Edit: Property right and supposedly haunted properties-Please be aware that most supposedly haunted properties are actually both historical and private properties. Any or all folklore surrounding properties are just that-folklore. Please DO NOT take any rumor you may have heard about a property as an invitation to vandalize or otherwise destroy private property, as it is both against the law and just plain rude. Horrific Knits does not support breaking and entry or any other form of forced entry onto properties featured on this column.
This is especially true of homesteads-while I try to avoid currently occupied houses or properties, the state of these sites may change after publication, which is a situation that I can’t avoid-or even become aware of.
\\It would seem that the Van Horn Mansion isn’t the only haunted mansion that the Lockport area boasts. The Summit Mansion would appear to be a victim of history, in that many of the rumors surrounding its supposed paranormal status are born out of actual local history.
The house, which is admittedly foreboding, was built in 1834. The property was also called Hitchings House and Mount Providence. Some of the more mundane historical gossip has the house being a stop on the Underground Railroad-which would not be outside of the realm of possibility for the region- and that the original owners of the house owned their own slaves.
It is the presence, or, rather the supposed presence of slaves, that spark off some of the claims of hauntings. It is suggested that some of these slaves revolted and tortured and killed their owners. Eventually, driven insane by their living conditions and the massacre, they turned on themselves with the majority of them either committing suicide or killing their companions. Legend has the massacre extending to animals on the property. (It is interesting that the two major rumors surrounding the property are this legend and the possible presence of hideouts for runaway slaves on the grounds).
This act of violence supposedly set off a chain of events that led to the house being haunted. Experiences with the property seem to stay within the bounds of ‘normal’ haunting phenomena. The most troubling claims suggest that ghosts can be seen at the windows. It’s suggested that one round of renovation had to be called off because the crew was too afraid to finish work on the site.
(This entry used information from the Lockport Journal and Flicker. I’ll update with the links.)
(photo from morguefile)