The Haunted History of New York’s Shanley Hotel
Living in the Hudson Valley, it's easy to take for granted how incredible of a region it is. Every year, tourists flock to the region to enjoy the breathtaking views the region has to offer and enjoy the plethora of festivals and activities that occur every year.
That being said, the Hudson Valley is known for something a little more unconventional. The Hudson Valley itself is considered to be a hotspot for supernatural activity with numerous people having claimed to see mysterious objects or "UFOs," as well as being home to a number of reportedly haunted locations.
One of these famous locations is located right in Ulster County, tucked away in the hamlet of Napanoch. The location; the Shanley Hotel, and the history of the hotel, gives plenty of reasons for why it may in fact be haunted.
Early Years at the Shanley Hotel
The Shanley Hotel was originally built in 1845 but at that time it went by a different name, the Ritch's Hotel. The hotel was built by Thomas Richt and it was viewed as a more upscale attraction for the tourists that frequented the town. Richt would sell the hotel in 1851 and the hotel itself would be sold and renamed a number of times during the remainder of the 1800s.
On March 15, 1895, tragedy would strike the hotel for the first time. A neighboring home in town caught fire and the fire quickly spread destroying and burning everything in its path, including the hotel.
The hotel was rebuilt by November 1895.
Shortly after the turn of the century is where the Shanley became the Shanley. James Shanley originally of Ireland, moved to upstate New York from the city and purchased the hotel on October 1, 1906. Under the ownership of Shanley, the hotel saw its highest levels of success and Shanley himself became revered in the town.
A Marriage Followed by Repeated Tragedy
Four years after Shanley bought the hotel he would marry Beatrice Rowley on April 26, 1910. The marriage was a massive occasion for the bride, the groom and everyone who celebrated the occasion. No one though would've been able to envision the tragedies that would soon befall the Shanleys.
According to their own website, Beatrice Shanley was a woman who "loved children and dreamed of having a large family with her beloved James". On January 6, 1912, Beatrice would give birth to her and James' first child, a daughter named Kathleen. Sadly, Beatrice and James would need to deal with the grief of having to say goodbye to their firstborn roughly 6 months after her birth.
After the death of Kathleen, Beatrice and James Shanley would welcome two more children, both sons by the names of William and James Jr. Tragedy and grief would unimaginably strike again in both instances as both William and James Jr, like their sister, would pass away only months after they were born.
As if the loss of one's children wasn't awful enough, Mrs. Shanley would be struck by tragedy once again. Mrs. Shanley had a sister by the name of Esther and naturally the sisters were quite close and loved one another. Tragedy would show its face again when a case of influenza would claim the life of Esther, leaving Mrs. Shanley to care for her two daughters.
Who are the Ghosts Who Haunt the Shanley Hotel?
The website states that to this day, the spirit of the heartbroken and grief-stricken Mrs. Shanley haunts the hallways of the Shanley Hotel. Guests to the hotel have reported seeing a woman in period attire roaming through the halls as well as smelling a "glorious scent" on occasion, as Mrs. Shanley was known for her fragrant perfumes.
Guests have said that they have also...
seen the apparition of the little girl and have heard her speaking to them from the shadows of the hallways. Is she confused or does she just want to play a friendly game of hide-and-seek?
This is said to be the spirit of Peter Greger's daughter. Greger was a barber hired by Mr. Shamley at one time lived at the hotel with his family. Greger and his family though would move back to Brooklyn after the death of his 3-year-old daughter Rosie, who had fallen down a previously covered well.
Check This Out: Paranormal "Chasers" to Investigate Napanoch, NY's Shanley Hotel
Guests have also stated that a variety of other spirits roam the halls of Shanley Hotel. Some of these spirits would include Mr. Shanley, John Powers a known bootleg during prohibition; he and Mr. Shanley kept illegal alcohol at the Shanley during that era. Also, guests say they have experienced the presence of a young boy. The boy is referred to as Jonathan and he plays up in the attic. At this point in time, Jonathan's true identity has not been confirmed.