ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With Halloween only a few days away, you might be wanting a scare. Instead of watching a scary movie, why not opt for a close-to-home, real-life ghost experience?
From cemeteries to hotels to government buildings, scary tales and hauntings are all around the Capital Region. Many places also offer ghost tours so you can experience these haunts firsthand.
These are some of the thought-to-be haunted places around the Capital Region.
New York State Capitol, Albany
Which two U.S. Presidents visited the Capitol after they died? What happened to the “lost” Capitol murals and their artist? Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol curse? Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol Fire of 1911 still make his rounds? Although the Capitol Hauntings Tours are sold out for this year, you may be able to find out the answers to these questions in 2024.
Albany Rural Cemetery, Albany
As with many graveyards, the Albany Rural Cemetery is rumored to be haunted. Founded in 1841, some spirits who have been spotted roaming the grounds include a girl in a prom gown, a mad horse, a hitchhiker, as well as Anna T. Osterhoudt and Mary Douglas Scott, who both died in the cemetery. All of this is according to the New York Haunted Houses website.
Ten Broeck Mansion, Albany
According to the Ghosts of Albany website, a ghost walks the upstairs halls of Arbor Hill’s Ten Broeck Mansion. The house was built in 1859. In the mid-20th century, children who lived in the house reported seeing a strange man whenever they went to the top floor. The figure, who often appeared in empty hallways, wore the clothing of a 17th-century Dutch soldier.
The Ghosts of Albany website speculates that this man met his end or was buried on the hill where the house stands in the 1600s. Ghosts of Albany holds haunted ghost tours, as well as private tours for groups around Albany.
NYS Education Department Building, Albany
According to the New York Haunted Houses website, the New York State Education Department Building was built in the early 1900s and has had some paranormal activity. Objects in the building have been known to move on their own and shadowy figures have been spotted. The haunting is alleged to be connected to an Italian worker who mysteriously vanished during the building’s construction.
Jack Diamond House, Albany
67 Dove Street in Albany is known as the place where Jack “Legs” Diamond, a notorious Irish-American gangster and bootlegger, was killed in 1931. Some nights, footsteps and voices are said to be heard coming from the stairs that led to Diamond’s old room.
Forest Park Cemetery, Brunswick
Forest Park Cemetery was founded in 1897 and eventually abandoned in the early 1900s. The Brunswick Historical Society is working on repairing the cemetery after it was damaged over the years. There are many tales about people who are buried there or things that have happened in the cemetery.
Loudon Cottage, Loundonville
Loudon Cottage is thought to be haunted by the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln. According to Haunted Places.org, when Lincoln was shot, one of his guests at the theater was Senator Ira Harris’s daughter Clara. After the event, Clara’s white dress was stained by Lincoln’s blood. After returning home to the cottage, she had a special closet built for it and had it sealed up. After that, she allegedly saw the ghost of Lincoln in her room. Others have reported seeing Lincoln’s ghost as well.
Vale Cemetery, Schenectady
Vale Cemetery opened in 1857. According to HauntedPlaces.org, witnesses say some of the statues cry out at night or bleed from the eyes or the tops of their heads. Ghosts are also alleged to wander through the gravesites and sit in trees. Strange lights have been seen and singing has been heard within the old church on the grounds.
Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes
The Cohoes Music Hall is thought to be haunted by Eva Tanugay, a vaudeville performer in the 1800s and early 1900s. According to the music hall website, she was a hit and lived the life of a celebrity. Eva was the highest-paid vaudeville performer of her day. But her fame and wealth did not last forever. As her career waned over time she also lost her fortune in the stock market crash. Eva lived out her last days in her home in Hollywood and died at the age of 68.
SABIC Innovative Plastics, Selkirk
Previously GE Plastics and originally the Becker Farm, SABIC Innovative Plastics in Selkirk is thought to be haunted by three ghosts. When the land was still a farm, Mr. Becker was accused of killing a slave, his wife, and then himself. The old farmhouse still stands today, and witnesses say the spirits of all three can be seen in the home from time to time.
Guptills Woods, Latham
Guptills Woods on Pollock Road in Latham has long been rumored to be haunted, as has a house found in the middle of the trees. Witnesses have reported light orbs and strange sets of eyes without faces peering out from the dark, as well as singing while in the woods. All of this is according to the New York Haunted Houses website.
Saratoga County Homestead, Providence
The Saratoga County Homestead opened in 1914 and treated tuberculosis patients until 1960. The building reopened in 1961 as an infirmary. The property passed into private hands in the 1980s and sat empty for decades. It’s thought to be haunted by those who died there. The current owner offers paranormal tours of the building but they often sell out quickly.
Crandall House, Ballston Spa
Located outside three elementary schools in Ballston Spa, the Crandall House stands. The home was built in the 1800s for Sylvester Crandall, a failed stockbroker, and his wife, Julia. In 1887, Julia’s mother and step-sister came to the house to bring her home, but Sylvester came down with a shotgun and killed the mom, step-sister, and then Julia before shooting himself. Neighbors and schoolchildren have reported seeing a man, likely Sylvester, in the home.
Batcheller Mansion Inn, Saratoga Springs
Tales of supernatural experiences at the Batcheller Mansion Inn by both staff and guests. According to the Haunted History Trail website, the Albany Paranormal Research Society investigated the location twice.
Canfield Casino, Saratoga Springs
The Canfield Casino was established in the late 1800s by professional boxer John Morrissey. According to Saratoga.com, the place became one of the world’s most renowned gambling houses of the era. The Casino is also known as one of the most haunted places in the area.
Some say they have experienced paranormal activity throughout the halls. Reported incidents include:
- In the 1990s, a visitor saw a woman dressed in a Victorian gown roaming through the corridors.
- In 2007, a Saratoga Springs History Museum volunteer stated a woman dressed in Victorian clothing approached their group, asked a question, and vanished into thin air.
- In 2009, during an exhibition opening, a patron had a glass slapped from her hand by a ghost.
- A volunteer and an employee of the Casino claimed they witnessed a lid to a garbage can fly into the air and crash onto the ground on its own.
- There have been reports of the smell of cigar smoke when no one is smoking, objects moving in rooms that had been locked for the night, sudden freezing temperatures, hostile energy, and other occurrences.
Fort William Henry Museum, Lake George
Ghost tours are offered at the Fort William Henry Museum in September and October. The area surrounding Fort William Henry has been the scene of countless battles, diseases, and harsh climates. On the tour, you can hear stories that have been handed down over the years, as well as the personal experiences of the guides. You can find the tours on the Fort William Henry Museum website.
Skene Manor, Whitehall
Skene Manor is believed to be haunted by the wife of Philip Skene, the original owner. Legend has it that when his wife Katharine died, Philip kept her body on the property to keep her close, according to GlensFalls.com.
When the Scheers bought the property in 1946, they allegedly found the coffin of Katharine Skene behind the bar. Some witnesses claim they have seen the ghost of a woman in a Victorian gown near where the coffin is supposed to be by the bar.
The Anvil Inn, Fort Edward
The Anvil Inn Restaurant opened as a blacksmith shop in the 1940s and today operates as a restaurant. In 1890, the original owner sold the building to Sam Turner. Rumor has it that Turner’s ghost still haunts the Anvil.
Sagamore Resort, Bolton Landing
The Sagamore Resort was named one of the 10 most haunted hotels in the country, according to LakeGeorge.com. The hotel was originally built in 1883. It was burned down by fires in 1893 and 1914 and was fully reconstructed during the Great Depression.
A former employee also claimed The Sagamore was built on Native American burial grounds. Some reported haunted sightings include:
- A little boy from the 1950s, reportedly hit by a car, hangs out on the golf course causing mischief by stealing golf balls and throwing them at golfers while laughing.
- Ghostly children can be seen on the golf course or giggling in the hallways.
- A woman in white enters hotel rooms to frighten the guests. She hovers over them while they’re sleeping, blowing cold air onto their eyelids.
- A woman wearing a blue polka dot dress moves through the hallways and the hotel’s restaurant.
- A blonde woman once spoke to a hotel chef, then walked right through him. He reportedly quit right after.
Barkeater Chocolates, North Creek
According to the Haunted History Trail website, nearly every employee has experienced unexplained sounds and movement since Barkeater Chocolates bought the property in 2013. In 2015, a construction crew working on the building claimed to hear footsteps and voices coming from upstairs, but no one was in the building. Barkeater Chocolates offers both haunted public tours and private tours.
Widow Susan Road, Amsterdam
Widow Susan Road in Amsterdam is named for Susan Thomas, a woman who married Harmanus DeGraff in 1838 and was widowed about ten years later with several children to raise on her own. Susan later relocated to Michigan, but her ghost is said to haunt the road named after her. Witnesses say she wears an old-fashioned white dress and appears to be crying while searching for something. According to the New York Haunted Houses website, it is rumored that her husband was buried in the cemetery along Widow Susan Road while Susan was buried in Michigan and she is restless because her body is so far from her husband’s.
The Knox Mansion, Johnstown
According to the Haunted History Trails website, the Knox Mansion was built in 1889 by businessman, Charles Knox, who owned Knox Gelatine and the Knox Gelatine Factory in Johnstown. Guests have reported seeing lights flickering, lamps dropping, hearing footsteps and voices, seeing ghosts, having sheets pulled off, and a piano being played by itself. Children have reportedly seen the dead gardener who apparently loved the company of children.
Bull’s Head Inn, Cobleskill
The Bull’s Head Inn in Cobleskill was established in 1802 and is currently a restaurant. The building is rumored to be haunted by one of its deceased residents, Mrs. John Stacy, who has been seen wearing a white gown in the dining room by guests, and flinging napkins and silverware by bartenders.
Dr. Best House & Medical Museum, Middleburgh
Located in Middleburgh, this was the private home of Dr. Christopher Best. The museum is owned by the Middleburgh Library Association and gives visitors an inside look at the doctor’s life in the late 1800s. The doctor, his wife, and his son all died inside the home and there have been a number of paranormal investigations, some of which have heard the sounds of the family talking and playing a piano.