Though not a hot ghost spot like Gettysburg, Syracuse does have its share of supposedly haunted locations. In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to dig around and find the spookiest of haunted places in Syracuse. So if you’re in the area this coming Halloween feel free to pay these sites a visit… if you dare.
13 Curves on Cedarville Road off of Onondaga Hill
Numerous ghostly sighting have been reported at this location of a female phantom that wanders the roadside at night. The story goes that about 70 years or more ago, a young bride and groom were killed in a car accident on their wedding night. The bride, still wearing her wedding dress, reportedly wanders the road looking for her beloved groom. Some accounts of the lady in white include a transparent figure walking along the road as motorists pass by and a face that suddenly appears in car windows as they drive down the winding road. I personally have been to this site and have yet to catch a glimpse of the nomad bride. But then again, I’ve never been brave enough to go there at night.
Split Rock Quarry in Solvay, NY
This is one of the scariest places to visit in Syracuse, both in the daytime and especially at night. It also probably has the most tragic past in the city. On July 12, 1918, Split Rock was the Semet-Solvay Munitions Plant, a plant that had very hazardous materials in it’s facility including TNT and picric acid. On this night, the worst fears of those who worked there were realized when the plant exploded, killing 50 men and injuring over 100. Those who were killed suffered horrible demises including being covered with picric acid, burning to death and being buried alive. 15 of the men killed were so badly disfigured that they were never identified and were buried in unmarked graves.
Today there has been several ghostly happenings at the Quarry, which is now nothing but rock with one remaining part of the facility still standing; a piece of machinery called the Crusher. Those who have been brave enough to enter the crusher (myself not included) have reported several disturbing events, including a drastic drop in temperature upon entering the cave-like structure, voices that can be heard in the distance, moaning, sounds of rocks falling, footsteps and a feeling of being watched. Some of the more extreme claims have been the sound of the Crusher still running as though it is still on and working, several sightings of a glowing green figure in the shape of a man standing atop the Crusher (the green glowing would be courtesy of the picric acid) and an unbelievable claim of being sucked into a vortex when in the Crusher, disappearing for ½ an hour and reappearing at the top of a hill with no recollection of how they got there. While I’m not too sure about that last one, I have no doubt that there probably is some sort of paranormal activity occurring at Split Rock. However, rather than find out for myself, I’ll take everyone else’s word for it.
The Landmark Theatre on South Salina Street in Syracuse
The Landmark Theatre almost came to be nothing more than rubble at one time, but was luckily saved and restored. Good thing too, otherwise Clarissa, the phantom of the theatre, would have had nowhere to haunt. Clarissa (known as Claire by others) has been haunting the theatre since sometime in the 1930’s when she supposed fell from the theatre balcony to her death after watching her beloved get electrocuted on the stage area. Other reports claim that she was a bitter actress that jumped to her death after not getting the part that she wanted. Regardless of the true reason behind her untimely demise, she’s still making her presence known, especially to those who break theatre rules or just plain annoy her.
During the restoration of the theatre, several workers claimed to have seen her, clad completely in white, standing up on the balcony where she fell or jumped. There have also been reports of a male ghost that haunts the theatre as well. He is thought to be the ghost of a maintenance man who died in the theatre sometime in the 1970’s. EVP recordings have been taken by ghosthunters and the findings greatly support, not only the claims of a supernatural presence but also that Clarissa fell off the balcony and did not commit suicide. Regardless of which spirit may be roaming around at any given time, you can be sure to run into at least one when visiting the Landmark Theatre.