House of Blue Lights | Indianapolis, Indiana.
Since torn down, the “House of Blue Lights” was originally built in the early 1900s by Skiles Edward Test, a wealthy Indianapolis real estate tycoon. At this time, he owned much of the land that now makes up northeast Indianapolis. In addition to being extremely wealthy, he was also known for being a bit of an eccentric. As such, a number of rumors concerning him floated around. While many were undoubtedly false, he did do some rather odd things. One year, in the late 1940s, Test hung some blue Christmas lights all along the house and in the surrounding trees. He enjoyed them so much he decided to leave them up permanently and turned them on each night for decades. Thus the house’s infamous nickname.
Test also had a three story guest cottage with an elevator and a two story bath house, complete with a diving board attached to the top level of the building. The diving board hung over an olympic size solar heated swimming pool. He was a noted animal lover and owned dozens of cats. Rumor has it that he once owned 150 cats at a time.
There was also a series of tunnels running from the house to various locations on the property. One such tunnel led to the cellar of his mansion. Another tunnel connected the mansion’s cellar to the detatched garage and care taker’s house about 200 yards away.
Some of the legends of the house included his wife being buried in a glass coffin and interred beneath the swimming pool. The legend goes that when his wife died, he placed her in the glass coffin and kept her in his living room, surrounded by, yes, blue Christmas lights. After a period of time, he buried her in the back yard and installed the pool over her grave. This particular legend, however, proved to be false.
One other legend is that a curse supposedly hung over the property. If you trespassed, Test’s spirit would haunt you until the day you died. Another legend describes the frequent appearance of blue Christmas lights in the windows of the mansion, even long after it has been abandoned.
Posted on Tuesday, 8 February 2011