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The Yankee Express

Multiple spirits haunt the Shanley Hotel — Part II

By Thomas D’Agostino

Here is the second part of the two-part series on the haunted Shanley Hotel in upstate New York.
In 2001 the property was purchased and renovated by Salvatore Nicosia. Sadly Salvatore passed away in 2017, and one year later, the building was once again abandoned and up for sale. It reopened under new management in 2018 and has since become a destination for paranormal enthusiasts. Connecticut Paranormal Research Team founder Christine Peer worked with Sal at the hotel on weekends for eight years. She and her husband, Dan, witnessed countless paranormal phenomena.
According to Christine, in 1915, Dr. Walter Nelson Thayer backed his car out of the alley between his home and the hotel and accidentally ran over a boy named Jonathan. Jonathan was taken to his third-floor room, where he died a few days later. His body was taken for burial, but his spirit remained, and to this day, he is one of the more active ghosts in the hotel. Jonathan’s spirit became attached to Christine more than the others. The husband and wife research team would learn much more about the Shanley during their tenure there. Christine stated, “not only are there residual haunts, most of the haunts are intelligent. Each night the occurrences guests and [I] experienced would always be different. It was like the hotel was still in operation to the deceased that once visited. You never knew which spirit was going to come through and let you know they were there. I, along with several guests, have experienced seeing an apparition somewhere in the building, hearing footsteps going up and down the hallways when everyone is in one location together and seeing and hearing door knobs turning and doors opening or closing on their own.” 
  Christine would help get the rooms ready for the arrival of guests. She considered those moments “quality time” with the spirits who would often call her name or use other ways to let her know they were there with her. One strange incident in particular sometimes happened while she was folding laundry downstairs.
  She would hear a ball bouncing on the staircase in the hall. As she approached the staircase, she would watch the ball roll from the third-floor landing, turn the corner, bounce down the stairs to the second floor, and eventually roll into the room where she was folding the laundry. She would carry the ball back up the stairs and place it back in the room where Jonathan died. Within a few minutes, the ball would come rolling back into the room she was working in. It appeared that Jonathan felt like playing a game. 
  One time, while her daughters were staying the weekend, Christine decided to give them a tour of the third-floor rooms. As soon as they came to Jonathan’s room, they all heard a little boy’s voice say, “Don’t be scared; come in and play.” Her daughters became frightened and ran back downstairs. They would later ask to buy toys for the little ghost boy so he would have some to play with. Guests also began to bring toys for both Jonathan and Rosie. 
  Christine, Dan, and their paranormal research team continue to make the Shanley Hotel their home base. They are always excited about visiting there because they never know who will “pop by” to visit and chat with them. 
  The hotel has 35 rooms, secret passages, a basement, an attic, quite an illustrious history, and plenty of ghosts. Guests can bring their own equipment, or it is furnished for use. The hotel also has ghost hunting equipment in the gift shop for sale. No weapons or alcohol are allowed on the premises. For more information and booking, go to