In the fall of 2020, we highlighted 7 places in Albany County & beyond known to house strange apparitions and unexplainable occurrences. Steeped in 400 years of rich history, Albany County and the surrounding area is full of ghostly tales and buildings with storied pasts. Scroll on for 5 more haunted places in Albany County and beyond!
Check out our 2020 blog for more haunted spots!
Built in 1736, the Olde English Pub resides in the historic Quackenbush House. The second oldest building in Albany, it was home to the Dutch, Quackenbush family who lived in the home for over a century. Since the last Quackenbush's departure in 1864, the building has been everything from antique store to boarding house to tavern.
It is hard to say from which era stem the apparitions who lurk around the business well after closing time. But they have made themselves well known. Many patrons report staring into the pub’s mirrors to see phantom faces stare back at them and staff have heard voices sound up from the basement when no one else is there.
In the village of Schoharie, New York, located west of Albany stands the Old Stone Fort Museum. With a building steeped in rich history, it makes sense that the Old Stone Fort Museum is the centerpiece of numerous strange accounts. The museum was originally built as a church in 1772 and fortified in 1777 during the American Revolution. It was attacked in 1780 by British forces, in fact one of the cannonballs that struck the building left a hole that can still be viewed today, and the building is surrounded by a large cemetery.
A stop on the Haunted History Trail of New York State and even featured in an episode of SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters,” many visitors and staff members have told tales of paranormal experiences within the museum walls. Reports have included the sight of an apparition in the doorway to the library, the sound of a woman screaming from the tower or the sound of footsteps on the vacant second floor. Many guests have even felt a presence prevent them from climbing up the stairs.
Iterations of the “vanishing hitchhiker” date back centuries and span cultures across the globe. Writer and specialist on American folklore, Louis C. Jones lists the Albany-centered story of “Hattie the Hitchhiker” among the classic examples of this legend in his collection of haunted tales “Things That Go Bump in the Night.”
In this account, a young man had been leaving a party near Albany and had driven past Graceland Cemetery in the early hours of the morning. It was raining heavily, but through the storm he noticed a young woman in a white evening gown by the cemetery gates. He offered her a ride which she quietly accepted. As the rain poured heavily, he kept his attention on the road, but when he approached her house, she had disappeared from the car. He went up to her door to be greeted by an older woman who explained it was her daughter Hattie who often hitched a ride home on rainy nights. But she always disappeared. The figure in his car had been her ghost, Hattie had been buried at Graceland Cemetery for the past four years.
Other iterations of the “Hattie the Hitchhiker” tale involve the man lending her his jacket and dropping her off to discover she took the jacket with her. He knocks on her door but is greeted by an older woman who explains that Hattie was her daughter who had been killed by a drunk driver. She was now buried at Graceland Cemetery. So, the man visits the cemetery to find her gravestone with his jacket draped over it.
Reports of the college’s haunted history appear in the student newspaper, a previous display within the school’s library entitled “Tales from the Archives: Haunted Saint Rose,” and in the haunted account novel “Ghosts of the Northeast” by David J. Pitkin.
Many strange occurrences have been reported in Brubacher Hall including doorknobs that seem to turn or shake on their own, closet doors that inexplicably creak open and shut, the sound of running footsteps in empty hallways, and the sound of instruments played without anyone around.
Mysterious melodies are a common supernatural experience throughout the campus especially for students residing in Morris Hall. It is said the building was once the site of a Catholic convent and phantom flute music can still be heard throughout the halls. There also once stood a reportedly haunted music building on campus grounds, Cabrini Hall, which was known to produce sounds of the piano late at night when the building was vacant.
When husband and wife business owners Jason and Kayleigh Pierce took over the building formerly known as the Andrew Kirk Brewery established in 1832, they inherited more than a historic location to open their new restaurant in. They also inherited the home of at least two, reportedly active spirits.
It is said the ghost of a young child, reported in a 19th century newspaper to have tragically drowned while playing in a cistern on the property, still plays at the bar, often knocking objects off countertops.
There are also reports of a 19th century night watchman who still spends his time patrolling the second floor. Employees often hear his voice or footsteps walking above them while working alone.
This October marks the inaugural year of Discover Albany’s All Hallow-E’en Festival Resurrection. The month-long, county-wide festival features plenty of opportunities to explore Albany’s haunted past.
The following tours have tickets on sale now:
- City Séance Ghost Tour
- Eerie Albany Historic Ghost Tour
- New York State Capitol Hauntings Tour
- Murder at Cherry Hill Tour
- The Dark Side of Downtown Tour
- Stories and Spirits at the Shaker Cemetery
*This project is made possible in part by the City of Albany’s Albany for All funding program and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
*This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP1752 awarded to the City of Albany, New York, by the U.S. Department of Treasury.