Photos by Michele Bell
The Enslin House in Troy is an 1890s stunner with history, atmosphere—and nine ghosts. Would you own this potentially haunted home?
Address: 562 5th Ave, Troy
Description: The Hudson Valley boasts incredible history, ranging from American Revolutionary War battles to the raucous age of bootlegging. Many sites even draw attention for spiritual activity. It is the region of the Headless Horseman, after all. In Troy, one such relic recently hit the market. Could you live among the spirits at The Enslin House?
According to Michele Bell, the Enslin House’s longtime owner and current broker, nine spirits reside inside the quaint Capital Region home. It’s quite beautiful, and not what comes to mind when one pictures a “haunted house.” After all, the split-level, four-bedroom colonial stands in Troy’s friendly Lansingburgh neighborhood.
However, paranormal investigations and appearances on shows on Discover ID and TLC produced many accounts of spooky happenings. Many reported flying orbs, mysterious tall men walking around, and unexplained footsteps at 3 a.m.—the folkloric witching hour. The Enslin House even welcomes overnight guests to a “haunted bedroom” on Airbnb.
“The home has been in my family for six generations. And it was built by my grandfather, who came over from Bavaria, Germany,” Bell says. Her grandfather, Frederick A. Feyl, purchased the building in 1919. Feyl frequently hosted supper club meetings, and hosted infamous bootlegger—and rival of Hudson Valley mobster Dutch Schultz—“Legs” Diamond. (An aside, Diamond was notoriously difficult to kill, earning the nickname “clay pigeon of the underworld.” However, he met his end in the Capital Region while awaiting trial in Troy.)
Every nook and cranny of the Enslin House is bursting with charm and original details to discover. Ornate century-old fireplaces certainly steal the show. Decorative wallpaper, original hardwood floors, and other design flourishes highlight the home’s unique qualities. Several spacious sitting rooms and a cozy patio make it prime for families and gatherings. On the other hand, those with a keen sense for the supernatural may find a connection to the spirits.
“I have so many beautiful memories growing up in the home and I’m very connected with the home spiritually. When I was a young girl I got to experience the connection with the spirits that have transitioned, but I really didn’t know who they were. I went back to take care of my mom about for the last eight years in the home….she was sick, and she had dementia. That’s when everything started stirring up, and the spirits started connecting with me,” Bell says.
She woke each night at 3 a.m. to loud noises and footsteps creeping about. Bell went through about 13 caregivers. They all left after seeing things in the house and in the yard, including shapes resembling three tall men walking around. Then, there was Shirley.
Shirley used to live upstairs on the second floor, apart from Bell. She was a friend of the family, and frequently visited with Bell’s mother during her illness. One night, Shirley was found in the basement, at the bottom of the steps, dead.
“It was strange, as she lived on the second floor. Why would she go into the basement at night? Paranormal investigators have heard her on a ghost box, asking for help, implying she was pushed [down the stairs],” Bell recalls. Bell, a self-described empath, claims Shirley to be one of the specters that haunt the Enslin House. She keeps the basement locked, and notes how fascinating and creepy the attic seems to be.
In addition to bringing in investigators, Bell installed security cameras throughout the home.
“And you can see the orbs flying in and out of room, especially one that [appeared] when I was transitioning my mother. [The orb] was caught on camera, and I know it was my son. He was like dancing around my chest….Nicky was always there to protect the house. The spirits are always there protecting the home,” Bell says.
Her experiences inspired an award-winning screenplay, A Son’s Gift. Bell affirms that none of the spirits have evil intentions. In fact, several caregivers and visitors to the home have noted a peaceful, calming presence. Furthermore, she set her asking price of $444,444 as an extra protection. In numerology, 444 indicates guardian angels (rather than malevolent phantoms). Bell believes that the Enslin House’s new owners, perhaps a young couple, will be guarded in their adventures. “The house is ready for a new family.”
Asking price: $444,444
Selling points: Under five minutes from downtown Troy, The Enslin House boasts both history and recent attention for spooky occurrences.
“It would be a great home for an investment due to its history. Many people come to experience the house [through Airbnb]. [Many of our] caregivers found the space very peaceful. However, if there is negative energy coming into the house, spirits will find a way to dismiss it,” Bell says.
Listing agent: Michele Bell, Boutique Real Estate