John Wolf

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John Wolf

The mansion was built in the prime of the roaring 20’s in a time where everyone’s philosophy was “eat, drink and be merry,” and it was quite beautiful when it was first built. (Photo by: Grace Wood)

The mansion was built in the prime of the roaring 20’s in a time where everyone’s philosophy was “eat, drink and be merry,” and it was quite beautiful when it was first built. (Photo by: Grace Wood)

The mansion was built in the prime of the roaring 20’s in a time where everyone’s philosophy was “eat, drink and be merry,” and it was quite beautiful when it was first built. (Photo by: Grace Wood)

The mansion was built in the prime of the roaring 20’s in a time where everyone’s philosophy was “eat, drink and be merry,” and it was quite beautiful when it was first built. (Photo by: Grace Wood)

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My car drove begrudgingly up the winding gravel road, leading up to my next photography assignment: an old mansion once owned by John Wolf, a prominent businessman in our town. For the past few months, I have been capturing historical landmarks that have shaped this town to the small but grand community it is now. The mansion was built in the prime of the roaring 20’s in a time where everyone’s philosophy was “eat, drink and be merry,” and it was quite beautiful when it was first built. His neighbors became green with envy every time they passed the estate. John Wolf gave the mansion to his granddaughter, Eleanor, after he died, and she has kept it to herself ever since. The town has offered to restore it as the beautiful house it once was and open it up to the public, but Eleanor refused. She did, however, allow me to take photos of her grandfather’s estate. 

My friend, Julia, accompanied me on this journey to capture photos of the once-grand John Wolf Estate. We were crawling with excitement due to the fact that Eleanor rarely let people drive up to the mansion. We parked my car in front of the mansion and went to the front door where Eleanor greeted us. She had gotten there earlier from her home not too far from her grandfather’s mansion; Eleanor — despite being her late 60’s — had an unnatural beauty to her, and it was very apparent that she was apt at keeping up her appearance. Before we could go in, she told us a few house rules and said we could stay at the house for a few hours while she went out shopping. We thanked her and she left, leaving us alone with her grandfather’s long-abandoned mansion.

Julia and I began searching through the house for the perfect shot to represent our town’s history. In the house, there was a furniture and old antiques, some which could be thrown away, and others were absolutely wonderful. Julia found a record player still in working condition and played a record by a long-forgotten Jazz artist. As we continued touring the house, Julia started to insist there was a strange muffled voice coming from the record player. I reassured her that it was probably just scratches made on the record causing it to make strange noises. But more strange things began to unfold in the house. 

Julia had gone into the other rooms upstairs while I went into master bedroom located at the end of the hallway of the upstairs. The room had a giant king size bed, a couple of pieces of furniture covered up with white sheets, and some old photo hanging on the wallpapered walls. I was walking toward the bed when I heard footsteps come up behind, which I thought belonged to Julia at first, but when I turned around, no one was there. In addition, some of the items in the room were moving around, such as the picture frames turning crooked and the furniture moving over. It became even more apparent that something strange was going on when I kept getting this strange orb of light in some of my photos. As a result, I tried changing the settings on my camera but nothing seemed to get rid of it. I began calling for Julia to show her the strange photos at the exact moment when I heard a high pitched scream that brought chills down my back. I rushed down the hallway to find my friend unconscious on the floor. Afraid of what might happen next I dragged my friend out of the house to the car and drove my car as far away from the mansion as possible.

After that strange day, I never really found out what my friend saw that made her faint. It was like she had amnesia when she woke up. Julia had no idea why she fell unconscious or even why she was at the house in the first place. Every once in a while I can’t help but wonder if there possibly might have been another soul lurking in the shadows of the house, possibly the long-dead soul of John Wolf.