Weird NY: The Legend of the Haunting of the White Lady’s Castle
Heartbreak is sometimes the catalyst for a haunting, at least that what the stories tell us. Is a heartbroken mother at the core of the legend of the White Lady's Castle, just 2 hours from Utica?
Not far from Rochester, in Irondequoit, is the Durand-Eastman park. The park was engineered from land donated by Mr. Henry Durand and Mr. George Eastman, in 1907. Prior to the 1900's, it was primarily farmland. A pair of lakes were created, named for the benefactors.
Within the park lies a stone foundation, looking almost like a rampart. This, they say, is all that remains of the White Lady's castle.
There are several versions of the legend, but all center around an over-protective mother, named Eelissa, who does everything she can to protect (and isolate) her daughter from what she believes are the evil intentions of men. One night, the daughter leaves the castle, and never returns. The White Lady is never sure if her daughter ran away with a lover, or met a more horrible end, but she spends the rest of her days wandering the land, looking for her daughter, with her two dogs at her side.
Depending on the version of the legend you believe, Eelissa is either a wealthy recluse, or a farmer's wife who wanders what was once her farm.
The White Lady has reportedly been spotted several times over the years, perhaps even by the local police, according to one account.
According to history, the stone foundation was never a castle. It was a community dining hall that eventually fell into disrepair and collapsed - leaving only the stone foundation.
However, a psychic called in to investigate the haunting says she was able to determine that Eelissa's daughter ran away with a lover - a local farm boy. The investigation also captured chilling voices, but were unable to determine whether they belonged to the White Lady.
You can investigate for yourself, at the Durand-Eastman Park. Or, you can watch the horror movie based on the tale, 'The Lady in White'.