shadow entity known as the Creeper has been witnessed over the last several years. It seems to materialize out of the darkness and chase down visitors, scurry down the halls, or crawl across the ceiling, seeming to delight in the fear it causes. The suggestion now is that Jeffrey is and never was the ghost of a homeless child but the form chosen by a demon, and this demon has been lurking in Hill View Manor in this disguise.

Or could it be that this entity was attached to the land and now wishes to drive trespassers from the sacred site of aboriginal burials that once was interred under the building?


A Legacy of the Unearthly at Hill View Manor


Hill View Manor is a creepy and crumbling building, but it is the history of the place and the lives that lived that produced the hauntings. Within these walls and on this property, it is not uncommon to witness doors slamming shut, disembodied footsteps in the halls resounding in the stillness, and startling voices and screams piercing the darkness.

Enter the halls of this place if you dare. But remember, not every resident has checked out, and there is still room for one more. For more tales of the macabre, keep reading our blog. And to learn more about the hauntings of Pittsburgh, book a ghost tour with Pittsburgh Ghosts!




Haunted Hill View Manor