With Halloween approaching, many of us like to take this time to indulge in our darker side. Be it an all night marathon of horror movies, reading scary novels or trying to find your way out of one of the many corn mazes in the area while a masked teenager revs a chainsaw at you. However, there are those of us who find all of that lacking something. With a book or a movie, you’re safe under a warm blanket in your home. The kid with the chainsaw has school in the morning and has to be home by 11.
New York is an old state filled with history and tragedy, two elements that are conducive for hauntings. With the popularity of such reality shows as Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters and many others, ghost hunting has reached an all time high. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, many of these locations have significant historical value and are worth visiting on that merit alone. The list includes only places open and accessible by the public. Trespassing after hours is ill-advised and is most often met with law enforcement being called, so please use caution and common sense when visiting.
ALBANY - Cherry Hill: Built by Col. Philip van Rensselaer for his bride Maria Sander, granddaughter of Peter Schuyler. It was later occupied by Congressman Solomon van Rensselaer during the early 19th century and occupied by that family for nearly two centuries. John Whipple was shot and killed at Cherry Hill Farm. John’s wife, Elsie, and her lover Jesse Strang were tried for the murder. While Elsie was acquitted, Strang was found guilty of the murder and was the last person publicly hanged in Albany. An unidentified ghost has been seen on the lower floors and terrace. 523 1/2 Pearl St., Albany. http://www.historiccherryhill.org/
ALBANY – Education Building: Built between 1908 and 1911, the Education Building was this first major building constructed in the United States solely as a headquarters for the administration of education. Its colonnade is among the largest in the world and the largest in the United States with 36 Corinthian columns facing Washington Avenue. In the basement you will find an elevator that leads to the sub-basement, which then extends down another 4 floors and is nicknamed “The Dungeon”. It is said that during the construction of the sub-basement, a worker mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind his lunch and keys. It is assumed that while laying the cement floor, he fell in and no one saw it happen. His presence can be felt in the old steel elevators. Lights turn back on after being shut off. Books fall off shelves and an apparition has been seen on many occasions. 89 Washington Avenue, Albany.
ALBANY – Sage College: The Graphic Design building, formerly the Fine Arts building, is said to have been part of the Albany Home for Children, an orphanage. The strange noises often heard are attributed to the children who died in a fire that was set by the caretaker, whose spirit also allegedly haunts the premises. 140 New Scotland Ave., Albany.
ALBANY – The Capitol Building: Completed in 1889 at the cost of $25 million, it was the most expensive government building of its time. The best-known ghost is alleged to be that of Samuel Abbott, a night watchman who died during a severe fire in 1911, a fire that also destroyed half a million books while sparing sacred Iroquois artifacts. A ghost haunting the Assembly chamber, supposedly producing cold spots and occasional flickering lights, is believed to be William Morris Hunt, angry over his work being concealed. Another one is said to be a local fruit vendor, despondent over his business, who committed suicide in 1890 by jumping off the staircase to the Senate chamber on the fourth floor. Washington Ave. and State St., Albany
ALBANY – The College of Saint Rose: Founded in 1920 by the Sister of Saint Joseph of Carondelet, the college is divided into 4 schools consisting of Arts and Humanities, Mathematics, Business and Education. The founders selected the name of Saint Rose to honor the first canonized saint in the Americas. Starting out as an all women school, Saint Rose went fully co-educational in 1969. There are 4 houses on campus that are reportedly haunted. Carey Hall, located on Madison Ave., plays home to the spirits of a mother who lost a child, a soldier who once lived there as a child and a gardener who still lingers. Charter Hall, also on Madison Ave. contains the spectre of a musician who committed suicide in Chicago. Once a convent, Morris Hall, located on Morris St., the apparition of a priest has been spotted. Lights go on and off, objects moving on their own. The spirit of a 7-year-old girl who died in a fire still resides at Quillinan Hall on Madison Ave. 432 Western Ave., Albany.
ALBANY – University at Albany: The university began in 1844 as the New York State Normal School and became the SUNY we know today when it moved to its current location in 1909. Situated on what is called “Indian Quad”, Mohican Hall boasts a youthful spirit that wanders the halls. Pierce Hall, located on Alumni Quad, is home to a female spirit also seen roaming the halls. 1400 Washington Ave., Albany.
ALBANY – Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary: Formerly a private home built in the 1940s, the building was renovated to a hair salon after being used as a drug den until the early 1980s. Currently, a coffee-house owned by Frank Figliomeni does business in this location offering cups of hot java, fresh-baked scones and even free wi-fi for patrons. Also lurking in the building is the spectre of a dog who has been heard and seen on numerous occasions. The owner has personally witnessed the apparition of a man wearing clothing from the 1920s. The figure of a woman has been spotted in a mirror. Unexplained noises have been reported as well as the feeling of someone breathing down the back of one’s neck. 217 Wolf Rd., Albany.
AMSTERDAM – Green Hill Cemetery: Established in 1858 and encompassing over 14,860 individual internments. Notable residents include the final resting place of Benedict Arnold, member of the House of Representatives, not the one who conspired to hand West Point over to the British. Glowing orbs have shown up in pictures. Heavy fog and mysterious vapors have been witnessed on many occasions. Leaves rustling as though someone were walking through the fallen foliage. Intense, unpleasant smells lasting only an instant have also been reported. Church St., Amsterdam.
AMSTERDAM – Widow Susan Road: Susan Thomas was born in 1821. She and her husband resided in a house at the bottom of the road on the east side, which is now Chapman Rd. After her husband’s death in 1848, Susan and a daughter moved to Michigan and lived for many years until Susan passed away 1892. Susan was buried in Green Hill Cemetery next to her daughter Susanna, not in Widow Susan Cemetery as most people erroneously believe. Visitors to Widow Susan Cemetery have reported seeing the apparition of a lady in white, thought to be searching for a lost love or child. Local legend says that if you drive to the top of the hill outside of the cemetery and turn off your headlights, chant “Widow Susan” three times then turn on your headlights as you turn into the cemetery, strange things will occur. Reports of cars not starting, something trying to open your car doors from outside the vehicle and words being written in the dust on the vehicle are among the claims. Between Church St. and Cranes Hollow Rd., Amsterdam.
BARKERSVILLE – The Homestead Asylum: Once owned by the Carpenter family, the property was deeded to Saratoga County and in 1913 a tuberculosis clinic was established on the site. Stories persist that the doctor in charge of the asylum was a cruel man and delighted in torturing the residents. The patients turned against the doctor and murdered him. The building caught fire and burned to the ground shortly after. The site was featured in the 2008 film The Expedition. Reports of apparitions and strange noises have been reported by a variety of people. A fence currently surrounds the building and the caretaker living next door will call police if you venture beyond the boundaries. Route 16, Barkersville.
BROADALBIN – Hotel Broadalbin: The original brick building was erected in 1854 and was used as a glove shop by Northrup & Richards. In 1891 the wooden frame was added and was operated as the Kennyetto Hotel. In 1898, Dr. Finch opened a hospital and secured the services of a skilled Chicago surgeon Dr. Johnson. The hospital served as a drying out place for alcoholics and the surgeries that Dr. Johnson performed made the local undertaker a wealthy man. In June of 1904 the building was again opened as the Kennyetto Inn, the town’s newest hotel. Currently operated as a pub and eatery and undergoing renovation, which has been known to stir up spirits. Reports of apparitions of men in old military uniforms roaming the halls. Guests have reported ghostly visitors sitting on their bed and playing with their feet. 59 West Main St., Broadalbin.
COBLESKILL – The Bull’s Head Inn: Built in 1802 as a private residence, The Bull’s Head Inn is the oldest building in Cobleskill’s Historic District. Originally the home of Sarah Wells and her husband William Bull, Sarah was the first white woman to settle in Goshen Township. Spirit activity is attributed to “Mrs. Stacy” who is said to have lived in the house from 1920 to the late 60s. Doors slamming on their own, objects moving and apparitions have all been reported by staff and visitors. 105 Park Pl., Cobleskill.
COHOES – Cohoes Music Hall: First opened in 1874, the building originally housed a post office and three large stores. Eight offices, storage space and the ticket office occupied the second floor and the theater itself on third floor. Buffalo Bill Cody, John Phillip Sousa, Col. Tom Thumb and Jimmy Durante are among the notable performers to grace its stage. A 1974 renovation returned the theater to its original 19th century magnificence. Several spirits are said to reside here. An angry woman, possibly vaudeville star Eva Tanguay, in 1930s clothing occupies the balcony and has been seen reflected in mirrors. A male spirit seen both on the stage and in the wings is thought to be that of a stage manager who was crushed by a falling sandbag. 58 Remsen St., Cohoes.
COHOES – Cohoes Falls: Part of the Mohawk River, the falls were originally called Ga-Ha-Oose meaning “the place of the falling canoe” by the indigenous Mohawk tribe who first discovered the site. 1000 feet wide and 90 feet high, the falls are certainly a site to behold, especially in the spring when the water flow is at its peak. Reportedly haunted by the spirit of a Native American girl seen sitting in a canoe and smiling as she goes over the falls. Between Cohoes and Waterford.
ELLENBURG – NACS Schools: This town near the Canadian border was first settled in 1800. From 1962 to 1965 it was the home of 12 Atlas ICBM missile silos. Weird apparitions of light and ghostly figures have been reported in the basement of the Elementary School. Most of the sightings have occurred around the old and abandoned bomb shelter (which hasn’t been used since the late 70′s). Several reports of weird noises coming from rooms that are empty in other parts of the school. The High School is haunted by a deceased janitor that drowned in the school’s pool. He was doing routine maintenance on the pool when he slipped on the side of the pool, hitting his head on the side and drowned. He has been seen working on the now fully functional pool as well as roaming in the locker rooms.The gym which seconds as a auditorium has been reported to be haunted. A death of a well-known basketball player was hit very hard by the school’s faculty, staff and students. Sightings of the passed athlete have been reported in the gym as well as on the outside courts, practicing for the next big game. The gym was also the site of the death of an athlete (wrestling) that got his neck broken during a match. He has been seen roaming the halls as well as running around the gym practicing. 5586 Route 11, Ellenburg.
FORT COVINGTON – Dupree House: Also known as Dunwich Manor, this Victorian mansion was once owned by occult author Gerina Dunwich but the ghosts have lived there long before her. In the early part of the 20th century, it was believed that a mentally disturbed woman was locked up in one of the small attic rooms until her slow and solitary death. Several coats of paint were needed to cover the bloody handprints she left behind on the walls and ceiling. Strange thumps have also been heard in the attic at night. Glowing lights have been seen moving through the cellar, and a ghostly presence has been felt by numerous people in the upstairs bedrooms. Strange, disembodied moaning sounds have been heard coming from the second floor of the carriage house, thought to be a stop for runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad seeking their freedom into Canada.
FORT EDWARD – The Anvil Inn: Originally a blacksmith shop built in the 1840s by Alexander Burke, the building was restored and became a restaurant in 1975. Though lunch and dinner is served to happy customers, there is one resident spirit that seems rather annoyed by all the comings and goings. Bottles crash to the floor, pushed by unseen hands. Lights turn off seemingly on their own. 67 Broadway, Fort Edward.
FORT EDWARD – Fort Hudson Nursing Home: Not far from The Anvil Inn (see above), the Fort Hudson Nursing Home also has its share of spirits. A man dressed all in black has been seen roaming the basement halls by both staff and residents. A woman in a white night-gown peers through a window on the second floor of D wing while the spectre of another unknown man has been spotted in the hallways of the same area. 319 Broadway, Fort Hudson.
FULTONVILLE – Starin Estate: The main house, done in the Victorian style, was completed in 1877. John Starin was a U.S. Representative for New York from 1887 to 1891. In addition to operating a drug and medicine business, he served as Postmaster for Fultonville, founded the Starin City River and Harbor Transportation Company and served as president of Fultonville National Bank. Having a fondness for animals, Starin kept a menagerie on the grounds consisting of buffalo, horses, llamas, cows, pig, sheep and many other species. There have been numerous reports of strange noises and movement on the grounds as well as the guest/servant quarters. Sightings of shadow people have also been documented. Route 5, Fultonville.
GLEN FALLS - Glen Falls Hospital: The hospital was incorporated in 1897 and established at the residence of Solomon A. Parks at 48 Park Street. It came to be known as Parks Hospital. The hospital had two wards (one male, one female) consisting of 15 beds total initially. Patient treatment began in 1900. Glens Falls Hospital School of Nursing was established a few years later, although it closed in the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression. The hospital’s name was officially changed to Glens Falls Hospital in 1909. Apparitions of former patients have been seen wandering the halls in the older parts of the hospital. 100 Park St., Glen Falls
JOHNSTOWN - Knox Mansion: Built in 1898 by gelatine magnate and local business woman Rose Knox. The Victorian neo-classical mansion boasts 42 rooms spread over 3 floors. Currently operating as a museum/bed and breakfast, the home is converted into a haunted house every Halloween. But not all the scares in this stately manor are crafted by mortal hands. Lights flicker, objects move, voices and footsteps are heard. Visitors report cold spots and the sheets being pulled off of them while in bed. The ghost of a former gardener has been seen numerous times. 104 West 2nd Ave., Johnstown.
LAKE GEORGE- Fort William Henry Museum: Located at the southern end of Lake George, the original fort’s construction was ordered by Sir Wlliam Johnson in 1755 during the French and Indian War. The fort was destroyed during a French seige in 1757, an event which is the focus of the novel The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. While other forts built nearby in later years, the site of Fort William Henry lay abandoned, and formed part of the landscape for tourism in the 19th century. In the 1950s interest in the history of the site revived, and a replica of the fort was constructed, which now serves as a living museum and a popular tourist attraction. A ghost tour is offered every Friday and Saturday night starting at 7:30pm through October 27 and was featured in an episode of the television series Ghost Hunters. The dungeon area seems to be the most active with unexplained footsteps and disembodied voices being the phenomena often reported. Canada St., Lake George.
LOUDONVLLE – Loudon Cottage: This house was once the home of Clara Harris, daughter of US Senator Ira Harris. Clara, along with her fiancé Major Henry Rathbone, had the honor (or one could say, the horror) of sitting with President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theater. During a production of Our American Cousin, actor John Wilkes Booth slipped in to President Lincoln’s private box and put a bullet in his head. Booth then stabbed Rathbone before leaping to the stage and making his escape. Henry Rathbone’s blood covered Harris’ white satin dress. She stored it in the closet, unable to part with it, until one day she saw a ghostly likeness of the President staring at the closet doors from a rocking chair. The ghosts of both Clara Harris and Abraham Lincoln have been seen in the house. 4 Cherry Tree Lane, Loudonville.
MENANDS – Albany Rural Cemetery: Incorporated in 1841 and dedicated in1844, Albany Rural Cemetery is a blend of generations of citizens originally interred in early burying grounds and a modern active burying ground. In 2002, due to the development of Sage Colleges, the burial ground for the Albany Poor House was moved to this same section of Albany Rural. The burial ground for the Albany Poor House may also have included interments from the Albany Orphanage, Albany Jail, unclaimed deceased from Albany Hospital and unclaimed bodies recovered from the city and Hudson River. Many people have witnessed the apparitions of a young couple in pajamas floating amongst the gravestones. Others have seen glowing orbs, black figures and unexplained darkmasses. Cemetery Ave., Menands.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Adelphi Hotel: Built in 1877, the hotel had been considered a Saratoga Springs jewel from the moment it opened. Designed as an Italian villa with a distinctive second-floor piazza fronting the hotel. It was scheduled to be demolished before Sheila Parkert, the current owner, bought the hotel with her husband in 1979 and restored it room by room. Reportedly haunted by a woman in a blue Victorian dress who likes to play with the lights. Footsteps are heard, doors open and shut on their own. 365 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Canfield Casino: The casino is located on 17 acres along with Congress Park. The site of the former Congress Spring Bottling Plant and the former Congress Hall, a large resort hotel, which together brought Saratoga Springs international fame as a health spa and gambling destination. The casino was featured in season 6 of the popular cable television show Ghost Hunters. The ghost of a woman wearing Victorian clothing has been seen. Unexplained noises and objects being moved have been reported. Ghost tours are available. Congress Park, Saratoga Springs.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Hattie’s and Caffe Lena: Hattie’s is a historical restaurant that has been in operation since 1938, and Caffè Lena, opened since 1960, is the oldest continuously running coffee-house in the United States. The two Phila Street neighbors have more than just longevity in common – they may be haunted by their founders. There are stories of Hattie Grey’s experimentations with voodoo, and perhaps solidifying these claims, contractors working in the restaurant’s basement found the bones of large animals strung together by yarn in a typical voodoo ritual fashion. Also, after Hattie’s death, there were reports by the staff that the restaurant began to “act up,” so to speak, as if Hattie had some sort of magic over her beloved place. With Caffè Lena, people have reported orbs and unusual mists in photographs they’ve taken at the spot where Lena Spencer’s body was found. (In 1989, she tragically fell down the Caffé’s stairs, leaving a horrible end to such a wonderful legacy). Toward the end of Lena’s life, people believe, from her own accounts, that she was accompanied by some kind of spiritual presence who looked out for her and the Caffè. Hattie’s, 3057 Route 50. Caffe Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs
SCHENECTADY – Stockade/Front Street Park: Containing a wide variety of Dutch and English buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, the Stockade District has the highest concentration of historic period homes in the country with over 40 homes over 200 years old. Thought to have been built on Indian burial ground, people have reported feeling a strange energy in the area. Phantoms have been spotted sitting on park benches. Ghost tours are offered every Friday night during October. Between Erie Blvd. and Church St., Schenectady.
SCHENECTADY – Vale Cemetery: opened on 21 October 1857 when the Rev. Julius Seely dedicated what was then termed “the Vale”. It has tripled its size since opening and today it holds the remains of some of the most notable persons in Upstate New York. Statues have the reputation of bleeding from their eyes and the tops of their heads. Sometimes, the statues are known to “cry out” in the middle of the night. Other sightings connected to the cemetery include apparitions that appear in both white and black forms, which have a habit of wandering about the graves and perching on the branches of trees. The old church found in the vicinity is also a location where apparitions have been known to appear. In the windows, strange lights have been detected, and if you’re lucky, you may catch the sound of strange singing that escapes out of the front doors. 907 State St., Schenectady.
STILLWATER – Saratoga Battlefield: This site was the location of two battles during the American War of Independence in 1777. The Battle of Freeman’s Farm on September 19 when British general John Burgoyne moved some of his troops in an attempt to flank the entrenched American position on Bemis Heights. Benedict Arnold, anticipating the maneuver, placed significant forces in his way. While Burgoyne succeeded in gaining control of Freeman’s Farm, it came at the cost of significant casualties. The Battle of Bemen Heights on October 7, Burgoyne lost nearly 400 men in the first hour alone eventually leading to the surrender of British forces. The battlefield and the site of Burgoyne’s surrender have been preserved, and are now administered by the National Park Service as the Saratoga National Historical Park. The park preserves a number of the buildings in the area, and contains a variety of monuments. The area is always full of visitors and many claim to feel the sadness of the land as soon as they set foot onto it. Many visitors have also reported hearing gun shots and drumming off in the distance, especially on the Wilkinson Trail. 648 Route 32, Stillwater.
TROY – Forest Park/Pinewood Cemetery: Forest Park Cemetery, also known as Forest Hills Cemetery, Pinewoods Avenue, west of Eagle Mills. The Forest Park Cemetery was organized by a group of Troy businessmen in 1897 who purchased about 200 acres of land from the John Sherry Estate and hired Garnet D. Baltimore, the first African-American to graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to design the cemetery. A dozen years later the cemetery encountered financial difficulties. Most of the undeveloped land was sold the Country Club of Troy for a golf course. About 1918, a group of out-of-town investors attempted to operate the cemetery under the name Forest Hills Cemetery. This venture also failed. Oversight of the cemetery was thereafter largely accomplished through the voluntary efforts of a man named William Christen. Orbs appearing in photos. Voices are heard. Apparitions of a man on a horse have been witnessed. A mausoleum emits a ghostly green glow at night. PinewoodsAve., and Troy Country Club Dr., Troy.
Have you had any parnormal experiences in the 518? Did we miss listing your favorite haunts? Please feel free to tell your story in the comments section below!