The Most Haunted Hotel on the East Coast is Just a Short Drive from the Capital Region
This place is so haunted that they actually make you sign a waiver before they will let you stay there!
The Shanley Hotel in Napanoch, NY at one time, was a popular summer vacation destination in the Hudson Valley which also doubled as the local watering hole for the workers working on the D&H Canal in the industrial age. In the beginning it even had a “Gentleman’s Club Quarters” where ladies were made available to their distinguished members.
In the late 1800’s the hotel fell victim to a neighboring fire and had to be rebuilt and while the hotel had several owners over the years the most notable, and the one who’s story really put the hotel on the map, was James Louis Shanley. Who was a pretty successful businessman that along with his brothers owned several restaurants and hotels across the country. However, he decided that he was going to call New York home.
Mr. Shanley moved his family into the hotel and began adding onto it building a bowling alley, a billiards room, and a barber shop. While business was good, the hotel (and it’s residents) did come across some hardships. Most notably some tragic deaths among employees and family members.
Mr. Shanley’s wife gave birth to 3 children in the hotel all of which passed before they could reach their first birthday. Then Mr. Shanley lost his sister Esther, followed by his brother Andrew, and tragedy struck for the barber of the hotel when one of his daughters fell down a nearby well dying instantly. They say her spirit likes to roam the Shanley and guests even claim they can hear her running and giggling around the place.
According to the Shanley’s website there were apparently quite a few “other accidental deaths, missing people, and rumored murders throughout the years”. A few of these spirits have decided to stick around as well. Like the the man who hung himself in a room frequently occupied by Elanor Roosevelt and Anna one of the more “popular” ladies that could be found in the “Gentleman’s Club”.
Guests are still permitted to stay at the Shanley however they are required to sign a waiver before hand and be forewarned you may experience paranormal activity. It’s not uncommon to hear children running up and down the stairs or feel ghosts poking or prodding the guests to get their attention. Onlyinyourstate.com says “Though the hotel is full of ghosts and paranormal activity, none have ever been violent. Most seem to be having fun – singing, laughing and playing.”
I’ve looked up some of the reviews on the hotel because being a bit of a thrill seeker myself and being totally curious about the possibility of the after life I think a visit to the Shanley might be something I need to make happen in the near future. Most of the reviews were pretty positive but a lot were quick to remind us that a stay at the hotel is for the experience and NOT to spend the night at a luxury resort. So you know, don’t go expecting anything too fancy that comes with all the amenities.