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Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton

Ghost Stories: 
    Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton
 in Saranac LakeGhost Stories: 
    Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton
 in Saranac Lake

Ghost Stories

Goblins, ghosts, and other spirits of the night all promise to be wandering the streets of Saranac Lake on Halloween night. Of course, most will be children dressed in costume for the occasion. But deep in the bowels of the Hotel Saranac, there may be a sighting of a distinguished man dressed in a black suit with tails and top hat. People will tell you the man is Howard Littell. And, no, he’s not in costume. Saranac Lake’s high school once stood on the grounds where the Hotel Saranac currently is located and the dearly departed Littell was the superintendent of schools for close to 35 years. Littell was known for roaming the high school’s hallways and keeping the students in line. The high school moved in 1926 and the Hotel Saranac was built on that land the following year. Littell moved on with the new high school, but apparently his spirit didn’t; people have claimed to have seen him wandering the halls of the hotel, perhaps looking to keep a stray student in line.

Saranac Lake has been long-known for its treatment of tuberculosis from the late 1800s to the middle of the 20th century. The village has had its share of ghost stories associated with people who were treated there. The Hotel Saranac was among the many grand hotels populating Saranac Lake during the time when people came from around the country to be treated for tuberculosis. Now, it is the only one left and is in the midst of extensive renovations by the Roedel Companies. When completed, the Hotel Saranac will be restored to its full glory.

Susan Murphy-Goff, part of the Adirondack Park Paranormal Society team that conducted a two-day paranormal investigation in the Hotel Saranac, worked at the hotel for five years and experienced frequent paranormal activity, including brushes with the spirit of the cat believed to belong to Emily Balsam, a long-term resident who died in her room in 1983.

Every floor seems to have a story, from the sightings near the ballroom on the second floor of Frances Peroni, who taught there when the hotel was owned by Paul Smith College, to the scratching of Emily Balsam’s cat on the third floor. There is the little girl who supposedly walks the halls of the fourth floor, singing that can be heard on the sixth floor and, of course, signs that Howard Littell is still roaming the basement of the building.


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