This old houseís
New owner relates
on spirits in residence
Express Staff Writer
thing Michelle Factor said when asked about ghosts was "Thereís
Melissa, a little girl."
understand Factorís large house in Hailey was built in 1915. All four
floors have been closed off for several years, still full of furniture,
bedding, dishesóand spirits, she said.
Once the Ellsworth
Inn, this now privately owned house on South Third Avenue in Hailey may be haunted, or it may be just occupied by many spirits. You decide.
Express photo by David N. Seelig
moved in after she had a vision about the house last spring. And she
moved to Idaho from Los Angeles in Julyóthough sheíd never been here
beforeóand bought it practically on the spot.
drew her here. And something is keeping her here.
quite a few things going on here Ö but Iím not going to say itís
implies evil to some degree and Factor has never felt that. When she was
in the large living room, Factor felt people looking into the windows...
Factor referred to as Mrs. Fox, who had lived in the house as a
youngster dropped some clues. Her father had been a doctor andóbecause
there was nowhere else in Hailey big enoughófunerals also were held in
the living room of the house.
room, though commodious by Hailey standards at the time, wasnít large
enough to accommodate everyone Mrs. Fox said people often stood outside
during the funerals.
also had feelings when she went down the stairs into the basement. She
sensed someone had fallen and a child died.
bought the house and has set about restoring it, Factor has met many
people in Hailey who remember the house when it was a private home and
when it was the Ellsworth Inn, including Tim Ellsworth of Boise who grew
mentioned the basement stairs to him, Ellsworth revealed that his mother
had fallen down the stairs and had had a miscarriage.
then I blessed it, and now I donít have that feeling," she said.
Factor is an artist and a spiritual healer, a fortunate profession under
been feeling stuff from day one. I hear menís voices, echoing, it
wakes me up. I feel like theyíre right there, clanging metal."
Eventually, she decided it was the spirits of the many miners who once
lived and worked in the valley.
time, early in the morning, "I woke up and a woman was standing
over me. She had round glasses and wavy, gray hair done in a bun. I was
startled and she was startled and then disappeared. I havenít seen her
around since." On the third floor, she said, both she and her
painter felt the change in one of the rooms. "It was ice cold
compared to the other rooms. I felt there was a girl between 3 to 5 or
maybe younger because of how she tugged on our clothing." Factor
was taping the room before painting it and every time she put the roll
of tape down it rolled away.
I put it down flat and moved it closer to me and itíd be sliding
across the room again. It happened at least six times in one day. I kind
of laughed, I talked to her and told her Iím going to make the room
pretty, what color do you want it? Red. I didnít want it red, but itís
now the red room, and itís nice."
has noticed activity in his room as well, feeling pushed out of bed on
several occasions. Finally Factor, though not frightened, decided to
lock her room at night. She thought it would send a message, "You
canít enter, itís my space."
not just human spirits she feels. One night her cats woke her up, one
crawling under the covers while the other howled in fright, hair on end
and tail erect. "I felt a dog around here, then I heard a Labrador
died in a well 12 years ago."
Factor is not easily scared. Instead she revels in the houseís energy.
"Iíve been making pies, I donít know who made pies in this
house." She now feels compelled to whip-up creations in her big
country style kitchen.
love this house, and I know this house loves me," Factor said. She
plans on opening the normally closed front gates on Halloween for trick
of course, they open on their own.