A Brief History: The Shanley Hotel is located is at 56 Main Street, Napanoch, NY 12458. This hotel has had many owners, famous guests, and a shady history. Built by Thomas Ritch in 1845, the hotel was known for being the local tavern, a summer vacation spot, and a resting stop off of the railroad. In 1851, the location was named Hungerford’s Hotel, which was known as one of the most stunning and well-managed hotels in the country. After going through many owners, the Shanley Hotel was purchased by Adolph Wagner in January of 1887. On March 18th of 1895, there was a house fire that spread to the hotel, burning it all the way to the foundation. The hotel was then rebuilt and opened for business in November of the same year.
The most famous and influential owner of this hotel was James Louis Shanley. Born October 31st of 1874, the Shanley family moved to New York City from Ireland. On October 1st, of 1906, James Shanley moved from the big city to Napanoch, New York where he purchased the Shanley Hotel. After the purchase, Mr. Shanley added some amenities to the hotel including a barbershop, bowling alley, and billiard room. On April 26th of 1910, James Shanley married Beatice Rowley. The couple held many parties and events at the hotel. They were also no strangers to the rich and famous. Two of the most frequent visitors were Thomas Edison and Eleanor Roosevelt. The Shanley’s had a great relationship with the Roosevelt’s; they even attended the Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural ball.
There was not always good times for the Shanley family or the hotel. James and Beatrice tried multiple times to have children. They had three children, none of which made it past nine months old. The barber’s daughter died at the age of four after drowning in a well. There were many other unfortunate events surrounding the hotel such as missing persons, accidental deaths and rumors of murder. On August 26th of 1937, James Shanley passed away due to a heart attack. After his passing, Mrs. Beatrice Shanley sold the hotel to Allen Hazen. After she sold the hotel, she moved back to New York City to live out the rest of her days. Mrs. Shanley passed away on November 27th of 1961. Ironically, Allen Hazen passed away also on August 26th but of 1971. After the passing of Mr. Hazen, the hotel slowly vacated. In 2005, the hotel was purchased by Salvatore Nicosia. Over the years, Mr. Nicosia has renovated the facility to bring back the preserve the history and beauty of the location.
Haunted History: There are many haunted tales surrounding the Shanley Hotel. Among the footsteps, voices, children laughter, music, doors opening and closing, it is said that James Shanley roams the property as a white mist. There are also reports of cries from a woman said to be Beatrice Shanley, mourning the death of her three children and sister. Apparitions of a woman in a Victorian dress have also been seen. It is also said that a young boy and woman haunt the third floor.