4 Days of Communing with the Spirits! On cool misty nights you can see the well-known Headless Horseman gallop by, but less legendary figures appear and disappear on village greens and within the walls of old buildings throughout the Hudson Valley. Strange visions have been recorded by experts in the paranormal, revealed in the guided (and misguided) tours at a host of haunted places. Was that a slight breeze? Or did something unseen reach out and gently touch you? Spend a few days to meet our diversely populated collection of ghosts, if you dare.
Haunted Hudson Valley / Day 1
Start out in Monroe and meet the founder of Museum Village, a frequent visitor to this living history village even though he died years ago. A little girl runs across the village green and disappears between the buildings, but was she really there? Expert ghost hunters have found paranormal activity at Museum Village, documented in a video shown during ghost tours at the Visitor Center. Stroll the grounds after dark and meet the resident spirits who dwell within the buildings surrounding the village green.
A short trip to the northwest takes you to Pine Bush, known as the UFO Capital of the United States. Enthusiasts have flocked to this little community since the early 1960’s to see the strange objects in the sky and weird lights emanating from the woods. Locals will tell you of alien abductions as well as the best places to park in the dark to catch the extraterrestrial goings-on. Stop by the Cup and Saucer Diner and you may meet someone who has actually met an ET.
Your evening’s lodgings are at Pine Bush House B&B, a beautiful 1904 Victorian home where every room has its own décor…and its own ghost. Stay overnight and you may be joined by an ethereal grey and white cat, or perhaps by The Whisperer, the jazz musician in the parlor, or the two ghost cooks from the kitchen. Sleep tight! Breakfast on the front porch is heavenly in the warmer months, and when there’s a slight nip in the air, try to ignore the man dressed in black who mysteriously appears from the corner of the dining room.
Haunted Hudson Valley / Day 2
Take a scenic boat cruise to the hauntingly beautiful Bannerman Island in the Hudson River. Apparitions that have been seen there for hundreds of years still inhabit the ghostly ruins of the early 1900’s Scottish-style castle. This majestic architectural skeleton is haunted by Native Americans and early Dutch Colonial settlers who walk the paths with you amid the overgrown vegetation and even in the manicured gardens.
A scenic drive takes you to the stone houses of Hurley harboring secrets from the 1600’s. The chill in the air is more than a breeze curling past the walls of the ten homes during the Hurley Ghost Walk in October. 400-year-old citizens from the nearby cemetery will join you as your guide tells their stories and the ghosts whisper in your ear.
Your evening’s lodgings are at the Shanley Hotel in Napanoch, but just because you rent a room doesn’t mean you’ll end up sleeping there. Footsteps in the hall, the laughter of children, and strange whistling that cannot be explained may have you tossing and turning in the night. What was the hidden room in the basement used for, and could some of the answers come from the hotel’s bordello past? Book a stay and see why they say, “The spirits are inn!”
Haunted Hudson Valley / Day 3
Cross the river and investigate the shenanigans at Miss Fanny’s Victorian Party House in Wappingers Falls. Strange voices and undetermined loud knocking come from the three story 1860’s farm house where a large man has the unnerving habit of disappearing into a wall. Your hostess is a gifted medium who will take you into the great beyond or up the dark staircase for an encounter with the macabre whisperings of the home.
And then there are spirits, found after a short ride to Dutch’s Spirits at Harvest Homestead Farm in Pine Plains, a recently excavated 1932 distillery. Amidst idyllic scenery, this underground clandestine bootlegging establishment produced thousands of gallons of moonshine during Prohibition. It’s rumored that Dutch Schultz and members of his mob still roam the sprawling network of tunnels and bunkers of this newly revealed subterranean secret.
Nearby, spend the night at Wing’s Castle in Millbrook, a medieval home that doubles as a bed and breakfast. The stories emanating from the antiques, memorabilia, and collectibles are tied to the resident ghosts who take you on a jolly romp through this stone castle. Visitors too scared to spend the night can take day tours of the home’s dungeon and tower to commune with the spirits.
Haunted Hudson Valley / Day 4
Just north, seven generations of the Livingston family lived and died at Clermont, their estate in Germantown. Many return in October for the annual “Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours.” Weave through the mysterious old rooms and shadowy grounds accompanied by pirates, separated lovers, and spunky servants, all with bone-chilling stories of the past, all of which are true!
But no truer than the Indian princess who ran off with her lover without her father’s blessing. Standing on a boulder in the Claverack Creek, now known as Spook Rock, the young maiden was swept to her death by a flash flood. Stand on the rock yourself and you’ll hear a low moaning, her lament as she searches for her lost lover.