Everyone has an image of that stereotypical haunted house. Not the creaky ramshackle Victorian mansion that looks like something out of the Addams Family. The other one. The sweeping mansion surrounded by lush gardens, containing priceless antiques and a dark family story.

Hyde Hall in Cooperstown is one such building. Built by George Clarke over the course of 17 years, it is representative of romantic classicism. Named after Clarke’s family home back in England, his goal was to create not just a home, but a complex system of buildings, placed in the middle of a park, and almost completely self-sufficient.

Clarke died only a year after completing his vision, which is where the dark family story comes into play. Tensions increased after Clarke’s death, and after his son inherited the home. Everything came to a head when Clarke’s widow was thrown from the home. As she left, she cursed her son and the house, threatening to haunt the home after her death. Those who are familiar with Hyde Hall believe that she has kept her threat.

Recent attention has been brought to Hyde Hall when Syfy’s Ghost Hunters chose to investigate the home for their annual Halloween Special in 2013. During the investigation, a video camera was moved, and another camera captured a bright flash of light, where the crew swore that there was no lighting.

 

In addition to these reports, a woman in white has been reported in the nursary (perhaps Mrs. Clarke), as well as a piano playing itself in the parlor.

 


Phil Nye

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