Rolling Hills Asylum, Home for the Forgotten
Rolling Hills Asylum was once the home for orphaned children, families, the destitute elderly, handicapped, mentally unstable, the “corrupt”, and local criminals. Erected in 1828 as the Genesee County Poor House in East Bethany, NY, USA.
Originally the lands around Rolling Hills was a working farm where able-bodied “inmates” tended the fields. Farms like this were once common in the United States.
For people thrown away by society, it acted as an asylum until 1887 when patients were moved to Buffalo. Then became an infirmary, tuberculosis hospital and nursing home even after losing government funding in the 1930’s with the invention of Social Security.
Left abandoned in 1974 before reopening in 1992 as an Antique Mall. Then in around 2009, Sharon Coyle saved the building, joining the “save history with ghosts” list that includes Mansfield, West Virginia Pen, Trans-Allegheny and many more.
Calm History, Ghostly Energy
Jack is the man pacing back and forth in the 2nd floor solarium. Seen as dark and known for blocking out the light inside a naturally bright room.
They say, if he likes you the door as invitation to enter. Guests yell, “Jack, please open the door” and sometimes it does.
The Morgue – –
While standing inside The Rolling Hills Asylum morgue you’ll feel a strange energy. Some have heard an Italian man in the middle of a conversation.
A suit hanging from the ceiling is transformed into a large pendulum. As in being guided by energies when the room is active. Ask any yes and no questions, and just like a pendulum the suit swings.
In the early 1900’s a boy named Roy arrived at Rolling Hills Asylum. He suffered from Gigantism, a disorder made known by the WWE’s Andre the Giant. Said to be the son of a prominent banker, Roy was thought to be an embarrassment. Only 12 years old when his family hid him away inside Rolling Hills.
The good nature boy became a man inside this building, living there until 1942. Only 52 years old when he died, they buried the 7 foot tall Roy in a nearby graveyard under one of many unmarked plots.
His tall shadow is witnessed by visitors. They’ll look up to see him looming over them… or down a hallway in the distance
The Shadow Photo by Sharon Coyle
(as told at RollingHillsAsylum.com – – edited for space)
“The photos were taken Tuesday, April 3, 2012 a little after midnight. I was on the second floor east wing, the “Shadow People Hallway” of Rolling Hills Asylum with my friend Sandy MacLeod (from the New England Ghost and founder of Footsteps Paranormal) and two volunteers.
“We were set up on the far side of the Shadow Hallway, right outside the solarium. We had been hearing noises… footsteps… sounds of furniture moving… distant voices, seeing shadows… all the usual activity.
“We kept seeing shadows pass back and forth across the infirmary doorway and down the hallway toward us. I started clicking off a few photos, confident that it was Roy, our 7-foot tall shadow man. I encountered Roy for the first time on my first visit to RHA on June 12, 2008 and he has been my favorite ever since.
“I believe that Roy was showing himself here in response to the earlier activities in the RHA. I think he was letting me know all was A-OK.”
Talking to the ghosts – –
Many have captured EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon or ghost voices) during experiences inside Rolling Hills Asylum.
We are found of one experience from Psychic Medium Heather Rease. It stands out because the energy was polite, welcoming of the ghost hunters as a conscious way to convey a message.
Starting with an EVP saying, “Steady Eddie”. Heather was amazed because it’s a nickname of one of her team members named Ed.
Then they talk with a former secretary named Miriam. They believe she worked as an administrator back when the building was a nursing home in the 1950’s, that she was 58 years old when she died.
Miriam was happy to communicate with the group and imparted a great suggestion to the many ghost hunters who visit Rolling Hills … “Remember, we’re not an amusement park”. So true.