The Adirondack Region, in all its densely forested, sparsely populated history, has acquired quite a few spectral stories over the past few centuries, and more than a few tales of terror from certain locations.
Do haunted places and paranormal activity intrigue you? The Adirondack landscape is dotted with properties that many have claimed to be haunted including old military forts and opulent lakeside resorts. Ghost sightings and paranormal activity are common stories among visitors to these places. Fort William Henry even offers a candlelit Ghost Tour every evening in the summer and fall months. Be sure to pack your courage before checking out these haunted places in the Adirondacks.
The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, built in the 1880s, is listed as one of the top 10 haunted hotels in the U.S. Numerous ghost sightings over the years have included a little boy who haunts the golf course, and a mysterious lady who enters guest rooms unbidden, hovering above sleepers and blowing a chill air onto their eyelids. Many guests since have given corresponding accounts of strange occurrences at the hotel. Some say they've seen the ghost of a middle-aged woman wearing a blue polka-dot dress moving through the hallways and hotel's restaurant. Others mention seeing children giggling in the hallways or on the golf course. There are even reports of one room being closed off to visitors because of strange noises during the night. One previous employee claimed that the hotel is built on a Native American burial grounds, which is the source of the paranormal activity.
Fort William Henry in Lake George is the only Adirondack location included on the Haunted History Trail of New York State. Once the setting for countless battles, and the accompanying diseases that swept through such primitive living conditions, the fort has seen its fair share of death and destruction. Even SyFy's Ghost Hunters have taken a tour of the grounds to investigate the spectral occurrences. Those visiting the haunted fort can join one of the Candlelit Guided Ghost Tours offered every day of the week from May through October at 7:30 and 9 pm. Reservations are required.
Fort Ticonderoga's history spans centuries. Located on the shores of Lake Champlain, the fort has long been the center of mysterious happenings and supernatural claims. It is said that the spirit of a young Native American girl who leaped to her death from the ramparts in the 1700s rather than comply with the demands of a man she did not love can be seen walking the fort's hallways. Other unexplained events include footsteps in deserted rooms and corridors, and mysterious lights at all hours of the morning and night. It is said that if you go into the old Barracks at night you can see benches and chairs begin to rock by themselves. Staffers have also allegedly seen the ghosts of soldiers walking around the haunted barracks.
Beardslee Castle is technically just outside the Adirondack Park located in Little Falls. The Castle is a replica of an Irish castle built in 1860 and is known as one of the most haunted buildings in the state. There are countless stories of mysterious deaths, unexplained happenings and strange sightings on the property, dating back more than 300 years. In the mid-1700's, a group of Native Americans was blown to pieces when they tried to enter a building on the property that was filled with powder and munitions. During the 1950s, travelers near the castle reported seeing a blinding light rush from the trees, resulting in multiple fatalities as cars drove off the road trying to avoid it. Drivers have reported seeing a young child walking along the road in the middle of the night, which is even stranger when coupled with reports that the ghost of Mr. Beardslee was seen holding a lantern and appeared to be searching for a lost child. Recent guests speak of a young woman dressed in white who walks the grounds and stands outside the windows. Two drivers even witnessed the young woman stepping into the road and thought they had run her over, but when they got out to look, no one was on the road. Even employees of the castle are afraid to be there alone, having heard footsteps, music, and voices after all the guests have left. For a real scare, guests can head down to the Dungeon, where most of the sightings have taken place.
The Brightside Hotel on Raquette Lake has many stories of people that say that they have felt or seen that something was watching them. One such story started with a death in the 1970s. A couple who had checked into the haunted hotel was staying in one of the many bedrooms. During a blizzard, the man tried to cross the ice into the village but never returned. His wife sat waiting for him in her room, and it is said that her ghost continues to wait there today. Another story reveals that the original owner J. O. A. Bryere was the county coroner, and would sometimes bury bodies in the basement when the ground outside was too frozen to dig graves. Today, there is one room that gets a lot of supernatural action. Some guests have said their bed began to shake violently while they were on it. Another guest claimed to see blue-tinted orbs floating across the kitchen. One woman who stayed at the hotel, says she was making her bed and heard what sounded like the click of her camera on the dresser. It was not until she arrived home that she realized it had indeed taken pictures on its own accord, and that in those pictures had many bluish orbs in them.
Want to visit abandoned places that aren't haunted? The Adirondack Region is home to ghost towns, abandoned Great Camps and other interesting places to visit. Read our list of the best abandoned places in the Adirondacks to visit during your next day trip or weekend hike.