OLEAN, NY — When Daniel Klaes purchased the Hinsdale Haunted House in June of 2015, he did so with the goal of finishing a puzzle.
Klaes, who has been a paranormal investigator for over a decade, started visiting the house with his investigative team frequently and was inspired to make a change.
“I knew I had to try to save this place,” Klaes said on Wednesday night during his talk at the Olean Public Library. “I knew there was more to this story. It was kind of like a giant puzzle that I’ve been trying to put together.”
A completely new roof, remediation of black mold and the removal of half a million honey bees from the floorboards were just a few of the updates that needed to be made to the house.
Located on MacMahon Hill Road, the house has a well-documented past.
It once underwent multiple exorcisms when Phil and Clara Dandy, along with their four children, lived in the house and experienced paranormal activity from 1970 to 1974.
The house has been uninhabited since 1986, but is a favorite stop for paranormal investigators from around the world who do overnight investigations.
And now Klaes is aiming to make it as user friendly as possible for visitors.
“I had fiber optics installed down the whole hill and we have wifi extenders so people can stream from any social media that they’d like,” Klaes said. “You can get good service there now, which we’ve never had in the past.”
Klaes wants to have two cabins built on the property. One would be a base camp for investigative teams. The other would be a research center.
When large teams come in, there often isn’t enough room to conduct research properly, Klaes explained.
“It’s better to stay in small groups because otherwise, you can contaminate each other's evidence,” he said. “One little movement can screw up a whole investigative session. So by having cabins on the property, it will give teams a place to put their extra numbers when they aren’t actually researching.”
The base camp will have sleeping quarters and be wired with internet and closely monitored televisions of the house and the property.
Plans are still in preliminary stages, he said.
Another way that Klaes is working on solving the mystery surrounding the paranormality of the house is by exploring the Native American burial grounds that he believes are on the property.
The burial grounds may have belonged to the Wenro Indians who occupied the area around the 17th century, Klaes said and added that he hopes to investigate them in the spring.
“If we find them, we won’t disturb them,” Klaes said. “We’ll call in a Native American priest and memorialize the ground so we can pay homage to them and make sure no one else is stomping on them. That could be part of the problem of the house. Forgotten souls.”
Klaes’ efforts have drawn consistent traffic to the house.
In addition to the house being booked every weekend, Klaes said that in 2019 there have been three television shows recorded in the house and that investigative teams from five different countries.
His team is in the process of filming a Netflix series at the house that he hopes will air next October. Titled “Dead Remains,” the series focuses on the events that happened to the Dandy family.
Klaes said that the local community has played a big role in the success of the house and “has continuously supported what we’re doing. There are people who donate monthly, which helps with things like lawn mowing and upkeep of the house.”
A Patreon site can be found at https://www.patreon.com/HinsdaleHouseMuseum.
And the house will continue to be the site of free tours Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. through Nov 10.
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