Rolling Hills Asylum

Real Haunted Places in America

Rolling Hills Asylum

"The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? "
~Edgar Allen Poe

The Rolling Hills Asylum is considered to be one of the most popular real haunted places in America. This particular structure was originally opened in the year of 1827. In its earliest days, this haunted building was used as a refuge for individuals that were not well off financially. Many have referred to it during this time as a “Poor Farm” based on this fact. It was not at all uncommon to find many troubled individuals staying at the structure in the 1800s. Examples of those you may have seen residing at the facility include, but are not limited to: the mentally ill, children that were considered to be orphans, those that suffered from alcoholism, and even those that committed violent crimes against others – such as murderers. In this haunted places to go guide, you will be introduced to the Rolling Hills Asylum.

The History of Rolling Hills Asylum

The Rolling Hills Asylum originally opened by the government in order to offer various types of support and even housing for individuals that were considered to be needy in one way or another. Poorhouses were considered to be common in both the 19th century as well as the 20th century in the United States. Individuals that were considered to have the capability were required to conduct work on the grounds which the structure was located. These types of structures were all over the United States. In the 1930s, the program for Social Security started and these structures were not as common as they once were.

In the year of 1826, the group known as the “Genesee County Board of Supervisors” met and agreed that Bethany needed a county wide poorhouse. They voted for this structure. Despite the fact that the building was typically used as a stagecoach tavern, it was ideal due to the fact that it was considered to be the exact center of the county geographically. By the 9th day of December in the year of 1826, the following information pertaining to who qualified to stay at the structure was released in the local newspaper, the “Betavia Times”:

“Habitual drunkards, lunatics (one who by disease, grief or accident lost the use of reason or from old age, sickness or weakness was so weak of mind as to be incapable of governing or managing their affairs), paupers (a person with no means of income), state paupers (one who is blind, lame, old or disabled with no income source) or a vagrant.”

As time progressed, additional structures were incorporated onto the building. The additional structures assisted in keeping those with severe mental illnesses away from others, as well as those that did not follow the appropriate rules for conduct. The individuals that governed the structure eventually created rules that ordered those suffering from severe cases of insanity to be relocated and ordered to another specialized institution in the state of New York. Individuals that were permitted to reside at the facility were referred to as “inmates”. It did not matter why the resident was ordered to stay there. If the inmate was physically and mentally able, they had the responsibility of tending to the cultivation of crops, care of animals, and other chores on the farm.

The Paranormal

In the 1990s, the Rolling Hills Asylum building was purchased and then transformed into a shopping center with several stores. As time progressed, it became a mall that specialized in antiques. Eventually, strange situations started to occur. This was the beginning of the era when individuals would consider this structure as one of the most active of real haunted places in America. Many individuals recall hearing voices that were considered to be disembodied, while others reported seeing shadow people. It was not at all uncommon for someone to report hearing distant screams throughout the night, and even reporting seeing doors shutting by themselves or having doors being held closed on them. The following represents other paranormal experiences that are said to occur in this haunted structure:

• In the room that is identified by locals as the “Christmas Room”, it is common to find that the toys are being moved from one location to another with absolutely no explanation. • Many individuals often hear footsteps coming from above the 2nd floor ceiling despite the fact that there is no floor above that room. • Disembodied voices have been heard in the kitchen area as well as the meat locker region of the area. • A male apparition and shadows that appear to be male have been observed by many visitors and employees alike.

Visiting Rolling Hills Asylum

If you enjoy the paranormal and you are interested in visiting real haunted places in America, you are sure to enjoy the Rolling Hills Asylum. You may choose from several different ghost hunting opportunities for yourself as well as any group that you are associated with. Furthermore, historical tours are soon to be offered by the owners of this structure. For more information, you may email the asylum at You may also call the asylum directly with the following number: 585-502-4066


11001 Bethany Center Rd

E. Bethany,New York


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