The Patchett House was built in the 1820’s and was used as a tavern around this time period. It was a very popular stopping point along the old Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike for many travelers. The tavern was purchased by Arthur Patchett who also was co-owner of the Montgomery Worsted Mill company that was located only blocks away from the tavern. When Patchett purchased the property he converted the tavern into a home for his growing family. The Patchett family lived at the location for decades and in 1976 the last remaining family member, Emma Patchett passed away at the age of ninety seven years old. In the years after the death of the last Patchett the home was converted into a funeral parlor and was used as a morgue. While doing research on the location I discovered some articles that mentioned the American playwright and screenwriter Thomas Lanier Williams III or better known as Tennessee Williams was embalmed at the funeral home upon his death in 1983. He was known for his contributions to the arts and legacy that is alive and well today. From Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth and The Night of the Iguana, the connection with Williams and the Patchett house is unique.
It was during the time that the location was a funeral home that a mysterious incident occurred. It was reported that the funeral director mysteriously disappeared and to this day no one knows what happened to him, it is as if he dissolved into the darkness of the Patchett House. The locals upon hearing about the disappearance speculated, perhaps the spirit of Emma Patchett did not want to share her beloved home with the man. What we do know is that the individual vanished, never to be seen or heard from again, whatever happened behind the walls of the Patchett House had a profound effect on the funeral director. After the funeral home closed, the location lay vacant for about twenty years and it wasn't until 2005 that the home's restoration took place. Its present incarnation is The Wallkill River School for Art and many individuals that attend classes and art shows report spirit activity. The Patchett House has been investigated by numerous paranormal teams and has gotten the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the New York Hudson Valley. Stories abound of seeing ghostly apparitions, hearing phantom voices and footsteps. The ringing of an old fashioned telephone, lights turning on and off and windows opening and cloning on their own have all been reported.
There are even some eyewitness accounts of feeling physical touch from unseen hands. The Pine Bush UFO and Paranormal Museum even has an exhibit on The Patchett House that guests hear about the resident apparition in the location's basement. Many feel that one of the spirits in the location is that of Emma Patchett. People have reported sightings of a woman staring blankly out the second floor bedroom window. Emma was a bit of a recluse and never married, she owned many cats that she cared for. Some feel that in the afterlife Emma still has a strong connection to the home and a fondness for the location. It’s the fondness for a location that attracts spirits back to the places they love and enjoyed in life. The Patchett House has seen so many different levels of human emotion play out behind its walls. As a tavern in the Victorian era the country was going through its industrial boom and the railway was offering an easier way for individuals to get around.
This area of New York saw frequent travelers and the tavern welcomed them with the promise of their favorite spirits. Just like today, imagine the feelings that those going to the tavern could have imprinted on the space and time at the location. The feelings of helplessness, love, loss, greed, envy, lust, resentment and we could keep going on. These feelings and emotions could leave a residual imprint at the location. Then in the latter part of the eighteenth century the bloodiest battle fought on American soil began to play out, the American Civil War 1861 to 1865. The Patchett House has seen history and has been witness to the lives that inhabited its rooms and walked its floors. Now all these years later their spirits reach out from the darkness and whisper to its new residents and visitors we are still here.
I always love events where we all come together as a community and also friends in the field, who share a passion for the paranormal. These friendships were forged on our mutual love for paranormal investigating and giving spirit a voice. It truly means so much to me to have the opportunity to work with all of these amazing people in the field of paranormal research. The night was full of amazing captures and personal experiences. I did several spirit art sketches and communicated with a young boy that is connected with the property.