During the early 1900s, one of the defining events in American history was the Great Depression. Triggered by an extreme drop in the stock market after the relative prosperity of the turn of the century, the Great Depression affected the entire United States. Families lost their businesses, their homes, their farms. Occurring at the same time as the Dust Bowl, families migrated west to California, lured by promises of jobs and financial security, leaving their homes abandoned.

Despite recent economic downturns, it seems hard to believe that there could have been a time where things were so bad financially that the entire population of a country could be affected (with the exception of a few incredibly wealthy families).

Abandoned buildings in Happy valley
NY Shadow Chasers

Happy Valley was a bustling village just north of the larger city of Syracuse. Legend states that during 1930's, the entire village was wiped out by a plague, leaving empty shells of the community behind. Houses, a church, and a one room school house are all reminders of this tragedy touched village.

However, legends don’t always equal fact. Happy Valley was indeed abandoned in the 1930's, but for much less sinister reasons. During the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt made efforts to artificially stimulate the economy through the use of government funded projects. A lot of these projects ended up being ‘busy work’, but accomplished their designated task of provided jobs and income to poor communities. It was during this time when the National Park Service was created, as a way to preserve our nation’s forests, while also providing critical jobs.

Due to its location, Happy Valley was selected as a location for a preserved forest. A farming town, many of its residents were struggling. The government offered them money for their land, money that allowed them to relocate and find employment elsewhere. The structures within the town were left as is, creating the ghost town that can be visited today.

Of course, just because a location doesn't have a traumatic history doesn't mean that it isn't haunted. Happy Valley has been frequently visited by paranormal investigators, who report strange voices, sounds, and strange floating lights.

It seems like the old residents of Happy Valley may come back to visit, periodically.


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