Darlene Wendels / The Collegian
Wolfe Manor, a “haunted” asylum in Clovis viewed by many as a local landmark, is no more.
The house was recently demolished due to unsafe conditions highlighted by 22 building code violations within the house as well as around the property itself.
“It’s been identified as a dangerous building” said Clovis assistant city manager John Holt.
“We have attempted to work with the property owner for at least the past five years to clean up the property, either improve it or have it demolished, and we have not had luck in doing that,” he said.
“So, at this point in time, this is moving forward to have it demolished.”
The demolition costs around $30,000 and is still currently ongoing as asbestos had to be removed along with general clean up.
Originally a private residence called the Andrews Estate, after its owner Anthony Andrews, during the 1920s, the mansion became Hazelwood Sanitarium in 1935 and then the Clovis Avenue Sanitarium in 1942 before closing down.
In the late ‘90s, local entrepreneur Todd Wolfe took over the mansion and converted it into a haunted house attraction known as “Scream If You Can,” providing tours during the Halloween season.
The decision to have the house demolished was a tough one for Wolfe.
“I’m very frustrated. I don’t understand,” he said. “It has been a struggle and a battle with the city since 1997.
“It’s a historical home. It’s one of the oldest homes in Clovis, and why just tear it down when there’s maybe going to be other viable options?”
The mansion had been examined by numerous paranormal investigators from around the country who captured both video and photographic evidence – as well as large-scale electronic voice phenomenon recordings (EVP) – of what they say is paranormal activity.
The manor was featured on paranormal cable television shows “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures.”
In addition, a weekly online webcast known as “The Haunted Wolfe Manor Live” was broadcast directly from the mansion in 2008 and 2009.
Keith Nickerson, a senior from Clovis majoring in child welfare counseling, recalled experiencing the thrills of the manor’s experience firsthand.
“I remember walking in the hallways of the place while on a tour and hearing strange echoes as well as low-pitched chanting,” he said. “It was definitely something you had to be present for, and it’s really a shame that my children won’t be able to see it.”
Bailey Samuels, a transfer student from Mission Viejo majoring in liberal studies, wishes the demolition occurred later rather than sooner.
“I had friends that always mentioned it as an attraction or an option for Halloween,” she said. “Since it was closed, I had to go to Hobbs Grove this year.