Actually, the top floor was once the happiest floor in the mansion according to the memories of Ellen Douglas Bellamy, who lived in the home until her death in 1946. The Bellamy children spent a great deal of time there, playing games and putting on plays performed upon the storage platform they turned into a stage. It was not a dark or spooky place to avoid back in 1861, rather it was likely the brightest and happiest place in the whole mansion.
This story holds some truth, as Ellen Bellamy was a well-read and educated woman. She loved to read the newspaper, especially in her later years when Ellen’s health kept her mainly in her bedroom. It was in this southwest bedroom that Ellen wrote her book, Back With the Tide, recalling her earliest memories from when the family first moved into the mansion, their evacuation to Floral College at the start of the Civil War, and the subsequent return to their home.
As for the ink smudges? The mansion’s bedroom level is comprised entirely of white walls. With the many visitors that the Bellamy Mansion has—adults, teens, and young children—all exploring the house on a guided tour with a docent or on a self-guided audio tour, it would not be remiss to say that some guests may be seeing the fingerprints of previous visitors who strayed too close to the white walls.
It is possible to debunk part of the story. With the mansion's design, was the gust of wind simply from a difference in pressure created by other doors or windows being open, or even the wind coming from one of those openings? Was the film crew truly alone, or did an employee enter the house through the front door unseen? And, in their haste to flee the room, perhaps the pounding they heard was from something else entirely?
Hirchak, John. Ghosts of Old Wilmington. Charleston, Haunted America, 2006. Print.
Preik, Brooks Newton. Haunted Wilmington. Wilmington, Stuart House Publications, 1995. Print.
Roberts, Nancy. Ghosts from the Coast. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 2001. Print.