PROVIDENCE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Saratoga County Homestead has been abandoned for 43 years. Often thought to be haunted, the Homestead was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Destination Fear” in 2020.
Haunted Nights offers tours and paranormal investigations inside the Homestead and other “haunted” buildings. NEWS10’s Sara Rizzo took a tour with Steve Brodt, the owner and operator of Haunted Nights.
According to Brodt, the Saratoga County Homestead opened in 1914 and treated tuberculosis patients until 1960. After some renovations, the building reopened in 1961 as a nursing home and closed in 1979. It’s been abandoned ever since.
On the tour, Brodt put some online rumors to rest. The Homestead never was an “insane asylum,” patients were not chained to the windows, and no one is buried out back in the woods. Around 1,000 people have died in the building, said Brodt. About 800 died from tuberculosis and 200 died in the nursing home.
In the building, men and women were housed in separate wings. In 1920, the children’s wing was added to the hospital, said Brodt. The building has two floors, as well as a basement and roof access.
The basement was used as a recreational area, as well as for maintenance, laundry, and plumbing. The first floor had patient rooms, which had one or two beds, a closet, and a shared bathroom. The women’s bathrooms had pink tile and the men’s bathrooms had blue-green tile. There were also separate bathrooms with showers and tubs on the floor.
Patient dining was also located on the first floor. At the end of the hall was the solarium where patients went to get sunshine, play cards, or read books, said Brodt. The middle of the building was the administration section.
The second floor has the most paranormal activity, said Brodt. It’s where investigators often hear footsteps and see shadows. The second floor has more patient rooms, as well as medical offices such as the operating room and x-ray room. There’s also a theater, but the front is boarded off because someone burned the stage a few years before, said Brodt.
Brodt said all the floors in the building are structurally fine, but the roof is in rough shape, so the tour was not allowed up there. Outside of the building is the caretaker’s house, which Brodt said was burned a few years ago, in the back of the Homestead.
Behind the building is the powerhouse foundation. There also used to be a water tower and a playground for the children, said Brodt. In the back of the children’s wing, there are separate doors labeled “girls” and “boys.”
Brodt said that although Haunted Nights offers tours and there are no trespassing signs around the building, people still enter the Homestead. There’s graffiti all around the building and most, if not all, the windows are smashed. Brodt said it’s hard to keep people out.
In June, owner James Walk put the Saratoga County Homestead up for sale. Walk bought the property at auction in 2019 for $55,100 and had plans to turn it into a veteran’s retreat, but COVID-19 and some life changes stopped those plans, said Brodt.
According to Brodt, the property is still up for sale and Walk is asking $250,000 for it. The value is in the 30 acres of land, said Brodt. The building itself will likely be demolished, whether by someone or by neglect.
Check out the photos below. Please note that some of the photos have been edited to blur out some of the graffiti markings.