Mustafa Gatollari is the paranormal historian and site analyst on the Ghost Hunters reboot, and he will be blogging about the show's paranormal investigations each week exclusively for Distractify! Follow Mustafa on Instagram at @mgatollari.
Before we start this thing I have to always say that even though I'm a member of the Ghost Hunters team not all of my thoughts, musings, commentary, testimonials, or weird sounds my body may involuntarily make necessarily represent the GH team, Pilgrim Studios, or A&E TV.
OK, now that we got that out of the way: the Pillars Estate in Albion, New York. Just from a visual stand point, this place is a paranormal investigator's dream come true.
It looks like the spooky house of old in the "before" pictures of a movie about a bunch of brave pre-teens who venture into the place on the block everyone knows has a gnarly reputation. The thing is, the home's owner, Tony, was a man who made that pristine "before" photo of said home, into a present reality.
A successful businessman from Scotland, he absolutely fell in love with the Pillars Estate, which is one of the oldest homes in the country, and began renovating it to look like it would in its glory days.
He obviously added a few personal touches here and there and is constantly working on the building, but the place is absolutely stunning from all angles.
Tony first started noticing the paranormal activity in the building when he began renovations, which is par the course for anyone who's worked in the field. For some reason, making big changes to an established building kicks up activity from any entities that may be present.
The claims at the Pillars Estate:
Aside from "feeling" a presence in the home and hearing noises, Tony himself saw a woman laying down in one of the beds in the room. He also swore he heard the piano playing by itself downstairs, and then there was that haunting face in the upstairs window, one that Brian and Richel (hilariously) had a hard time even finding, let alone reach.
All of the spookiness made Tony so unnerved that he felt like he wanted to sell the home, but felt "guilty" whenever he tried putting it on the market because he felt as if someone or something was keeping him there. So I went in with the mindset to debunk everything to help this guy turn a profit on this place with a clear conscience.
Learning as much as possible about the history of a location is something I'm obsessed with, as I should be, it's my job and all, and Pillars really hit home for me. Much of the building's history was intertwined with Myrtie Carr and the Carr family.
Myrtie passed away on the premises after wrapping a bunch of Christmas gifts for the family and putting them in a closet. She then walked up the stairs to the second floor where her bedroom was, and died on the spot.
She was ill leading up to her passing, which is something I discovered after speaking to her granddaughters, who were kind enough to tell me about the book written by Patricia Carr, the second wife of William (who was originally married to Myrtie). Patricia, an eccentric Manhattan dancer who moved to the "boonies" of Albion, NY was convinced that Myrtie was haunting the estate.
After learning more about not only the home, but the kind of woman Myrtie was from her grandkids, along with their own paranormal claims, it became clear to me that Myrtie was most likely the woman haunting the place. She loved that building and invested her entire life into it.
To call her kind would be an understatement. She was the master of the house, a strong presence and a lovable figure who made sure everyone had food to eat, clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in, and a smile on their face. She relished joking around, cooking, collecting knick-knacks, and making her home an inviting, welcoming, and comfortable place.
I felt like I really knew who Myrtie was and what she was about and I was anxious to meet her, so when the opportunity to use her belongings as potential trigger objects in the investigation presented itself to me, I asked her granddaughters if I could use them and they were kind enough to agree.
And boy, did they end up proving themselves useful — we had some of the most definitive and consistent activity on our data logger as a result.
The craziest part of the whole night for me, however, popped up in evidence review, when Brandon caught a woman's voice near the piano. The woman, Tony was convinced, was his mother calling out to him.
So is Pillars Estate haunted?
Not only was Myrtie there and happy that Tony was making the Pillars look more like the house she labored to make so warm and inviting, so much so that her own granddaughters couldn't tell what was original or Tony's touch, but it seems like his mom was there as well, making sure he was OK and helping to put his mind at east.
The most rewarding part of the investigation was getting to see Tony a few weeks later. His mood was completely changed, gone was a distressed expression and uneasiness about the house he bought — it was replaced with warmth and happiness. His love for the building only grew and he decided he didn't want to sell it at all.
His upbeat mood was infectious, I can't think about the Pillars without smiling, especially the thought of Myrtie sitting down with Tony's mother and having a cup of tea, gushing over how much they love what he's done with the place.