Arts & Entertainment

The haunting of of Hinsdale

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Ghost stories are oft told during the days leading to Halloween, so the paranormal investigator who recently came to St. Bonaventure University to discuss the haunted “Hinsdale House” seemed to be right in the spirit of the season.

His talk went beyond the scope of that one haunted house, however. What Michael Rambacher told the audience is that the entire community of Hinsdale is haunted because it is built over Native American burial grounds.

Therefore, the haunting “goes to the village, it goes to Main Street and out into the countryside,” Rambacher said.

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In a well-lit room, Rambacher spoke to university staff, faculty, administrators and students during a Souper Monday program in the University Club above the Hickey Dining Hall. As he began to speak about the spirits residing in Hinsdale, a radiator started to emit a loud clanging noise, making the audience listen more intently.

Rambacher said Hinsdale has a violent history. In the 1700s, European settlers killed 800 Native Americans in a single night, and later used that land to build a village.

As for the Hinsdale House: There had been tales of spirit activity in the now unoccupied house and the most documented experiences were those of the Dandy family residing in the house in the 1970s, Rambacher said.

“The most affected of the family was the youngest named Laura,” he added.

One story involved Laura and her friends swimming in a pond by the house and seeing an old woman dressed in black staring at them. According to Rambacher, the friends ran, begging her to get out. Laura stayed, telling them it would not matter because “I am going to die soon anyways.” When she did die, she was in California and in her early 30s.

When Rambacher began the question-and-answer session, student Samantha Arena asked if it was safe to go into the Hinsdale House. Rambacher replied, “No. The Dandys left the house and never came back.”

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