There’s no greater joy in life than hitting the open road with a best friend. On our way to upstate New York this past weekend in our quest to overnight in the haunted Shanley Hotel (cross that one off the bucket list!) there were quite a few moments when I marveled at the scenery—we weren’t even that far from home, and yet, the view of mountains through a nest of clouds was breathtaking.
Though my iPod crapped out halfway through the trip, we belted along to some Tori Amos and whatever came through without static. It was a really great trip.
So about this haunted hotel….
We arrived around 6pm Friday night in Napanoch, NY, and were greeted by this ominous looking building. Look at this scary ass thing!
There were quite a few people gathered in the Great Room (I believe we were a group of about 14 for the evening). Rooms hadn’t been assigned yet so we had some time to meet guests and wax poetic about ghosts. Oh, and sign a waiver, NBD! As tempted as I was to tell people about my experience meeting the Count from Sesame Street, I decided this was probably not the time or place since at least one person had a briefcase and official ghost-finding devices.
Unlike the haunted house that ate our money (remember that story??), I felt something here (and apparently wasn’t the only one). We did a few investigator-led walks and then had free reign to explore the hotel on our own with EVP devices. We went to the Gentleman’s Quarters, the Bordello, and the Marguerite Room, which has a really trippy mirror we each stared into. I had a difficult time breathing in one corridor in particular and I got a lot of activity in the Great Room when I asked questions to the EVP device. The next morning I overheard some guests talk about playing ball with the spirit of a young boy.
It felt as though we were at a sleep-away camp for adults. Though we started the night as strangers from various walks of life, the next morning we had all bonded over ghost stories and funny childhood memories. It was an incredible experience that I would absolutely recommend to anyone—especially for skeptics.
If you squint, you’ll see us all the way at the top of the stairs!
Some things to keep in mind during ghost hunts:
- 75% of your photos will look like this:
- You will spend a lot of time walking and waving devices around. It’s impossible to feel completely normal doing this, but you are not alone. Let go, have fun!
- Don’t tap your friend’s shoulder pretending to be a ghost.
Have you (or would you ever) stay in a haunted hotel?