Rolling Hills Asylum has served as a research center into the paranormal, and hosted numerous Ghost Hunts. It was also home to the Rolling Hills Paranormal Research Society and has been featured in an episode of TV's Ghost Hunters.
Located between Buffalo and Rochester, Rolling Hills Asylum sits on a knoll in the hamlet of E. Bethany, New York. Rolling Hills Asylum opened on January 1, 1827 and was originally named the Genesee County Poor Farm, it was created by Genesee County to house those needing help, including paupers, habitual drunkards, the mentally unstable, the blind, lame or otherwise handicapped, orphans, widows, vagrants, and even criminals.
These institutions were situated on the grounds of a poor farm on which the able-bodied residents were required to work; such farms were common in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of the residents at Rolling Hills never left those who had no family, were buried in a cemetery located on the property. According to the public records over 1000 patients died at Rolling Hills Asylum during its operation.
Most of the original Rolling Hills buildings are no longer standing, only a few old barn buildings remain. The current Rolling Hills Asylum West Wing was constructed in 1938; the East Wing was added in 1958.
In the 1950s it became the Old County Home & Infirmary, the last residents left here in 1974 and the property was vacant until the 1990s when it was transformed into a set of shops and later an antiques mall. When the property owners, vendors and shoppers began to notice strange occurrences, a paranormal group was called into investigate and Rolling Hills' haunted reputation began. Reports include disembodied voices, doors mysteriously held shut, and screams in the night, shadow people and more.
In the 90's Rolling Hills served as a research center into the paranormal, and hosted Ghost Hunts. It was also home to the Rolling Hills Paranormal Research Society. Rolling Hills has been featured in an episode of TV's Ghost Hunters. The property was purchased by a couple interested in the paranormal in late 2009 and has since reopened for ghost hunts and historical tours. Within weeks of moving in, Lori Carlson Rolling Hills latest owner started to experience doors slamming, witnessed apparitions, and heard footsteps and voices.
Rolling Hills resident investigator, Suzie Yencer relates one chilling experience at Rolling Hills: "It was September 2007, whilst carrying out a public ghost hunt; we had a gentleman with us that was filming a documentary about the building. He wanted to perform an experiment in one of the rooms. The room he chose was in the basement, popularly known as the Christmas Room.
The experiment involved sitting in the room with no lights or equipment on. The only light we would use was a pink glow stick in the middle of a circle of people. We also placed a small ball and a toddler size rocking horse in the circle. The gentleman conducting the experiment requested that only I talk and try to make contact with the spirits. The more I talked, the more strange occurrences began to happen. The glow stick started to move back and forth, and the rocking horse began to slowly rock. A few of the guests in the room including myself saw a hand and arm come out of nowhere and reach for the ball in the circle and then just vanish".
The Christmas room is suitably named as it is permanently decorated for Christmas including a Christmas tree. In the Christmas room toys are often moved from where they were left as though someone had been playing with them. Visitors and staff have reported seeing the apparitions of children in this room, and orbs often show up in photographs taken here.
Female visitors are told to be careful when entering the smoking room as there have been reports by female guests and visitors of a presence that grabs woman's breasts.
Between 3am and 5am on the 1st and 2nd floors of the East Wing shadows are often seen. On the 2nd floor of the East Wing the sound of foot steps and sliding can be heard coming from above, but there is no 3rd floor! The ghost of an unknown man with a goatee beard and moustache has been seen walking the corridors of the East Wing.
In the West wing music has been heard coming from the Music room, upon investigation the room is always empty.