Friday, April 25, 2014

Hauntings: Van Horn Mansion


Van Horn Mansion (New York)

The Van Horn mansion was built in 1823 by local judge, James Van Horn.  The large house was home to his nine children and a number of servants, and later to his oldest son, James Van Horn, Jr.'s wife, Malinda.  In 1837, Malinda died, but the circumstances and explanation of her death varied.  Some claimed she died in childbirth, some said she was accidentally killed by a falling branch, and some whispered that her husband killed her.  Whatever happened, the wealthy judge was able to quash a police investigation.  However, her body was never buried at the family cemetery, and the headstone ordered for her was never erected but was hidden in the carriage house.  Years later, an investigation using cadaver dogs revealed a shallow grave only fifty feet from the back door of the house.  They found a female skeleton, the right age to be Malinda, and twisted as if it had been hurriedly dumped in the ground.

Sightings of a female ghost have been reported by roofers doing renovations.  They've seen a face in windows when the mansion was vacant and observed lights flicker for no reason. Carpenters swore they saw a spirit appear.  On the street outside, drivers have slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting a girl running from the mansion who later vanishes.  Doors have been known to open and close on their own, and in certain parts of the house, visitors have smelled lilac perfume although no one nearby is wearing it. Lilac perfume was always said to be Malinda's favorite.




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37 comments:

Dr. Theda said...

Looks a lot like the old Horn family home out South Elm Street in my town.... Cool..
The Horn family still have a lot of money as well as "pull" or "say-so" in this area...

Andrew Leon said...

I'd live in that house ghost or not.

Lady Lilith said...

Looks like a great place to check out.

S.K. Anthony said...

Okay, I'm in NY so I had to look it up...7 hours away, bummer!

Medeia Sharif said...

That would be a freaky thing to see while working. I wouldn't be able to concentrate.

Misha Gericke said...

Another interesting story concept... :-)

Kate Larkindale said...

She probably died of overwork from having to clean that place... Big houses are only good if someone else does the cleaning.

Winter Moon said...

These days the grounds would be the first place police investigated and everyone's guilty until proven innocent instead of the other way around.

I've heard of people smelling pipe smoke, but never perfume.

Thank you for another deliciously creepy read :)

Rhonda Albom said...

Interesting. I am glad she is haunting the place if they dumped her in a shallow grave.

Sophie Duncan said...

Poor Malinda - a mystery thanks to a powerful cover up.
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

Heather Holden said...

Malinda's story is so tragic. No wonder her spirit is restless enough to haunt!

Mina Menon said...

I hope she haunted her murderer too

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

How do you hide the fact her body was never properly buried?

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

It sounds like someone got away with murder. It would have been good if she haunted the culprit all the days of his life.

Annalisa Crawford said...

You can't beat a good ghost story.

I'm catching up after my holiday and now I plan to read all your other posts too!

Al Diaz said...

I would say whispers are true and she was murdered. And the family hid the fact so poorly.

messymimi said...

Scary that if you have enough money, you can get away with murder.

klahanie said...

Hey Lexa,

And the female ghost got quite the fright when she saw those builder's butt cracks. Not a pretty sight.

Happy alpheting and do we have a ghost of a chance of this amazing alphabet challenge ending without the reflection posts about the reflection posts about the amazing alphabet challenge...

Enjoy your half a weekend. You get Sunday off for good behaviour. Gosh! :)

Gary

debi o'neille said...

I used to be a realtor and had one house listed that had a reputation. It was said to be haunted, and a man's cologne could often be smelled even after the house was vacant. The guy who finally bought it had grown up on the same block. He said he played with the kids at that house often, and he knew about the ghost and that is why he wanted to live there. He liked the ghost. I love your posts and don't want to see them end.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

mshatch said...

How sad for poor Malinda, buried like trash without a proper funeral. No surprise she's restless still. I wonder if anyone lives in the house now.

Birgit said...

Well there is more to the story of her death. Maybe it should be investigated and solved so she can rest. I'd love to check it out

T. Drecker said...

I love places with stories like this! They're better than sitting down with a book :)

Jennifer Hawes said...

This could make a great story someday!

Loni Townsend said...

The way she was buried certainly leans toward believing foul play...not to mention she's haunting the place.

Crystal Collier said...

Yeah...I'm thinking that one's not so hard to figure out. Can you imagine how tortured that guy must have been for the rest of his life? Some actions have eternal consequences.

True Heroes from A to Z

Mere Joyce said...

Wow, there's certainly a good story in that history, if anyone can ever uncover the whole extent of it!

Stephanie Faris said...

Ooooh, I love haunted places. I can't believe I just found your blog. I'm going to go through and read some of the others to see which places I want to visit!

Julie Flanders said...

I hope Malinda got to haunt whoever killed her. (My money is on the husband) And the judge for squashing the investigation.

cleemckenzie said...

Poor Malinda. I'm for letting her have some revenge. The house is gorgeous, so maybe she likes hanging around just to keep an eye on the old place.

Spooky story!

Jocelyn Rish said...

It definitely seems like something not-so-nice happened to Malinda, otherwise there would have been no need for the judge to flex his muscles. Dude, don't you know quashing an investigation just makes people MORE suspicious?!?

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

That's a beautiful house with intriguing stories connected with it. There were many lores associated with the house where I grew up as well.

Silvia Villalobos said...

I think the husband killed her, and she's coming back with a vengeance. Burying her like that ... that would make me really mad.
Silvia @
SilviaWrites

Cathy Keaton said...

Ghosts always seem to stick around when they died violently in this life. Interesting....

I wonder if anyone lives in that house now.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Haunted houses are so creepy and exciting. That grave really adds to the story.

Stephen Hayes said...

I wonder if we'll ever learn how Malinda died.

Kim Graff said...

There's something about last names that start with "van" that make them seem inherently more evil than other last names.

Jean said...

I must go learn more about this one as it is in my home state!

thanks! jean

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