The Shanley Hotel, said to be haunted, lives up to its reputation. There’s no mistaking that this is one of the most haunted hotels in New York State with its off-white, decaying panelling and confused cluster of gloomy windows.

The Shanley Hotel, located in the sleepy New York town of Napanoch, is reputed to be haunted. Nothing about a night spent at this hotel can be described as tranquil.

Exactly what started the mayhem in this house, however, is anyone’s guess.

Mr. Shanley and the Shanley family pictured on the front porch of the Shanley Hotel in the 1920’s

The Past of the Shanley Hotel
In 1845, Thomas Ritch constructed the first of many hotels at this location. New Yorkers looking to rest and rejuvenate from their hectic lives often visited Napanoch. As expected, everything did not proceed as planned.

The hotel burned down fifty years to the day after it initially opened. This, however, was just the first of many misfortunes that would come to define the Shanley Hotel as a haunted and cursed structure.

James Shanley acquired the hotel in 1906 and promptly had it restored; he later married Beatrice Rowley there. They had several parties at the house and were well-known in the community. Tom Edison and Elenor Rosevelt were among the famous faces that attended these gatherings, and the hotel’s decor mirrored the couple’s taste for the cutting edge of design.

Tragedies upon tragedies
Tragically, the couple had significant challenges when they started their family. Tragically, all three of their children passed away at a young age. Tragically, they lost two infants before they turned one.

The daughter of the hotel barber also met a tragic end after falling into a well at a neighbouring farm.

Mrs. Shanley’s younger sister passed away at the hotel in 1918. After Esther Faughman’s death from influenza on the hotel’s second floor, her sister took custody of her two young children. Mrs. Shanley was never the same after suffering this and the deaths of her two children.

The hotel was purchased by Allen H. Hazen after the death of James Shanley in 1937. The building thereafter went through a few ownership changes until being abandoned in the early 1990s. Thankfully, access to this once-closed hub of paranormal activity has been restored.

Because of the hotel’s terrible past, numerous ghosts are said to reside inside its walls and guests have reported seeing apparitions. The present owner, Kelly Hammerling, claims that more than thirty apparitions have been communicated with there.

Some of these ghosts are merely passing through. The hotel’s psychic aura is a magnet for ghosts and other spirits.

Photo by Steve Shoemaker @

Full-body apparitions are a common occurrence for guests at the Shanley Hotel. The attire worn by these spectres will date from the early to mid-20th century. Hotel guests may expect to hear people walking and youngsters laughing and playing. Numerous individuals have claimed being touched by an unseen presence late at night in otherwise deserted rooms.

Most rooms at the hotel see strong paranormal activity, although it appears to be happening throughout the building. However, it seems that certain rooms are more haunted than others. There seems to be a lot of ghost activity in the Gentlemen’s Quarters and the room where Esther died.

This motel is not recommended if you want a peaceful night’s sleep. Until you check out, you will be bothered by sounds and shadows in most of the hotel’s rooms.

The hotel is available throughout the year and ranges in price from $238 to $750 a night, depending on the room selected. The price covers both a stay at a hotel and a paranormal investigation.

Every night, from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m., the hotel’s owner and management lead a five-hour paranormal investigation. They also conduct a variety of unique activities, including medium readings, at the hotel.

The cost, however, is justified by the value of the nightly paranormal investigation. There is some gear available for ghost hunting, and EVPs have been captured clearly on recorders. After the guided ghost search, you’re free to roam the area as you choose.

If you want to get the most out of the hotel’s hauntings, you need bring your own paranormal hunting gear. The hotel gift store also sells EMF metres and recording gear, so you won’t have to leave home without them.


Each of the hotel’s rooms has its own unique style and is decorated beautifully. Beautiful antiques and a wide variety of wall and bedcovering designs may be found in each of the rooms.

The Gentlemen’s Quarters may accommodate up to 10 guests, however most rooms can only accommodate two or three. Excellent if you anticipate needing a lot of help throughout your afterlife sojourn!

The hotel, which can accommodate up to 34 people, is also available for private investigations. This opens the door for you to assemble your own crack squad of paranormal enthusiasts, complete with Ouija boards and other tools of the trade.

Napanoch is a peaceful residential area tucked away in the woods. Two fantastic state parks, Minnewaska State Park Preserve and Witch’s Hole State Forest, are located nearby.

With its vast lakes and cascading waterfalls, the Minnewaska State Park Preserve is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Located on a ridge in the Shawangunk Mountains, this spot is ideal for a break from ghost hunting and some time spent appreciating nature. As the highest peak in the Shawangunk Mountains, Sam’s peak Preserve offers breathtaking panoramas.

Paranormal enthusiasts and nature lovers alike will enjoy a visit at the Shanley Hotel.

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