Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

1890 House

Cortland, New York

Many people that have spent the night in the house hear strange noises and they say they sound like ghosts. The whole city of Cortland believe the house is haunted.

87 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


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December 22, 2009, 5:12 pm

ok i have been a ghost hunter for about 2 years we arent big time ghost hunters like taps but we do have infred camera lots of night vision cameras emf and lots of voice recorders and we go around the world looking for supposedly haunted places there is only 6 of us and we ghost hunt and this place is totally haunted we went there and exactly at 12:50 am me and my team was in the mane part were you first walk in we decided to sit on the floor for about 20 minutes and i prevoct it wich is saying mean stuff to it i said why are you such chicken if you want us to stay here you have to give us a good sign so about 2 minutes later every one in the team seen the same thing a shadow standing right next to me and walk in a different room then we got really loud bangs in the room and then all through out the night we kep seeing that same shadow

tobeamiss says:

December 22, 2009, 10:33 pm

you travel around the world?

Scott says:

April 6, 2010, 2:31 pm

I am doing research on the 1890 House in Cortland, NY. I am Interested in hearing from those that had seen figures in the windows as they walked by and the story about the girl that died out front of the museum. If you have any other stories to share, please do so. Thank you.

Inky Dink says:

April 6, 2010, 2:43 pm

I too have lived most of my life in Cortland, NY, I have been to the 1890 House dozens of times and this is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone evey say it was haunted. This is a case of a museum that has been struggling to stay afloat for years-mostly due to mismanagement–trying to get some publicity and stir up some interest. It’s a beautiful house, but don’t expect anything else.

Inky Dink says:

April 6, 2010, 3:04 pm

I have lived in Cortland, NY my entire life, visited the 1890 House dozens of times and this is the first I’ve ever heard of it being haunted. There isn’t any reason for it to be haunted. No one has every died in the 1890 House for anything other than natural causes, or in front of it for that matter. So there is absolutly no reason for it to be haunted. Secondly, there is NO apartment built for caretakers on the top floor of the house. Whoever left that comment must have the wrong house. There isn’t a caretaker that lives at the house and no one has slept in that house since became a museum upteen years ago.

Now, if anyone actually does know about this house they know that it has a twin house in New York City that Wickwire took the plans from and he mirrored his house to that one. The house in NYC is a funeral home now so that one has much more chance of being haunted. I’m thinking that any ‘haunted’ stories are of the twin house in NYC and not the 1890 House in Cortland.

This museum has been struggling for years-mostly due to mismanagement-and this just sounds like another ploy to stir up some interest in the house. It’s a beautiful house and well worth the visit, but don’t expect anything paranormal.

Rachel says:

April 6, 2010, 3:12 pm

I’m also from Cortland. And have CERTAINLY been several deaths in the 1890 House due to UN-natural causes. Fires are NOT considered “natural causes.” We learned about several fires they had waaay back in the day at the 1890 House. We learned about all this back in elementary as well as high school–or even by just visiting the museum and going on tours. You should really brush up on your 1890 House and Cortland history.

chelsea says:

April 8, 2010, 11:27 am

my aunt used to clean this house and i would visit often. i have never had any experiences in the 1890 house!

Marsha says:

April 8, 2010, 12:22 pm

Whether anybody can see them or not ,they are there. Spirits are everywhere. They populate the world.Some people are able to see,feel,smell,sense them…[such as myself]…but others just can’t…until they believe…or have a run in with them.No two people are the same.I have experianced the spirit world since I was a child….I know the 1890 house is haunted…as do others. A snap shot /photo with squigglies or a haze of light or white cloud in the picture,or even the ghost appear in that photo..or orbs…you have to know what to look for.If you feel a chill…or slight breeze come across you ,in an air tight building/room….spirit, if for some sudden strange reason you feel sick to your stomach…spirit…the list goes on. I see them.,sometimes just an outline,or out of the corner of my eyes. You might not believe or have experianced these things…but please don’t doubt those that have.Creator Bless

Calista says:

April 22, 2010, 1:06 pm

I have lived in Cortland since I was about 4 years old. I am now 14. I have lived up near the college and next to the cemetary. NEVER SEEN A THING! I have no clue whether to believe things or not because I have never experienced anything in my entire life while living in Cortland. I have visited the 1890 house about 3 times. I have gotten wierd vibes and breezes in the hallways. But, I still do not think that it is “haunted.” The 1890 House is very very old. Just like any other museum. And at times, it does have it’s wierd breezes and unexpected noises. But, that does not nessicarily mean that it is preferably “haunted.” Truthfully, I have never heard of anything that went on in the past to create the Wickwire family to still be living there, whatsoever. In my opinion, ghosts are made up, fiction, not on earth! Once a person has died, they will be directly sent to heaven. I never thought that they could “walk the earth” as a spirit, and “haunt” people. Like I said, I have lived here for quite some time and have never heard any stories. OR seen any woman standing in the 3rd floor windows. Sorry to say!

Marsha says:

April 22, 2010, 2:03 pm

The fact that you are only 14 says a lot…but too if you are not as sensitive as another person might be to this sort of thing,chances are you will never be. On the other hand…if certain evidance is right there…the cool/cold breeze is an air tight place,unusual noises are taking place and one still ognores it, and makes referance to it as nothing…then something within that person feels…”if I ignore it…it isn’t anything” .I expect this from a “14”year old. I am 60….and have excercised my sensitivety{sp}…ever since I was your age.I have photos ..I have taken, voices on tape etc.So you go ahead and stick to your own opinions, that is fine…maybe you could get together with some Ghost Hunters locally,and help in a real investigation…doesn’t have to be just the 1890 House.Creator Bless

jessica says:

August 13, 2010, 4:20 pm

± think it isz hunted
± would like to hear α ghost
DOnT be PusSySz ppl lolsz jus kiddinq .

Marsha says:

August 13, 2010, 7:49 pm

Real Ghost Pictures and Videos <—-<< go to your search engine and look this up. Put it in your favorites.
I use my Digital Recorder…then I transfer what I collect to SOUND Forge…a set up I have on my computer. When I was 18 and while in my bedroom..a very loud voice came to me…in my right said,"Get out of the house"… later in the evening my Dad died on the livingroom couch. I was being warned. I was a Daddy's girl..and this spirit knew my sensitivity. Some people just cannot handle this sort of thing… I have had to since I was little. I am 61 now. The name calling is a huge sign that you are not ready…as these sort of things are for the more mature, who take spirits seriously. When you are mature about the spirit realm…you can experiance a lot more."jus kidding?"…has to go. Creator Bless

Scott says:

August 26, 2010, 10:30 pm

I am a Paranormal Investigator, my group has been at the 1890 House 3 times in the last 6 months. We have pictures of apparitions, orbs and have recorded several EVP’s. Marsha I would be interested in learning further what you have captured on tape or film. Our web site, you can contact us through that or at Most of the information in this section we have either debunked or found no claim to it. I am not sure if the place is truly haunted, but I will say at this time that there is paranormal activity that does exist there. I am still searching the claim of the girl dying out front of the building, we have found no record of such an event in any archive or the call manuals for the police or fire departments. Any more information would help us conclude our research. Thank you.

diane says:

September 16, 2010, 11:41 pm

n one to the knowledge of residents of the city has stayed overnight in the home since the wickwire family sold it to the city in the late 70’s…it is said to be hanted by mrs. wickwire herself….no one has ever witnessed her

Marianne says:

October 7, 2010, 11:30 am

To set the record straight, there have been people living in the caretaker’s apartment in the 1890 House in Cortland. The most recent having moved out circa August 2008. Currently, nobody lives in the apartment. However, there are activities throughout the museum at various times of the day or night. If you have questions, please feel free to visit the museum — or make a donation! We need your help to keep the lights on!

Joe says:

October 30, 2010, 8:20 pm

My son rents a house on Hill St. Since he has been there they have seen a fast moving apparition of a young kid in the attic. His housemate has been awakened several times from a sound sleep, in a frenzy, claiming a person was suspended over his bed. Whistling has come from the room leading to the attic in the late evening, or early morning. My son felt he saw a person sitting in his room at around 5:00 in the morning, he rose quickly yelling “what the hell” , the person raised his head to stare at my son, he quickly turned on the light and no one was there. His house mate
has been experiencing pressure on his chest and strange lights in his room.

Jason says:

November 1, 2010, 10:44 am

There actually is an apartment on the top floor. It is for the Caretaker. However, I have worked in that building with him in the late 90’s and never once has he mentioned any unusual noises or GHOSTLY sounds. I never witnessed anything myself. It is however a beautiful building that has great history and can expand creative minds. If there is unusual paranormal activity, I would hope that people would try debunking it first before making claims that are unheard of.

Scott Clark says:

November 2, 2010, 10:25 pm

Joe, who commented on 10/30/10, I would like to speak to your son about his claims. Interesting enough, Hill Street is were many of the Wickwire’s hired help lived. This could help us with our research and we can help him by trying to determine who spiritually is residing there. Have him contact us at or go to our web site at for further contact information. Thank you.

Lupita says:

December 6, 2010, 10:48 pm

I was at the Wickwire house in Cortland with my husband. When I was going up to the third floor, I felt a cold breeze and someone grabbing my legs and preventing me from going up the stairs. i could not lift my legs and I had to go back down the stairs and to the first floor. There I discovered that my shoes had been untied, actually the laces almost removed from them. That was it for me, I left the place. For some reason, my husband was not bothered by whatever bothered me.

Kat says:

April 11, 2011, 8:52 pm

Alright, For starters the 1890 house is used for weddings and such, decorated very pretty during the holidays, and yes it is haunted. I grew up in Cortland. I even have a picture of the house with that I took with a 35 mill camera back in 1998. When I blew the pic up large it does appear to have a few ghosts on the property. My grandparents had told me of sad stories about the original occupants. The phrat house down the street, I have not heard much on that except that many SUNY students like to experiment with drugs and one male student was dumped by his lover and her did commit suicide over that.

kyle says:

July 14, 2011, 8:15 am

No way is the 1890 house haunted. Nearly all the old frat houses are tho. Also, there are many other buildings that are truly haunted in cortland. For example county office building, and st Mary’s church. History on church, apparently when it was being built two priests “fell” to their deaths on the same day at the same spot. The church gives off a vine as well if you’re in there alone…

Pauly B says:

July 14, 2012, 10:15 am

I lived in Cortland from 1995 to 2000. I was part of an “organization” that resided at 50 Topkins St which was located across the street and west about 3 or 4 houses. I spent lots of time in the larger houses on Tompkins and being an amateur historian I did a lot of research. Especially 50 Tompkins. I haven’t spent much time in the 1890 house but I thought that this might be relevant. The history of 50 Tompkins and my experiences there are the reason why I am certain that spirits, ghosts ,whatever, actually exist. The original family that lived there were obviously wealthy. A walk in ice house, enormous kitchen and photographs of the decorations throughout the house (lion skin rugs, lavish parties) are proof. That donated the property to the US govt. They turned 50 Tompkins into a VA hospital for American servicemen injured by poison gas in WW1. Can you say pain and suffering. It continued in it’s role as a VA hospital through WW2. Most likely seeing the death of hundreds of servicemen through the years. My fraternity then bought the house and renovated it as a residence. Anyone familiar with SUNY Cortlands Greek life can attest the depravity that went on there. I know for a fact that starting in the eighties the “vibe” of the organization changed. It became a decadent place full of fun with lots of human darkness thrown in. Residents of the area know the reputation of Kappa and I can tell you that the stories you may have heard are no where near what really happened behind closed doors. In short the lives and souls of countless young men were tortured. Decades of bad vibes. I lived alonetjere for a summer and experienced unexplained sights, sound and smell to last a lifetime. If your interested I can try to remember all of the details. That house and especially the basement and the upper floor were extremely active. Decades ,almost a century of pain and suffering qualifies that location as haunted and in need of additional research. The house was burned to the ground in the early 2000’s (oops, sorry). Now a speech pathology building for the college occupies the property. I wonder what strange occurrences happen there….

Justin says:

September 12, 2012, 6:46 pm

I am Just here to Say TAPS (Ghost Hunters) are there now, I know these posts are from 4 years ago but posting anyway. Very Excited Love the show. From Reading these posts, and I am someone who has lived in Cortland all but 6 years I was in the military, Sounds Like the activity is based on Drunk College kids sightings,it is right next to the Frats and soroities. The Building Grace Brown worked in has been torn down, all her haunted stories are at the lake house up north, and her family is from South Otselic. Either Way excited to have TAPS in C-Town

Sheila says:

November 22, 2012, 1:02 pm

I have lived in Cortland all my life. I am 43 yrs old.So I am very familiar with the 1890 House. My late husband used to work there as a grounds keeper when we were teenagers. Although my husbnad was not one to beleive in anything paranormal, I do beleive. My late husband never mentioned anything strange happening to him while he worked there. I think it’s a matter of wether your mind is open to beleiving or it isnt. Either way if by having ppl beleive its haunted gets the funds the 1890 House needs to stay open then i’m all for it. It’s a wonderful landmark that needs to be preserved. I still live in Cortland and as far as I know it’s not haunted, and yes I have been there myself. Does it contain spirits that havent moved on possibly but I dont think they haunt the house they just roam the halls.

Marsha says:

January 31, 2013, 3:53 pm

I told you the 1890 House is Haunted

Marsha says:

January 31, 2013, 3:55 pm

Thank you GHOST HUNTERS for proving me right

kelsey says:

February 1, 2013, 10:36 am

well the 1890 house will be proved that it is house on feburary 6th….

Edward Beebe says:

February 6, 2013, 3:59 pm

I get a kick out of people that say they have lived here all of their life and have never heard of the 1890 house being haunted. I’m 66 years old haved lived in Cortland all but 8 years of my life. The 1890 house is not the only haunted house in Cortland but it has gotten more attention than the other haunted house’s. I’m a retired Captain from the City of Cortland Fire Department.My career lasted nearly 40 years in the fire department. I was a Shift Captain,Emergency,Medical Technician,New York Code Enforcement Officer. That is to let you know that I do have some credibility. I do not frighten vary easy. I have been the 1890 house many times and have experienced one or more paranormal encounters every time I have been that building. I have felt touching,heard voices, had doors open and close around me, felt sudden coldness to where I could see my breath during summer time. I have seen people that were not there and more. Not everyone will have an encounter, even some so called Physics may not experience anything if the what is there does not want to interact with them. Everyone will have their own opinion of what is there or not there. That is just the way it will always be. I can tell you what I believe but you don’t have to agree with me. Just go and see for yourself with an open mind and patients and see what happens. If you live here and never have been inside you to do so. The building is a part of local history. The Beebe’s and the Todd’s were the first to settle here also. That is part of my history too.

Marsha says:

February 7, 2013, 1:00 pm

Well said Ed….after watching the TAPS team investigate the 1890 house on Ghost Hunters last night..and if you saw it too everybody..ask yourself..just how did those pool sticks rattle themselves? I believe TAPS pacified the frightened Miss Grimes..with a gentle explanation. People I know have more proof in do I. It really does not matter how long a person has been in Cortland I am 63 now born and raised here, no biggy… if you are not open to the will not experiance anything..I am glad I am sensitive to these thigs..I love knowing who or what is sharing the same space as me. Spirits are everywhere.

Kat says:

March 5, 2013, 3:08 pm

It was good for me to view the Ghost Hunters show on the 1890’s house. My son rented a room in an old Victorian last year a “few” doors down from 1890’s house. Although as a family, we have never believed in ghosts, he privately shared with us some paranormal-type experiences in the home throughout the year. Yes the vibe in the house was odd too when I visited. I was so relieved when my son moved out. I am sure the activity was harmless as it was similar to the 1890’s activity, but disconcerting never the less. Possibly, the issues occur in several old homes in the surrounding area? We never informed the homeowner of the occurrences because of potential for embarrassment.

Victoria says:

December 22, 2013, 12:01 am

I have been in the 1890 House a couple of times when I come to visit Cortland. I was on a private tour with my parents a couple of years ago and my mother saw an apparition as we were standing near the servants quarters. She is not one to believe in ghosts so it was really surprising for her to say that she saw something. I have unfortunately never experience any paranormal happenings in that house. Another place to check out on home though is the old Keator Opera House. I was there a few days ago and captured a picture that is clearly a face, and I have had others look at the picture that have said the same thing.

Sean Pierce says:

April 3, 2015, 2:25 pm

the third floor is where I had an experience that was bone chilling. still think about it 30 something years later.

Diana Ussery-Moore says:

June 12, 2015, 7:20 pm

I grew up in Cortland and I can tell you that there are “haunted” areas throughout the town…it’s not that a ghost or spririt is always seem, it it usually often felt. Some people are more sensitive, and may actually see aspirations that others don’t. Ghost are nothing more than a lingering energy. They might make your hair stand on end, and you might feel the prickling down your spine, but unless you’re a sensitive, you won’t see anything, but the presence is real. Take a Cat or Dog with you in an alleged haunted house or area, they are natural sensitives, and they will confirm the presence if there truly is one.

Brian the librarian Story- SUNY Cortland says:

July 23, 2015, 2:57 pm

Greetings all,
I’ll be running a local tales of terror, night of ghost stories at teh 1890 house this coming October. I’d welcome any and all of you to join us that night 10/20 to share your tales. If any of you would like to volunteer as a story teller or have any great tales to share with me I would welcome your participation.Please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks in advance. till next we speak, be well.

Austin Lowe says:

September 11, 2015, 4:10 pm

Some of you niggers need autocorrect for your computers.

Becky says:

April 15, 2016, 2:39 pm

I believe in the paranormal, I believe just because you can’t see, heard, or feel something doesn’t mean that its not there. There are reasons sometimes why ghosts do not reveal themself. Most of the time they are hiding out waiting for you to go away. It all really depends on if they are agry ones or not. Sometimes when a person cannot see or hear something and others can it could also mean that you are not open minded. The more open your mind is the more you will allow yourself to get another sense of your own surroundings when nobody else can. They say and Ouija board is fake. Thing is you dont need just the Ouija board you need other thiings as well to have it work for the other side to communicate with you. I am a Wiccan although I have been out of practice for a number of years now doesnt mean that i still dont sense the paranormal.

Last time I practiced I was working at the Ramada inn in Ithaca, There is a room there number 253 where Bernadette Powell murdered her husband. That room as well is known as the “redrum” rom for many of the hotel workers that know about what happened there. I stayed in that room one night and I felt the presence of the husband she had killed. i was also able to determine which bed he was killed on as well. By the end of it all I was packing up my belongings and there on the mirror near the door the words appeared in red lettering “REDRUM”. After that night I really had a hard time even cleaning that room in the day. That was the last time I have ever Practiced.

Sonya says:

August 26, 2016, 10:32 pm

I live in the yellow house next door to the 1890 house (#23) and there is a bad vibe my roommates and I have noticed. I believe it used to be a frat house and rumor has it someone jumped from the third floor and the carriage house in the backyard burnt down years ago. I have no knowledge of this house’s history but know there is something wrong here. I read in some of these comments that there was a house on my street where 16 people have died.Please tell me more if you know anything about this. I am desperate and have observed things that have made me fearful of what lingers here.

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