Wheeling Haunts Episode One: Haunting on the Island

Are you ready for some spooky history? Weelunk and Wheeling Heritage Media are proud to present the first episode of Wheeling Haunts. Episode One: Haunting on the Island features the Phillips-McLure House, located one block south of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge on Wheeling Island. 

About the Phillips-McLure House

The Phillips-McLure House, 203 S. Front Street.

This impressive home was built in 1853 by Daniel Zane for his daughter Anne Elizabeth Zane Phillips. Her time in the home with her husband Hanson Phillips, a steamboat builder and Southern sympathizer, was short-lived, as it was purchased in 1864 by John McLure Jr. McLure was a prominent riverboat captain, steamboat builder, and delegate to the first Wheeling statehood convention. 

When McLure purchased the home, it was a conservative two-story brick house with a gable roof. Once John McLure assumed ownership, he added his own flair to the home, including a classical portico and a dormer tower to provide a greater vantage point of the Ohio River.

In 1991, the Phillips-McLure House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in the Wheeling Island Historic District. 

Haunting at the McLure House

Captain John McLure Jr. (Photo from the book “Prominent Men of West Virginia”)

The current owner, Mary Ellen Bennett, has been caring for this property for more than two decades. When she first purchased the building, it was in disrepair and required quite a bit of renovation to be able to put it back into use. Initially, Bennett was drawn to the home and saw its potential, but didn’t experience anything spooky for quite some time. However, the more Mary Ellen spent time in the home and restoring it to its former glory, she experienced some chance encounters that couldn’t be chalked up to just a coincidence. Today, Mary Ellen is convinced that the spirit of John McLure Jr. lives on and keeps watch over both the Ohio River and his beloved home. 

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Want to hear the full story? Listen to the Wheeling Haunts Episode One: Haunting on the Island. 

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About Wheeling Haunts

Wheeling Haunts is a new podcast produced by Wheeling Heritage Media. Each Monday in October, a new episode will be released featuring a different Wheeling home that has some spooky history attached to it. You can listen right here on Weelunk, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

If you want even more spooky details, then subscribe to the Wheeling Haunts VIP Listener Club. VIP Listeners will receive early access to the podcast each week, plus access to exclusive video content, podcast merch, and special discounts at the Wheeling Artisan Center Shop! For this first episode, you’ll get to watch a behind-the-scenes video featuring some of the interesting design details from inside the Phillips McLure House. It’s just $25 to become a VIP listener! Sign up here!

Do you have chilling tales from your own home in Wheeling? We want to hear about it! Leave us a voicemail for your chance to be featured on an upcoming episode of the Wheeling Haunts podcast. Click here to leave us a voicemail.

• Wheeling Heritage Media creates a variety of multimedia experiences in order to tell Wheeling’s story, both past and present. Through videos, podcasts, photos, and more, they create content and provide digital access to help more people feel connected and engaged with this vibrant, growing community