Tag Archives: ghosts

Adirondack Ghosts, or Light Emitting Diodes?

Oh, great.

Now, I’m one of those people. I’ve always been interested in ghosts, and I read plenty of (supposedly) real life ghost stories. I would like to believe the witnesses. And I think I do, mostly. But, there’s also an element of, “Oh, yeah. Right. Sure you saw something.” Well, guess what?

I saw something.

You might remember that last Summer, I thought I had some sort of indistinct impression of a girl and a old guy at a workbench in my backyard. That was indistinct. Could have been my imagination. That’s one thing. But what I have recently seen twice is another thing entirely.

Coming back from Plattsburgh the other evening, we decided to go through Vermontville and Bloomingdale, rather than taking the Onchiota turn. This takes us past the graveyard in Vermontville. I had forgotten about it, until I saw those little blue lights again. Little blue lights at or above many of the graves there. I’d say a few dozen. Perfectly distinct. Bright enough that they caught my attention. They looked so much like blue/white LEDs that I actually considered that hypothesis. Until I asked myself, “Why would several-but-not-all of the graves in the Vermontville cemetery have LEDs on them?” But that’s exactly what they looked like. Organized. In rows. (Ish.) Sort of like the LEDs in the photo, only without the glimmer.

A few miles after that, we passed our own cemetery, in Brighton. I thought, “How weird that was. I’ll look in our cemetery too, to see if I notice anything.” I saw the same little dotty blue glow, but here in Brighton, only one, maybe two dots. Way, way back on the South end, in the back corner. Just like last time. I have seen these same lights, awake and clear-headed, twice.

Adirondack Ghosts, or light emitting diodes? Another type of anomaly?

My neighbor friend and I just went over it. He’s a scientist. (Seriously.) Some new-fangled cemetery accessory? Doubtful, and kind of silly. A weird granite-based reflection from headlights? Nope. Our lights weren’t facing the stones, and it doesn’t happen other places. Some sort of Spring-thaw-gas-from-the-ground thing? Doubtful. This is our first Spring here, and I saw the same lights during the Fall. We’re stumped.

I guess, as much as I am a ghost person, I want there to be a physical explanation.

I’m going to leave it in your hands, friends.



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House Haunting and Hunting in Saranac Lake

I follow local real estate, and I follow local ghost stories. You’d be surprised how frequently the two meet in the middle.

I got on a good sip-snortin’ ghost bender yesterday, and spent a good deal of time paging through tons of nonsense concerning “a ghost with the body of a man, and the head of a raccoon,” another one about a ghost lady with a panther head, and all told, quite a number of beast/human combos. One would think that Saranac Lake’s ghost population were recruited entirely from its taxidermists.

But, I had been told otherwise. “There’s that big house up on the hill. The Colonial.”

The Prescott House (originally known as the Mary Prescott Reception Hospital) was a Tuberculosis hospital, built in 1905 at the request of Dr. Trudeau by a formed TB patient named Mary R. Prescott, to serve patients who were too ill to be admitted to Trudeau’s Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium (which only accepted incipient cases). The Colonial revival building still stands on Franklin Avenue. After the hospital closed in 1949, the building was home to the Saranac Lake Study and Craft Guild, and later did service as a North Country Community College dorm.

The hospital is rumored to have been busting with ghosts during it’s tenure as a dorm, especially in the basement kitchen area – originally the morgue. Can’t quite find any first-hand tales, but as my original informant mentioned, “Oh, that place is haunted. Everybody knows that.”

Haunted or not, it’s certainly gorgeous. Prescott House has been most recently operating as a Bed & Breakfast. (Twenty-two bedrooms and 19,500 square feet!) Judging from the few mentions I’ve seen, Mary Prescott’s kindness is firmly in place – The review(s) are quite good. As for the ghosts, the jury is still out. I didn’t find much. But don’t take my word for it. You can find out for yourself for a cool $975k – It’s for sale! Check out those neat old sinks in what looks like the basement in the listing photos. Shudder.

As always, thanks to Bunk and his excellent Saranac Lake history website for photos. Love local history? Then you have to see this. And this. Stayed tuned for more on the awesome Mary Prescott. You rock, Mary.


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My Old Haunts

I have a Halloween confession to make. I know a lot about ghosts. Or, I suppose, ghost theory.

Ghost LadyI read a lot of these real-life ghost story books. Have read ’em for years. You know – those things along the lines of Haunted Northern New York and Ghosts Among Us. (The latter is by Leslie Rule, the most readable ghost re-teller, for my money.) Most of the American books tend to be straight retellings, however, I find that the British books also include a lot of ghost theory. I’d expect no less from Great Britain, where they take their ghosts very seriously. I’m totally into it. When it comes to particularly active haunts in my home state, I’ve even visited many of the sites. Yep, I’m totally a Ghostie.

One of my favorite theories is the Stone Recording concept, which makes total sense to me. In a nutshell, the theory is that somehow stone (and perhaps other materials) can retain especially emotional moments of the human experience, and can replay these moments when triggered. This is just one type of “haunting.” This theory explains these particular ghostly experiences as really more akin to a movie being replayed, on a constant loop.

For all my years ghost hunting, I’ve had but one single, clear experience. But you’re in luck – It was just a few months ago, and it involves our new Adirondack home. As you might guess would be the case, the Teardown Theory works in tandem with this whole Stone Recording thing. When you tear down an extremely old home, energy from the past is released.

ghost_picture_1I was sitting in the cabin one day, mid-teardown. Sitting with laptop in lap, the front door was open, and I could look out to the backyard and towards the old house. It was unusually calm and quiet, and a bit of movement caught my eye. I usually look up pretty quickly, always wanting to catch a view of a neat bird or a chippy. And right there, in the middle of the space between the cabin and the old house, was a thin older man working on something atop a sawhorse, with a small girl at his side. Her clothes seemed to be 1930s or so, and he had the look of a classic flannel-and-overalls farmer.

He was clearly entertaining the child, or explaining to her what exactly he was doing. It’s very difficult to explain exactly what this all looked like. Yes, it was sort of filmy and washed out, and I do believe I actually saw it, but at the same time, I felt like it was more of an impression. It lasted the five or eight seconds that I was focused on it. At the point when my rational brain asked itself, “Am I really seeing this,” it was gone.

Do I think I saw a real “live” actual pair of ghosts? No. Not at all. Do I think we triggered a replay from the past? I sure do.

There are a few stages in the area on which I might like to do a show next year. I’m considering writing a score for a new play based on diaries from tuberculosis patients at Trudeau’s old Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium. These three spaces I have in mind? Totally haunted by my way of thinking, and built during the era specifically to serve TB patients. They all have that sort of thick, dusty atmosphere that makes you totally think, “Well, something’s going on around here!”

We’ll see if the spirits are with me.


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