It is very common while researching the paranormal to get caught up in reports and accounts of the ghostly activity and lose perspective. The history of a site is not limited to the structure or immediate grounds. Often significant historical events can affect an entire region to leave multiple locations and artifacts with potential hauntings.

A renowned example of a historic event causing regional activity is the Battle of Gettysburg. A sustained event over the course of several days has resulted in countless reports of paranormal activity spread through multiple locations, objects and individuals. In Central New York we have many variations of these regions but none so clearly defined as Herkimer.

Dave Wheeler
Dave Wheeler

While Herkimer was established in the early 1700s some events have established the “Historic Four Corners” as one of the most haunted regions in the Mohawk Valley. The Four Corners are a series of buildings built at approximately the same time and consist of Suiter Building Museum, Herkimer County Jail, Herkimer County Courthouse, and the Herkimer Reformed Church.

In the 1880s Roxalana Druce brutally murdered her husband after his abuse became too much. She was incarcerated at the Herkimer Jail, tried at the Old Herkimer Courthouse and hung. Her rocking chair is now one of the featured exhibition pieces at the Suiter Building. Museum. In 1907 Chester Gillette was placed on trial for the murder of Grace Brown, incarcerated at the jail, tried at the courthouse and sentenced to death in Auburn. These are just a few of events that have tied the buildings together over the years.

Dave Wheeler

While there are countless legends about the hauntings of the Herkimer Jail there are more actual reports of ghostly activity from the surrounding four corners buildings associated with Druce and Gillette trials ranging from Chester Gillette’s Attorney wandering the halls of the courthouse to Roxalana’s rocking chair rocking by itself. When there is an event significant enough to cause a haunting it does not mean that it is restricted to the site. Historical events can affect entire regions.

Article contributed by NY Shadow Chasers.