The Peel Museum and Botanical Gardens

400 South Walton Boulevard, bentonville

(479) 273-3636

Status: Former Residence; Museum



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By <a href="//" title="User:KLOTZ">JERRYE &amp; ROY KLOTZ MD</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0Link


This mansion was originally built by Col Samuel West Peel in order to win his wife’s heart. Mary Emaline had turned down many of his proposals until he promised to build the house of her dreams; one that looked like the Alabama mansions she remembered from her childhood.

Col Peel achieved his rank in the Confederate Arkansas Infantry in the US Civil War. After the war he went to law school and became a lawyer. He became a prosecutor and later served in the House of Representatives from 1883 – 1893.

Mary passed away in 1902 and Peel remained in the house for another year. The house had a number of other owners between 1910 and 1991 with many putting large amounts of money into it for renovations and upkeep.

In 1991 Walmart Inc bought the house and then donated it in 1992 to the Peel House Foundation. The Foundation then restored the house back to it’s glory days at the end of the 19th century. They also rebuilt the gardens that surrounded the house.

The house is now a historical museum and open to the public.


Paranormal Activity

The ghost of Samuel Peel is still seen in the house from time to time.

The ghost of Peel’s daughter, Minnie Belle, is also seen in the house. She usually seen wearing white and often plays the piano to this day. Should anyone enter the room while Minnie is playing the music will stop immediately.

The house also has a rather unique level of paranormal activity. In the 1920’s Mr English moved into the house with wife and children. Two of those children were twins with one named Margery.

One day while playing outside Margery was stuck with a sudden stabbing pain in her abdomen. We now know that in twins sometimes the appendix in one twin forms on the opposite side of the body as it does for the rest of us; this was not known by doctors in 1920’s.

Kitchen tables were eventually brought up to Margery’s room and a surgeon opened her up to find the appendix had burst and the infection was spreading through her body. The doctor was so sure the girl would die he didn’t even sew her up but instead left her with a nurse.

For 10 days the girl suffered in terrible pain before she passed away. Or did she?

The nurse pronounced her dead and covered her in a sheet.

Five hours later someone saw the sheet move and pulled it off the girl to find her alive. At the time it was nothing short of a miracle; we now know the girl must have gone into a coma as her body made it’s last ditch effort to save her life.

Her surgical wound was sewn up and Margery went on to live her life. She would eventually pass away in 2000.

So, what’s so paranormal? Glad you asked.

For 50 years the room where Margery suffered and eventually healed was locked up. It seems the room was haunted by a little girl. Her phantom crying and screams of pain made the room completely unusable by the living.

Margery did describe what we now call a near death experience complete with a light she was drawn into but couldn’t cross. If there is a human soul obviously Margery retained hers so what was haunting this room?