Note: Hegarty Mansion is no longer running the Haunted Christmas Tours in 2018.
Driving along the back roads of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, Hegarty Mansion stands alone along a forgotten section of road. Like a setting straight out of a horror movie, the mansion’s Victorian architecture stands in stark contrast to the desolate surroundings in the southeastern corner of the county. The closest population centers, Tyrone, Clearfield, Altoona, and Philipsburg are all 25-35 minutes away, making it unlikely for you to stumble upon the mansion. However, those who make their way to Hegarty Mansion rarely leave disappointed.
Hegarty Mansion was built in the 1860s by Samuel Hegarty, a lumber and coal magnate. It took five years to hand build this 5,600 square foot, three-story home. The home has 27 rooms, 76 windows, and six fireplaces, making it one of the most impressive 19th-century homes you’ll find in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
After the Hegarty family moved out in 1969, the home went through several owners before being left to decay. Current owner Melissa Anders bought the home in 1998. Even though it was beginning to decay, the home still had good bones and Anders felt that it was too beautiful not to save.
The house was in dire shape, however, and money was needed to fix the home both for restoration purposes and to make it livable. At the suggestion of a friend, Anders decided to turn the home into a haunted house, and the Ravenwood Manor Haunted House was born. The haunted house runs weekends in October and looks absolutely terrifying.
Of course, part of what makes it so terrifying is that, according to Anders and many of her friends and guests, the home really is very haunted. The home is so haunted, in fact, that Hegarty Mansion will be running regular paranormal investigations for the public starting in 2016.
Now that Hegarty Mansion looks more like a charming Victorian home and less like a horror movie set, they also host a Victorian Christmas event. However, to stay true to the home’s ghostly happenings, the event is officially known as the Victorian Haunted Christmas. However, far from being scary, actors dressed in period clothes move about the rooms with impressive quietness and movement that might lead you to believe that you really have seen a ghost.
For the holiday season, Hegarty Mansion is beautifully decorated with festive decorations, Christmas trees, garland, and lights. While decorations like electric lights might not be authentic Victorian decorations, Anders does a great job making the home feel as if it is a 19th century home decorated for the holidays. I was invited to check out the mansion and was very impressed with the beauty of the home and its decorations.
The first floor of the room features a self-guided audio tour that guides you through the mansion’s history and the functions of each room. The home is decorated with many period pieces, though in a few places the owner’s personal belongings and electronics can be seen. However, the decorations and furnishings are so well done that these items don’t detract much from the tour.
On the upper two floors, there is no audio narration, but the beautiful decorations continue, along with even more ghosts of Christmas past. The third floor of the home is called the Winter Wonderland, and the decorations here are a bit more whimsical and fun, but still very tastefully done.
Overall, I really enjoyed visiting Hegarty Mansion for their Victorian Haunted Christmas Tours. The beauty of the home, coupled with the tastefully-done decorations and haunted twist made for a great way to spend a bit of time on a weekend in December. I was so impressed with their Christmas tour that I’m hoping I have the chance in the future to visit Hegarty Mansion for their haunted house.
Note: My visit to Hegarty Mansion was hosted by Visit Clearfield County. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
Hours: Vary by event and season.
Cost: Varies by event.
Address: 3263 Crossroads Boulevard