Over two-hundred years ago, Nightmare Manor earned its historic name “Seth’s Folly” on one tragic night. The ghosts of the people who lost their lives that night haunt the manor to this day. Seth’s Folly was originally constructed by Brice Thomas Beale Worthington around 1789. It has one-foot thick stone walls that were originally built to protect against Native Indians.
In the early 1800’s, the discovery of slate in Ijamsville led to the creation of two local quarries. Seth Legget moved to Ijamsville to work as a manager in the slate quarry and purchased the manor from the Worthington family. He lived in the house for several years with his wife Delia, their children, and a few servants.
At the quarry, Seth Legget developed a reputation for being unforgiving. Under his leadership, more slate was extracted and more fatalities occurred than at any other time in the quarry’s history. Less is known about Seth’s family life, but if local rumor is to be believed, he was temperamental and abusive to his family.
In 1824, a fire broke out in the middle of the night. The neighbors were alerted to the fire by an explosion, probably from gunpowder stored in the manor’s cellar. Upon arriving at the manor it was too late. The house was ablaze and the sounds of screams were fading. Writhing by a noose from the tree beside the house was Seth Legget. Seth had started the fire in a fit of rage, and then hung himself, or so they assumed.
When the flames were put out, the neighbors managed to drag one charred and brittle body from below a second story window. No one else inside the house survived that long, but the manor’s thick stone walls withstood the inferno.