By David Ford
School faculty members recall experiences with possible ghost sightings and mysterious events at the Wick House.
While almost all of the reports and events can’t be explained, the Wick House’s history offers possible insight not only to what is going on, but also to who or what might still be in the building.
Built in 1906 by Col. George Dennick Wick, the president of Youngstown Steel, the Wick House was home to George and his wife, Mollie. In 1912, the Wick’s purchased tickets aboard the ill-fated Titanic. Mollie was rescued; however, George was not so lucky.
Today, the Wick House is occupied by several students at Youngstown State University, but some people believe that the old residents, Mollie in particular, never left.
Jonelle Beatrice, the administrator emeritus and former executive director for the Center for Student Progress at YSU, recalled some personal experiences with the Wick House.
“When we were first looking at the Wick House location to house CSP Disability Services, we toured the third floor,” Beatrice said. “First, we noticed dead flies everywhere. Then, out of nowhere, there was a loud slamming sound in the room as though something fell and hit the floor. Of course, there was nothing to fall. We exited immediately.”
Beatrice also noted that one of her employees saw a woman in a long dress at the top of the stairs walking down the hall. When she searched the second floor, the woman was gone.
“Our employees would find items out of place,” Beatrice said. “I remember them telling me that a picture was off the wall and on the floor across the room. It was turned right side up as though it had been placed in that exact position on purpose.”
While it’s nearly impossible to figure out the truth behind the strange events at the Wick House, it doesn’t stop the theories from flying around, some of which involve George’s wife, Mollie.
The Wick’s House was sold off following Mollie’s death in 1920. Around 60 years later, Youngstown State University purchased the mansion and used it for student housing.
Larry Bartos, a communications professor at Youngstown State University, recalled the history and events that took place at the Wick House.
“Mrs. Wick and her daughter Mary returned to the mansion following the tragedy of her husband,” Bartos said. “It was said she never recovered from her loss.”
Bartos also noted that Mollie passed away in her home, but many stories suggest she never left.
“Mrs. Wick is said to haunt the mansion,” Bartos said. “People I have talked to said they have seen her ghostly figure in the upstairs window where she died. One account I heard said the chandelier suddenly began to sway back and forth for no apparent reason.”
While not everyone who’s been in mansion has seen anything, they still feel like something or someone is watching them.
Gina McGranahan, the assistant director for Disability Services at Youngstown State University, said that while she never saw anything herself, she’s heard several accounts.
“I know all about the history and stories of that building,” McGranahan said. “I had an office in there for a while and all the stories I heard made it seem like I was constantly being watched by something.”
Several other reports and sightings indicate that students witnessed these paranormal events first-hand.
“A few students have reported maintenance unplugging some electrical outlets, but somehow the lights would still turn on,” Bartos said.
While almost all of the events continue to go unexplained, the stories and reports suggest that the old proprietors of the Wick House never left and continue to haunt the building to this day.