jueves, 26 de enero de 2012

The story of Mudhouse Mansion

Mudhouse Mansion is one of Lancaster's most famous abandoned places. It was built sometime between 1840-1850. In 1919 the property was sold to Henry and Martha Hartman. Henry Hartman died in 1930 and the property was inherited by Lulu Hartman-Mast, his daughter. Her descendents still own the land today.

Mudhouse Mansion is supposedly haunted. The most popular story goes that a government official who lived there after the Civil War still kept slaves. He was very cruel to them, he would lock them in one of the outbuildings every night. One slaves was fed up with the cruel treatment, and one night he dug his way out, entered the house, and murdered the entire family. The family and the slaves who lived there haunt the house today.

It is said that the "Bloody Mary" lives there. It seems that every haunted building, bridge, or cemetery is the place where the legendary Bloody Mary murdered her children. I highly doubt she lived in Mudhouse Mansion, or that she was buried at Lucas Cemetery (Mary Jane's Grave) in Richland County, Ohio :) 
In September 2008 this letter was received from Chad P:

I have some information that you might find interesting. I became interested in the house a few months back due to a friend who drives by it everyday. So I started doing my research, and the best book that I found was my father. My father's name is Emmett Pinkstock, and he grew up in the Lancaster region his whole life. He actually lived in the white house next to the "Mudhouse" house, while he was a young boy (it burnt down in a fire a few years back.). His father and the last owner, Helena Hartman, were good friends. He gave me some really great info on the house and the stories. The house was still in order until the late 1960's when Helena passed away. She had inherited the house through her parents, who were farmers at the time they passed. Dad told me of the beauty that was in the house. There were 22 rooms with 10 bedrooms all upstairs...he told me that all the windows upstairs were all stained glass. The outhouses outside held different things. One building behind the back, he explained, was a generator room where they made their own electricity. Another building was divided into two sections for their carriages and a blacksmith shop. Helena was never married, and was a farmer who raised cows on the property. Dad remembers going up as a young boy and helping with the animals and farm. She was famous for her onion gravy that she fixed (Gross, I know!). She was a very simple woman and was a sweetheart by all means. She wore simple dresses and looked like she didn't have a toilet to pee in. He explained to me that when she died, the house was left the way it was. She was never married and had no kids. The house went over to her nephew who already had a fortune of his own. And also with the name of the house, he referred to it as theHartman-Mast House. Mudhouse was on the other road across the street...it was actually made of mud and rock. So the house was left pretty much to just decay away after she died. That's the reason its in the shape it is. He told me that after she died there were numerous breakins for the furniture that she kept inside. He explained she had silver everything and clocks throughout the house that were encrusted with rubies. And as far as the current owner, Jeanie Mast, she really isn't that mean old lady that everyone takes her to be. She's in her early 80's who lives right down from the house. I've been able to talk to her about the history, that house is AMAZING! But there is no Bloody Mary's or war general with slaves. Just rumors that came about. The house was one of the first brick ones in Lancaster and was one of the finest. So of course, like she said, you're going to have legends and stories about it.


Now we step inside Mudhouse Mansion for a look at the interior. The way I always get in is through an unboarded window on the back porch. The last time I went, we found a board loosely nailed across this window. While we were pulling it off we realized that we could hear an angry buzzing coming from somewhere nearby. It went away, then started up again when we made more noise working on the board. We realized it was coming from inside the porch roof--wasps or bees or something nasty, disturbed in their sleep. Being chickens, we decided to leave and didn't go into the Mansion that night. But the cold weather should solve that particular problem.

The house is built into a hill, so it's hard to tell the first floor from the basement. One one side it's the ground floor, while on the other side it's below ground level. So I'll just call the lowest level the first floor, the middle level the second floor, and the highest level the third floor. 

Depending on how you look at it, Mudhouse is either a two-story or a three-story house. No matter how you look at it, though, it's an impressive place. With all this space and such nice property, you have to wonder why it was ever left to rot like this.

The biggest room on floor one is a sort of living room with the windows boarded over. It's pictured above.

But the weirdest room is this one. If you can't tell, it's a sort of bi-level room, built like bunk beds with a partial floor halfway up. The dropped floor is much lower than in the rest of the house, and is flooded with nasty water, which makes me wonder if it collapsed at some point. But the upper level is still higher than door level. I have no idea what the story is with this.

This is a furnace type thing in the kitchen. One of the coolest things I found in Mudhouse was a book of checks, some of which dated back to the 1930s. I found it in the kitchen, where most of the appliances still remain. I would advise you not to open the refrigerator in any abandoned building, since you're either going to find foul, stagnant water or a chopped-up human body, and either way, it stinks. Abandoned refrigerators always stink.

Click below to continue to the upper floors. 

The best room upstairs is the better living room, which has a sliding door leading into it, and provides a beautiful view of the fields out front. This one has been trashed as badly as the rest of the house, but you can still tell how nice it must once have been.

There are a couple of bedrooms on this floor. With the windows unboarded, they seem much nicer and cleared-out than the first floor does during the day. In a front bedroom on the second floor I came across a few kids' books from the 1960s.

Here's the lovely bathroom, with all the junk piled inside. It's at the end of the hall on the second floor.

But it's the third floor which has the most bedrooms. In fact, the third floor is nothing but bedrooms. Most of them are filled with animal crap and stink pretty bad. In one we even came across an old bed with a really disgusting mattress.

Mudhouse Mansion has at least six bedrooms, maybe eight, depending on what an occupant used them for. On our first exploration it seemed to be in good enough shape that someone could renovate it, if they really wanted to put some effort into the job. But after the fire it's hard to say whether or not the house is salvageable. As long as the owners are stonewalling purchase offers there's not much chance of that happening anyway.

I used the box springs as a ladder and climbed through the opening in the third floor hallway ceiling to visit the roof. It's all angled so much that I didn't want to risk walking on it, but I did snap a terrible picture."

All info and pictures from Source

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