Back for the second year, Michigan City’s Barker Mansion is hosting Blackout Tours during the month of October. The tours offer a different look at the mansion, one viewed in near darkness. During the event, tea lights and glow stick necklaces, worn by guests, are the only sources of illumination. Guests are led through the mansion by staff who tell stories of unusual and eerie historic happenings, taking place both at the mansion and throughout Northwest Indiana.

“The purpose of the Blackout Tours are not to scare or frighten anyone,” said Director Jessica Rosier. “There will not be zombies or ghosts popping out, and there will be no paranormal equipment. These tours are, however, are a chance to view history from a much different angle.”

The tours were conceived by Heritage Interpreter TJ Kalin last year. The idea came to him as he realized that many of the mansion’s tour guests wanted to know what happens behind the scenes, when all the lights are off.

“A lot of people ask if the mansion is haunted,” Kalin said. “We don’t talk about that on normal tours, since our primary purpose is to interpret the Barker legacy. People are still curious, though, so that’s why we created the Blackout Tours.”

Advance reservations are required for the tours, which are estimated to sell out in advance. Tours will be offered on Friday, Saturday, Oct. 13, 20, 27, 30 and 31. Two time slots are available most nights: an 8 p.m. tour is geared toward families, and a 10 p.m. tour is for adults only. Tickets cost $15 per adult and $10 per youth and are available on Eventbrite or at

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