If you’ve ever stayed with us at Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast in the fall, you already know it’s our favorite season. We love the crisp fall air, the sight and smell of changing leaves, and the taste of homemade pumpkin-flavored pastries at breakfast. But this year it’s all about what happens after dark when the resting dead come to life. The time when and instead of tasting pumpkin pastries, all you taste is the terror created by upset souls!
What are we talking about? We’re talking about Crooked Descent- Central New York’s top horror attraction. And while you’re in the area, we’ve got some recommendations on visiting a few other local spots that are alleged to be haunted. We also recommend visiting The New York Haunted History Trail site for even more local haunted places.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to spend the night after visiting the area’s haunted attractions, Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast is all treats and no tricks! While we tell our guests our Grand House is not haunted, we’ll leave it to you to decide. We invite you to immerse yourself in the historic charm of our 1800s Colonial-style house—featuring four en suite guest rooms with modern amenities, free Wi-Fi and parking, comfortable bedding, and private bathroom. After a comfortable night’s rest, enjoy a best-in-town homemade breakfast, specially prepared for you. With all the comforts of home, we deliver a level of personalized service and exceptional hospitality you won’t find at chain hotels near Herkimer.
Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast is located at 112 W German Street, Herkimer, NY 13350. Book with us directly at grand-colonial.com or by phone at 315-982-5004. Cancellation is free for all direct booking reservations. To learn more about what we’re doing to ensure the health and safety of our guests during the COVID-19 pandemic, please read our Stay Safe & Well Commitment.
Crooked Descent – Haunted Attraction
Address: 4338 NY-28, Herkimer, NY 13350 (An 8-minute drive From Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast)
New for 2021, what was known as the old “Country Manor,” a senior care facility to 80 residents that closed its doors in 2013, is now the new home to the “Crooked Descent Horror” attraction. This year’s new location is sure to bring you a new depth of fear and reality.
You can purchase tickets on site (no advance sales) with cash only. There is an ATM onsite. Each attraction lasts 15 to 20 minutes and runs rain or shine every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October from 7 pm to 11 pm. Onsite parking is free. The cost of a single admission ticket to one attraction is $20. A combo ticket to both attractions (The Forbidden Family: Chapter 2 and The Crooked Witch Trails) is $30.
Herkimer Historic Four Corners
Address: 406 N Main Street, Herkimer, NY 13350 (A two-minute walk from Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast)
Herkimer’s “Historic Four Corners” encompasses four historic- and haunted- buildings that are on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, including the 1834 Herkimer County Jail, the 1884 Suiter Building Museum, the 1875 Herkimer County Courthouse, and the 1834 Herkimer Reformed Church.
Armed with candles and newspapers inmates at the Herkimer County Jail set fire to the building in 1834. Wind caused the fire to spread to the neighboring courthouse and nearby houses. After the fire, a new jail and courthouse were constructed, as was a church and eventually the Suiter building. After it was re-built, the Herkimer County Jail held famous prisoners Roxalana Druse and Chester Gillette. In December of 1884, Roxalana Druse brutally murdered her husband when his abuse became too much. She enlisted the help of her family to hide his body. She was incarcerated at the jail, tried at the courthouse. Her trial was a national scandal sparking outcry for women’s rights. She became the last woman to be hanged in New York. Druse’s rocking chair and a fragment of the rope used to hang her are housed at the Suiter Museum.
In 1906, Gillette was placed on trial for the murder of Grace Brown. He was incarcerated at the jail, tried at the courthouse, and sentenced to death by electric chair at the Auburn prison. His story is the basis of the “American Tragedy” novel.
Reports of ghostly activity include Chester Gillette’s attorney wandering the halls of the courthouse, Roxalana’s rocking chair rocking by itself, and shadowy apparitions and strange noises in the hallways.
General Herkimer Home State Historic Site
Address: 200 State Route 169, Little Falls, NY 13365
Situated overlooking the Mohawk River, Revolutionary War hero General Nicholas Herkimer finished the construction of his Georgian-style in 1764. General Herkimer’s place in history was assured in 1777 when he assembled 800 militiamen at Fort Dayton, supported by 60 allied Oneida warriors, and marched to defend Fort Stanwix against a British siege. Considered to be a significant turning point in the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Oriskany, fought on August 6, 1777, has been described as one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
Although wounded in the leg, Herkimer kept command during the fierce combat. After the battle he was carried home where he died 10 days later from complications following the amputation of his leg. Herkimer’s estate was home to many over the years, including his family, enslaved people who helped run the estate, soldiers encamped during the war, and neighbors seeking refuge from the fighting in the Mohawk Valley.
Several paranormal activities have been reported over the years, including ghostly voices, footsteps and doors shutting. A tour guide once reported witnessing a candle stick fly across the room. Others have reported seeing a strange mist in the Herkimer family burial ground, which is remarkably unchanged from the 18th century. The site grounds may be enjoyed year-round from dawn to dusk.
Address: 123 Old State Road, Little Falls, NY 13365 (An 18-minute Drive from Grand Colonial Bed and Breakfast)
Built by Augustus Beardslee in 1860, this historical and architectural treasure is constructed in the style of an Irish castle. Five intimate dining rooms with three-foot thick limestone walls and oak-paneled ceilings and floors are open for dinner service Friday and Saturday, from 5 pm to 8 pm. Downstairs at the Castle, The Dungeon is a cozy bar and grill where you can enjoy a casual menu during dinner hours. It’s also reported to be incredibly haunted. People have reported hearing disembodied voices, as well as the apparition of a man who allegedly committed suicide in the basement. Today, the castle is a staple of local ghost stories. If you’d like to have dinner here, the dinner menu changes weekly and is printed at the Castle. Due to limited space, dinner is by reservation only for both the dining room and The Dungeon.