Niagara Gazette — Haunted Houses are popular thus time of year — most have people dressed up as ghosts and goblins, with a few fake spider webs strewn around.
But what about a REAL haunted mansion, complete with a ghost whose earthly remains are buried in the backyard?
That’s what The Van Horn Mansion in Burt has to offer, and the public is welcome to tour the mansion, lit only with candles, from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own flashlights, as well as recorders and cameras just in case one of the resident ghosts decides to make an appearance.
The mansion, which was built in the 1820s by Justice James Van Horn, has a long and impressive history. It was the site of Newfane’s first town meeting April 6, 1924. The home also served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
But is was one of Van Horn’s sons, James Jr., who was married to the mansion’s most famous ghost, Malinda.
Not much is known about Malinda’s death — some say that she died in childbirth, others suggest perhaps she was murdered or died in an accident — but one thing is sure, her gravestone was found in the carriage house, and her bones were later located by cadaver dogs buried in the yard. Her remains, along with the gravestone, have since been moved to an area behind the house.
But Malinda isn’t the only resident ghost at the mansion. Through the years, there have been sightings of many different ghosts.
According to Rose Schaeffer, vice president of the Newfane Historical Society, and organizer of the candlelight tours, there are several ghosts that haunt the mansion.
In fact, Schaeffer said she sees or hears something every time she is in the mansion, which is often. The day she was interviewed for this article, she had seen a “tall back-shadowed man” on the front porch.