|Sal moved to Napanoch to restore an 1700 stone colonial, which was the
homestead of Abraham Bevier , the first original white settlers in our
area. The historic home was in need of serious restoration. Completely
camouflaged by stucco, it had disappeared from sight and mind and had
been written off in our local Historic Books as 'missing'.
|He became involved with the community and started attending meetings
at the 'Napanoch Public Interest Group'. Doug Hart, an historian,
activist and president of the NPIG, immediately connected with Sal.
Soon after, the Shanley Hotel was a matter of concern to the community.
The building was for sale and the pending buyers wanted to renovate the
Hotel into apartments units. By a twist of a fate things did not work out,
and the property was back on the market.
The Hotel seemed to be calling out his name. There were many sleepless
nights, wondering if he was prepared to take on a new project of this
magnitude. After all, he had just finished laboring over six years
restoring a 6,000 square foot building and now this, a 8,000 square foot
money pit! As is his way, he welcomed the challenge.
|The Haunting Begins
|Right after the closing, Doug's wife Diane, Doug, and Sal were sitting by
candle light on the second floor of the hotel. They were in awe of it all,
imagining what life was back than at Shanley's. They suddenly heard
loud footsteps coming up the main stairway. It got louder and louder as
it proceeded upwards. They first thought maybe it was a neighbor or
the police checking out the building, because it had been deserted for
many years, and now they see light in the window. The group walked to
the hallway to check out who was there. No one. Sal then remembered
that he had locked the door. They realized at that moment the very real
possibility that the building was haunted.
Sal and Doug, while chatting on the front porch, noticed that some
passers-by, upon approaching the Hotel, would walk on the other side
of the street. Sal and Doug had to investigate. They came across the
'secret room', and as you can see in the picture, it looked pretty scary
and someone had to go down first.
|Doug started taking pictures and bought a video camera. That is where
they found 'The Guardian, Victorian Women, The Face' and much
more. They had little knowledge of the paranormal at that time. Doug
bought an audio recorder and captured many EVPs.
Research on the hotel revealed that James Shanley was born on
Halloween, and thus began our Halloween-Birthday party tradition.
The spirits here are very active, and want to see the hotel succeed.
Many are still the 'good old boys' and like to have fun. The ladies love
to tease as well and sometimes play practical jokes.
There are secrets that the spirits keep about their lives. With time they
are revealing their heartwarming and sometimes chilling personal
stories. God bless them.
The restoration of the Shanley is an ongoing labor of love for Sal. With
the support of his "Shanley Family" and the paranormal community,
he continues this project, layer by layer revealing the history of this
architectural gem and the lives of its previous occupants.
|Diane lighting of the first birthday