RESIDENCE – Korner’s Folly
Location Address: 413 S Main St, Kernersville, NC 27284, USA
Korner’s Folly History:
Korner’s Folly, rightly titled America’s ‘Strangest House’ is located in Kernersville, North Carolina and is one of the oldest residences in America.
The house has 7 stories and 22 rooms, with no two doorways, windows, or hallways being the same. Throughout the site, there are over 130 steps. All of the stairs lead to Cupid’s Park, America’s first community theatre, which is located on the top level.
Korner’s Folly has a whimsical feel about it, reminiscent of a Victorian Willa Wonka mansion. Jule Korner began building on the house in 1878 to display his art, furniture, and interior design collection. Mr. Korner designed the house to be a visual feast!
Originally, the house was built as a bachelor’s retreat. A relative mocked the odd design, dubbing it “Korner’s Folly” in an attempt to offend. Jule, a brilliant man with a sense of humor, enjoyed the jab and named it after it. Polly Alice, his wife, urged that they stay in the gorgeous house after they married.
On Thanksgiving Day in 1924, Mr. Korner died in the master bedroom. Polly Alice died five years after that.
Korner’s Folly fell into ruin and sat empty for a long time. The house was spared from destruction and saved by 26 local families. The non-profit Korner’s Folly Foundation now manages the site, which is available to the public for tours, special events, and meetings.
Korner’s Folly Ghost Stories
Cupid’s Park Theatre
Cupid’s Park is a popular practice spot for Kernersville community theatre artists. They’ve claimed that after turning off the lights in the theatre, they inexplicably come back on. When this bizarre event happens someone must travel seven flights of stairs to turn the lights off – again!
While working on the air conditioning unit, something tapped three times on the brim of a technician’s hat at Cupid’s Park. He was so taken back that he left his tools behind and never returned. That must of really freaked him out!
Interestingly, during a Haunted North Carolina investigation, a male investigator had a similar encounter. His shoulder was touched three times while he was on stage! We found a 10 degree differential in surface temperature between that spot and the remainder of his back. It was colder where he had been touched. This investigator had no idea that another individual had had a similar event in the same area.
Children’s Play Room & Paranormal Investigators
Reputable paranormal research organizations are welcome to visit the residence. It seems to be operational regularly; all teams that have performed investigations have recorded EVP.
Deonna Kelli Sayed from Ghost Village mentioned in 2009 she was a participant in SPARS’ initial research. Several powerful EVPs and personal experiences were recorded. Due to the significant quantity of evidence gathered during the first inquiry, the landowner asked the team to organize a press conference to publicize the results. (It’s worth noting that obtaining a large amount of evidence from a single inquiry is uncommon.)
A small child shouting “peek-a-boo” was one of the most memorable EVP samples collected in the Children’s Play Room. Two digital audio devices unexpectedly stopped down just as the only operational device picked up the EVP. Similarly, IR cameras in the region recorded a light abnormality at the same time.
An EVP was caught in the middle of the day and at a variety of places around the home. One was discovered in the Children’s Play Room, and it was timed to correspond with an EMF spike and the breaking of one of the digital audio recorders. The male voice was captured stating “haunted”.
Most investigation teams believe that three spirits or energies are present: a man, a woman, and a kid. According to the investigators, they have collected both intelligent and residual (place memory) EVP.
Employees & Neighbors
The house served as a funeral home for a brief time and then as an antique shop. Employees were said to arrive at the antique business in the morning to discover the furniture moved. While no investigator has personally seen this phenomenon, it’s worth noting that 80 percent of the existing furniture in the house is original and primarily created by Jule Korner himself. Similarly, when it came to interior design, he was very fussy. Mr. Korner could have been dissatisfied with the decor.
One neighbor claims to see a small girl standing on the front porch late at night regularly.
A ‘witches corner’ is a tradition that comes from Europe. Joseph Kerner (Jule Körne’s Grandfather), immigrated from Furtwangen, Germany most likely instigating the idea of having this old belief designed on Korners Folly (found on the front porch).
The tradition is that guests put a coin in the cast-iron witches pot as they enter the house. This then attracts the attention of spirits, ghosts and bad witches, assuring no unwanted guests would enter the building.
Do you want to visit Korner’s Folly?
Apparently Korner’s Folly Foundation’s director, Bruce Frankel likes dealing with the paranormal community, so that’s a great start! Paranormal weekends are known to be held through the foundation.
Paranormal investigations are highly welcome at Korner’s Folly. The site does request a payment to help Operation Restoration, a fundraising initiative for preservation efforts. Teams may receive a receipt and the gift is tax-deductible since Korner’s Folly is a non-profit organization.
Self-guided and group tours, as well as private events, are available at the site. For further information, go to KornersFolly.org
I’d like to thank Diane and Kelly from the History Goes Bump podcast for the haunted location idea.