October is the time for autumn leaves, pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween costumes, but most of all, it’s spooky season. What screams Halloween more than a good ghost story … or ten? The Hudson Valley is one of the most haunted regions in New York State, and the hit CBS sitcom, “Ghosts,” is set right here in Ulster County. Aside from fictional ghostly tales, the Hudson Valley is widely known for its ghostly residents. Listed below are the top 10 spookiest ghost stories of the Hudson Valley, so read on if you dare.
10.) Miss Fanny’s Victorian Party House
Right across the Hudson River in Wappingers Falls is Miss Fanny’s Victorian Party House. Current home owner, Julia Drahos, has reported doors opening and slamming closed, voices, footsteps and ghostly apparitions. A visitor once claimed that a feminine voice whisper “Don’t go” as he was exiting a room that was completely empty. Drahos does not live at Miss Fanny’s alone, considering that there are 17 ghosts supposedly roaming the property.
9.) Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving’s folkloric tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” considerably one of America’s first ghost stories, is set in Westchester County. Despite the fictional tale, Sleepy Hollow is a real-life town in North of Tarrytown. Though there may be no sightings of a headless horseman riding through the town, there are other ghosts throughout the village. Irving himself, along with his wife are said to haunt their home at Sunnyside Cottage. Strange sounds, eerie feelings and ghostly apparitions are reported by those who visit the town as well as the cottage.
8.) Smalley’s Inn
Smalley’s Inn, which has since closed, was located in the small town of Carmel. It was said to be haunted by James Smalley, the original owner himself, along with his daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Smalley died as a toddler, and her tombstone was discovered decades later beneath the basement stairs. Mediums and electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) have both picked up on the distinct personas of Mr. Smalley and Elizabeth, along with other unidentified spirits. Patrons of the inn heard a young girl giggling and felt tugging on their clothing.
7.) Mid-Orange Correctional Facility
On the outskirts of town, between Warwick and Chester, is the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. Most buildings in this facility date back to the 1930s. Originally, the facility opened as a boy’s reformatory. Since then, it has been converted into multiple different facilities. This property is haunted by the young men that were abused there. In 2020, the haunted correctional facility was featured on the television show, “Ghost Nation,” where an investigation of the facility and its ghosts were being explored. Ghost hunters have reported seeing ghostly apparitions, hearing voices and footsteps, as well as being touched or scratched.
6.) Enslin Mansion
The Enslin Mansion in Troy, built in the 1890s, is allegedly haunted by nine ghosts. During a paranormal investigation, the sound of footsteps were heard at 3 a.m., which is famously known as the “witching hour.” Visitors have taken note of the apparition of three tall men. However, there are more ghosts living at this Main St. mansion. The spirit of a protective young man who passed away still lingers, along with the spirit of a woman who was pushed down the stairs to her fateful death.
5.) Ten Broeck Mansion
The Ten Broeck Mansion has been deemed the most haunted location in the state capital, Albany. This haunted yet charming mansion was built in the late 1790s for General Abraham Ten Broeck and his wife, Elizabeth Van Renssaeler. The apparition of a woman, referred to as the “woman in white,” is known to frequent the mansion. One of the mansion’s ghosts is only visible to children and has been described as a man dressed in 17th century Dutch soldier attire.
4.) Captain’s Inn Point Lookout
The story about the ghost of Room 12 is sure to make your hair stand up. Located in East Windham, the Captain’s Inn Point Lookout is the perfect weekend getaway, unless you’re staying in Room 12. The small, 14-room inn and restaurant has a disturbing history behind it. Many years ago, a man murdered a woman while they stayed at the inn in Room 12. Ever since her death, guests have reported seeing flickering lights, smelling foul odors, seeing items moving and hearing the sound of voices, specifically that of a female in distress. When ghost hunters brought cadaver dogs into room 12, they immediately went to the back corner of the room to the exact location where the woman was believed to have been murdered.
3.) Spook Rock Road
In Columbia County, the ghost of a woman haunts Spook Rock Road. When the Lenape Tribes began to settle in New York, a Dutch woman fell in love with a man from the tribe, and the young lovers met at Spook Rock every night — but not even Romeo and Juliet could get away with that. The young woman was soon captured and murdered by the tribe due to the wrongful actions of her Dutch father. Now, her spirit is said to haunt the area on Spook Rock Road. Locals have reported hearing cries from a feminine voice, while others claim to have seen the apparition of a woman in distress.
2.) Shanley Hotel
Right here in Ulster County is Shanley Hotel. Most of the spirits of this hotel are known by name; Joe, who was in the mafia; a ghost cat, named “Sweet Nothing” and Frank, who was a bodyguard. The owners of the hotel feel as though the hotel belongs to the ghosts, not themselves. Guests have complained about chairs rocking, clocks chiming, hot and cold spots, children’s laughter, whistling, the sound of piano keys, footsteps and the feeling of being watched.
1.) 1 La Veta Place
1 La Veta Place in Nyack takes the cake, considering that this house is legally haunted. You heard that right; legally haunted. Residents of the home were violently awakened by the shaking of their beds, and during the day, the sound of footsteps and slamming doors filled the home. To this day, the case of 1 La Veta Place is taught in law school and is referred to as the “Ghostbusters Ruling.” This property has changed hands countless times, which perhaps is due to the ghostly residents.