Capitol Hauntings Tour

Gazette photos by Kaleb Smith


Tis the season to be scared, and there’s no better way to be scared than going on the Capitol Hauntings Tour at the Empire Plaza in New York.

Join Stuart Lehman, the education coordinator for the state Capitol, as he goes through the statehouse telling eerie stories of the building’s past.

“Employees that work late at night say they can sometimes hear the night watchman’s keys jingle through the hallway in the fourth and fifth floors,” said Lehman, as he explained the story of the Samuel Abbott. Abbott was a 78-year-old night watchman, and Civil War veteran, who died during the fire of 1911.

Tour takers will hear the stories of the two dead presidents who still visit the Capitol, the lost murals and their aberrant creator, the demonic curse sculpted into the masonry work, and more. See the pictures taken of the Capitol where spectral opaque figures are within the photos, and learn the experience of a paranormal group that camped out one Halloween.

Tours are given Monday through Friday, aside from Columbus Day, at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. The tours are free, but you must register online. To register groups of 10 or more, or groups with special needs, call (518) 474-2418.

The visual images that Lehman paints are very real, but he will “leave it up to you” to decide whether or not it’s true. However, there is a reason why Lehman won’t look over the staircase on the fourth floor.

Tour guide Stuart Lehman shows a photograph of night watchman Samuel Abbott who died in the Capitol fire of 1911.