Braspitias - The Legend
In 1923 the Braspitia family, headed by Artimus Braspitia along with his wife, Elizabeth, their son Edward and their daughter, Angelina, purchased land and built an empire consisting of manufacturing, mining and chemicals. The Braspitia empire, however, had a short life and ended in tragedy in 1929 when an incident at the chemical plant triggered the demise of the town. There is not much written about the actual events leading up to or following the incident or even about the incident itself but whatever happened the family remained on the estate long after the towns people disappeared. Tragedy was certainly nothing new to the Braspitias as the family seemed to be cursed well before the fall of their empire. It appears to have started in 1924 when at age 9 Angelina fell into a well on the property and drowned. It has never been proven if Angelina’s death was an accident or something more sinister but the loss of her only daughter appeared to have been too much for Elizabeth and she was committed to the Braspitia Sanatorium soon after Angelina's funeral. Artimus was left to care for their son, Edward, age 14, who watched his father also slowly descend into madness. Records show that the asylum closed in 1929 along with the rest of the town and Artimus brought Elizabeth back to the mansion so that staff could care for her as well as a large number of the other patients that were also transferred to the mansion, many of whom were reported to be violent. Tragedy struck again when in 1930 Edward witnessed his father murdering his mother before ending his own life. Edward, at age 20, was now the sole heir to the estate but expressed no desire to remain in Braspitia. Edward left the area in 1930 to live with his mother’s family in Ohio and work in the family mortuary business. In 1933 Edward married Rosalind Buckley and continued working in the family business until he was 25.
In 1935 Edward returned to Braspitia with his wife, Rosalind, and their 2 year old son, Frederick, and opened his own business - the Braspitia Mortuary. Located close to the Peaceful Acres cemetery business flourished. It was at this time that Edward began exhibiting signs of mental illness; however, the Braspitia Mortuary continued to flourish through 1936 becoming a well-known and well trusted establishment in the area and Edward and Rosalind were able to raise their seemingly normal son Frederick in a comfortable environment. Edward became more and more intense and threw himself into his work. It was in this stage of his obsession that Edward took in several new employees. The first was a man by the name of Louis Farin who Edward trained as a sort of makeshift autopsy doctor. The second was a man who came to him with the proposition of doing pet burials for the rich. This man was Arly Collier, a veterinarian from Georgia. The other two were a pair of transients named Earl Dill and Howard Baxter. Edward employed them to do odd jobs around the property. Tragedy struck yet again in January of 1937 when records show that Rosalind died from Tuberculosis and Edward began exhibiting violent behavior and a tendency towards being a recluse. On October 31, 1937, the Braspitia Mortuary closed after complaints from several families over mistakes and evidence of unorthodox procedures and Edward and Frederick mysteriously vanished into local legend - the stuff of campfire stories and parental bedtime threats.
The Braspitia Estate was eventually turned over to the State to be designated as state land with a plan of opening a museum and utilizing the estate grounds as a park. However, when the state sent a small work crew to renovate the mansion and clean up the grounds the workers refused to return to the estate the next day claiming the area was unsafe due to mine shafts. One man on the crew, though, told horrifying stories that included seeing a crazed man covered in blood dragging a body to the back door of the mansion followed by screaming and gurgling over the sound of a saw. He also claimed that a girl who couldn't have been older than 9 had tried to drown him in a well and that he had witnessed an older woman preparing human limbs as food in the mansion kitchen which was filled with frozen bodies hung from hooks like racks of meat. It was later reported that this man was the town drunk who could be found years later wandering the neighboring towns mumbling about someone - or something - on the estate that wasn't quite human and not quite animal.
Finally, in 1953 the state scrapped all plans to utilize the grounds in any manner and hired a caretaker to live just outside the property boundaries to keep out trespassers. Currently the caretaker in charge is Percy Gaines who has been the caretaker since 1983. Residents in surrounding towns continue to describe strange and unsettling events.
Reinventing the Past
Parts of the Braspitia estate were put up for auction in 2013 and many items including furnishings, fixtures, family portraits and funeral home equipment were purchased by M&M Entertainment and used in the construction of Scream Factor - The Mortuary. An unexpected find were the old carnival games and clown costumes from the days when the Braspitias brought the carnival to town. During construction several unexplainable events have occurred - lights turning off and on, the sound of piano music, and children's laughter to name a few. Many volunteers believe the items themselves are cursed and refuse to remain in reconstructed rooms alone.