Saturday, September 13, 2008

Valentown Museum

Today I visited the Valentown Museum in Victor, NY. Levi Valentine got a hot tip that a railroad line would be headed right through his potato farm. In 1879 he began construction of a retail and commercial center for the town. The first floor housed a general store where you could find anything you'd possibly need as well as a meat market, harness shop, bakery, cobbler shop, and large meeting room. The second floor was the educational floor where music and theatre were taught as well as housing a business school for young men. The third floor was the ballroom where the ceiling soared twice as high as the other floors to aid the acoustics. The basement could stable 80 horses while the owners enjoyed what was basically the mall! Unfortunately, the railroad company went bankrupt 40 miles short of Valentown.

Today Valentown is a museum housing many items found in the shop years ago. When they closed up shop in 1910 they left almost everything behind. My tour guide showed me 100 year old coffee beans. It's interesting to see these items and seeing the history (including a flag damaged during the civil war, a revolutionary cannon ball, a desk from land company from the 1700's, tons of shoes-not reproductions either) but there's more to it than that. It seems that the Valentown museum is also home to several spirits. Valentown is haunted.

Although my tour guide who grew up in the area and has worked around the museum for decades (he's 80 years old!) didn't mention ghosts, I did spend some time talking with a woman who helped me with my purchases (had to get a t-shirt and book about the hauntings). You see, while I was there I had a paranormal experience. As Herb was showing me around the general store portion of the building I encountered a cold spot near the meat locker (which is now a ladies room). It felt as if I entered a little air conditioned area. There is no air conditioning or heating system for that matter. When I went back after the tour the air temperature was normal. The woman helping me check out was also having lots of unusual problems. It was almost as if some unseen person wanted to keep me there longer. The calculator wasn't working right and then I mentioned the cold spot. She told me of other peoples experiences. Then I felt freezing cold-but just my knees. I had been thinking how warm it was-now my knees were freezing. The rest of me was warm. I mentioned it to her. The temperature returned to normal and I met Carol, the author of The Ghost City of Valentown:Haunting Tales of Valentown Museum. When I told her where I felt the cold spots she said that she usually got goose bumps there. Then the woman helping me showed me some pictures she took a while back in the attic. I saw the orbs, then I saw a full body apparition. Oh My God! Amazing. I took a bunch of photos, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Although while taking some interior shots I kept seeing a straight blue line-but I could only see it looking through the lens. It didn't show up in the pictures, or to our eyes. When we turned off all the lights, however, it vanished. So it must have been some sort of reflection or refraction or something. When I was looking through my picture of the outside, however, I noticed something in the second story window. It could have been a volunteer, or it could have been a ghost. I'm not sure which.


Culture Vulture said...

Ha ha1

Steph said...

What a cool experience.

Katreader said...

Steph-it was cool, literally! I didn't mention it in the post, TAPS checked out the place and it was on Ghost Hunters.