Once it hits October, I go into serial Halloween mode, no question about it. I love fall, and the general atmosphere it gives off. The air is fresh, the apples are better, and everything just starts to get more calm and beautiful. I always just want to sit down and watch all the scary movies I can find, roast marshmallows over a warm campfire, and watch the leaves change gradually. The whole season of fall just makes me feel a little bit better after the too-hot days of summer. In honor of October and Halloween coming up, here are some haunted places around SUNY Binghamton that are worth checking out to get you in the mood for fall!
1. Parkview Restaurant- Owego, NY
This restaurant, only 20 minutes away from Binghamton University, was built in 1867. The current owner bought the building in 2011 and renovated it with her husband. She reports that she found a hidden sealed room in the building, and sometimes hears the sound of an unexplained ringing bell. The restaurant has also hosted Owego’s Zombie Fest in the past. Parkview welcomes those who would like to tour the building; all you need to do is schedule an appointment.
2. Utica Lunatic Asylum- Utica, NY
Home to patients who experienced forced lobotomies, the Utica Lunatic Asylum, also known as The Main, is definitely one of the more disturbing haunted places around SUNY Binghamton. The asylum is set on a beautiful 130 acres, but what lies inside is not as pretty. Known for their use of a caged coffin bed, the Utica Crib, and intense medical procedures, the asylum was open from 1843 to 1978. Tours are free, but in 2016 they were only offered on two dates in June, so seeing the inside of this historical landmark can be tricky.
3. Sherwood Hotel- Greene, NY
Built on the site of the Chenango House, which burned down in 1905, the Sherwood Hotel is said to have some haunting activity. Rooms 206 and 207 are said to be haunted by Rebecca, a girl who killed herself in at the hotel. An unidentified maid was also killed in a fire in the 1960’s, which just adds to the suspicion for most that the weird things that happen around the hotel are due to spirits. Faucets have been known to turn on and off randomly, as well as the elevator doors opening sporadically. The building is currently up for sale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a visit and decide for yourself if the Sherwood is truly haunted.
4. Bundy Museum- Binghamton, NY
For this haunted trip, you won’t have to travel too far; just to downtown Binghamton. The museum was originally the home of Harlow E. Bundy in 1904, and was later opened as the museum in 2004. Multiple ghost investigations have been conducted in the museum, and apparitions have been reported in the second floor windows. People have also reported feeling uneasy in the African Art Exhibit in the basement of the building. The museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays weekly.
5. Houdini Museum- Scranton, PA
About an hour away from Binghamton, the Houdini museum is home to a bunch of remarkable Houdini memorabilia. The museum has been featured on many television shows, and holds daily magic shows. Supposedly the building may be haunted, but mostly this attraction is good for the haunted séances they hold every Saturday. If you’re in to magic, mystery and séances, this is the creepy place for you.
6. 1890 House Museum- Cortland, NY
The 1890 house dates back to, you guessed it, 1890, when Chester Franklin Wickwire had it built, inspired by a house he had seen in New York City. The house is 15000 square ft., housing a few exhibits and hosting events. It was later bought by Cortland County, and turned into the museum that it is. The museum was featured on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, and has attracted many tourists interested in ghost hunting. It is the most famous of the haunted places around SUNY Binghamton. Workers and guests of the museum have reported recording mysterious voices, as well as seeing floating orbs. Definitely worth the trip to see as its only 50 minutes away from Binghamton University.
7. Willard Asylum- Willard, NY
Originally the home to the Agricultural College that would become Cornell University once it moved, Willard Asylum dates back to 1860. It only functioned as an asylum from 1869 to 1995, housing thousands of patients. On site is a cemetery that holds about 6000 bodies, mostly identified by numbers rather than their names. Suitcases found in the attic of the asylum were the basis of the book “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic,” by Darby Penney, Peter Stastny, and Lisa Rinzler. The asylum also happens to hold a bowling alley of all things. Tours for the asylum are held once a year, but none will be held in 2016 due to safety issues. More tours are being considered for 2017, and it definitely seems to be worth the wait to see this one.
8. Spook Hill- Middlesex, NY
This location is a little different from the rest, not being a hotel, house, or even a building at all. But, that doesn’t make it any less strange. This hill, located 2 hours from Binghamton University is one of the weirdest phenomena. Supposedly, if you park your car on a specific part of the hill, and then switch your car to neutral, the car will go backwards up the hill all on its own. Some believe this is possible because spirits are pushing the car up the hill, and the fact that there is an Indian burial ground nearby helps to perpetuate that theory. It may not be a haunted house, but this phenomenon is creepy enough to have to check out. Get out there and visit these haunted places around SUNY Binghamton!