A Page of Local Paranormal Stories, Haunting's, Debates and Just all things Spooky and Paranormal in nature
Ten Broeck Mansion, Albany NY
The REAL History
The Ten Broeck Mansion was built in 1797-98 for General Abraham Ten Broeck and his wife, Elizabeth Van Rensselaer, after a fire destroyed their previous Albany home. Ten Broeck leased five acres in what then was the Township of Watervliet from his brother-in-law, the Patroon -- Stephen Van Rensselaer. It was there he built a Federal-style house with sloping lawns and formal gardens.The mansion, named "Prospect," commanded a sweeping view of the Hudson River and its daily traffic of barges and schooners along the busy trade route. The Ten Broeck family was already five generations into New World residence by the time Abraham came of age and had become prosperous and prominent in public affairs. In 1775, he served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In 1777, as a brigadier general, he commanded the New York Militia at the famous Battle of Saratoga. From 1779-1783 he served as both mayor of Albany and as a member of the State Senate. Governor George Clinton appointed Ten Broeck the first judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in 1781. Among Ten Broeck's non-governmental accomplishments were serving as the first president of the Bank of Albany, first president of the Albany Public Library, and as a trustee of Union College. Ten Broeck enjoyed Prospect for a scant 12 years before his death in 1810. His widow, Elizabeth, lived there another three years, until her death. Over the next 30 years, the character of the house changed. It was refurbished and renovated in the then-fashionable Greek Revival style. Thomas Worth Olcott purchased the residence in 1848 and renamed it Arbour Hill, after the surrounding area which today is an Albany neighborhood known by that name. The Olcott family, one of the most prominent in Albany banking and civic improvement circles, was responsible for the addition of the first-floor butler's pantry and the second-floor bathrooms, both of which reflect the Victorian style of the late 19th Century. The Mansion's dominance spurred new development in Arbour Hill, with a new wealthy merchant class building homes near their businesses, utilizing the late Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire and other styles from the late 1840s to 1890. In 1948, after 100 years of Olcott family ownership,
"The History is collected from the Ten Broeck.org website"
The Haunted history
Over the years our Team has explored the halls and room of this fascinating and very historic house right here in our local backyard. We have captured/witnessed many things that seem to be paranormal in nature. Our guest have had their own personal experiences along with witnessed happenings as well right along with us. Here are some of the stories that we have accumulated from this beautiful home:
The women at the top of the second floor: Over the years we have had many conversations with guest people who volunteer there that the minuet they get to the second floor at the top of the stairs they have either seen a female standing there and or feel the presence of someone watching them. These witnesses report a very strong feeling that over takes them. During one of our events that we held there we had one of our own volunteers that was working with us not be able to go upstairs as the feelings that affected here were so strong that she had to stay on the first floor. This is a very common occurrence at this spot of the home.
The women seen in the window: Our team was very lucky to have captured a full body apparition of a women standing in the window looking out over the property. We were holding an event at the home where we had 2 separate guest talk to us about stories where a women was seen in the window. The first story took place back in the early 1900's where an police offer ( Albany beat cop as they were known as back then ) was walking up to the home. As he walked up the driveway he noticed a women looking at him through the window. Now mind you the house had no one living in it at the time of the sighting. When he entered the home to search for the women he saw there was no one in the house at all, but him. He then left the house to never return to it as he was too scared. The second sighting was seen back in the 1960's. women who use to live across the street from the home on multiple occasions witnessed a women standing in the window of the home when the home was unoccupied at the time. She got so nervous of what she seen that she wouldn't look in the direction of the house as she was scared and didn't want to see what she saw again.
The doors that close: We have heard of multiple volunteers of the home have witnessed doors slamming shut on their own. Upon looking no one was in the house. Our team on multiple occasions have witnessed this very activity happening. One night while we were investigating a door of a room on the second floor slammed shut TWICE! the first time a team of 2 investigators was conducting a session in the room. When the session concluded they left and walked down the hallway. Once they got to the stairs to go down they heard a loud bang like a door being slammed shut. they turned around and headed back to the room they just came out of and sure enough the door was closed. Right after this happened we then sent a 2nd team of 2 different investigators to conduct another session in this room. Sure enough once they got to the stairs again the door slammed shut. Upon review to try and debunk it the way that the door was leaning up against the wall fully open and the weight of the door itself would make it impossible for it to close on its own and especially with that much force. During multiple events and guest sightings have still to this day have witnessed this still happening
The women in the Garden: On several occasion guest have said they have witnessed a women in a white gown laying in the garden of the home. Could this be elizabeth herself after she passed away during a funeral viewing? This was common place back then that people would be laid in their yards for viewing before going to the plot. the people who have witnessed this have said that this is what it seems they are seeing.
West Hall at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY
The REAL History
West Hall was the home to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Geology, for the over 40 years. Yet the history of this 100-plus year-old building has a rich history in Rensselaer. A Civil war era hospital that in June 28,1868, the cornerstone for a new hospital building was laid by the Right Reverend J.J. Conroy, Bishop of Albany.
This building was to now be part of St. Mary's Hospital, but at that time was known as the Troy Hospital. This Hospital became the first full service hospital in New York State outside of the New York City area, remained in this building until 1914. About this time, however, owing to rapid growth of the city and of the construction of the Union Railroad within a few feet of the building, the location was deemed unsuitable and so the site upon which West Hall now sits was purchased.
In 1922 it was purchased by the Diocese of Albany and served as Troy's Catholic Central High School for the next 30 years.
Though its name has changed, its tradition as a place of education remained when West Hall was purchased by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.This building still retained its character and its history. The office and museum were located in the old operating theater turned gymnasium, labs and classrooms in the old hospital rooms, rock storage in the front stairwells, and the sedimentology lab adjacent to the boiler-room in the sub-basement. In 1998, the institute moved the Earth and Environmental Science department to the Science Center, moving in alongside the department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, and the department of Biology. West Hall is now home to the purchasing department, grants and contracts, as well as a substantial portion of the Integrated Electronic Arts department.
The HAUNTED history
. As the stories go that go back almost 150 years ago a Nurse named Betsy use to work in the psych ward area. She was said to enjoy playing the piano at times through out her shifts. The sounds of a piano have been heard in the halls of this old hospital. It has also though been said that working in the psych ward ended up driving her insane herself. The stories say that brutally beat her patients in the basement area and also would kill her patients that wouldn't strop yelling. There is a story that there was a fire that started in the hospital. The nurse, Betsy tried to save all the patients that she could, but she sadly ended up passing away in the fire. People have heard the sound of footsteps walking around and doors slamming shut when no one is there. The sounds of possible patients’ that were staying here at the hospital have been heard through out the building.
Glass is known to shatter with no known cause. Footsteps and doors slamming has been heard by students along with screams and moaning in the building
When RPI purchased the building and began renovations in 1991 – quickly halted but ‘resurrected’ in 2004. However, the brief stink of work in 1991 seems to have been enough to unsettled the spirits, because it is then that the reports of hauntings begin.
custodians have reported smelling fresh baked cookies in West Hall
One especially playful night, at 3 am, all the toilets in West Hall flushed at the same time.