Ghost hunters take public along for search of Erie Canal Museum

More than 200 years ago, the Erie Canal Museum was home to the latest in boating technology as a popular stop on the Erie Canal. On Saturday night, the technology was much different, but ghost hunters say they were searching for the ghosts of the old days.

Shadow Chasers, a ghost hunting group from Utica, came to the Erie Canal Museum in September and performed an investigation looking for paranormal activity. They were numerous reports of voices and ghostly figures by workers, so the Shadow Chasers checked it out, confirming many of the claims.

"We were getting voices," Sean Nelson of Shadow Chasers says. "We actually had some instances where security cameras died, so it was pretty eventful."

They say the cameras went to static while they were seeing the most activity at the time. Other reports in the past included the sight of ghostly children playing outside the building, and a translucent man walking around.

Saturday night, the Shadow Chasers and the Erie Canal Museum welcomed the public to try their own investigations. They were able to use the latest in ghost hunting technology, but at the same time, were also given informal history lessons about the Erie Canal.

"A lot of people try and get into ghost hunting themselves," Phil Creighton of Shadow Chasers says. "So, what we try to do is show them the equipment and the proper way of doing it, and we have an opportunity to help these historic sites."

For the Erie Canal Museum, it is another opportunity to bring in new faces, who end up seeing the best the museum has to offer through the medium of ghost hunting.

"It's perhaps a different crowd that wouldn't think to come to the Erie Canal Museum to learn about history," Natalie Stetson, who works at the museum says. "But, perhaps there is something here that perks their interest."

Stetson says she hopes since the museum is now associated with major paranormal activity, it will attract more people in the future.

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