Man armed with sword, Bible caught at ‘haunted house’ in Wilkes-Barre |

Man armed with sword, Bible caught at ‘haunted house’ in Wilkes-Barre


WILKES-BARRE — He’s ghost busted.

A city resident who tried entering the infamous Welles House — a purportedly haunted property at 46 S. Welles St. — was arrested early Wednesday morning after being found armed with a shotgun, sword, brass knuckles, a pocket knife and a copy of the Bible, according to police.

Anthony Parker, 33, of 586 Carey Ave., told police he was at the home to “look for ghosts,” according to the charges.

The house was built around 1860 by industrialist Augustus C. Lanning, who, as legend has it, experienced a series of tragedies soon afterward. Now vacant, the home has been marketed as “Pennsylvania’s very own Amityville Horror” and is ostensibly linked to a number of mysterious deaths, unexplained apparitions and bumps in the night.

According to the charges against Parker, police responded to the home shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday to a report of a break-in in progress, with a witness reporting someone was prying plywood off the back door.

Police arriving on the scene found a Chrysler minivan parked in front of the home facing the wrong direction and heard movement from the back of the property. When officers circled around the home, they found Parker holding a pry bar in his left hand, with a 24-inch sword tied to his back, the charges say. Parker was also wearing red gloves, despite the warm weather, police said.

Parker complied with orders to drop the pry bar and to untie the sword, and lay on the ground while police frisked him, police said. The search turned up a silver brass-knuckle bladed weapon that was in Parker’s pocket as well as a folding pocket knife and a Bible, the charges allege.

Parker also had a Crown Royal bag containing 10 shotgun shells that was tied to his belt, the complaint says. Parker claimed he had left the shotgun home, but police subsequently found a loaded pistol-grip shotgun in the rear of the home, police said.

Asked what he was doing at the home, Parker told police he was there to “look for ghosts,” according to police. Parker told police he did not know the owner but knows people who do, the charges say.

The property manager told police she doesn’t know Parker and that he did not have permission to be at the home.

Police charged Parker with defiant trespassing, possessing instruments of a crime, weapons possession, possessing an offensive weapon and prowling at night time.

Magisterial District Judge Thomas F. Malloy Sr. arraigned him on Wednesday morning and set bail at $25,000. Parker was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing set for July 5.

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