The Haunted Shanley hotel, 56 Main St, Napanoch, NY 12458

The haunted Shanley Hotel definitely looks the part. With its off-white, dilapidated paneling and muddled cluster of darkened windows, there could be no doubt that this is one of the most haunted hotels in New York State.

Situated in the small hamlet of Napanoch New York, the Shanley Hotel has a long history of tragedy and hauntings. From apparitions and shadows to unexplained noises, no night at this hotel is peaceful.

But what could have possibly caused the chaos within these four walls to begin?

shanley family
Mr. Shanley and the Shanley family pictured on the front porch of the Shanley Hotel in the 1920’s

Shanley Hotel History

The first hotel on this site was built in 1845 by Thomas Ritch. Napanoch was seen as a perfect place for busy New Yorkers to get away from their daily life, to unwind and relax. Of course, nothing ever goes to plan, does it?

Exactly fifty years after the hotel first opened up, the entire building burnt down. However, this was just the start of the tragedies that would mark Shanley Hotel as a cursed and haunted building. 

The hotel was quickly rebuilt and subsequently bought by James Shanley in 1906, who married Beatrice Rowley at the hotel a few years later. They became a notable couple in the area and enjoyed many parties at the property. These parties were frequented by quite a few well-known people, including Tomas Edison and Elenor Rosevelt, and the hotel reflected the couple’s fashionable and up-to-date style. 

shanley hotel history

Tragedy After Tragedy

Unfortunately, the couple faced intense hardship as they began to start a family. They had three children together, however, all three tragically died. Two of their children died before they even got to their first birthday.

The hotel barber’s daughter also perished in horrific circumstances when she fell down a well on a nearby farm.

In 1918, Mrs. Shanley’s sister died in the hotel at a young age. Esther Faughman died on the second floor of the hotel from influenza, leaving her sister to raise her two children. The pain of this loss and the loss of her children destroyed Mrs. Shanley, who never really recovered. 

In 1937 James Shanley passed away and the hotel was sold to Allen H. Hazen. It then changed hands a few times before was left abandoned in the early nineties. Thankfully, this hotspot for paranormal life has now been opened up again and can be visited. 

Shanley Hotel Hauntings

The horrific and tragic history of this hotel means that spirits are trapped within the walls, and many spirits will come and go. According to the current owner, Kelly Hammerling, there have been over thirty spirits contacted at the hotel.

Some of these spirits only stay a while before moving on. Because of the psychic energy of the hotel, it draws other spirits to the site. 

haunted shanley hotel
Photo by Steve Shoemaker @

Visitors at the Shanley Hotel will often experience full-bodied apparitions. These ghosts will be dressed in clothing from the early to mid-twentieth century. Guests at the hotel will also hear footsteps and sounds of children playing. Many people have reported feeling something touch them at night when their room is empty. 

Staying at the Shanley Hotel

The whole hotel seems to be lively with paranormal activity, with most rooms having significant activity. However, some rooms seem more haunted than others. The room where Esther died and the Gentlemen’s Quarters appear to have a lot of paranormal life. 

If you are wanting to stay at this hotel, be warned, you probably will not get an undisturbed night. Most rooms in the hotel get visits from ghosts and there will be noises and shadows bothering you until the time you leave. 

The hotel is open all year round and costs $238 – $750 per room per night, depending on the room you book. This fee includes a paranormal investigation and overnight accommodation.

The hotel owner and the manager run the paranormal investigation every night which lasts five hours, from 8 PM to 1 AM. They also run a range of special events, such as hosting mediums at the hotel. 

The nightly paranormal investigation, however, is well worth the money. Some ghost hunting equipment is available, with recording equipment regularly producing clear EVPs. After the organized ghost hunt, you are then able to explore as you wish.

The hotel recommends you bring your own paranormal hunting equipment in order to fully get the experience of the hauntings. They also sell things like EMF detectors and recording equipment in the hotel gift shop, so you will not have to go without!

Haunted Rooms at The Shanley

The individual rooms in the hotel are all pretty eccentric, with wonderful decor. Every room is different, with beautiful old furnishings and a range of patterns and colors on the walls and bedding.

Most rooms hold two or three people, however, the Gentlemen’s Quarters can sleep up to ten guests. Perfect if you need a lot of support for your ghostly stay! 

You can also hire out the hotel for private investigations which can host up to 34 guests. This allows you to bring in your own team of paranormal lovers to fully investigate, allowing for ouija boards and your own paranormal hunting techniques.

Website: | Phone: 845-217-3112

The town of Napanoch is a sleepy and quiet neighborhood, nestled in amongst nature. Close by are the Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the Witch’s Hole State Forest, which are amazing places to explore.

The Minnewaska State Park Preserve is an incredible place to hike, bike, rock climb, and swim, with large lakes and waterfalls. Situated on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge, this area is perfect to enjoy nature and take time out from ghosthunting! Sam’s Point Preserve, which is the highest point of the Shawangunk Mountains, gives you amazing views.

A stay at the Shanley Hotel is perfect for paranormal lovers and nature lovers!