Van Horn Mansion

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Van Horn Mansion, built by Judge James Van Horn in 1823, has 16 rooms and five bathrooms–and perhaps a few ghosts, to boot. It is preserved by the Newfane Historical Society, which offers Victorian teas and mansion tours. The most well-known ghost may be Malinda, wife of James Van Horn Jr. She was buried in the rose garden, and has spooked drivers passing by–some have skidded to barely miss a girl who ran out of the mansion into the road and simply disappeared.

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Geographic Information

2165 NY-78
Burt, NY
United States

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43.31189225289535, -78.71434879301887
Niagara County, New York
Nearest Towns:
Newfane, NY (1.8 mi.)
Olcott, NY (1.8 mi.)
Wilson, NY (5.6 mi.)
Barker, NY (8.1 mi.)
Lockport, NY (9.8 mi.)
Gasport, NY (10.4 mi.)
Ransomville, NY (11.1 mi.)
South Lockport, NY (11.2 mi.)
Middleport, NY (13.8 mi.)
Sanborn, NY (14.8 mi.)

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Comments (5)

  1. I have done a comprehensive investigation into this home and have verifiable proof that the stories you hear at the mansion of a mysterious “Melinda” are just that stories. James Van Horn never married a woman named Melinda but indeed married a woman who did die in that home. What the people at the mansion do tell you is a cute fairytale but the truth is much scarier. I always believed in finding the truth before you investigate and as Fox Mulder has always said the Truth Is Out There. I can tell you that I have had experiences in that mansion, of ghostly faces, full body apparitions and even EVP’s. The one thing I can tell you from historical records is that the woman who’s tombstone that was found was inscribed with the name “Melinda”. which is what the historical society has used in their story telling. The truth of the matter is that the name Melinda is actually a derogatory term used for a woman in that era. So the woman he married is not Melinda she does have a real name but when people do use the name be careful because you are insulting her. I do not know what it is that she did to earn that name and to be left on the property but she quite possibly still walking around there. One last thing the paranormal groups who claim to have knowledge of the after life really only know as much as you. Do the research and you will not only find the truth but you will also see that all these groups try to be like T.A.P.S. and come off as professionals when in reality its a show. like they have said before, don’t believe everything you read, see, or hear, but instead keep an open mind and rationalize what you do see, hear and read. One last thing what you may not experience the first time you go to a location try several trips to the same location, you will find not all activity will happen every time you are there. If you do get a lot of activity then you have better odds of trying to decipher what is happening around you. Enjoy the mansion for it is an extraordinary building and there are many spirits walking around.

  2. I am a decedent of the Van Horns and our family tree indicates that in 1836, James married the young and beautiful Malinda Niles. In less than a year she would die at home, under strange and unknown circumstances. The family hid the scandal carefully, burying her in their estate graveyard on January 13, 1837, only ten days after her 21st birthday. Malinda has become a legendary figure within the mansion walls, and remains arguably one of the most well-known of the Van Horns (See ‘Ghost Tales’ to learn more).

  3. While taking a Halloween tour I took a photo of a mirror in the attic which was sitting on the floor leaning upright against a wall. When I got home to look at my photos, you could clearly see the image an elderly gentleman in judicial robes. It was apparently Judge Van Horn. I am absolutely convinced he has not left his home.

  4. I’ve been told that, mostly as a stunt, the Niagara County Sherriff’s Dept brought in a cadaver dog to look for Malinda’s buried body. They found a skeleton of that era , and figured it was Malinda. Supposedly, she now has a gravestone, and no one has seen her since.
    This old brick mansion is open on weekends for tours, and isn’t too far from me. I’ll have to go check this out.

  5. I went there for a ghost tour last Halloween and it did not disappoint I was there earlier in the day to get tickets but place was closed at that time 10am I went to the door to knock on it and I heard a little girl laff out loud from in side and no one was there !! So I got creeped out and left I went back that night and told the staff the story that said that happens to people a lot ! I did the tour it was great and got some pics with floating faces in most in them from in side the house going back again soon go check it out you won’t be disappointed!!

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.