Albany is full of 400-years of rich history. But with this colorful history comes eerie stories and tales of hauntings. Are they real, or have this stories been passed on for generations simply for entertainment? Discover Albany's Education & Heritage Coordinator, Maeve McEneny, has done extensive research on these alleged hauntings and here are some of the stories she told us.
Albany's Graceland Cemetery is home to one of the oldest urban legends: Hattie the Hitchhiker. It was a cold, rainy night when a man driving on Delaware Avenue saw a girl in a prom dress standing outside of the cemetery. He offers her a ride home and she obliges. Noticing she's cold, he also offers her his jacket. After he drops her off, he realizes she still has his jacket.
The next day, the man goes back to get his coat. When an old woman answers the door, she tells him that she doesn't have a daughter anymore; her daughter passed away on her prom night when she got hit by a drunk driver. Where was the girl buried? Graceland Cemetery. The man thinks this must be some sort of joke. He doesn't believe it. So, he takes a trip to the cemetery, and off to the side he finds a tombstone... with his jacket draped over it.
It was a slow day at the Ten Broeck Mansion when a psychic stopped by to do a reading. After walking through many rooms and giving many poor readings, she decided to make on last stop in the attic. In a box, she found a portrait of a man with a billy goat beard. A-ha! She claims this man is the voice she's been hearing all day, and he's very upset that his portrait is no longer hanging in the Daughters of the American Revolution Room. Mansion workers did not take the this reading to heart, as nothing she said earlier in the day could be backed by factual evidence.
A few months later, staff members were looking through a binder that had photos of the Daughters of the American Revolution Room. What did they see? The painting of the man with the billy goat beard hanging over the mantle.
One of the most popular tours done in October is the NYS Capitol Hauntings Tour. People come from all over New York to hear about the hauntings of Albany's spectacular Capitol Building. Very early on the morning of March 29, 1911, fire broke out in the third floor Assembly Room The imfamous fire spread through the State Library, the Million Dollar Staircase, and to the fourth floor and towers. Around 3AM, firemen found the body of nightwatchman, Sam.
For a long time, there has been a presence in the building that people began to know as George, until a psychic came in to do a reading of the building. She discovered that the energy was not a 'George'; instead, it was someone named Sam. Could this energy be the same Sam that lost his life during that fire?
What was once the historic Quackenbush House is now home to the Olde English Pub and Pantry. Built in 1736, the old building obviously comes with alleged ghost stories. Staff members have claimed to look up into the Pub's mirrors and see a reflection that isn't them looking back. Some of the eeriest stories seem to happen in the basement during closing time. One night, a staff member was expecting his brother to pick him up. From the basement, he heard his name being called, but the voice didn't sound like his brother. When he reached the top of the stairs, the staff member called his brother, only to find out the brother was still on State Street.
Looking for more spooky events around Albany? Click here to visit our Halloween & Haunted Events page. Or join Maeve McEneny for one of her haunted tours of Albany or Troy, via The Original Albany Ghost Tour.