A city in New York’s Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs takes its name from the natural springs that have made the area a popular holiday attraction for over two centuries. The city’s motto is “Health, History, and Horses.” It is known for its thoroughbred horse racing track and performing arts center.
Considering the abundance of historic structures in Saratoga County, it should be no surprise that the city of Saratoga Springs and its neighboring areas share ghost stories and other paranormal lore. Let’s go down the rabbit hole to figure out why these Saratoga Springs locations may have contributed to the city’s eerie reputation.
Canfield Casino – Venue For Nuptials And Appearances Of Deceased Gamblers
Among the many well-known attractions in Saratoga, the Canfield Casino stands out. John “Old Smoke” Morrissey opened the casino, then known as the Saratoga Club House, in 1870. Morrissey opened the Club House with three stipulations: no women, no locals, and cash only. Because of these regulations, the club became one of the most elite in the gambling industry. Morrissey refused to bend the laws for anyone, not even the wealthy; therefore, he could keep his Saratoga Club House operating long after gambling was made illegal in the city.
Many believe that the Canfield Casino is haunted by the famous people who formerly partied in the elegant parlor or gambled at the high-stakes tables there. For decades, the casino has been the site of unexplained occurrences here and there, but in the last two decades, things have picked up in terms of creepiness.
Some people think an exhibition of garments worn by the well-known women of Saratoga was the cause of the uptick in supernatural occurrences. Bats flying around during weddings, temperature changes, objects moving throughout the night, and women in Victorian-era costumes all feature prominently in accounts of hauntings. Due to the high volume of paranormal activity between 2007 and 2010, Ghost Hunters dispatched a team in the latter half of 2010.
Although it has a history of ghost stories, the Canfield Casino is now a popular venue for glamorous events like weddings and galas. In addition to being a popular place for locals to go for walks, jogs, picnics, and other leisurely activities, the nearby Congress Park is also a beautiful setting for wedding ceremonies. In addition, Canfield Casino is also home to another haunted place, the Saratoga Springs History Museum.
Saratoga Springs History Museum – Where Bewildering Odors Of Cigars And Cigarettes Linger
Canfield Casino in Congress Park houses the Saratoga Springs History Museum, which documents the city’s evolution from its earliest days to the present. The Saratoga Springs History Museum is a popular attraction for visitors from all over the country. Its three floors of rotating exhibits, permanent installations, and period rooms highlight the city’s fascinating inhabitants, famous hotels, and mineral springs.
The furniture and antiquities on the third floor are noteworthy because they belonged to the wealthy but tragic New York Chancellor Reuben H. Walworth’s family. Reuben H. Walworth’s daughter-in-law, the writer and preservationist Ellen Hardin Walworth, was also a prominent lawyer. However, her husband Mansfield was cruel and made numerous threats against her life until their eldest son Frank took matters into his own hands and murdered him, resulting in a highly publicized trial.
There have been rumors of paranormal activity around the museum and the Canfield Casino for quite some time. The staff, visitors, and volunteers at the Saratoga Springs History Museum have all heard unexplained noises, such as crystal clinking or a poker chip sliding across the floor. There have also been unexplained aromas of cigars and cigarettes, despite the building being smoke-free, the slamming of doors, and furniture rearranging.
Strange occurrences, such as orbs and a male ghost, have also been reported. Still, the most common sighting is of a Victorian-era woman in white who emerges in different rooms and then disappears just as swiftly.
Yaddo Gardens – The Residence Of A Tragedy-Beset Family
One can’t go to Saratoga Springs and not see Yaddo Gardens. However, it seems that Yaddo’s long and sometimes spooky history has left it haunted by the ghosts of its former residents, the Trasks.
Spencer and Katrina Trask purchased Yaddo in 1881 in search of solace following the death of their first child. The Trask family spent the late 1800s renovating the entire estate. The estate’s mansion had a significant facelift that included transforming it into a Queen Anne-style home. On the property’s outskirts, the Trasks planted gardens and started a dairy farm. Even though the house and grounds were large enough to provide complete seclusion for the Trask family, they chose to welcome guests instead. The Trasks found that entertaining visitors and putting on shows like masques and pageants gave them a unique outlet for their artistic side.
However, tragedy continued to follow the Trasks. The family suffered a string of devastating losses, including three more children in two years and the destruction of their home in a fire in 1891. Spencer died in a train accident in 1909, and Katrina passed away from an illness thirteen years later. However, their mansion still stands and has become a sanctuary for artists. Writing greats like Sylvia Plath and Truman Capote have stayed at the estate since its transformation into a haven for creative types.
It’s no surprise that Yaddo has a creepy reputation thanks to its rumored ghost sightings and audio recordings that include children laughing, a woman in white from the Victorian era (perhaps Katrina herself), and unexplained light phenomena. Although the mansion is off-limits, Yaddo Gardens are open for guests to explore during the day.