As with any old, historic building, one of the many aspects of history that always seems intriguing to people is the tales and stories of ghosts…The Brightside in its many years of serving as a hotel has acquired quite a few over the years and also within the past couple. There have been quite a few instances where our guests, even today, insist that they saw, felt, witnessed, or simply knew that there was “something” there.
So, in attempting to outline the complete The Brightside adventure, without leaving out any details, we have comprised a list of incidents that have intrigued our guests and left them talking.
The Story of The Bright Side Ghost
Billy Gestrich, one of the owners of The Brightside in the 1970s, tells a story of a couple who had checked into the hotel and was staying in one of the bedrooms over the kitchen. The man went out over the ice to the village through a blue fog or mist in the middle of a blizzard. According to the tale, he never returned. The wife, just sat in her room gazing out the window awaiting his return and continues to wait, even today. Her only relief is said to be when someone plays the old, but original Vose and Sons piano in the Great Room which in earlier days was used as music for the guests dining there. When someone plays, she appears and seems to be comforted by the music only to return to lonely vigil in her bedroom.
Many years later, when The BrightSide was purchased by The Light Connection and during renovations workers stated that they found a woman's coat hanging on the coat rack in that same room. Due to its style, it was obviously worn many years ago, although it was in mint condition. Not knowing the story of that room, they just left it hanging there. A few months later, a man's coat, from the same time period, just appeared on the hook next to it. No one knows where, when or how it got there.
Maybe it was a prank, but then again, maybe her husband, after all these years, has finally come home.
Later, we learned that J.O.A. Bryere, the original owner and creator of The Brightside, also served as the county coroner. According to the teller of this tale, there were times in the middle of the winter that the ground would so frozen that it would be impossible to dig. Back then, we hear, it would be common to bury a person by taking advantage of the soft, fresh dirt in the basement.
On Aug. 30, 2002, The Mohawk Valley Ghost Hunters paid a visit to The Brightside to investigate paranormal activity. They concluded that the original building was “very busy” with activity and saw many signs of it. The report has been published and we keep a copy of it at The Brightside. It has become a very popular topic of conversation with “most” of our guests.
The following incidents occurred between August and November of 2002 and brought to our attention by our overnight guests. It has become an on going list that we have named “The Ghost Update” and is posted outside of the room that we have renamed “The Ghost Room.”
A common complaint has been that in that room, for some unexplainable reason, the bed will begin to shake. At one event, a young girl decided to go to bed early. The remainder of the group was either by the fire at the lean-to or in the game room. About an hour after she left, she ran back to the group in a frenzied panic. Breathless and frightened, she said that she was reading her book when she thought she felt the bed move. Passing it off as nothing, she continued to read until she realized that the bed was shaking so much, she couldn’t keep the book still. When the group finally calmed her down, they told her that the same thing has happened to others in the past. The girl had known nothing of the previous stories.
Another claim comes from a male guest, who came for a three-day training event. He came down one morning for breakfast and said that he was seeing blue-tinted spheres floating across the room. He put his glasses on for a better look and saw them again. This continued for quite some time and he realized that it must have been reflections coming from the boats rocking in the lake. That seemed logical; however, when he told us what room he was staying in, we informed him that he was on the back side of the building and not the lakeside. To make matters worse, we also let him know that the blue spheres he was seeing sounded a lot like the blue orbs that The Ghost Hunters were picking up on their monitors. While many of our guests are intrigued by such odd occurrences, this particular gentleman decided to leave a day early.
On another occasion, one of the members of the staff was sound asleep, only to be awakened by a loud crash. When she turned her light on she realized what it was. Her door mysteriously fell of its hinges and fell to the ground.
Then, there was the woman who insisted that while she was making her bed, she kept hearing a slight noise when she took a picture. She looked over each time at the camera, which she had placed on her dresser. She told us what happened and it was dismissed as nothing. About two weeks later, we received a letter from her with three identical pictures of the room all of them showed blueish orbs.
The Blue Line
The Adirondack Park is outlined by something called the Blue Line. It is not really a line, except on maps. As you approach the park, however, you pass over this mythical line. When this happens, if your heart is open and you can accept it, you will sense something spiritual that may not exist elsewhere. If this happens, you are ready to experience the Adirondacks. If you are a flat person, unable to see beyond the obvious, you will see beauty, but fail to capture spirit…
Take some time during your visit to sit in the quiet of a lonely glade or on the shore of a pristine lake and become possessed by a treasure, memory etching grave that will call you again and again to return.
Early from the morning mists.
There comes a Spirit.
- by Rev. Gene Bowers