Port City Paranormal – The Ghosts Of Willard Asylum

To quote their website: Port City Paranormal is a team of investigators that, “is dedicated to finding answers to the age old mystery of what lies beyond the grave. We investigate and research unexplained phenomena that includes, but is not confined to; experiences of hauntings, EVP, apparitions, ghost sightings, and a broad range of altered realities.”

Port City Paranormal Logo

Port City Paranormal Logo

Port City Paranormal of Wilmington, North Carolina, was founded by Doug and Jane Anderson. In September 2008, and with the permission of the N.Y.S.D.O.C., they began investigating The Maples which was the first and oldest “cottage style” building that was constructed on the property in 1872. The team returned to Willard in March 2009, and began investigating The Branch, later renamed The Grandview, in 1904. According to the plaque that was placed on the building in 1960 by The New York State Agricultural Society and The Willard State Hospital, “This is the original building of The First State Agricultural College in the United States. Chartered April 15, 1853, Constructed 1859, In Operation 1860 – 61. Undone by war, it was transformed into Willard State Hospital in 1865, and reconstructed and reduced in size in 1886. Here, Ezra Cornell, a trustee, received the inspiration which became Cornell University.” Port City Paranormal also investigated Elliott Hall that was built in 1937.

Port City Paranormal  - Willard Patients

Port City Paranormal – Willard Patients

According to the Port City Paranormal Team, “SWAT trainees bunking in Grandview and Elliott Hall, frequently report ghostly encounters and many refuse to stay in the buildings over night. Cell phones ring, keys repeatedly knocked to the floor, whispering, door knobs turning, screaming, and black shadows have been reported with every new class session.”

To read more about PCP’s extensive investigation of Willard State Hospital, please visit their website & blog!

Port City Paranormal

Port City Paranormal Blog

To learn more about The Willard Asylum for the Insane, buy my book:

The Inmates of Willard 1870 to 1900, A Genealogy Resource


9 thoughts on “Port City Paranormal – The Ghosts Of Willard Asylum

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I will check out the website. I have enjoyed all the posts that you have been sending on the Inmates of Willard. The photo was interesting. So much history to uncover. Thank you again! Barbara S.


    • Some of these old photographs are really creepy, aren’t they? Men and women were segregated in all the state institutions. I think the woman in the window was just another depressed patient who wanted to be seen but for whatever reason, wasn’t standing outside with the others. It breaks your heart, doesn’t it?


      • Yes it does…after looking at the photo again, I think you could be right. The one standing just inside the door and not with the group makes me wonder about her…was she a nurse standing by or one of the patience I wonder.. Also, do you think that this around the time that Miss Phebe Davis was there? I have been doing some more research on her and have posted it on that blog. I wonder if she ever married. I found a name and date, but not sure if it is her.


  2. Pingback: Creepy Finger Lakes, Episode 3: Willard Asylum for the Insane – The Braless Gourmet

  3. There’s a bank located in the Williard Hospital now and they have a resident cat. The ladies tell a story of hearing an old phone ring (they don’t have old phones there by the way) and the cat running toward the front door with its hair standing up on end. …if that cat could only talk…the stories it could probably tell after sleeping there every night alone.


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