When it comes to finding an area that is a veritable hotbed of paranormal activity, Upstate New York is certainly a contender! It is full of creepy places that serve as playgrounds for ghosts including an old asylum, an abandoned orphanage and a spooky old cemetery that is home to a statue that bleeds from its eyes!
Join us as we explore some of the most haunted places in Upstate NY.
11 - Bull’s Head Inn, Cobleskill
The Bull’s Head Inn was established in 1802, but reports of paranormal activity did not begin to surface until some time in the 1960s. This is when the owner acquired a liquor license and built a bar in what was once the bedroom of known anti-alcohol advocate Mrs John Stacy! She is not at all pleased by this development and has been known to knock over glasses and push silverware off of the tables. Some customers have even seen Mrs Stacy wandering the inn dressed all in white.
10 - Hulbert House, Boonville
Hulbert House is a spooky little inn located in Boonville. It was built in 1812 and consists of 10 guest rooms, a bar and a restaurant. Some of the original guest registers are still available to peruse and contain names of some famous guests including ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan. The inn is apparently haunted by a spirit who goes by the name of Wayne and appears dressed in a Civil War uniform. Guests have also reported hearing the sound of children playing on the upper floors when there are no kids in the building.
9 - The Sagamore, Lake Georgestay at the sagamore
The Sagamore Hotel is a sprawling building that sits on its own private island overlooking Lake George. On the surface it looks like it would be the perfect place for a relaxing getaway, but if you scratch the surface you will see that there is more to this hotel than meets the eye! The Sagamore is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Upstate NY and many guests find that they are not quite alone in their rooms because it seems that some of the previous guests have stuck around!
There are lots of spirits who are said to be haunting The Sagamore, but one of the most well known spirit is a little boy who used to sell golf balls to the pro shop. He died after being hit by a car. Now golfers are frequently encountering the boy’s spirit chasing their gold balls. He has also been known to steal balls and then throw them back out from behind trees and bushes! These antics are more often than not accompanied by disembodied giggling!
8 - 13 Curves, Syracuse
There are two different legends linked to the stretch of road that is known as 13 curves. However, both have the same outcome – a young couple meeting their demise on the section of Cedarvale Road between West Seneca Turnpike and Pleasant Valley Road. The road has 13 different treacherous curves which is how it gets its name! Depending on which version of the tragic tale you favor the newlyweds were either thrown from the car during a gruesome crash, or they broke down and the groom went off in search of help leaving his bride asleep in the car, but when she awoke he was hanging from a nearby tree. Whichever version of the story is more accurate, what witnesses do agree on is that it has triggered the haunting of the area. Many people have seen the bride, still in her wedding dress searching the side of the road for her groom.
7 - Canfield Casino, Saratoga Springs
Canfield Casino is rumoured to be one of the most haunted places in Upstate NY. Over the years, guests have reported a variety of unexplained activity including having their hair pulled, smelling cigar smoke, being touched by unseen hands and feeling as though they have passed through some kind of energy field up on the third floor. Some guests even claim to have been slapped by a female spirit dressed in Victorian style clothing!
6 - Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester
Durand-Eastman Park has long been associated with tales of The White Lady. She is apparently the spirit of a lady who used to live at 3 Lakes Pavilion. It is said that she lost her daughter although it is not clear whether she was murdered, kidnapped or simply ran away. Now her spirit is bound to the area where she roams around dressed all in white forever in search of her daughter.
5 - Big Moose Lake, Adirondacks
Big Moose Lake is apparently haunted by the spirit of a woman named Grace Brown who was murdered there in 1906. The story goes that she went on a canoe ride on the lake with Chester Gillette, but Grace never returned. Her body was later found and Gillette was sentenced to death for the crime. There is now a historical marker at the spot where the pair left on their boat trip and witnesses claim to have seen Grace’s spirit wandering the shore of the lake.
4 - Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls
Rapids Theatre is a very popular concert venue in Niagara Falls, but it is equally well known as one of the most haunted places in Upstate NY. It has even made an appearance on television show ‘Ghost Hunters’. Some of the common reports of paranormal activity in the theatre include the disembodied voice of a woman coming from the air ducts, the sound of a glass bottle being kicked across the floor and also a shadow figure that is said to walk across the stage and also hang around close to the bar! The theatre embraces its spooky reputation and hosts fairly regular public ghost hunts as well as allowing access to smaller groups.
3 - Utica Lunatic Asylum, Utica
Utica State Hospital opened its doors in 1843 and was the very first state run hospital for the mentally ill. It was originally known as New York State Lunatic Asylum and at the time it was one of the most state of the art facilities of its kind in the United States. However, as we have come to expect from such places the treatment that was given to patients was anything but caring. Routine lobotomies and electroshock therapy were just some of the inhumane treatments that patients were subjected to and neglect and abuse was commonplace. Patients here lived in cramped, filthy conditions and received very little in the way of medical treatment. The asylum is infamous as the birthplace of ‘The Utica Crib’ which was an inhumane cage like device used to calm agitated patients and to punish misbehaviour.
Utica Lunatic Asylum has been closed for quite some time now, but that certainly does not mean that it is empty! This is one of the most haunted places in Upstate NY with the spirits of long dead patients still wandering the halls. It is common to hear the disembodied screams o anguished patients and witnesses say they have seen faces looking down at them from the windows even though there should not be anyone inside.
2 - Willard Asylum For The Chronic Insane, Ovid
Willard Asylum For The Chronic Insane opened in 1869 and within 8 years the population had grown to 1500 patients making it one of the largest asylums in the country at that time.Since the hospital closed, there have been an increasing number of reports of paranormal activity. It is common for visitors to hear the screams of patients and also disembodied voices echoing throughout the building. Witnesses have also reported seeing the apparition of a red haired woman who is believed to have been a nurse at Willard Asylum For The Chronic Insane, before becoming a patient there herself. The old asylum is mostly closed to the public, but it does open its doors to the public once each year.
1 - Rolling Hills Asylum, East Bethany
The majority of paranormal fans will have already heard of Rolling Hills Asylum. It is not only one of the most haunted places in upstate NY, but it is also one of the most well known haunted hotspots in the entire United States. When it was first built more than 200 years ago it was called The Genessee County Poor Farm and it housed orphans, the elderly, the physically disabled and former convicts. Over the years it became an infirmary, a tuberculosis hospital and a nursing home. It is believed that as many as 1700 bodies are buried in unmarked graves adjacent to the grounds (Genesee Park) which could be the reason why it is so haunted.
The majority of the paranormal activity seems to be centered on various hotspots around the asylum including the morgue, the psych ward and the graveyard. Reports from witnesses describe all sorts of activity including disembodied voices and screams, bangs, footsteps and shadows. However, the one apparition that seems to be the most active is a seven foot tall shadowy figure known as Roy. He was a patient who spent most of his life at Rolling Hills and died there in 1942.
Haunted Hotels in New York
More Haunted Locations: