Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. Situated high on a hill in Little Falls lies the historic castle-like Overlook Mansion and a forgotten legend.

Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.

In this episode Phil guides the explorers to the castle-like Overlook Mansion situated high on a hill in Little Falls to explore the forgotten history of D.H. Burrell and the legend of him haunting the home through its restoration.

 

David H. Burrell spent his life traveling abroad and developing new technologies for the dairy industry until 1885 when Little Falls was incorporated. He then founded D.H. Burrell Co. in Little Falls to design, manufacture, and distribute dairy equipment and supplies including the most notable, the ‘Burrell Milking Machine.’Burrell was also responsible for creating the first successful oil burner that helped to develop the entire oil heating industry.

In the late 1880's David H. Burrell hired architect Archimedes Russell to construct a home for him high on the hill in Little Falls. The home came to be known as 'The Overlook.' The castle-like stone structure was constructed with some 26 rooms including its own its own hydroelectric plant, elevator, indoor swimming pool and bowling alley.

The Richardsonian Romanesque style of the Overlook Mansion led many locals to regard the building as a ‘Hillside Castle.’ The mansion remained a grand example of architecture until Burrell’s death. The estate remained in the family for a number of years and operated as the Overlook Mansion Inn until 2002 when everything in the mansion, including the light fixtures were sold at auction and the remains were left to decay.

It is at this time that many residents began reporting a ghostly figure walking the porch and grounds. Those visiting the collapsing mansion would hear children’s laughter from outside with no one else on the property. Some even reported seeing Mr. Burrell watching from the windows as the estate fell into decay.

In 2009 a local resident actually purchased the estate with the intent of restoring it to its former glory. Through a dramatic series of restorations to the Overlook Mansion, the building was returned to its former glory and gradually reopened as a Bed & Breakfast. Today, the restoration of the Overlook Mansion is still a 'work in progress' but has greatly returned to its former glory.

While many legends spoke of David H. Burrell haunting the Overlook, those that stay at the mansion actually report the sounds of children in the halls and the voices of elderly women. Still others report footsteps and the feeling of being watched. Most frequently however, the sound of a little girl playing or crying can be heard. Could it be Burrell's daughter that suffered from tuberculosis haunting the home?

Investigation Gallery

Overlook Mansion

 

Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist

Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Happy Valley ghost town near Syracuse, the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.