Carey Mansion

via Pinterest
From the 1850s to the early 20th century, wealthy families built elaborate mansions in Newport to be used for entertaining during the summer season. In 1907, liquor millionaire Edson Bradley built a French-Gothic mansion known as Aladdin’s Palace because of its size, on the south side of Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. It covered more than half a city block, and included rooms imported from France, a Gothic chapel with seating for 150, a large ballroom, an art gallery, and a 500-seat theater. Bradley decided to move his mansion to Newport, Rhode Island in February 1923. This move was so impressive it caught the attention of Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

At the age of 71, he began having his mansion dissembled and relocated to an already existing Elizabethan-revival mansion known as SeaView, built in 1885 and previously owned by James Kernochan. The new was incorporated in to the old building and took two years to finish the exterior. The interior was completed in 1928 and consisted of 17 rooms on the first floor, 25 on the second, 12 on the third, turrets, Chippendale chairs, wrought iron torcheres, exotic hanging lamps, stained-glass windows, and high arching doorways. SeaView Terrace cost $2,000,000 to complete.

Bradley’s wife passed away in 1929. Her funeral was held in the mansion’s chapel. Bradley, himself, spent five more summers at SeaView before his death in 1935. The couple’s daughter, Julia Bradley Shipman, took over ownership with her husband, the Right Reverend Herbert Shipman (protestant Episcopal bishop of New York and World War I army chaplain), until the 1930s. They vacated the mansion after the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, which caused severe damage to the roof and tower. During World War II, the U.S. Army used SeaView as officers’ quarters. In 1949, it was sold for $8,000 after Shipman failed to pay taxes on it.

A year later, it became an exclusive all-girl summer boarding school, renamed Burnham-by-the-Sea and owned/ran by Mr. and Mrs. George Waldo Emerson. It remained a boarding school for many years but the dilapidated condition of the mansion became a concern. Burnham-by-the-Sea gained notoriety after the Gothic horror soap opera Dark Shadows chose the mansion as the exterior set for the fictional Collinwood Mansion. In 1974, Martin and Millicent Carey purchased the former school and immediately began the restoration process. Being one of the largest of the Newport mansions, the cost of the upkeep were rather large. The Carey’s leased the main house and gatehouse to the Salve Regina University (renamed it Carey Mansion) and also used the former stables as a dormitory, renaming it Seaview, and the music room, renamed Cecilia Hall, for performances and practice. Salve Regina’s lease expired in August 2009. Since then, the Carey’s daughter, Denise Carey, and her fiancĂ© Christopher Bettencourt have continued the mansion’s restorations.

While 40,000 square feet of mansion tends to impress, it’s also becoming known for its resident ghosts or at least one in particular. It is believed Mrs. Bradley loved her home so much she continues to live there…after death. She has been seen playing her beloved Estey organ. Other witnesses have experienced hearing footsteps, banging, moving door handles, voices and dark shadows.

This estate has never had fences or walls protecting it from the public, only decorative hedges. This characteristic by no means gives anyone permission to trespass.


Julie Ferguson said…
The mansions in Newport are beautiful. I saw the outside of this one but was able to tour a couple of the others. I can't believe that most of them were just summer homes. My house is a tiny shack next to these massive mansions.
Sharon Day said…
I remember my first time in Newport thinking that I'd entered some kind of alternate world. I've never seen anything like it in America, even Bel Air can't compare to the feel of that place. Dark Shadows was my fav as a little kid. Wow! What a moody place. It's about the closest thing to British Moors in America.
Andrea Allison said…
I know, right? I wish I had summer home like that.
Hello Andrea,

Interesting. my mother used to make me watch VHS tapes of dark shadows, i didn't know it was filmed in Newport RI. The mansions there are beautiful, i have toured them all.

also, since you are a ghost hunting enthusiast, i have a question. I live in a haunted house. It is not so bad, but there is something here and I am just curious about what it is. It doesn't bother me much. I have had a medium offer to come to my home, but i am afraid that it may "disturb" a resting ghost and make it made or something. what do you think?


PS. follow my sight. I am writing a thriller book. all insight welcome, i post a few chapters at a time for now. ciao ~b
Unknown said…
My father was the care taker of this masion. He worked 4 Martin Carey used 2 travel with my brothers from NYC 2 Rhode Island. I aslo was in the Carey masion n stayed up there with my girlfiend. N i have never heard or seen anything hunting the masion or hearing voices or an organ playing. This is not real what u c on tv i know bc i stayed there 4 over 6 weeks n again never heard a thing not even any sounds. Of i was invited 2 go back 2 the Carey masion i would go back n check it out again. My name is Marsha my fathers name was Charles Sekera
Anonymous said…
Dark Shadows was video taped at the ABC Television Center in New York City. The misty exterior shots of the "Collinswood mansion" was an actual mansion filmed in Rhode Island. The actual mansion had nothing to do with the interior shots taped in a studio in NYC.

As for the comment issued by Marsha, I must say that not everyone is going to experience paranormal activity in a documented location. Some people are more receptive to such things. Some people will even dismiss something out of the ordinary merely because they don't quite understand what's happened.

To say that the paranormal shows on TV aren't authentic is only partly true. Yes, producers will at times tart up true hauntings to sensationalize the production, but there is compelling evidence

Again, just because you personally didn't witness anything doesn't mean that it isn't haunted.
Anonymous said…
I was fortunate enough to spend a week at the house in October 2012. I slept in the 3rd floor tower room. The house is truly magnificent.
Unknown said…
Is it possible to spend a night or some time in this mansion?
Chez LaLA said… cannot stay there..It is a private residence now...and no trespassing is appreciated.
As a former student of Salve Regina, there were many occasions when I stayed overnight there. And not only did many of us hear noises (not unusual in a place this big, BTW), but we actually saw several orbs ! With the lights on and also, with them off ! There are definitely spirits there.
Unknown said…
Marsha..This is Denise, Martin Carey's daughter. My father always spoke well of Charlie, your father and has some great stories! It would be a pleasure to keep in touch!
Unknown said…
I was just made aware of your blog post and wanted to say that I greatly appreciate the accuracy and eloquent portrayal of the mansions history. Very refreshing to know there are still some people out there who care about the truth:) Sincere thanks!
Anonymous said…
this is Jessie,I love Dark Shadows,I would love to see the entrance way with the staircase..
Anonymous said…
On GoogleEarth street view, a "no Tresspassing sign is clearly read. It is in the yard, between the swimming pool and the southeast corner of the lot.
Anonymous said…
the history of this mansion is impressive. its a shame to see it be let go...
Mary Bumbera said…
I have only visited Newport once and loved touring all the mansions. There are so many conflicting posts about this mansion Seaview Terrace. I am not interested in haunting or Dark Shadows. I would love to know the truth. Who actually lives here and why isn’t it kept up.
Thank you

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