WILKES-BARRE — City police said they arrested an armed man who was on a quest to see a ghost at an abandoned house known as the Haunted Welles House early Wednesday.
Anthony Parker, 33, was found at the rear of 46 S. Welles St. just after 3 a.m., holding a pry bar and with a 24-inch sword tied to his waist and a Bible in his pocket, officers say.
Police said they also found brass knuckles and a folding knife in Parker’s pockets, 10 shotgun shells in a bag and a loaded pistol grip shotgun on the ground.
Parker told officers he was attempting to get into the house to look for ghosts, court records say.
The same house was featured in a story by the Times Leader on Oct. 31, 1979, when a tenant claimed there were demons inside. The publicity resulted in the house being searched by ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, famed for their investigation into “The Amityville Horror,” which produced the best-selling book and movie.
Most recently, the Warrens’ nephew, John Zaffis, a paranormal investigator, spent several days inside the house using special equipment in February 2014.
There are several YouTube videos about the house being haunted.
A search of Times Leader archives produced several arrests for break-ins at the residence.
According to a criminal complaint about Wednesday’s incident:
Police responded to the abandoned home at about 3:06 a.m. for a person breaking inside.
An officer spotted Parker in the rear wearing gloves and holding a pry bar. Parker was instructed to drop the pry bar and untie a 24-inch sword from his body.
While being searched, police found brass knuckles and a folding knife in his pockets, and shotgun shells in a bag tied to his body.
“After the defendant was patted down, he was asked what he (was) doing at the property? The defendant said he was attempting to get into the house to look for ghosts,” the complaint states.
Officers found a loaded pistol grip shotgun while taking pictures of the damage caused by Parker.
He told police he didn’t know the owner but had friends who knew the house owner.
Police later learned from the property manager, Betsy Summers, that Parker did not have permission to be there.
A vehicle registered to Parker’s mother was parked nearby facing the wrong direction on South Welles Street, which is one-way.
Parker, of Carey Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned by District Judge Thomas Malloy in Wilkes-Barre on six counts of possessing instruments of crime, three counts of prohibited offensive weapons and one count each of defiant trespass and loitering and prowling at night. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.