Forty minutes west from Alfred University is what is touted as the most haunted house in New York State: Hinsdale House.
In the early 1970s, Phil Dandy and his wife Clara Miller moved into the McMahon Road farmhouse, built in 1853, with their children. However, the idyllic atmosphere in Hinsdale, New York quickly turned sour as the Dandy family began to experience unexplainable events.
Not long after the family moved in, objects began to move without human placement. Strange noises, scents, and apparitions of people long gone began to seep through the walls and became a disconcerting addition to the household. The Dandys called on Father Alphonsus Trabold from St. Bonaventure University to perform a cleansing, by saying an exorcism rite but was unable to complete it as the house began to reportedly shake and scream.
The Dandy family had an article published in the Olean Times Herald to learn more information about the history of the property, however nothing solid came from it.
A psychic named Alex Tanous visited the Hinsdale House with Father Trabold on multiple occasions, with one visit leading Tanous to read the house and reveal that there had been seven murders there. Tanous and Trabold had, reportedly, repeatedly attempted to cleanse the house, but to no avail.
The Dandys moved out of the house after four years of these haunting experiences. With Clara Miller writing a book about her experiences called “Echoes of a Haunting” in 2000, and with the Discovery Channel filming an episode of A Haunting in 2006 at the house, the image of Hinsdale House was thrust into the public eye.
The house shifted hands over the years, with no owner staying there for very long, until Daniel Klaes bought the house in 2016 and has since written a book and turned the house into a must-see experience.
Klaes says that those visiting are able to see the remnants of an old barn that used to be on the property, items used in the failed exorcisms, and an “amazing Giving tree” on top of the hill behind the house. This tree is home to theories of hangings, reportedly an extremely haunting location. This is not all the Hinsdale House will offer, however, with Klaes planning to add a museum and cabins onto the property.
“If you are interested in history and even better than that: the paranormal, this is a hotbed of both and a side of folklore,” Klaes teases, “It costs $10-$89 [to go] depending on the length of stay. Tours last from an hour up to an overnight [stay], if you can brave it.”
Reportedly, on multiple occasions, there has been electric voice phenomenon (EVP’s), full-body apparitions, shadow people, and object movement. Klaes, himself, has had encounters with the ghosts on the property, but tempers any consistent expectations by saying that paranormal activity is naturally unreliable, but that that should not dissuade any enthusiasts.
“Paranormal investigators and enthusiasts come to the house year-round to investigate its claims,” Klaes said, adding. “I think that at any given time you can find unexplainable energy on the property.”
By Sam Sage