BRADFORD, Pa. – You must admit, there is something foreboding about an old Victorian mansion. In America, it has become the standard for the quintessential haunted house. Simply say the words “haunted house” and most Americans will conjure up an image of a mansard roof, gabled porches, and spiked wrought-iron gates. But have you ever wondered how Victorian mansions, which once were the happy family homes of many Americans, became associated with stories of ghosts and Halloween?
On October 31, Matthew Hileman, director of the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center, and adjunct instructor of art history at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will explore the history of American Victorian architecture and how it became the model home for ghostly residents. “Haunted Mansions: How the Victorian Home Became America’s Favorite Haunt” is a free illustrated lecture presented in partnership with Pitt-Bradford’s Division of Communication and the Arts. The presentation will look at the customs of our 19th-century forebears and how their superstitious and sometimes macabre beliefs would forever tie Victorian architecture to our image of the “spooky old house.” The lecture will also look at how Hollywood and popular culture in the 20th century would put the final nail in the coffin of the Victorian home.
The lecture will take place in the Bromeley Family Theater. The public is invited to attend. Admission is free. Doors will open at 11:30 and the presentation will begin at noon. Historical photographs of seances and ghost photography will be included, along with sound effects and film clips. This presentation may not be for you if you are easily frightened or disturbed by loud noises and images of a supernatural nature.
For more information, contact the Marilyn Horne Museum at email@example.com or call 814-362- 7990.