Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lyndhurst Mansion Tarrytown, New York

If you think Sleepy Hollow is all Headless Horseman and ghost stories, you haven't been into the Dark Shadows. Hidden away in the nearby town of Tarrytown, which Sleepy Hollow used to be part of, lies an imposing Gothic structure. Tales of vampires, witches, werewolves, and man made monsters surround the place. Located only one mile south of the Tappan Zee bridge, Lyndhurst is a site to behold...if you dare!

Walking the paved path to the modern castle our nerves were a bit sensitive. Our tiny flashlights and the glare of the moon lit our dim pathway. Massive trees obstructed what little light we had. Mysterious scarecrows in the surrounding field stared at us from a distance. The Autumn chill had our hairs on end as we approached the monstrous structure. Colored lights lit up the facade while casting a menacing shadow. From the outside we could hear the minor keys of an organ being played, our fears were beginning to be amplified even more. We cautiously approached the colossal wooden doors. As we neared the entry we were startled to be greeted by a gentlewoman, who was eager to show us around.

Stepping through the doors with our anxieties heightened even more, we stare in amazement at the Gothic architecture. Diminutive arched windows allowing only glimmers of light. Narrow hallways line the mansion, which are offset by high vaulted cathedral style ceilings.

Originally designed in 1838. The home was constructed of limestone from the nearby quarries in Sing-Sing. It's growth continued for over a century by the several families who resided there. These included a former "Big Apple" mayor, a shrewd businessman, and a railroad tycoon. They all left their unique touch on the home. Including varying architectural styles, as well as various interior, and furnishing changes.

Besides some of it's successful owners, the home is known more for the creatures who have lurked around the property. In 1970, after being released from a vault in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, a vampire was seen lingering around the Lyndhurst property.

 The following year several witnesses spotted a witch prowling around the grounds. it seems that as quickly as they were seen, was as quickly as they vanished. Than in 1979 things got very strange at Lyndhurst. Not only did the witch and the vampire make a return visit, but a werewolf, a mummy, and a Frankenstein monster were all detected along the property.

The locals weren't too alarmed it was just business as usual at Lyndhurst. When the mansion isn't offering day and nighttime tours it's also a quite popular filming location. 'House of Dark Shadows" and its sequel "Night of Dark Shadows", both used interior and exterior locations for filming the cult movies based on the popular soap opera.

The family friendly telefilm, "The Halloween that Almost Wasn't" was filmed almost entirely on location at the Gothic mansion. Disney routinely played the film until the late 19990's. Now the film is quite difficult to locate, which is a shame. The final scene is totally groovy! Lucky for you I found it on YouTube.

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