The Haunting of Powel House

Powel House – Philadelphia County, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photograph ©Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks

244 South 3rd Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
(215) 627-0364

Built in 1765 by a man named Charles Stedman, the house was sold to Samuel Powel in 1769. Samuel Powel, good friend to George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette and Benedict Arnold, lived in the house until his death in 1793 when he perished from the dreaded Yellow Fever.

Later, the house was purchased by the Philly Preservation of Landmarks and restored. Today, the house is still standing beautifully and it has become an important part of our history.

Samuel Powel was, apparently, a very influential man and he socialized with many influential people. George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette and Benedict Arnold were not the only friends that Samuel associated with; he is said to have been friends with most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. However, the three friends named have apparently made appearances in the old home, in the forms of apparitions.

In addition to the famous spirits that have appeared within the Powel House, there has also been an unknown woman who appears more often than most. Know one knows the woman’s identity but everyone who has seen her claims that she is quite beautiful and seemingly friendly.

One man, who was touring the house, separated himself from the tour group to use the restroom on the second floor. Suddenly, all of the lights went out in the house and the man, unfamiliar with his surroundings, was forced to grope his way along the wall to find his way out of the pitch-black bathroom. Once outside of this room, the man still could not find his way in the dark. He said that suddenly he was surrounded by an icy cold air and then felt someone gently take his hand. He was then led to the stairs and then the lights came on. He found then that the hand that had been leading him belonged to a very beautiful woman dressed in lavender and beige. The woman smiled at him and, without a word, she vanished before his eyes!

This same woman has been spotted by many people and she is usually seen on the second floor of the house. Most who have seen her describe her in much the same manner and they usually see her fanning herself while sitting in the drawing room, which is right next to the restroom. And, as with the surprised man who lost his way in the dark, the woman usually smiles at the living and then promptly disappears into thin air.