Ghost Writers of the Adirondacks

Photograph by Aaron Hobson

I visited one of the creepiest spots in the Adirondacks while writing “Greek Tragedy” for our September/October issue. Stepping from an unremarkable trail into a crumbling amphitheater is downright bizarre. It’s dark and still and cold within the cocoon of towering trees and broken limbs. Tiers of mossy benches—made to order for generations of teenagers who come for a good dose of fright—lead to an altar framed by creepy symbols. (Ironically, the letters spell “Welcome,” according to Chateaugay Lake: The Adirondack Resort Era, 1830–1917. But it’s all Greek to me.) It’s hardly surprising that there’s a ghost story attached to this space.

But plenty of ordinary-looking structures throughout the park hide their own twisted tales. One Saranac Lake home, a former cure cottage for tuberculosis patients, was so beset by weird happenings that it was featured on Animal Planet’s The Haunted. The paranormal investigators who visited decided the whole village—possibly the most haunted community in the Adirondacks—needed to be exorcised of the forlorn spirits who succumbed to TB.

For more of our favorite spirited yarns—from the spooky to the silly—follow the links below:

“A Hopkinton Haunting,” by Annie Stoltie (October 2008)
This home along the northwestern boundary of the park played a role in the War of 1812. Now, the owners say, apparitions play in its halls.

“The Ghost of Hassle-Free Castle,” by Dan Bingham (October 2005)
An 18th-century goodwife—and accused witch—parties with the author in his Washington County home.

“A Show of Hands,” by Elizabeth Folwell (October 2003)
Haunting tales from Elizabethtown’s historic Hand House.

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