A haunting place to visit
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent October 17, 2012 5:12PM
Clement Khan looks over one of the many spooky decorations he and his wife, Lynda, have placed in and around Wolf Mansion in Valparaiso, Ind. Tours of the 1875 mansion are available. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
IF YOU GO
† Halloween tours are planned at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 19-21 and 26-28 at Wolf Mansion, 453 W. County Road 700N. Tours also will be at 5 and 7 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31. Cost is $15 per person.
† The mansion will host a “Halloween Midnight Masquerade” from 9 p.m. Oct. 31 to 12:30 a.m., including refreshments and a costume contest. Reservations and advance payment of $50 are required.
† For more information, go to www.wolfmansion.net or call 364-8102.
Updated: November 19, 2012 3:06PM
Clement and Lynda Khan are hoping the ghosts make a visit to Wolf Mansion.
The couple purchased the mansion, at 453 W. County Road 700N in 2003, and have done substantial work to it since, including repairing 50 broken windows and other restorative work.
Josephus Wolf built the mansion in 1875.
The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, and the Khans opened it up for Christmas tours last November and December. Now, they’ve decorated the 7,800-square-foot, 18-room Italianate structure for Halloween, and are hoping some of its former spirits return for a bit of haunting during tours this month.
Red-eyed bats hang in the doorways, and several animated creatures dot rooms on the first floor, including a butler in the dining room. He’s holding a candelabra and has a raven on his shoulder.
A figurine of a woman, dubbed Susan Young, for Wolf’s wife, stands, pale and creepy, in the room where she died.
Decorations for the tours also will include candles and black paper over the windows.
Also on display is a tombstone for Wolf’s mother, Lydia Wolf, who died in 1842. The cemetery where the tombstone sat has been vandalized, the Khans said, and the tombstone was rescued, but it can’t be returned because no one is sure exactly where Lydia Wolf is buried.
“Basically, everybody says the house is haunted,” Lynda Khan said. “We said we invited all the ghosts back because they’ve left.”
Besides its first Halloween tours, the house also recently hosted its first school group, 21 eighth-graders from Nativity of Our Savior in Portage.
The students were there Oct. 11 for a history lesson and to check out the Civil War artifacts on display, which are from Lynda Khan’s family.
Teacher Blanca Maya said she and her husband, Francisco, looked at the house to purchase it in 1994, but decided against it because it was so large and needed extensive work. She hadn’t been back since.
“I think this is fantastic,” she said as Clement Khan gave the students a brief history of the Wolf family and their homestead.