ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With Halloween only weeks 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 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? You can get answers to these questions by reserving your spot for a Capitol Hauntings Tour on the Empire State Plaza website. The tours run through October 31.
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.
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.
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 fortunes in the stock market crash. Eva lived out her last days in her home in Hollywood and died at the age of 68.
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. You can sign up for a tour on the Haunted Nights website.
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 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.
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.
From those who tried their luck at gambling over the centuries or the previous owners, 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 get tickets 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.
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. You can sign up for a haunted tour on the Barkeater Chocolates website.
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. Another rumor is that a stillborn baby was buried in the basement.