Details:Type of Location: Historical Building & Landmarks
Access Available: Overnight Tours, Tours Available
Rolling Hills Asylum is located in the small village of E. Bethany, NY. The very first name of the site was “The Genesee County Poor Farm”. It then became known as the Rolling Hills Asylum.
The huge brick building of around 53,000 Square feet opened in January 1827. Its primary purpose was to accommodate a wide range of unfortunate people who had been rejected by society for various reasons. The patients included paupers, alcoholics, blinds, lunatics, orphans, widows etc. It also housed a few murderers at some point. Official records show that over 1750 people were buried on the property of Rolling Hills. Most people believe that number to be much higher.
Different Names for a Haunted Place…
When it was opened in 1827 the Rolling Hills Asylum was known as the Genesee Poorhouse. In 1950, The Rolling Hills Asylum changed names and became The Old County Home and Infirmary for a while, closing in 1972. The place stood empty and in 1992, the house build to house to care for poor and often neglected people was turned into Carriage Village, an antique mall with lots of different little shops and merchants. It is at that time that paranormal activity started to manifest. People working in the Mall started to notice paranormal incidents so that by the early 1990s, the Rolling Hills Asylum had acquired the reputation as one of the most haunted place in the State of New York.
Jeff and Lori Carlson purchased the property in 2002, and by January of 2003 had renamed it the Rolling Hills Country Mall. The Carlsons lived on the premises in the carpenter shop / maintenance barn they converted to a four bedroom house, and in 2004 Lori had opened Rolling Hills to the public offering ghost hunts. Due to hard times the mall was closed in 2007 and was to be permanently shut down soon after. Then in 2009, when many thought the building would be closing forever, Sharon Coyle, founder of Journey Paranormal Society, purchased the property to keep it from closing, turning it into a Paranormal Investigation Center forcusing on tours, investigations and learning about the paranormal.
Other Common Occurrences…
Amongst the most common occurrences taking place at Rolling Hills Asylum, we can include doors shutting on their own, cold spots in different areas of the building at different times, voices and screams, mainly at night, shadowy figures appearing out of nowhere, knocks on walls and doors as well as ghostly apparitions. These unearthly apparitions were mainly in the form of orbs and no one in particular was ever identified.
In the East Wing, on the First & Second floors ghostly shadows are said to be seen, especially between 3am and 5am. On the 2nd floor of the East Wing people have said they have heard the sound of foot steps and what sounds like “sliding” coming from above, but there is no Third floor!
The Pink Glow Stick…
One particular occurrence has become famous and is probably the most talked about paranormal activity of Rolling Hills Asylum. Indeed, Suzie Yencer, at the time a case manager on the site, experienced a very paranormal phenomenon, which really brought many people interested in paranormal events to the Asylum.
The date of the event was September 2007. Suzie Yencer had been touring the building with visitors. Amongst the group, a man seemed interested in shooting a documentary of the building and its history.
Wanting to go further, and with the management authorization, he decided to pick a room and carry out some paranormal experimentation using what appeared to be a pink glow stick. The room he picked was located in the basement of the building which was often referred to as the Christmas Room.
His idea was simple; sit in the room in almost complete darkness. The only source of light would be the glowing stick, which he would have placed right in the centre of a circle of the people who had decided to take part in this experiment as well.
Along with the stick, two other items were placed in the room; a relatively small ball and a mini rocking horse. These were also placed within the circle.
The man decided that Suzie Yencer would be the only person allowed to talk and try to get in touch with the ghosts or spirits of Rolling Hills Asylum.
Unexplained paranormal activities started to manifest as soon as the case worker engaged into the communication. The first sign that something was happening was the glow stick, which was moving slowly back and forth.
Shortly afterwards, the rocking horse also started to shake and move. Guests who formed the circle also noticed a few paranormal things happening such as a sharp drop in temperature as well as the frightening sight of a hand and arm.
They were never able to explain where this hand had come from but they all claim to have seen it try and reach for the ball. What left them even more frightened is the fact that the room was in almost complete darkness and yet they could see the arm and hand trying to get to the ball.
Voices, Screams and The Ghost of a Tall Man…
Many other phenomenons have been recorded since 2007. Amongst the most famous and common to all haunted places are strange sounds, voices, screams and a feeling that you are being watched.
Finally, the ghost of a tall man (around 7 foot) was sighted and even photographed by Ghost Adventures when they visited the building in 2010.
Visits and Tours…
Rolling Hills has become so famous that it was converted into a research centre focusing on paranormal activity. Ghost hunters have spent long nights monitoring the numerous occurrences and at some point the property became The Rolling Hills Paranormal Research Activity.
They offer tours, overnight 8-hour private and public ghost hunts, historic tours, and visits of the building and organised special events as well as festivals.