The Shanley Hotel Ghost Hunt | Napanoch, New York
Brave enough to spend the night? Yes you do have to sign a waiver before you can enter!
Psychic Medium Event, Psychic Medium Gallery Readings, Ghost Hunt, Hot Buffet and Accommodations all included.
The Shanley Hotel is the most haunted hotel on the East Coast. The history dates back to 1845 and the paranormal activity that has been captured here has made this hotel one of the most sought after locations to ghost hunt.
Full bodied apparitions, poltergeist activity, children being seeing is just a small part of the paranormal that has been witnessed and captured here.
The hauntings have gained the attention of SYFY’s Ghost Hunters, Bio’s My Ghost Story, and the Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab—to name a few. Paranormal investigators flock to the hotel to discover the stories of the Haunted Shanley Hotel’s exciting history.
The spirits that linger span the many decades of the hotel’s existence. Guests have seen full-bodied apparitions of a woman in Victorian dress, a man wearing the garb of the 1920’s, a little girl that giggles and plays in the corridors, a ghostly feline that meanders between the legs of guests and many, many more. Photographs and bone chilling EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) have captured evidence of the hauntings. Disembodied voices calling out to guests, shadow figures watching from the darkened corridors, spirits slipping under the covers…you will not be disappointed!
Who exactly are the spirits that are wandering the Haunted Shanley Hotel? Many believe that James and Beatrice Shanley still check-in to see who is staying at the hotel. Although the Shanleys were lovely people beloved by the community, they knew more than their fair share of tragedy. Beatrice adored children but buried three of her own, none of which lived beyond nine months. Is the woman heard sobbing the imprint of her mourning soul over the loss of her children? Her sister, Esther, also died unexpectedly at the Shanley Hotel after suffering Influenza. Maybe she is still looking for her two young children she left behind.
Another spirit you may run into is that of little Rosie. James had added a barber shop to the Shanley Hotel when he bought it and hired Peter Greger as the barber. Greger moved into the apartment at the Shanley until his youngest daughter, Rosie, fell tragedy. Having wandered over to a neighboring farm, the little girl lifted the wood over the well and fell in. Her body was discovered two hours later but her spirit never left the place she called home. She’s a playful little girl that can be seen and heard wandering around the Haunted Shanley Hotel.
There is another little boy that lingers in the attic. Jonathan, as he has been affectionately called, enjoys the toys that guests have brought him and has been captured in photos and in EVPs. His room is next door to a room that is occupied by a more sinister spirit. Joe is believed to have been a member of the Irish Mafia that frequented the Gentleman’s Club and Bordello. He can be quite grumpy but he’s always willing to talk!
Joe is not the only darkened soul that hangs about the Haunted Shanley Hotel. Alfred E Volckmann was a 20-year-old butcher boy when he brutally attacked and killed nine-year-old Helen Glenn. Is he penitent for his heinous actions towards the young preacher’s daughter or is he simply terrified of moving on?
Other strange happenings have been rumored to have occurred on and around the property including a little boy run over by his father’s car, a woman drowned in a bathtub, another woman who was either strangled or hanged herself (most psychics believe she was killed and the hanging was staged), ladies of the evening disappearing…the impression of so many deaths has thinned the veil allow spirits to freely step through and entertain the guests at the Haunted Shanley Hotel.
Under new management, the new owners have been honoring the memory and vision of the late Salvatore Nicosia who restored the Shanley Hotel through a labor of love to its former glory. The spirits are anticipating the flow of guests once more…
Phantom smells such as tobacco and perfume, doors opening and closing, chairs and objects moving of their own volition, guests being touched, the feeling of being watched, lights turning off and on, full-bodied apparitions, shadow figures, disembodied voices—the Haunted Shanley Hotel is waiting for you! The only question that remains—will you last the entire night?!?
Nestled in the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains is the small town of Napanoch, New York. Within its quiet streets it holds a treasure for both the weary traveler and the paranormal enthusiast – the Haunted Shanley Hotel. The historic Bed & Breakfast has boasted several famous guests as well as a few infamous ones that used to patronage the Gentleman’s Club and Bordello. A few of those guests have never left and still linger in the corridors waiting to greet newcomers and welcome back the returning guests.
In 1845, Thomas Ritch was the first to put mortar to stone (or more accurately, nail to wood) and erect the Ritch’s Hotel on Main Street. Napanoch was a nice vacation destination from those attempting to escape the hustle & bustle of the larger cities. Due to the convenience of the railroad, many a traveler came to rest his head. The Thomas Ritch Hotel claimed in a local newspaper to be “…one of the area’s best with fine food and new furnishings…” Even after Ritch sold the hotel in 1851, the newly named Hungerford’s Hotel continued to purport the property as “…one of the most beautiful and commodious public houses to be found in any section of the country.” Mr. Hungerford catered to the same clientele as Mr. Ritch, including the elite Gentleman’s Club that boasted a very distinguished membership and was quick to dandle the ladies of the bordello on their knees.
The hotel changed hands a few times but in 1887, Adolph Wagner became the new landlord. Eight years later, on March 18, 1895, a nearby home in Napanoch caught fire. The fire quickly spread leaving ruin in its wake. The Shanley Hotel was not spared the damage and was tragically burned to the ground. Mr. Wagner would not see his investment go to waste so he quickly rebuilt and the hotel was back in business by November of the same year.
The most notable owner and for whom the hotel is still named was James Shanley. When his family immigrated to New York City from Ireland, James and his brothers found success in opening restaurants and hotels across the country. He moved upstate and discovered the beauty of the hotel and the town of Napanoch. He purchased the hotel for his own on October 1, 1906. Mr. Shanley gave it his own touch by adding a bowling alley, billiard room and even a barber shop to the building.
James success brought prestige to the community but it wasn’t simply his ability to produce revenue that made the people of Napanoch love him. He was a good man with a kind heart and an outgoing personality; people naturally were drawn to him, including the lovely Beatrice Rowley. The two were married at the Shanley Hotel on April 26, 1910 and took off to the Nation’s Capitol to enjoy their honeymoon. When the newlyweds returned from Washington D.C., they were met by not only a parade welcoming them home, but also a skimmerton. The skimmerton party typically included most anything that makes a loud noise from cowbells to clanging pots—and the young men of the community would gather at the new home of the bride and groom and continue to make a clamor until the groom either invited them in to celebrate or tossed salt at them to go away. It was a grand celebration that night that would signal a grand future for the young couple, that is, until tragedy after tragedy befell the family.
Even through the hardships, Beatrice and James Shanley entertained and welcomed everyone to the Shanley Hotel. They were known for their card and domino tournaments as well as hosting elaborate parties and events. Mrs. Shanley was quite famous for her high teas and social card parties. She may have lived in a small town but she still wore decadent jewelry and was on the cutting edge of fashion. Her hotel was a reflection of her knack for style with Victorian beds with sheets of satin and silk! Perhaps this is why they had notable guests such as Thomas Edison and Eleanor Roosevelt. But it was more likely because the Shanleys were such an engaging pair that people wanted to be their dear friends. The couple even attended the Inaugural Ball for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Eleanor and Beatrice were quite good friends so the soon-to-be First Lady made the arrangements and she was a frequent visitor to the Shanley Hotel.
Beatrice loved children and dreamed of having a large family with her beloved James. On January 6, 1912, she gave birth to their first daughter, Kathleen. The poor soul only lived a little shy of six months. She would go on to give birth to two more children, James Shanley, Jr who lived four and a half months and William Shanley who died at a little over nine months. Her broken heart can still be felt within the walls of the Haunted Shanley Hotel. Many guests have witnessed a woman in period dress wandering through the hallways. She was also known for her fragrant perfume and several people have suddenly smelled a glorious scent that many believe to be Mrs. Shanley nearby. Is she still looking for her children or perhaps she is still mourning the loss of her sister…
Esther and John Faughman lived in the adjoining apartment of Beatrice and James. Beatrice was very close with her sister, Esther who was a notable beauty with a kind heart. As much as Esther loved her sister, she dearly missed her friends and family she had left behind in New York City. It is said that every day she would wait beside the mahogany telephone booth waiting for her friends to ring from back home. Esther met a sudden end at the hands of influenza in 19181, leaving her grief-stricken sister to raise her two little girls.
Tragedy was not limited to the Shanley family. The Barber, Peter Greger, whom James had hired lived in the Shanley Hotel with his family. His youngest daughter, Rosie, was only 3-years-old when she met a horrible demise. The little girl had wandered across the road to the Hoornbeek Farm where she lifted a wooden slab to peer into the covered well. Losing her balance, Rosie toppled into the well, striking her head upon the rocks as she fell. Her body was found nearly two hours later, living her brokenhearted father with a difficult decision. He came to the conclusion that he could no longer live at the site of the tragic accident so he gathered his wife and remaining daughter and returned to Brooklyn. Many people have 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?
In September of 1915, another tragic moment occurred for a nearby family. Dr. Walter Nelson Thayer, Jr. was backing his car out of the alley that ran between his home and the hotel. His 5-year-old son, Walter Nelson Thayer III, jumped onto the running board only to fall off again. The car backed over him and he suffered severe head injuries but did not die from the incident. For years many believed that the boy was the spirit affectionately called Jonathan that plays in the attic, if he wasn’t the victim of the car accident—who is the little boy? A spirit that decided the Shanley was a nice home filled with nice spirits and guests? Perhaps…
After young Rosie’s death and her family left the Shanley Hotel, the attempt to legislate morality became the norm for the Congress of the United States. When they issued the 18th Amendment prohibiting the transportation and sale of alcohol in the United States, several establishments found ways to flout the audacity of the law, James was not immune to the desire to please his clientele. What was once the Greger apartment became an active bordello with ladies there to meet the ever pleasure of those who frequented the Speakeasy/Gentleman’s Club.
One might wonder how these pleasures of the flesh would have been given countenance by Beatrice, no one knows for sure but we do know that the hotel had been conducting similar business since its inception as the Ritch Hotel. We also know that James was actively involved with John Powers, a known liquor bootlegger. The two kept the illegal sweet nectar hidden beneath the bar through a trapdoor. A raid was conducted on the Shanley Hotel on February 26, 1932 which led to the confiscation of the alcohol and the arrest of John Powers and James Shanley. Although both were arraigned in Federal Court, neither did any time. It’s possible that they were simply given a fine but let’s always remember the close connection that Beatrice and James had with President Roosevelt and his wife. Sometimes it comes in handy having friends in high places! Many believe that John Powers never left the Shanley and continues to lurk in darkened corners…maybe he’s looking for that lucrative booze that was confiscated!
James passed away in 1937 after suffering a massive heart attack. The community was heartbroken and expressed their sorrow through letters and flowers. Eleanor Roosevelt sent a letter to Beatrice expressing her sorrow that she had not known of his death in time to make the funeral.
Beatrice sold the Shanley Hotel to Allen H. Hazen who ran the hotel until his death in 1971. Under his management, the Silent Room gained its moniker. The story that has been shared is that if Al had encountered too many spirits (the kind that requires imbibing) the staff and guests would tiptoe around as he slept it off in the Silent Room.
Throughout the next few decades the Shanley changed ownership and even served the community as a tavern, the James Shanley Tap Room. In 1991, it closed its doors and was abandoned for over 10 years until a man with a vision and a heart of gold decided to take on the challenge of restoring the building to its former glory. In 2005, Salvatore Nicosia bought the Shanley unaware of the spirits residing within its desolate walls. It did not take long for the spirits to make themselves known to Sal as they saw his efforts as a labor of love befitting of the noble history of the hotel.
From 2007 until his death in July of 2016, Sal poured his heart into the building bringing it back to life and giving both guests and the spirits a second home. Now that the Haunted Shanley Hotel has reopened, you will not want to miss the opportunity to sleep with the spirits! Maybe you will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Beatrice, James, Rosie, John, Joe, Jonathan…or the several other spirits that still linger in the corridors and room waiting to make you feel right at home!
The Haunted Shanley Hotel Timeline
1845 – Thomas Ritch built a new hotel called Ritch’s Hotel, but later renames it as the Mansion House.
1851 – The hotel’s name is changed to Hungerford’s Hotel, after being bought by F. G. Hungerford.
1858 – In April, Hungerford sells the hotel to John Tonkin.
1866 – John Tonkin sells the hotel to A. J. Wood and it becomes the Topatcoke House.
1871 – In May, Wood sells the hotel to Aaron Schoonmaker and it becomes the Napanoch Hotel.
1872 – Schoonmaker sells to Eli Dewitt Terwiliger.
1876 – October 31st James Louis Shanley is born.
1877 – Terwiliger sells the hotel to Civil War veterans, William Easman and his two brothers, Charles & Peter.
1884 – The Easman brothers sell to Frederick B. Bridgens.
1887 – Adolf Wagner purchases the hotel.
1895 – March 18th the hotel burns down to its foundation, after a nearby house catches fire and spreads.
1895 – by September a new building frame is erected.
1895 – In November the hotel reopens for business as the Colonial Hotel.
1898 – Wagner sells to Mary Roos and they change the name of the hotel back to the Hotel Napanoch.
1900 – US Federal Census shows George Gosselin as the owner.
1902 – Allen H. Hazen is born.
1906 – James Louis Shanley purchases the Colonial Hotel for $10,000.
1907 – Charles Byrnes fell from a window, but survived.
1908 – A new addition is built for the hotel, including a bowling alley, barbershop, billiard room, and second floor apartments.
1910 – A barbershop opens with a barber named Peter Greger from Brooklyn NY.
1910 – April 26th James and Beatrice are married in the hotel.
1911 – July 18th Kathleen Shanley is born to James and Beatrice.
1911 – ON May 26th the barber’s daughter, Jeanette Roseanne “Rosie” Greger, drowns in the well of the Hoornbeek Farm across the street from the hotel.
1912 – On January 6th, Kathleen Shanley dies at the age of 5 months and 24 days.
1913 – On September 10th James Shanley Jr. is born. By this time the hotel’s name would soon be changed to Shanley’s Hotel.
1914 – On January 21st James Shanley Jr. dies at the age of 4 months and 11 days old.
1915 – Dr. Walter Nelson Thayer, Jr. accidently ran over his 5 year old son, Walter Nelson Thayer III, after the boy climed onto the running board as the car was backing out of the alley between the hotel and the doctor’s home. The boy sustained severe head injuries but did not die from the accident.
1916 – January 30th William Shanley is born to James and Beatrice.
1916 – In February there is a fire in the ice house and a new auto fire truck is credited with saving the hotel from destruction.
1916 – On November 9th, William Shanley dies at the age of 9 months and 10 days old.
1920s – The hotel operates as a speak-easy with bootleg liquor being hidden away in a secret basement room under the bar.
1932 – The hotel is raided for booze during the Prohibition Era.
1933 – James and Beatrice attends the Inaugural Ball at Washington DC
1933 – On August 3rd future first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, is a guest at the hotel.
1937 – August 26th James Louis Shanley dies.
1941 – April 13th there is a fire at the hotel due to a faulty chimney.
1944 – Beatrice sells the hotel to Allen H. Hazen
1961 – November 27th Beatrice Shanley dies.
1967 – Nelson F. Waters purchases the hotel from Al.
1971 – August 26th Allen H. Hazen dies.
1973 – G. Edward Trumbull purchases the hotel.
1991 – The hotel closes down.
2005 – Salvatore Nicosia purchases the hotel and discovers it is home to several spirits.
2007 – The Shanley Hotel is reopened.
2016 – July 5th Salvatore Nicoscia passes away.
2017 – In December, the hotel was condemned and closed after a time of mixed reviews and poor management.
2018 – The hotel is reopened under new management.
The Shanley Hotel is a historic building, with this in mind there are two and a half shared bathrooms, and room has its own private ensuite.
The Roosevelt Room
This Roosevelt Room is named in memory of the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The First Lady was a personal friend and frequent visitor of Mrs. Beatrice Shanley.
1 King Bed. Can sleep up to 2 guests
Oscar & Grover’s Room
During Prohibition, the Shanley Hotel was raided for serving alcohol. To keep the guests in their spirits, bootleggers Oscar & Grover were common fixtures and this room is named for their efforts. Make sure to look for the bullet holes!
1 Full Bed and 1 Twin. Can sleep up to 3 guests
The Rose Room
This room is named for long-term guest, Mrs. Rosie Wilkes. The large room has its own private restroom and boasts a beautiful hand stenciled floor.
1 King Bed and 1 Twin Room. This is an ensuite room. Can sleep up to 3 guests
The Silent Room
Under the ownership of Al Hazen, you would often find him dozing in this corner room. When he retired to this room, the staff and guests would tiptoe around so as not to disturb him.
1 Full Bed and 1 Twin Room. Can sleep up to 3 guests
The Marguerite’s Room
This room is named for a spirit that often frequents the area and has given her name as Marguerite. With a comfortable king size bed, it would be easy to check in and never leave.
1 King Bed. Can sleep up to 3 guests
This is the room in which Mrs Shanley’s sister would sleep, it is one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel. 1 Double, 1 trundle that can sleep 2 people. . Can sleep up to 4 guests
The Bordello Rooms:
These rooms are named for the ladies’ of the evening who entertained the elite men of the Gentleman’s Club except for Rosie’s room. That is named after little Rosie who wandered away to the neighboring farm, losing her short lived life to a fall down the well.
1 Full Bed. Can Sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as an investigation area until 2am.
1 Full Bed. Can sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as an investigation area until 2am.
1 Full Bed. Can sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as an investigation area until 2am
The Gentleman’s Quarters:
The prominent men of the community and from neighboring towns would often gather here for a game of cards, booze, cigars and to wait for one of the bordello girls to see him upstairs.
You can also Sleep with the psychic medium! The Psychic Medium will normally take a bed here (if one is available).
GQ Bed 1 – 1 Full Bed. Can Sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as in investigation area until 2am.
GQ Bed 2 -1 Full Bed. Can Sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as in investigation area until 2am.
GQ Bed 3 – 1 Full Bed. Can Sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as in investigation area until 2am.
GQ Bed 4 – 1 Full Bed. Can Sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as in investigation area until 2am.
GQ Bed 5 – 1 Full Bed. Can Sleep up to 2 guests. This area will be used as in investigation area until 2am.
- Exclusive Overnight Access to this very haunted hotel,
- Overnight Accommodation,
- Group Séances,
- Exclusive access to the very haunted Bordello Areas,
- Exclusive access to the Gentleman’s Quarters,
- Psychic Mediums (when available / advertised),
- Dinner – Hot Buffet,
- Group Séances,
- Ghost Hunting Vigils,
- Structured Vigils,
- Free Time to Explore to undertake your own Ghost Hunt,
- Ghost Hunt with experienced Ghost Hunting Team,
- Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Meters,
- Private time to explore this location and to undertake your very own private vigils,
- Continental Breakfast,
- Unlimited refreshments and snacks (Including, Soda’s, Water and Coffee)