The Mount

Edith Wharton’s mansion is reportedly haunted by the spirits that inspired her ghost stories

Paranormal Activity at
The Mount

  • Visitors report a sense of being watched in the house
  • The apparition of Edith Wharton has been seen in the house
  • Phantom footsteps are reported rather often by workers and visitors alike
  • The spirit of a young servant girl can supposedly be seen and heard on the top floor
  • A male apparition has been reported several times by theater workers and visitors

The Mount’s Gilded History

Far up a long driveway and well-hidden from street view, sits a stately manor like no other. In any other setting, The Mount would be a jaw-dropping expression of excess and wealth. But, in The Berkshires, it’s just one of many opulent estates vying for the title of ‘most luxurious.’

While The Mount may have stiff competition in terms of size and elegance, few other Berkshire Cottages could hope to rival its historic value and haunting nature.

Famously the home of writer Edith Wharton, The Mount has served many purposes over its life, but one thing has always remained the same: The belief that something unseen, possibly spiritual, lingers on the grounds of the expansive mansion.

Timeline of The Mount's History

Swipe or use timeline points to see The Mount through the years


Edith Wharton was born to a wealthy and prominent family in 1862 and spent much of her early life enjoying the luxuries and benefits of being born into 19th-century money. The family traveled extensively and summered in the upscale areas of Newport, Rhode Island. Though she was forbidden from reading novels by her mother, Edith developed a keen sense of storytelling from an early age and was well-known from childhood for her ability to spin a tale.


In 1885, Edith married Teddy Wharton. They traveled together for many years, but Teddy was often depressed, and by the end of the century, the two had decided to settle down. Edith became a skilled writer and an interior and garden designer. Her interest in design led her to take a personal hand in designing the couple’s future home: The Mount. Completed in 1902, The Mount exemplified many design aspects Edith adored, and the size and scope of the estate did well to highlight the family’s wealthy background.


Edith Wharton became a respected writer after the publication of The House of Mirth in 1905. Despite this success, Edith’s personal life was rocky. Teddy’s battles with mental illness slowly tore their marriage apart. Edith vacationed for long periods, leaving her husband at The Mount, worsening their relationship. The couple left the home they’d built in 1911, and the two divorced in 1913. The home went through several other owners in the following years. All the while, Edith’s literary star grew, leading to her winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1921.


Though her time at the manor was short, Edith Wharton’s influence on the home remains. Many later residents knew the home’s history and the fame of its designer. This reputation remained after in 1942, when it was turned into dorms for the Foxhollow School for Girls. The mansion stayed part of the school until Foxhollow closed in 1976. Then, the mansion spent a few years vacant before being used by the Shakespeare & Company theater troupe starting in 1978, being used for offices, and dormitories, as well as for rehearsals and performances.


In 2001, the estate was transferred to Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc., formed to preserve The Mount. Since then, the mansion has been restored and opened as a historic museum. But, whispers of odd encounters have turned into open conversations about the home’s possibly paranormal happenings. Today, these conversations have given The Mount the reputation as perhaps the most haunted of all the Berkshire Cottages. But the ghost stories around Edith Wharton’s prized mansion have been around for almost as long as the house.

Edith Wharton’s Formless Horrors

In Edith Wharton’s life, she claimed that she had been followed and haunted by ‘formless horrors’ since she was young. Wharton went on to use these experiences as inspiration for several of her own ghost stories.

Likewise, at The Mount, unsettling feelings of being watched palpably linger in the house still today, which has led some to call it haunted. But, the reports of spectral activity at The Mount go back much further than modern tourist encounters.

The Mount’s Spooky Sounds

The ghost stories around The Mount reach back for almost a century. Starting with the estate’s time as part of the Foxhollow School for Girls, students spending time in the living spaces of the mansion reported strange sounds from other rooms and frequent phantom footsteps.

After the Shakespeare & Company troupe took up residence in the house, performers and theater workers began experiencing strange happenings similar to the former students.

Ghostly Footsteps at The Mount

Phantom footsteps were often reported, with many thespians noting just how loud the echoing footfalls could be through the expansive manor’s halls.

One well-known story came from a theater director who was in the mansion late one night and heard resounding footsteps in the hall that stopped outside his office door. He called for the person to come in, but no one did. He checked the hall, only to find he was alone in the house.

Curious Apparitions of
Edith Wharton’s Home

In this time, apparitions also became common reports. During a 2001 production, a theater worker spotted a man in an old-style tuxedo lingering backstage. The apparition reportedly asked the worker ‘what the hell is going on here?’ before disappearing into thin air. This shadow figure was later identified as a lover of Edith Wharton who stayed at the home briefly.

Other shadow figures have been spotted in other areas of the property. Many visitors touring the grounds report seeing apparitions staring down at them from upstairs windows, while others say they’ve seen Edith Wharton herself sitting around the house reading books.

On the top floor of the mansion, some have reported the apparition of a young girl, claimed to be an old house servant, wandering the halls. It is said her appearance can correspond with some of the disembodied footsteps.

Haunted Mystery at The Mount

Today, The Mount has developed a reputation that rivals even Edith Wharton’s. The picturesque property and unmatched luxury of the home attracts countless tourists each year. And, paired with paranormal claims around the home and a feature in several episodes of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, excitement and intrigue abound at The Mount.

The Mount regularly hosts a variety of ghost tours, adding to its popularity as a paranormal hotspot. Ghost stories at The Mount have come a long way since the mutterings of Foxhollow students, and the tales seem to develop more with each tourist visit.

Perhaps it is Edith Wharton, true to the writerly spirit, continuing to spin new ghost stories for her home from the afterlife.