Have you ever experienced an unexplained chill when you walked into a building? Have you felt like you weren’t alone in a secluded room? In the Greater Syracuse Area, we have plenty of options for a spine-tingling adventure. Some of our haunted locations have made it into the New York State Haunted History Trail - the FIRST and ONLY statewide paranormal trail in the country.
If you haven’t taken a trip to these listed local haunts, we dare you to explore the spooktacular side of Syracuse. You never know…
WAYSIDE IRISH PUB
Originally known as a stage coach stop called the Munro House, the Wayside Inn was built in the 1800's. Reports of ghostly activity at the location date back to at least the 1960s. While the building was closed after a mysterious second fire, a passerby looked in the windows and saw a transparent woman in a long dress on the stairs. There have been numerous reports of the apparition "Sara" since this event. Sara is believed to be the young girl who hung herself on the third floor. Since the 1960s, there have been many sightings of various ghostly beings and reports of paranormal events. Most of the poltergeist-like activity is attributed to a friendly ghost named Harry. However, there are other ghosts that are also thought to be spending their afterlife in the building. They include the Inn's original owner, Squire Munro, and an unknown traveler who died in the building. There have been multiple reports from employees (along with patrons) about a male figure dressed in a soldier’s uniform, and shadow figures in the basement. Many patrons and bartenders have felt touches, pokes, cold spots and had their hair pulled. Glasses fly off the bar without explanation, pictures drop off the walls and orbs show up in photos taken there. To this day, many New York State Troopers believe the building is haunted after responding to calls of strange lights and activity inside the building.
*Provided by Wayside Irish Pub
Location: 101 W. Main St., Elbridge
A spirit by the name of “Clarissa” is said to inhabit the Landmark Theatre and usually appears in a white dress with the aroma of lilacs. According to her story, Clarissa, an actress, fell off the balcony in the theater after either jumping to her death after her witnessing her boyfriend get electrocuted or she fainted over the railing. Either way, she’s known as a “good” ghost. The Landmark remains the city’s most elaborate movie palace, built in 1928 as part of the Loews theater chain, but often hosting live stage performances.
Location: 362 S. Salina St, Syracuse
Known as the “Lady in Red”, Syracuse Stage’s spirit shows off a playful presence and is reportedly felt whenever a contemporary actress has to appear dressed in bright red – perhaps energy generated by a snit of jealousy? Or just an attempt to upstage another and remind us she can still perform? In any case, the Lady in Red periodically adds a bit of additional fun and excitement to our cultural scene. *Provided by OHA
Location: 820 East Genesee St. Syracuse
As the story goes, 70 years ago, a newly married couple was killed in an auto accident trying to go through the treacherous curve of Onondaga Hill. It is said that a woman in a white gown can be seen through the woods looking for her groom.
Location: Cedarvale Road south from West Seneca Turnpike; Pleasant Valley Road is at the bottom of 13 Curves
SPLIT ROCK QUARRY
Several hundred feet past a dead end road in the town of Onondaga, sits a giant stone structure that marks the site of Onondaga County's single worst loss of life at the Split Rock Quarry (now only the foundation of the stone crusher) and munitions plant. On the night of July 2, 1918, a mysterious fire broke out at the Semet-Solvay Process Company, where it manufactured highly explosive TNT for World War I. The resulting explosion rocked the landscape, felt for miles; killing an estimated 50 men. Fifteen were never identified and were buried in a common grave. More than 80 years after the plant blew up, the spirits of the dead still roam the ledges or stand on the ruined rock crusher of the old quarry. They glow in shades of green and yellow, a ghostly afterimage of the effects of picric acid, the bitter and toxic explosive that once stained miners’ skin yellow-green. It is said that there is a vortex by the munitions plant and you disappear for a half an hour and end up on the bottom of a hill. Many have said the rock crusher makes a humming noise as if it’s still running. The Quarry has been featured on The Travel Channel’s “Destination Fear.” *Information provided by OHA
Location: Onondaga Boulevard, Solvay (Trails at Kasson, Onondaga & Smoroln roads)
GLEN HAVEN SCREAMER
The Screamer - A sanitarium was burned down in 1912 to clear a spot for a watershed for the city of Syracuse. The site is located on Skaneateles Lake. The Sanitarium’s caretaker was said to have perished in the fire. His screams could be heard across the lake. Even in life, he was a nasty jealous man and now takes out his revenge on those at the summer camp across the lake. He can be seen and heard at night pacing the wooded cliffs above the camp brandishing his sharpened scythe and wailing.
Location: Southernmost tip of Skaneateles Lake
ERIE CANAL MUSEUM
This museum is home to several ghosts. They include a group of see through children who play in the courtyard, a woman who was killed where the model canal boat now sits, a pair of arguing men, and the specter of a heavyset man whose footsteps are still heard tromping down through the 150-year-old hallways. This may be the spirit of Frank Buchanon, the museum’s founding director, who is said to still walk the building.
Location: 318 Erie Boulevard. East, Syracuse
It’s a five-mile road with no streetlights or houses. It’s all forest. It’s said that back in the old days, devil worshipers and members of the KKK used to worship there and kill children as sacrifices ... it’s said that if you drive down the road at night you can see the children walking and there is also a bloody blanket.
Location: Town of Memphis, between Perry and West Dead Creek roads
SPOOKY BRIDGE AT JAMESVILLE
The towering stone dam at the north end of the Jamesville Reservoir is a local landmark for many. It was finished in 1874, holding back Butternut Creek and creating a reservoir to supply water for the Erie Canal. Buried deep beneath the water, near the dam, would be any traces of an old wooden bridge, said by locals in the 19th century to be haunted by a variety of troubled spirits. Some told of an African-American boy on a ghostly white horse chasing travelers across the bridge. Others spoke of a cloaked figure appearing and then vanishing into the water below. Another version held that an apparition appeared in the middle of the structure, and then vanished when approached. *Provided by OHA