Most Haunted Places in Syracuse

From things that go bump in the night to unexplained noises and sights, there is something truly compelling about a ghost story. Whether you believe those apparitions exist or not, it's still interesting to participate in a ghost hunt, which become popular in the weeks leading up to Halloween. While a friendly ghost might cooperate with an organized event, still others pop up whenever they feel like it. Syracuse has its share of haunted spots and here are just a few.

Landmark Theatre
Apparently, three ghosts haunt the Landmark, but in 1928 in downtown Syracuse. In fact, according to, the gorgeously refurbished Landmark Theatre is one of the most well-known haunted attractions in the country. It certainly has its share of unusual happenings sure to raise the hackles of any visitor.

The most retold tale of a haunted Landmark centers on Clarissa, or Claire, an actress who plied her craft on the theater's stage. Legend has it she fell from the balcony to her death in 1930, and has haunted the venue ever since. They say you can tell when Clarissa is around because you can smell lilacs. Some staff and visitors say they have seen her wearing billowing clothing as she walks around.

The other two ghosts are men who worked at the theater, Oscar Rau and Charlie, both of whom supposedly died while on the job. They don't visit as frequently as Clarissa, however.

In addition to the "human" ghosts, those who investigate these things claim to have seen blue light, oddities in photographs and EVPs, otherwise known as electronic voice phenomena. The reported haunted areas of the Landmark are the back of the auditorium, the Red Room, the Walnut Room and the basement.

Split Rock Quarry
Ghost hunters have roamed this abandoned area for years, hoping to catch a glimpse of the spirits of those who died when the quarry exploded in 1918. That's when Split Rock Quarry, Ottoman Road (off Onondaga Boulevard), Camillus, was operating as a munitions plant during World War I when it exploded, killing more than 50 men.

The place itself is spooky enough—off the beaten path, dotted with limestone remains, and featuring deep, dark tunnels for those who dare enter. A mining machine, called "The Crusher" also stands silent, until it doesn't—witnesses say they can hear The Crusher mysteriously turning on. According to, most of the strangeness happens inside those tunnels--apparitions have been caught on camera, physical contact has been made, EVP's have been captured, voices and footsteps have been heard, and cold spots have been documented.

Whiskey Hollow Road
This 5-mile-long, dark and tree-lined road has many urban (or rural) legends attached to it, including those of satanic rituals, Ku Klux Klan lynchings and ghosts. Who knows what is fact and what is fiction, but some who have traveled down the spooky road outside of Baldwinsville say they have seen the ghosts of children sacrificed by the satanists along with a bloody blanket hanging from a tree. Sometimes the children appear confused while other times they have asked visitors for help and then disappeared.

It is such a pervasive story in the Syracuse area that in 2011 a group of teens made a film about haunted Whiskey Hollow. You can watch The Legend of Whiskey Hollow by clicking here.

One thing is certain: This is a roadway to avoid at night--it is paved at both ends, but gravel-covered in the middle, making for slow going and the thought that somethings lurks just beyond those trees.

13 Curves
The is the creepiest of all Syracuse ghost stories. In the southern hills of Onondaga County is a road with more curves than a soft pretzel factory. 13 Curves Road, officially called Cedarville Road, is known for a ghost in wedding gown.

It is said a motor vehicle accident of some sort claimed the lives of a newlywed couple—either the vehicle is an automobile or a horse-drawn carriage. Either way, an apparition of the dead bride haunts 13 Curves year-round even though Halloween is high time for waiting for her to appear.

Whether she "exists" or not, 13 Curves is one creepy place, and driving downhill into Syracuse in the dark is downright dangerous if you're not careful. It's evident how an accident could take place; what isn't so obvious is this ghostly bride.

In some appearances, her eyes shine, she is covered in blood and she is holding a lantern that glows orange. Other times, she is merely walking along the side of the road or standing on an adjacent hill.
Legend lives on, however, and the brave among us have visited and will continue to visit the site, hoping the bride will either appear in the road ahead of them or even in their back seat, which she reportedly has done. Others report that she does more, including lunging toward the moving vehicles, stunning the driver and causing them to veer off the road.

While Molly English-Bowers enjoys a spine-tingling, hair-raising ghost story, she doesn't really believe in such things. But she won't be going near Whiskey Hollow Road any time soon.