New York most certainly has its fair share of haunted places and controversial phenomenons. Often our residents come in contact with paranormal circumstances but never go on to know the stories behind the frightening activity. In various regions all over the state you may find yourself questioning what exactly it is you’re seeing right before your eyes.
Ready to learn what it is that has these ghosts so unsettled? Prepare yourself, meet 7 ghosts from New York and learn about their bone-chilling stories:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Grace Brown, Big Moose Lake
In 1906, America was stunned to hear the news of an unwed and pregnant 19-year-old's murder. Grace Brown worked at the Gillette skirt factory in Cortland, where she met her secret lover Chester Gillette in 1905. So in love and wrapped up in her emotions, Grace was too blind to see the type of person Chester was, keeping her a complete secret while also supposedly seeing other young, wealthy women in town. Soon after Grace would come to learn that she was pregnant, demanding Chester take responsibility for the pregnancy and make an honest woman out of her through marriage. The series of events that happened afterwards and particularly surrounding the night in July of 1906 are often disputed.
Many believe Chester implied to Grace that he was taking her to the Adirondacks for a wedding trip, finally giving her all that she so badly wanted. Others believe that because Grace had all of her belongings packed for the trip and Chester only packing very little, that he had merely promised that he would bring her to a home for unwed pregnant women.
After arriving in the Adirondacks, the pair rented a rowboat on Big Moose Lake, the last place Grace would be seen alive. The story goes, that Chester hit Grace over the head with a tennis racquet where she then fell (or was dumped) into the water and drowned. After the rowboat wasn't returned back to the man they rented it from, he put together a search team to go and find the couple. It was that following morning when they would discover the boat capsized and Grace's body in the water.
At a nearby hotel, Chester would be found two days later, initially denying he even knew who Grace was at all. His story quickly changed to him claiming Grace grew upset when Chester said he didn't love her anymore, causing her to jump overboard and drown herself and her unborn baby in the water. Chester was convicted of his crimes and died in the electric chair on March 30th 1908. During the trial, emotional love letters written by Grace were discovered and presented to all, causing the murder to gain national attention.
So, where is the spirit of Grace and what is she up to now? Many believe Grace still wanders around Big Moose Lake, turning off flashlights of those who come walking near the lake at night. Several stories of strange activity have been told, all pointing to the saddened spirit of Grace. In the late 80's a group of people working at nearby lodge claimed to have seen the ghost of Grace and strongly feel a strange presence. Many also have stories of their flashlights dimming as they approach the lake, which completely stop working once they reach the shores. Those who theorize that this is her spirit believe that while Grace got justice through Chester's ordered death, the loss of her unborn baby is what still leaves her soul so unsettled.
2. William Morris Hunt, New York State Capitol
A Boston man by the name of William Morris Hunt was hired to paint murals in New York's Senate Chambers in the 1800's. A passionate artist, Hunt's murals would only be seen for several years due to structural issues that led to the ceiling having to be replaced. After his work was lost and further projects from the state were denied over lack of funding, Hunt became severely upset, falling into a depression. In our nearby state of New Hampshire, Hunt would drown himself in a pond in 1879. While his death may not have taken place in New York, it is believed that his upset spirit still haunts the Senate Chambers. Visitors and employees claim to hear voices saying "William Hunt is behind the door" or just the name William Hunt being said softly.
3. Samue Abbott, New York State Capitol
A Civil War veteran by the name of Samuel Abbott was a night-watchman on duty at the New York State Capitol. On March 29th 1911 a truly damaging fire would break out, destroying over 270,000 historical documents and leaving one soul deceased, Samuel Abbott. Employees working in the building say they often see an older man in a uniform roaming the upper halls, more specifically the 4th and 5th floors.
4. Dylan Thomas, White Horse Tavern
A well known poet and writer, Dylan Thomas was one of the many artists to make the White Horse Tavern his home. Famous for his poems and often seen drinking heavily at this particular bar, the stories surrounding Thomas's death are odd. The story of his death is that in 1953 he became terribly sick and fell into a coma which he never recovered from, but many speak of rumors that he drank himself to death. To this day, a portrait of Thomas hangs in the bar and visitors regularly claim to see his spirit drinking at his favorite table.
5. Mark Twain, House of Death
Who some know to be as a literary legend, author Mark Twain is supposedly one of the many ghosts that are looming inside New York City's House of Death. Some believe that the Mark Twain House & Museum in Connecticut is where his spirit haunts the living but many claim to see Twain's ghost dressed in a white suit, haunting the basement and lower floors of the building. Along with Twain it is said that more than 20 spirits haunt the home, yikes!
6. Roy, Rolling Hills Asylum
At the young age of 12, a boy with gigantism was dropped off at the poor house by his father, completely unannounced. The father was a successful banker and felt that his sons outward appearance brought embarrassment onto their family. Living out his life at the asylum until his death in 1942, Roy grew to be over 7-feet tall. The asylum is known to be the home of several ghosts who once lived here, but Roy is who people seem to encounter the most. While many spirits tend to be frightening mean to cause you harm, those who have encountered Roy claim that he is actually quite kind. Some people have even gone as far as to gather at Rolling Hills to celebrate Roy's birthdays, wow!
7. The Lady in White, Belhurst Castle
Commonly referred to as "White Lady", only very few details are actually known of this story. Tales of a ravishing Italian Opera singer named Isabella are told, claiming she fled the country from her husband to be with her lover. The scandalous pair were guests at the castle, but unfortunately could not hide from her scorned husband. After tracking down his wife, the husband arrived at the castle to bring Isabella back home. In an attempt to escape with her lover, the two tried to make their way through a tunnel in the castle, only for it to supposedly collapse on them, killing them instantly.
Guests of the castle have told stories of seeing a woman in white out on the front lawn during the middle of the night, disappearing with a saddened moan anytime she is approached.
Have you ever heard about any of these ghost stories while living in New York? If you have any ghost stories of your own, make sure to share them with us!