House of Payne

Posted by Patrick Valenza on

The old cronies at the Valley Park Historical Society have reluctantly come forth with information regarding the childhood home of Mildred Payne.

Once located on 1013 Walton Street, this ominous dwelling served as a precursor to the miserable life Mildred would later experience at Fenwood Asylum.

Here’s what we have learned so far:

*An only child, Mildred Payne was born in this house on June 13th, 1913. (She lived there with her parents until her father had her committed in 1928.)

*In 1926, Mildred’s mother died tragically in a tool shed behind the house under circumstances we have yet to uncover.

*The Payne family was regarded throughout Valley Park as “odd”, “somber”, and “withdrawn”.

*Children avoided passing the house and shunned Mildred at school.

*Neighbors frequently reported seeing what they called “silent lightning flashes” coming through the windows at night.

(They also claimed that Mildred often attracted numerous flocks of black birds to her bedroom window by singing to them in an unknown language.)

*After having Mildred committed, her father lived alone in the house until his apparent suicide in 1933.

*The house had various owners in the years that followed, however no one ever occupied the place for more than a year.

(It was finally torn down in 1967 after falling into severe disrepair. The lot remains undeveloped to this day.)


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