The Haunted Shanley Hotel
In a picture postcard setting with views of the Shawangunk Mountains in the distance, in a sleepy little hamlet of the historic Hudson Valley, known as Napanoch, New York. Here sits the Shanley Hotel. Thomas Ritch first built the Shanley Hotel in 1845. Six years later, it became the Hungerford’s Hotel. Then, it burned down on March 18, 1895 after a nearby house caught on fire and spread to the hotel, burning it to the foundation. The construction of the new hotel began by September on the same foundation and it reopened in November. Over the years, the hotel switched hands more than 20 times. The one who really put the establishment on the map was James Louis Shanley. He was born on Halloween in 1874 in Ireland and later, moved his family to New York City. Shanley moved upstate for health reasons and purchased the hotel on October 1, 1906.
Shanley was well loved by the community. Upon returning from his honeymoon with his new bride Beatrice Rowley in 1910, the couple was greeted with a grand parade welcoming them back. The Shanleys welcomed everyone and used games, entertainment, parties and special events to attract new guests. In 1908, he added on a bowling alley, billiard room and Barbershop. Attracted such elite guests such as President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt and Thomas Edison.
While The Shanley Hotel was known for its picturesque location and beauty, it wasn’t without it’s share of blemishes. At some point, it housed a bordello, inviting certain male guests. There was a raid by the police where alcohol was seized. Beatrice gave birth to three children, all of which died within nine months of being born. Her sister, Esther Faughman and husband John lived in an adjoining apartment. She was known to be a beautiful woman with a big heart but lived a quite lonely life. After her death of influenza, she left her daughters to her sister and brother-in-law to raise. There are many, many other stories that Stan, the Innkeeper, would be happy to share with you.
There are many hauntings that are said to occur at the haunted Shanley Hotel. Many of the hauntings seem to be associated with James Shanley and the family that resided with him at the hotel while it was under his operation. It is said that a man that fits his description wanders around the establishment in the form of a misty apparition. A woman can be heard mourning and it is likely that this is Beatrice crying over the loss of her three children and sister. A woman in a beautiful Victorian style dress can be observed on occasion. Various scents can be experienced in and around the Shanley Hotel for which no explanation can be uncovered. These scents include perfume, the smell of burning pipe tobacco, and even food!
56 Main Street
Napanoch, NY 12458 USA
Phone: (845) 210-4267
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