It’s that time of year when people enjoy a spooky story — or experience.
Lindsay Kensy of AAA Western and Central New York has channeled New York state’s history in the paranormal with the Haunted History Trail of New York State, a collection of more than 65 “creepy, spooky and downright haunted locations.”
And two of the sites are located in Cattaraugus County: The Haunted House in Hinsdale, “perhaps the most famous haunted house in New York state,” and The Wildwood Sanitarium in Salamanca.
The Hinsdale House, Kensy says, “has all the elements of a good ghost story, a mysterious history, straight sightings, unexplainable events and even a couple of exorcisms.”
The house on McMahon Road first gained notoriety when a book, “Echoes of a Haunting,” was published in September 2000 by Clara Miller, who, along with Phil Dandy, lived in the house with their children in the early 1970s and “were visited by many spirits” during their time there.
“The family was so haunted,” Kensy says, “that they called in Father Alphonsus from St. Bonaventure University to perform an exorcism on the house, which worked for a short while, but as time went by the Dandy family lost the battle and ended up leaving the property.”
In 2006, Discovery channel filmed an episode of “A Haunting” based on the events at the house. Current owner Daniel Klaes uses the house as a research facility for paranormal investigators. “The spirits are still there and he has uncovered even more to the history of the house, including many events that have happened on the outside of the house on the property,” Kensy says. Klaes even wrote a book, “Hinsdale House: An American Haunting,” released in 2016. The house once again made it to national TV and was featured on Destination America’s “Paranormal Lockdown” in April 2016, and then again in October of 2016 on TLC for the Halloween special of “Paranormal Lockdown.”
The Wildwood Sanitarium, 71 Prospect Ave., was officially opened in 1906 as a sanitarium and bath house. It was a holistic healing center and the only one of its kind in New York state at the time it opened. Dr. Henderson and Dr. Perry specialized in osteopathy therapy and also welcomed in patients seeking a cure for alcoholism, drug addiction and all conditions except infectious and contagious diseases, offering each patient individual attention and offered a bath house in the basement.
Later, it became a tuberculosis clinic in the 1920s, then owned by several different families and later opened as apartments.
“Over the years it has been known to have paranormal activity including shadow figures, orbs, electronic voice phenomenon and people have reported being touched or pushed,” Kensy says.
Two other locations to make the list of 65 are Lily Dale Assembly and the Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse, where some have reported the lighthouse keepers who used to care for Dunkirk liked it so much, they just never left.