Creepy February 08, 2021
The Definitive Guide To New York’s Most Haunted Landmarks
The state of New York is one of the most historically rich places in the United States, and that makes for a series of haunting landmarks, spaces and stories of people who no longer live to tell their tales. Fortunately, many of these stories live on in the form of trails, castle ruins, bars and the people fascinated enough to study the history themselves. From the unassuming inn to the upstate winery, the ghosts of New York’s past often live on in the places we least expect. Other times, it’s the places we most expect, especially when it comes to horrific asylums and spooky cemeteries. Many of the creepiest sites in New York are not just buildings to drive by, but entire worlds that visitors can step inside and experience themselves, which usually leads to the scariest yet most intriguing stories of all. This guide gives adventurers a look at some of the creepiest places in New York, where ghosts and their tortured pasts live on, walking among the explorers brave enough to seek them out.
The Most Haunted House In New York
Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a charming home that looks like any other home you might find in New York. However, there’s one
difference. This home, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century, has been legally declared haunted. It all started when the Ackley family moved into the home in the 1960s. Before long they began to hear the sudden slamming of doors and strange footsteps – but no one else was there. Every morning, without fail, their beds would violently shake, waking each family member up. One evening, Mrs. Ackley asked the spirits who inhabited the home to please let the family sleep in the next morning. The spirits obliged. While the spirits and the Ackley family got on quite swimmingly after that, not everyone who came into the home faired so well. One visitor, in fact, fell to the ground, dead from a brain aneurysm just moments after he walked into the Ackley home. The Ackleys lived in their home for more than 30 years, which begs the question.
Would you live in a haunted house with your family?
The Most Haunted Road In New York (And Maybe America)
Only the most daring of souls venture down Buckout Road in Westchester County, just outside of New York City. If you’re driving down that legendary road in White Plains, keep an eye out for a woman in a flowing white dress. It’s said to be the spirit of Mary Buckhout, a member of a local family who hanged herself in a nearby tree. Her suicide could be why she wanders aimlessly down the road, or it could be the tales of grave robbers who have broken into the final resting places of Buckhout’s family members, leaving her soul restless and angry. Oh, but that’s just a taste of what you can expect when you drive down the country’s most haunted road.
Are you brave enough to drive down Buckout Road?
The Three Most Haunted Places In New York
1. Formerly known as the New York State Lunatic Asylum, the Utica State Hospital has been the setting of a number of chilling tales over the years. In 1852, a stairway on the asylum’s first floor caught fire, which resulted in the tragic death of a doctor and a firefighter. Even creepier, a former patient of the asylum later confessed that he started the fire (the man, William Spiers, was a convicted arsonist). It’s also the site of the terrifying
Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane
first opened in 1869 and was designed to create better conditions for mentally ill patients who had been suffering in the poor conditions of other facilities. The famous first patient of the asylum, Mary Rote, was suffering from dementia and had supposedly spent a decade in a squalid county mental institution, where she was sometimes restrained with chains. The interior of the Willard Asylum has rotted away over the years, but it gives a tragic look into the conditions that mental patients suffered at the time. While this asylum’s conditions were superior to many other alternatives at the time, it is still haunting to consider from a modern perspective. The facility officially closed its doors in 1995.
Rolling Hills Asylum
was initially named the “Genesee County Poor Farm.” Often referred to as “poorhouses,” these facilities were state-funded institutions that housed the mentally ill, elderly, orphans and sometimes criminals. Scheduled guided tours of the haunting facility are open to the public, tours during which visitors can get an up-close look at some pretty eerie spaces that make tourists feel like they are entering into another era.
The 3 Creepiest Places To Spend the Night in New York
1. The Sagamore Resort first opened in 1883, so it has a long history of hauntings over the years. It’s been burned by multiple fires, both over 100 years ago, and multiple ghosts are said to have been spotted on the premises, particularly on the golf course. Whether its the ghosts of children wandering the course or the ghost of a woman spanning the hallways of the hotel (both of which have apparently been spotted), this is a fascinating piece of history to experience with a night’s stay, not to mention its status as one of the
premiere accommodations in the state.
2. You would never guess it based on the accommodation's charming aesthetic, but the Fainting Goat Island Inn has become renowned for the uncanny experiences that visitors have during their stay. Overlooking a 17-acre island on the Susquehanna River, near Tioga Downs, it was voted runner-up in the 2019 USA Today's 10 Best Reader's Choice Awards for the Best Haunted Hotels Category. Tales of guests hearing voices in the night or even getting a glimpse at someone's eyes looking back at them in their rooms are commonplace here, so if you're looking for a scare in the form of a quintessential inn, this might be the
adventure for you.
3. With three hotels, two restaurants, a winery and a spa on-site, the Belhurst Castle is the
most luxurious weekend destination
you could hope for while also getting that eerie feeling that comes from spending 48 hours in a historic castle. The castle's construction began in 1885 but has a fascinating history that dates back well before that, and you can sense it if you stay in one of the hotel's luxurious rooms.
Most Haunted Mansion In New York
, one of the most sublime pieces of history in the state, sits on Pollepel Island on the Hudson River. It is one of the most remarkable pieces of architecture in the northeast. The castle looks more like something out of a vampire novel than a structure you could actually visit, but it's only around 90 minutes from New York City. Francis Banerman VI purchased the island in 1900 and designed the castle himself. However, Bannerman died before finishing the project and the castle was never finished. New York State purchased the land in 1967. You can even get there by kayak.
The Most Haunting Cemetery You Can Visit in New York
The 90-acre Sleepy Hollow Cemetery just north of New York City, in the town of
, is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the country, and its name was made famous by the short story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," written by Washington Irving, who is actually buried at the cemetery. The story, which features the famed "Headless Horseman," will give your visit to the cemetery a creepy backdrop. And yes, you can take a tour. Just make sure you've got a friend with you to watch your back.
Creepiest Place To Grab A Drink
You might be expecting the name of an old haunted tavern, but you won't have a more
uniquely creepy experience.
over a drink than the one you'll have at The Winery at Marjim Manor. According to the owners and people who have spent a day at the winery themselves, a pinot noir or merlot are far from the only "spirits" you'll get a taste of if you're brave enough to spend a few hours on the premises. The winery is said to be home to a few regular ghosts, including the apparition of a dog, Duke, all of whom you just might get to see on your visit. Head up to Appleton for a truly remarkable day of not only enjoying the spirits you love, but getting a glimpse of a few new ones you never thought you'd believe in.
The Creepiest Haunted Trail In New York
Just down the Hudson River from Albany in Athens, NY, Murderers Creek is the short tributary between the Hudson and Sleepy Hollow Lake, but it's packed with a terrifying history of its own. In 1813, a young woman named Sally Hamilton was murdered, and her body was found in the creek. The crime was never solved, and the dark mystery has hung over the creek ever since. Poet Samuel Dunn wrote "Elegy of the Death of Sally Hamilton" that same year.
Best Place To Discover New York's Creepy History
It's not an easy task to make every stop along the way of New York's abundance of
The Haunted History Trail of New York State weaves together some of the most bizarre and fascinating stories in a truly impressive showcase and series of tours. One of them is the Haunted Bergen House in Bergen, New York, where all kinds of ghostly figures supposedly haunt all corners of the property, from the barn to the house to the driveway.
Scariest Place to Catch a Show In Upstate New York
The Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls is said to be one of the most haunted locations in Western New York, and in 2021, it will celebrate its 100th anniversary. A visit from SYFY’s Ghost Hunters put the theater on the map for enthusiasts of the paranormal as well as casual tourists in search of adventure, and that’s exactly why you pay the theater a visit yourself. If you’re not interested in heading to this eerie landmark for a show, the theater now holds
for adventurers who aren’t afraid to track down the local ghosts themselves.
5 Creepy Photos From New York
The Stone Shroud of St. Paul in the Financial District. If you look closely, you’ll see a face in the stone, which faces toward Ground Zero.
An eerie photo of a dentist’s chair in an abandoned New York building.
A decaying fireplace covered with graffiti at the now-abandoned Saratoga Homestead Hospital.
Stillness at an abandoned New York hospital.
A lone figure stands in what remains of the Grossinger Resort in Liberty.
5 Creepy Facts About New York
New York is home to perhaps the most famous haunted house in the entire country. The
Amityville Horror House, as it’s now known, got its moniker after a New Yorker savagely murdered his entire family as they slept. Those who later moved into the home tell tales of the family haunting the home. Today, the home has been renovated and its address changed to give the current owners privacy. If you venture underground in Rochester, you’ll discover a whole new world. The remains of a
former underground subway system attracts curiosity-seekers, boasts abandoned tunnels, and is littered with graffiti. New York’s home to a natural phenomenon or an optical illusion, depending on what you personally believe. When you visit
Spook Hill, also known as Gravity Hill, on Newell Road in Middlesex, put your car in neutral. It will roll backwards up the hill. Did you know you can visit an abandoned
Girl Scout camp in Beechwood State Park? Yep, you can visit the eerie remains of abandoned cabins and even a swimming pool. Hikers will find several haunted trails that dot the state. If you’re brave enough, follow the
Wilkinson Trail at Saratoga National Historical Park. It’s haunted by the spirits of long-gone soldiers.