Rochester, New York is a city with a rich history and a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the United States. With its long and storied past, it’s no surprise that many haunted houses in the area are said to be home to ghosts and other supernatural entities.
From the infamous Rolling Hills Asylum to the Castle of Horrors, there are plenty of haunted houses in Rochester that are sure to scare even the bravest of souls. Some haunted houses are open year-round, while others are only open during Halloween. Regardless of when you visit, you’ll surely have a spine-tingling experience you won’t soon forget.
Whether you believe in the paranormal or are looking for a good scare, Rochester’s haunted houses will surely deliver. So grab your friends and family and explore the city’s haunted past – if you dare!
Origins of Haunted Houses in Rochester
Table of Contents
- Origins of Haunted Houses in Rochester
- 10 Spooky Experiences and Haunted Houses in Rochester
- 1. The Auditorium Theater
- 2. The Rochester Psychiatric Center
- 3. White Lady’s Castle
- Places With Paranormal Activity in Rochester
- 4. The Main Street Armory
- 5. The Mount Hope Cemetery
- 6. Valentown Museum
- Rochester Halloween Attractions
- 7. The Haunted Cannabis Maze
- 8. Nightmare Manor
- 9. Dark Matter Screamworks
- 10. Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester
- Haunted House Tours in Rochester
- Final Thoughts
The origins of haunted houses in Rochester can be traced back to the early 19th century when the city was a bustling industrial center. Many of the city’s old buildings were constructed during this time and have since been the site of numerous paranormal activities. Some of the most common reasons a building becomes haunted include tragic deaths, violent crimes, and unfulfilled desires.
Book ahead so you don’t miss out on the top tours in Rochester New York.
10 Spooky Experiences and Haunted Houses in Rochester
Many of Rochester’s public buildings and parks are home to frightening and unworldly spirits that make their presence known year-round.
1. The Auditorium Theater
The Auditorium Theater in downtown Rochester was built in 1928 as a Masonic Temple. Many ghosts have been spotted backstage, including the apparition of a man wearing all black in the theater’s balcony. One worker claimed that an evil spirit almost pushed her off the balcony.
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2. The Rochester Psychiatric Center
Once known as the Monroe County Insane Asylum, the Rochester Psychiatric Center is now abandoned. It is the place to go to photograph graffiti and perhaps capture the passing shadow of a former resident.
People claim that they can hear the screams of former patients within its crumbling infrastructure, and visitors have also taken photos of what appears to be lost souls peering out from behind barred windows.
3. White Lady’s Castle
On a tall hill overlooking Lake Ontario is the ruin of a stately old stone home that eventually became a restaurant known as the 3 Lakes Pavilion. However, the area has fallen into disrepair, and the remains of the building’s foundation are now known as the White Lady Castle.
The remaining stone facade in Durand-Eastman Park was once home to a nameless White Lady whose teenage daughter disappeared with a suitor sometime during the turn of the last century and never returned.
The story varies, but ultimately the White Lady’s endless search for her daughter continues with two ghostly white canines after her death. To this day, she is sighted as she searches the nearby gloomy forest for her lost child.
Places With Paranormal Activity in Rochester
Some places near Rochester have been noted for their paranormal activity, including the mystery movement of objects, the playing of music, and the appearance of shadows and apparitions.
4. The Main Street Armory
Apparitions, moving objects, and all kinds of sightings of a ghost boy who may have been murdered at sight inspired an investigation of this site by TV’s Ghost Hunters.
Built in 1905, the Main Street Armory is home to many exciting entertainment events in Rochester.
5. The Mount Hope Cemetery
If you want to see lights popping or spirit orbs traveling from grave to grave, then Rochester’s Mount Hope Cemetery is the place to go. It is so haunted that many people have seen dead souls traveling among the tombstones during the day.
The cemetery is also known for delving into the Devil’s Bowl landscape, allegedly the site of Satanic rituals and from where the screams and wails of the dead have also been heard during the day. It is considered to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in New York today.
6. Valentown Museum
The Valentown Museum, located just twelve miles from downtown Rochester in Victor, NY, is known for its real ghosts that play instruments, throw tools around in the basement, and appear on film footage as apparitions. It was initially the home of Levi Valentine and was built in 1879.
Rochester Halloween Attractions
Every Halloween, residents, and visitors from nearby Wayne County thrill to the chills of the annual Rochester Horror experience. Some of the spookiest main attractions are located at the edge of town. However, most haunted places near Rochester are not further than 50 miles away from the city’s center.
7. The Haunted Cannabis Maze
The Haunted Cannabis Maze in Rochester is a traditional labyrinth, but instead of cedar or corn, this one is constructed with towering bushes of hemp. Hemp is a cannabis plant with less than 1% THC (the active ingredient in marijuana that makes people high).
One of the unique features of this horror attraction is that there is a Blackout Event every night between 10 and 11 am. All of the lights in the maze are turned off, and each guest is given one LED candle to guide their way through the spooky series of twists and turns. It’s a great place if you want to get lost on purpose!
The Cannabis Maze is run by The Fright Farm, which also offers a Pumpkin Patch populated by scary beings (actors in costumes.) It is also home to the Halloween attraction, The Abandoned Circus, filled with run-down rides and strange fairway games operated by ghouls and ghosts.
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8. Nightmare Manor
In a southern suburban area of Rochester called Henrietta, an old mansion from the 18th century has been turned into a house of horrors known as Nightmare Manor. The ghosts at this popular Halloween attraction near the VeraCity VRcade are scary enough for kids and adults. However, visitors must still beware of spirits lurking around every corner.
9. Dark Matter Screamworks
This attraction occurs in an abandoned mall Greece‘s Ridge (a suburb of Rochester) and bills itself as Rochester’s only indoor scream park. The scare factor is so intense at Dark Matter that the attractions are not recommended for anyone under 12.
If you go on a Friday, be prepared to be caught on Dark Matter’s Scare Cam, which plays footage of terrified visitors encountering one of their many pouncing supernatural beings.
10. Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester
Just east of Rochester is the Defisher Fruit Farm, the former home of psychopath William Fee. You can go for a haunted hayride in the moonlight to catch sight of his ghost still roaming the grounds.
It is also the site of the Screamatorium, located on the site of an old burial ground, a crazy tilting tunnel, and a theater showing non-stop horror movie clips.
Haunted House Tours in Rochester
One popular option is the Rochester Candlelight Ghost Walks. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours take visitors to some of the most haunted places in Rochester. The guides share stories of the history and hauntings of each location, making for a spine-tingling experience. Another option is the Haunted Tours Rochester NY, which offers walking tours of the city’s most haunted places.
You might like to read some of my other articles about New York State:
–Famous Bridges in New York
–Covered Bridges in New York
–How to See Niagara Falls from the US Side
–Beaches in Montauk Long Island
–Sunflower Fields in Long Island
Whether you are a hardcore investigator of the paranormal in abandoned buildings or are a parent with kids who want to have some light-hearted fun on Halloween, there is a haunted attraction for you to visit in Rochester, NY.