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Haunted Places in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes is awash with legends, folktales, and lore about the Finger Lakes. Most of these stories come from the Indians and can be found in Emerson Klees' book Legends and Stories of the Finger Lakes Region. Other stories about strange events, like monsters in the lakes, are old and, as far as I know, have not be substantiated in modern times.


But that doesn't mean that the Finger Lakes isn't without a haunted place or two. In fact, the Finger Lakes has quite a few houses whose owners claim that they are haunted. But like most homeowners, they don't want to start charging admission to tourists. So, it was a bit of a challenge to find places where visitors could go and have a decent chance at experiencing something.


Below is a list of places whose owners or contacts have assured me are truly haunted, but you will have to go and check them out for yourself. 


The Edge of Thyme

6 Main St.

Candor, NY 13743


People are heard walking on the steps that are covered with carpeting, the back door slams when locked, and guests have reported seeing a blonde woman in one room, rocking in a rocking chair. One psychic told the owners that there is a Civil War soldier in the house who won't leave because his blonde wife is buried in the basement. Guests are warned not to leave perfume bottles in the bathroom as they will be taken and not returned.

Esperanza Mansion

3456 State Route 54A

Bluff Point, NY 14478


There are many stories of lovely ladies dressed in white in the Finger Lakes, however, owner Dave Wegman assured me that Esperanza's lovely lady does exist and that she can be seen in the mansion from time to time. No one knows for sure who she is or why she is there. On the National Register of Historic Places, Esperanza is worth the trip whether you see the lady in white or not.

The Naples Hotel

111 S. Main St.

Naples, NY 14512


Hotel manager, Jason Randall, says he has experienced strange happenings, and hotel patrons have long spoken of a spirit called “Topper” frequenting the property. The hotel was visited by The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAP), the paranormal investigation group from the SyFy Channel “Ghost Hunters” series. Their program aired on 12 January 2012. The hotel provides ghost tours for a fee.


Clemens Center

207 Clemens Center Parkway

Elmira, NY 14902


Named for Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), the Clemens Center is a popular venue for the preforming arts. The theatre is said to be home to three ghosts--two women and a man. One is the spirit of a woman who worked at the theatre and loved the place so much that she asked that her ashes be sprinkled there after her death. The other two are a former stage hand and his wife.

James Fuller and Lydia Canning Fuller House

98 W. Genesee St.

Skaneateles, NY 13152

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Fuller house was designed by architects Peter Thompson and John Billing. This large Federal-style house acted as a station on the Underground Railroad. It is privately owned and not open to the public. Current owners state that the house is haunted by a slave.

There are many references to this house and photos on the Internet. Here are just two:



Miles Wine Cellars

168 Randall Crossing Rd.

Himrod, NY 14842


Located in a Greek Revival mansion, the winery seems to be haunted by a man and a woman who have been seen standing on the porch. An elderly woman who used to live in the house said that she never minded being sent to her room by her parents because the nice man and woman would come out of the walls and visit. They must occasionally have disputes as they go on door-slamming sprees. Otherwise, they appear to be harmless.

Sampson Theatre

130-136 E. Elm St.

Penn Yan 14527

The building was built in 1910 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has always been a theatre and is thought to be haunted by two past (passed?) theatre employees. Two people (one an architect) have photographed unexplainable swills of mist in the building, using different cameras.


Updated 30 January 2013








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