Haunted Journeys

Shanley Hotel

Shanley Hotel

56 Main Street
Napanoch, New York
12458 United States

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Napanoch, NY is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, Shanley Hotel. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

This historic hotel has had many names throughout its history. Before it was The Shanley, it was called The Napanoch Hotel was built by Thomas Ritch in 1845. In 1851 the property changed hands, and the Napanoch became Hungerford's Hotel.

In 1895, flames from a nearby house fire burned the hotel to the ground. A few months later, a new hotel graced the grounds of this beautiful mountain area. 

In 1906, James Shanley, an Irish immigrant, and prosperous businessman bought the hotel. The Shanley family knew all the "best people" and hobnobbed with President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, who was a frequent guest. Thomas Edison also loved to stay on the property. A curious mix of the rich and famous, gangsters and madams checked in and out of the hotel for decades.

The hotel has a secret room with hidden passages to the outside that have now been sealed off, probably for the illegal sale of alcohol during prohibition. In 1932 the police raided the place and James Shanley and his business partner John Powers had to appear in court on "nuisance" charges, with liquor confiscated from the site. 

The Shanley had its share of tragedy. None of their children lived to the age of one. Mrs. Shanley's sister died in childbirth, leaving her children for her sister and husband to raise. It is said that in 1911, a 4-year-old girl, the barber's daughter, fell in the well and died. Four years later, a 6-year-old child was hit by a car across from the hotel. A hanging also took place on the property, but the tree was cut down by the owners.

The Hauntings

The Shanley tops many lists of "most haunted" hotels in the country. Could all the vibrant, troubling, and, sometimes dark history have ignited the paranormal energy into this quaint country inn?

The documented activity is dense and undeniable for the unbeliever. It is said that a man that fits James Shanley's description wanders around the establishment in the form of a misty apparition. A woman can be heard mourning and it is likely Mrs. Shanley crying over the loss of her three children and sister. A woman in a beautiful Victorian style dress has been seen on occasion. Various scents can be experienced in and around the Shanley Hotel for which no explanation can be uncovered. These scents include perfume, the smell of burning pipe tobacco, and even food!

Visitors have reported seeing rocking chairs moving on their own, mysterious clock chimes, cold and hot spots, whistling, footsteps, piano music, voices, the laughing of children - even the aromas of cooking when no food is being prepared. Many have seen shadows and apparitions at the Shanley, and report the feeling of being watched.

And, yes, the Shanley Hotel is so haunted (it is said) you must sign of waiver against liability if you are brave enough to spend a night here!

The Shanley is known for being a premier and well sought after paranormal hotel, inspiring features on several TV shows, including "Ghost Lab" and "Ghost Hunters."


More recommended reads for you about haunted New York State!


Haunted New York: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Empire State (Haunted Series) by [Cheri Farnsworth]     Spooky New York: Tales Of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore Second Edition by S. E. Schlosser  (Author), Paul G. Hoffman (Illustrator)     Ghostly Gotham: New York City's Haunted History Paperback – June 1, 2002 by Lynda Lee Macken  (Author)

  • As Seen on Para TV
Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.

We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit.

If you visit, tour, or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence, or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property).

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Date added: Jun/25/2019 | Last time updated: May/29/2020

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