Shanley Hotel - Napanoch, NY

Shanley Hotel Investigation with Kentucky Paranormal Group

(Note: The EVPs page is just off of this one, you need pass your cursor back over “paranormal evidence” on menu bar, then again on “Shanley Investigation” as it drops down to see it.)


I arrived in Naponoch surprised by the looks of things that GPS was familiar with its existence. The Shanley was tough to miss since it was the most imposing structure within sight and the only one with a large chalk board advertising a ladies only paranormal pajama party. I figured I was in the right place. (No, I was not signed up to hang out in my pjs with ghosts that event was scheduled for the following week.)

Kentucky Paranormal Group, Plus One

Kentucky Paranormal Group, Plus One

Ours was a private investigation. The rest of my group was driving in from Kentucky of all places. Amazingly they drove straight through with the intention of investigating all night after all that – not a feat for the feint of sleeplessness. Fortunately, mine was only a 50 minute zip from Rhinebeck.

My team arrived, zooted out from extended travel. They announced that they were all going straight to bed and not to wake them until 8-10pm. That idea fell through when Sal Nicosia, the owner, offered a tour. That invigorated the crew with the exception of the lead investigator, Rich who went promptly to his room in the Bordello, a fitting place for him apparently, as his experience would play out. Tim vanished into Esther’s room.

While I took up residence in room number 4, which supposedly contains an entity called Edgar that will pester people, a few of the team headed into the Blue room for some K2 action. In room 4, I felt heaviness, like I was being stared down. Out of habit, I introduced myself. I also got out my digital recorder and began a line of questions for my potential audience. You never know if you really have company or you are making a complete jackass out of yourself asking the walls if they would knock for you. While I thought I could hear quiet knocks, it was inconclusive at the time. I was not to have another experience in that room after that. I guess I met the approval of its occupant – bummer.

I caught up with the K2 action in room Blue with Jake, Tyler and Kevin. Communication had been established with an astral that may or may not be George, Jack or Oscar. Whoever was lighting the K2 or raising the EMF meter back and forth in a game of electromagnetic tennis. I could feel the energy as I walked in. It was crackling.

I asked, “Do you mind if I touch you?” I reached my hand toward the center of the bed where I felt a hot spot. This was a sensation I hadn’t felt before. Usually you find cold spots. It seems the area about the width of a person was generating an amazing amount of heat compared to the surroundings. The rest of the team confirmed it. Soon after that, I could feel the energy on my right side, against my arm. The hair stood on end, it wasn’t cold, but it was electric, like I was near an electric fence that was on. The person next to me on that side was aware of it as well.

That feeling stayed with me as I left the room. It had a dominating feel to it. It didn’t shake off until we tried another room away from that one. I will say that was one of the most powerful feelings I had there. We were told afterwards a spirit known as Vince hangs out in that room and likes to sidle up to ladies. Figures” [Later caught an EVP that confirmed his name was Vince. Vince said, “Want Terri.” So, I guess I made an impression on the dude.]

We toured around the building without any more dramatic sensations by me. I still had yet to check out the “Men’s Club” and the “Bordello” room.

At long last Rich appeared semi-rested and cranky. He demanded to know who barricaded his door. Paranormalers are often practical jokers, but locking Rich in his room was an idea none of us had come up with yet. Apparently, SOMETHING thought it was a fabulous idea. It took us much of the weekend to debunk that incident. In the end we were left with a paranormal operation of a difficult door latch that required the door to be pressed in hard before it would slide into position. Fortunately, Rich did only minor damage to the door when he kicked it open in irritation.

Once everyone got over themselves, equipment went up, gear was readied. Everyone went out for a smoke. Since I don’t participate in lung destruction, I decided to hang out in the “Madam’s” seat which was halfway up the Bordello stairs to see if I couldn’t catch some EVPs. It was here that I could sense an uneasy feeling. I did not feel afraid, but it seemed that something else did. I could hear someone moving around upstairs. I looked over the edge of the landing, but didn’t see anything. Suddenly, I realized I was hearing random whistling. I was all excited to be capturing a “paranormal” whistler. My balloon burst when I discovered Kevin was practicing incoherent whistling in the parlor. The only thing paranormal about Kevin is he was a great “Mothman” impersonator – (It might be good for a U-Tube search for any of you industrious sorts. There is also another video that would discourage most of you from offering Kevin a ride if he were stranded on the highway” unless you were deaf and had heavy-duty shock absorbers in your vehicle.)

We finally divided up and the investigation was under way. My experiences on returning to the Blue room were not impressive. We got no further K2 or EMF action. [EVP evidence proved otherwise! I got more EVPs in this session than I have on any entire investigation.] We relocated next door to “George’s” room. Still, nothing” We offered to play cards, dealt a hand and didn’t seem to spark any interest. Later review of the audio evidence proved otherwise. More EVPs! Room 4 yielded nothing. I had not further sensations there on the second floor. This proved to me that I’m not as attractive as I think I am” snicker.

I joined Tyler and Rich in the Bordello for some action” (mind out of the gutter, please). I stood under the spot where someone reputedly hung themselves. As I shifted to move to take a seat, I nearly tipped over. For some reason I became disorientated. I could see enough, so it wasn’t the result of being in absolute darkness. It was just one of those odd sensations. I tried to recreate it later, but it didn’t happen a second time.

We sat for an EVP session with “Anna”, who had died an untimely death at the Shanley. There was a distinct uneasy feeling there. The best way to describe it was fear. Periodically, someone would see a shadow flit in a room. Finally, I could see a shadow of a head peer out from behind a doorjamb. It was not more than four feet high. Whoever it was too shy to come any nearer. Supposedly, a spirit of a young girl who drowned in a well on the property remains there.

We journeyed just downstairs to the “Gentlemen’s Quarters.” This is a cold room with a murky atmosphere. The coldness can be attributed to being on a slab as opposed to a basement. The K2 was quiet. The most I felt was a coldness on my leg which yielded no readings on any equipment. We looked for a draft but it was inconclusive.

Tyler mentioned he had sensed activity in the bathroom. He had gotten readings on the K2 previously. So, the three of us piled in there. It’s roomy space with a couple of settees. Rich and Tyler were seated. I stood next to the sink attempting to sync up the voice recorder. The door closed. We were all too far from it to be responsible. A few minutes of debunking and we determined that it wasn’t going anywhere of its own accord” it must have had help. There were no physical hominids around to do it. We had a few incidents the rest of the weekend with that door and the door to the Bordello room that attempted to imprison Rich, some which could be explained and some not.

I joined Jake and Tyler for a second session in the Bordello. We chose to go into Rose’s Room, this room is named after the little girl who died in a well on the property. She apparently haunts this area. While the K2 and EMF action was minimal, we did see shadows. Rich saw a dark shadow peer out from behind a fan, much like the one I saw looking out of one of the rooms earlier. Our attempts to get it to come closer were futile. We switched gears and went into another room. We put the K2 outside the door and again attempted to lure our prey. Our shadow figure once again appeared to look in the room. Jake had a better view. He actually was able to discern a face that appeared as brick red in color. Again I sensed fear up there. Jake said he did not. But, to me the atmosphere was unsettled, again not from my standpoint, but seemingly from the standpoint of whatever was flitting around.

Retreating to the parlor, we were able to pick up some EMF reactions near the entrance to the Men’s Quarters. There are stories of a guy who guards that entrance to make sure no one is allowed in who isn’t a member. I imagine he’s quite pissed that people walk by him all the time now. It may have been him that decided Rich was not a member and locked the door while he went to get the “spirit police.”

We wound down around 4:30ish. Things degenerated to beer and bathroom humor. So, around 5 am after getting chastised for entertaining the neighborhood with raucous laughter on the porch, I finally called it a night and the rest who were still motivated, elected to play a game of poker in the Gentlemen’s Quarters in hopes of attracting some paranormal participants.

My sleep was undisturbed by the alleged cranky guy who hung out in my room. Or, I was too tired to notice him jumping up and down on my bed playing “Mothman.”

Dopey me woke up just before 9am, rendering me incoherent for a good chunk of the day. I took advantage of the morning while the rest of them slept to jot down cartoon ideas and to read the ancient news clippings concerning the hotel collected by the Nicosa’s. This gave me more fodder for the following evening’s investigation.

We entertained ourselves with an aborted trip to Lake Minnewaska which was so overloaded with Labor Day tourists, the only parking available was 10 miles away. Our smoking contingent would have died of heart failure or lung collapse before they went half way. I suggested the barbecue thing. Shopping with paranormalers is an interesting experience. The ensuing arguments over meat cuts vs burgers vs chips were amusing. I was encouraged to leave two of them behind at the store when they didn’t turn up in time for everyone else’s concept of “time to leave.” The store was within walking distance of the hotel. But I still felt a twinge of guilt.  I guess it is acceptable behavior for guys to abandon those that lag behind. Funny, they never abandon their wives” of course there would be hell to pay!

The barbecue effectively divided up the crew between culinary duties and set up. That kept the camera placement discussions to a minimum and we were ready to roll when we were ready to eat. Once food was finished, Sal joined us for a tour of the third floor. It was about that same time (8pmish) that Cynthia informed Sal the Shanley’s cat, which was gravely ill, had passed on. The cat was a fixture there preferring Claire’s room. In fact the spirit of Claire informed a psychic that it was her cat. The feline also agreed and would spend much of its time with the entity.

We had set a camera up there the night before, but we didn’t hit that area in person yet. So, this was the night we were going to concentrate our efforts on the third floor.

Orb in Claire's Room - upper right

[Some Orb Anomalies that are likely dust… Interesting? YEAH! I just love orbs… I do not think these are paranormal though. Digital cameras are notorious for picking up dust and moisture particles better than any film camera I’ve ever owned.]

The third floor restoration remains unfinished. The hotel had been such a major reconstruction project, that this portion is still awaiting renovation. I have to give them credit. Between jacking up the entire building and performing quite the rescue of it, and Cynthia’s period decorating including hand-painted floors throughout, the Shanley has been one monumental project! There is still the dining area to finish and a few odd demolition and repair projects to go. It will keep them busy for some time. I’m sure the constant renovation keeps the spirits good and active!

We situated ourselves in one of the many soon to be beautiful rooms to hear Sal tell us about Claire, a young woman who was said to have hung herself, however, her spirit denies it and claims she was murdered. That seems to be keeping her around. Previously, a medium chatted with Claire and learned that Sal and Claire knew each other in a former life. Apparently, Sal is supposed to uncover the truth about her demise. Claire is seen to flit between one and another room toward the back just behind Jonathan’s room.

A child spirit named Jonathan who was 11 and liked to play with the toys on the floor resides here as well. Next to his room is Joe’s room. Joe was a freelance hit-man. Rumor has it his real name is Tom. He sticks around there and doesn’t seem to be a threatening presence.

Tyler and I decided to hit the third floor with a heavy EVP/K2 session. I threw every ball up and down the hallway. We played with all the toys. We had no hits on K2. It wasn’t until we were in Joe’s room that I finally saw something. A shadow flitted from the room next to the stairs to the room next to it. Further investigation yielded no K2 hits. We worked our way around the rooms and finally decided to retreat to the back of another one and leave the K2 outside the door.

Our attempts to get our shadow buddy to come closer seemed futile. However, at one point I saw a faint light materialize in the middle of our room. It was small, no more than and inch or two in diameter. It faded quickly and I cannot claim it as actual given the possibilities or outside light sources. Then, just outside the door in the middle of that hall space I saw another light. Tyler saw it too. I was concerned his camera had sent out a focus beam. He said it didn’t do that. I observed his camera’s habits and confirmed it was not the source of the light. That was the extent of that activity.

We hit Claire’s room. I asked some very detailed EVP questions regarding her circumstance and her relationship with Sal. Once I review that, I’ll hopefully have some significant answers for him and evidence for us.

At this point I had to call it quits. I had work the next morning, so I didn’t intend to stay. Based on evidence at that time, I didn’t have a conclusive haunting declaration in the name of science. As far as personal experience went, it’s definitely had activity going on. The guys carried on without me.

The stealth camera nailed that elusive apparition during the evening after Tyler and I gave up our ball tossing. The balls settled in front of the camera. It seems Jonathan kneeled down to take a close look. Candid camera got him!

Image of "Jonathan" behind balls beyond door frame.