Ghost Hunters of Boone, NC

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Haunted location: Moses Cone Manor- Blowing Rock

On a ridge overlooking the town of Blowing Rock, NC, is the estate once called Flat Top Manor, now known as the Cone Manor.

The Colonial-revivalist structure was built in the late 1800’s, and has been uninhabited for about a half a century. However, there are those who say that the manor has never been completely devoid of human activity-- or perhaps, inhuman activity.

Moses Cone made a fortune as an industrialist in the North Carolina Piedmont, married Bertha, and later visited the mountain area and fell in love with it. He began buying up land around what is now the Blue Ridge Parkway outside Blowing Rock. Cone built the manor as a summer retreat, often employing the very people whose land he had bought.

Cone didn’t get to enjoy the manor for very long, as he died at a relatively young age. Bertha lived on for several decades, and willed the land to Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC, which then deeded it to the National Parks Service. The manor is now operated as a crafts center, but some say that the previous owners haven’t entirely given up their claim.

According to one story, Moses Cone’s body was disinterred by a would-be thief. Rumor had it that Cone was buried with some jewelry, and that may have been what the thief was after. One version of the story is that Bertha herself found the body at the gravesite on the hill beyond the manor. The body was said to be propped up against the large tombstone by thieves angered by not finding any jewelry.

There’s even a hinted legend that Cone was moved to a different gravesite. The official line is that Cone still sleeps in eternal slumber at the marked site, but others say he lies elsewhere.

For a long time, separate portraits of husband and wife hung face-to-face on opposite walls. One industrious decorator moved the portrait of Bertha to an adjoining wall. The next morning, the portraits were found to have fallen off the wall. The strange part was they had fallen so they were leaning against each other.
In 2000, the portraits were moved again. So far, no mystery movements have been recorded. All of the existing furniture was willed out to various relatives after Bertha’s death. In the early days of the craft center, craftmakers would stay overnight in the manor due to the poor condition of the roads. Some of the guests reported the sound of furniture moving around on the floor above them in the middle of night, even though the upstairs was empty.

One craftmaker supposedly stayed in the master bedroom that belonged to Moses and Bertha. He heard the door open, so he got out of bed, and closed it, assuming the house was out of level. The door opened again, and he repeated the process. The third time, he propped a chair against the door. He awoke in the morning to find the door open and the chair on the other side of the room.

One woman who didn’t believe in ghosts pooh-poohed the stories and dared to stay overnight by herself. When she got out of a hot shower, she saw a hand print in the steam on the mirror. That was her last day in the manor.

The Cones were fond of piano music, and the soft sounds of piano notes are sometimes heard wafting in the stillness of night.

The kitchen door was traditionally kept closed at Bertha’s insistence. Some crafters showed up early one morning and were moving some heavy items inside via the back way. They heard the heavy door slide closed behind them. They tried to discover who had played the trick on them, but the house was empty.

A park ranger was staying in a nearby house about a decade ago, and the newly-installed alarm system at Cone Manor went off. The ranger circled the house to investigate. He saw no signings of breaking and entering. When he turned around after unlocking the door, he saw a young girl standing on the stairs.

The girl turned around and looked at him, then ran up the stairs. The ranger chased her, and couldn’t figure out how she outran him. She went into the left room at the top of the stairs and slammed the door.

After a long struggle, the ranger finally got the door open. The room was empty.

Whether the Cones still walk the halls of the manor that bears their name, or whether the legends are due to overactive imaginations, the stories linger. And so, perhaps, do the spirits of the Cones.


Gail December 10, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

I would love to join your team. I grew up in an actual haunted house and I would like to try to prove to myself that I was not crazy. Sometimes I do have feelings when there is a presence.
My name is Gloria Gail Bryant, e-mail is, my phone is 33672-9336. Please feel free to call me anytime day or night. promise I won't disappoint you. I would love to here from you.
Thank You
Gloria G Bryant

Kristie July 22, 2011 at 7:50 PM  

My husband and I love watching the ghost shows on TV but don't put a lot of belief into them. While looking through pictures taken at the Cone Manor in 2009 I noticed that the curtians in one of the windows on the top floor was pulled back. For "giggles" I zoomed in and didn't really see anything odd. So I looked at another shots of the main house as we were approaching from the parking area. When I zoomed in, it appears to be a woman sitting by the window looking out from the second floor!!! I thought I was seeing things until my husband looked at the picture as well and confirmed what I was seeing. He said it also looks like a man is standing behind her looking over her sholder. Not sure if I'll ever be able to get him back to the Manor after seeing that LOL.

Kristie July 22, 2011 at 7:50 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike September 15, 2011 at 8:34 AM  

While at ASU in the 90s, I went there one day while it was open. I was in a photography class and wanted to photograph the house. I took a friend with me. She always claimed to speak to ghost. She had never been to the housse or heard of it. First thing she said before walking in was "there's something upstairs." I asked her what. She said a little girl. Then she said there was another, and older woman. Then she said, "Let's go!" and was out the door. She said the third thing scared her.

Funny thing is the pictures I took looked antiquated and faded.

I have other friends who have told me many personal stories from the house.

Mike Andrew

On a funny side not, the word I had to type to post was "mendead".

Our Purpose...

This group of Ghost Hunters has been created to prove and disprove the paranormal. It is our goal to be the number one source for Paranormal investigations in the western mountains of North Carolina. Our office is located in the Mountains of Boone, NC. Home of APP State University. We travel from one end of the North Carolina to the other in search of the paranormal.
We investigate haunted locations that time has forgotten. Sometimes these locations are not accessable by ordinary means. Sometimes, these areas must be infiltrated.
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Our ghost hunting equipment...

We receive many questions from fellow Ghost Hunters concerning the technology that we use. Some have asked about EMF meters, IR thermometers and etc. We do not use such devices in our investigations typically. Namely, you cannot use such information as evidence. Theories yes, but not solid evidence. We attempt to prove/disprove the existance of ghosts using die hard proof.

Our main focus is the evidence that can only be collected from sight and sound. Feelings are important but naturally they are too easily influenced by surroundings, atmosphere and the etc, so they do not account for much here.

Digital Cameras (from SLR’s to point and click), Digital Audio Recorders (multiple models), Night Vision Camcorders (HD based systems) DVR, and more. All these tools and more assist us in our investrigations of haunted locations in North Carolina as we search for ghosts, spirits, and other paranormal oddities.