Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. Just to the north of Utica lies the haunted Starr Hill road in the town of Steuben and home to a legendary Witch Doctor.

Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.

In this episode Phil guides the explorers to the town of Steuben in northern Oneida County near Remsen to uncover the legend of the Witch Doctor of Steuben and the Starr Hill ghost that is believed to be the legendary doctor who died in the early 1800's and still attempts to help strangers along the road today.

Doctor Daniel Roberts came from Caernarvonshire, Wales and in his early life he studied at Lampeter school, one of the most noted preparatory schools in the principality.  In the early 1800's he came to New York and immediately moved to Steuben on Starr Hill where his reputation for his communion and fellowship with the powers of darkness preceded him. It is believed that Dr. Daniel Roberts was very well versed in what today would be considered holistic medicine in addition to traditional medicine and even mesmerism. His wife Jane also shared in his knowledge often aiding him brew potions and aid the sick that would come to him for help.

Due to the superstitions of the times and of the Welsh immigrants ,many regarded Dr. Roberts as a Witch Doctor and a very powerful one however, this did not stop people from seeking their help. Dr. Roberts did nothing to address people's beliefs towards him and his wife and this has led to many stories of his supernatural abilities including predicting the future, curing the incurable and even paralyzing people with just a word.

Dr. Daniel Roberts died in 1820 when he was returning from tending to a sick boy and his horse startled dumping him on the bank off of Starr Hill. After a farmer brought him home Roberts passed away but his wife Jane continued the practice. When Jane passed away it was said that some kids had witnessed her brewing a potion in a cauldron the yard when she passed.

Today, all along Starr Hill Road people report witnessing a mysterious light moving through the fields and along the road. Some even report witnessing an old man with a long beard and a lantern walking down the middle of the road at night. Legends claim that the ghost of Doctor Roberts, the Witch Doctor will come to the aid of those in need, especially on a dark and stormy night.

 

 

Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist

Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Happy Valley ghost town near Syracuse, the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.