Is it a haven for restless souls or a case of imagination run amok? Cortland's 1890 House is rumored to be haunted and now a team of ghost hunters from the SyFy channel are taking a closer look. Tamara Lindstrom tells us what brought them out to investigate.
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The opulent 19th century home in downtown Cortland is overflowing with stories from the past.
"It's about history in Cortland and what the Wickwires did for the Cortland people," said Mike Stoll, 1890 House Board Vice President. "They supported a lot of people during the depression. All the state forests were planted by his factory workers."
Built by local industrialist Chester Wickwire and later converted into a museum, some say the 1890 House holds much more than a record of the past. Staff has reported eerie encounters.
"She told me that late one November evening, she was decorating a Christmas tree in the east parlor and she had just finished decorating it, felt something, at which point all of the ornaments fell off the tree," said board member Harry Weston.
Over the years, several people met untimely ends in the house and, according to staffers, become "permanent residents." Like 10-year-old Raymond who caretakers say just isn't ready to move on.
"The one that I communicate quite frequently with is Raymond, who is the oldest son of Chester Wickwire, who built the house," Weston said. "Chester is here. We believe his wife, Ardell, is here. There is one of the servants, a young woman by the name of Victoria, who committed suicide while she was working here."
Visitors have reported seeing floating orbs and ghostly images appearing in photos. While an audio recording of an empty room is said to have captured spirits from another era.
"All sorts of noises, men speaking, children playing," Weston said. "But most especially, the click of pool balls on the table when there was only one pool ball on it."
The evidence was interesting enough to bring the SyFy channel show "Ghost Hunters" out to investigate.
While some remain skeptical...
"I haven't had anything strange in the house, because nothing really bothers me. I've walked through the whole house in the dark," Stoll said. "You get little eerie feelings here and there."
Those who care for the house are eager to hear what the investigation, and the episode, might reveal.
The episode of "Ghost Hunters" airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on the SyFy channel. And if you'd like to investigate yourself, the 1890 House museum is open Thursday through Saturday for tours.