In 1873, Alexander Marsters purchased the land on and around Shroud Hill with the plans to build his future family estate there. It was an area rife with local legend and superstition, and Alexander could not find any local workers that were willing to go up on the hill to construct the home. He eventually had to bring in workers from neighboring towns to do the job.
The construction of the place took over three years, and was plagued by unlucky incidents. There were many injuries, accidents, and even fires. Many of the crew deserted the site as the construction went on, further delaying the work. Some even disappeared overnight, never to be seen or heard from again. Alexander Marsters had to find new workers every time this happened, prolonging the completion of the estate.
This is where the line between rumor and truth becomes blurred. There is no way to verify the elements of the story which have become folklore. The story goes as follows...
In 1875, a drifter named Whistler joined the construction crew up on Shroud Hill. One day, he was laboring in an unfinished room when a steam pipe burst, scalding him so badly that it virtually melted the skin from his frame, killing him in a matter of seconds. He fell from the platform he had been working on into the still-wet cement foundation below.
By the time that help could be summoned to the house, it was of course far too late. Whistler was dead, and worse yet, the concrete he had fallen into had begun to set. According to local legend, Alexander Marsters did not want to further delay the completion of the house by tearing up the foundation, so he ordered the crew to leave the body where it lay, and to finish the work on the room. Whistler was not local, and he had no family to claim his body anyway, Alexander theorized. The workers did not want to do it, a few even left the job over it. However, Alexander was a very, very wealthy man; most of the workers could not afford to lose the pay he offered. So, they finished laying the foundation in the room, entombing Whistler's body inside.
As the construction of the estate went on, problems began to plague the workers who labored in the unfinished room. No matter how hard they worked, their progress was repeatedly slowed down by a series of accidents and unexplained events. Tools would come up missing, or be found twisted and broken. The room was unnaturally cold at all times. Many workers were injured by falling scaffolding. Some of the crew reported hearing a horrible, angry scream, as if someone was screaming right into their ear when they were alone in the room, and more than one claimed to have seen a gruesomely skinned man rise out of the floor and reach for them. Many workers refused to work on the room, or even go near it. There were so many problems with it's construction that eventually it was left unfinished and sealed off.
And, the legend goes, the Skinned Man's angry, violent spirit stills haunts the unfinished room to this very day.