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Haunted Split Rock Quarry Survey & Investigation

On June 2nd, the Shadow Chasers travelled to Syracuse to investigate the reportedly haunted Split Rock Quarry in Syracuse, New York.

While we have been in service since 2002, we have never been ones to target prestige locations, and in-fact we have had nearly 90% of all of our cases come to us, this was our chance to get back to the roots of the Shadow Chasers, documenting and understanding regional folklore. The site was notoriously haunted and well within driving distance. The team unanimously decided it would be worth our time and an investment to investigate one of New York's most notoriously haunted locations.

History: In 1918, World War I was raging, and any company that was able to be adapted to a military need was eager to. One such company was the Solvay Process Company in Syracuse. They owned a limestone quarry outside of Syracuse in the town of Onondaga, and were willing to convert this quarry into a munitions factory to help the war effort. This quarry was known as the Split Rock Quarry.

On July 2, 1918, due to a machinery malfunction a fire broke out within the factory. The fire was unable to be stopped, and spread to the flammable chemicals stored within the building. This lead to a massive explosion that destroyed the factory, as well as damaging nearby buildings. In total, close to 50 people lost their lives in the tragic explosion.

This explosion did not stop the production of explosives at the munitions plant, and it continued to remain operative throughout the rest of the war, and was later used as a maintenance station for the New York State Department of Transportation, before it was abandoned in the 1980s.

The tragic past of the Split Rock Quarry continues to make its presence known. Even though the quarry has been closed for close to 20 years, it is the site of regular paranormal investigations. Documented sightings have been of strange green and blue lights, as well as seeing apparitions of those killed during the explosion. many attribute the strange coloration of  the apparitions witnessed to those who were killed by pyric acid when the explosion occured.

Planning Phase: In most investigations you contact the proprietor and work with them to set up an ideal investigation date. The Split Rock Quarry was quite a bit different. Despite the countless reports of investigations that have taken place at the location and the number of blogs that report Split Rock Quarry is a great place to go hiking or biking, there is relatively no information about the state of the location or how one can visit the site. All of the information we could attain were a few blogs and an article from a Syracuse newspaper about a local ghost hunting team that had investigated the site and our own CNY Paranormal article about the legends.

In the end all we had was a rough location and a google map with what looked to be the site at the end of a road.

 Road Trip: We set out for Syracuse before noon and met up with our team membe r Sean for  lunch at Kelley' Bar and Grill just a short 15min from the quarry according to the gps. We discussed the history of the location and all of the reported activity from the site. Investigations by local teams all claimed extensive history and activity on the site. We arrived at the entrance to Split Rock Quarry after 1PM.
To our dismay we encountered a rather large barricade to the entrance and warning against parking. 

Since we were were in unfamiliar territory we discussed our options, we were on the dead end of a neighborhood road with no potential locations to park except in resident's driveways. The parking issue was not our only issue as this barricade meant that any equipment that we were to take would have to be portable.
Fortunately, some residents were rather helpful and offered us advice about parking and how far the main quarry was from our entrance. After dealing with the parking issue and under the threat of getting our cars towed, we headed up the entrance driveway to Split rock Quarry. Climbing the steadily increasing incline we finally arrived at the leveled area of the quarry.
Unlike other quarries, Split Rock Quarry was actually elevated and carved into the hillside. We were greeted with a steep embankment on our right and a sharp rise on our left but it wasn't until we cleared the foliage that we could see the Rock crusher for the first time. 



 On Site: As we walked up to the famous 'Rock Crusher' of Split Rock Quarry we discovered just how massive and popular the structure was. A number of teens were climbing on the exterior of the structure. The Rock Crusher itself was a giant step pyramid carved back into the hillside. According to blogs and accounts, the Rock crusher was host to a series of labyrinthine tunnels and caves that webbed throughout the site. our research showed at least two tunnels that seemed to be on either side of the main structure.              
*At least that was the information that we had managed to find about the site.*

The "Rock Crusher" was also our first encounter with the inaccuracies of the legends and accounts from Split Rock Quarry. There were indeed two tunnels on either side of the main structure. We were uncertain of what we might encounter upon entering the structure and quickly discovered what this 'web of tunnels' really was.
The two tunnels travel back about 60 feet in a straight flat path and meet with a back wall of sorts where the two tunnels merge and follow a slightly circular arc along the hillside until emerging only a couple hundred yards from the first tunnel entrance. This was hardly a 'web of tunnels.' Throughout the tunnel there were huge piles of debris and refuse with slight traces of the explosion that devestated the property over 100 years earlier.

Investigation: We opened our investigation by fisrt climbing the exterior of the "Rock Crusher" to gather some sense of the area and identify any other potentially interesting areas that we may not have been able to see. This was an extremely dangerous and somewhat effective task as the exterior of the rock crusher is little more than giant stone steps, but like the pyramids it does rise significantly in height and the contours of the rock change with height. Our survey identified several areas that looked interesting further off to our left across the quarry.
After the teens left the area we set a number of recorders and cameras to record throughout the "Rock Crusher" and we left the equipment to record while we headed out across the site to continue our survey. Once more, despite the numberous stories, we discovered there was little else of interest aside from an alarming number of shotgun shells scattered throughout the site.

There really wasn't much else throughout the site aside from more debris that had been dumped at the site recently and literally thousands of shotgun shells and a few ATV trails.
This brought us back to the "Rock Crusher" where we conducted our investigation. upon returning to the site Sean witnessed a many in an orange jacket atop the hillside next to the 'Rock Crusher' where the figure mysteriously vanished and Josh, following the hilltop path did not see the figure. 
After all of the team reunited at the "Rock Crusher" we checked the equipment and added a few pieces of gear to the site monitoring including a new IR sensor that sean had created.
The remainder of the investigation continued without incident aside from the ocasional couple of hikers that were visiting the site. Every couple of hours another couple would come to the quarry to walk with their dogs.

The Wrap Up: Our investigation of Split Rock Quarry concluded with a bit of a thunderstorm and rain that encouraged us to expedite packing and hike back to the cars. On our hike back we discussed how remote the location was, the number of shotgun shells and the fact that there were grafitti tags throughout the site. The Shadow Chasers investigation of Split Rock Quarry was certainly an adventure. We captured a number of audible phenomena on multiple cameras and audio recorders. We captured a few interesting photographs and had a number of experiences. Would we want to go back and investigate the quarry again? No. 

The legends and folklore of the site far exceed the activity of the site. While there are indicators that the site is active, it is haunted the perils and contamination of the site prevent it from being a verifiable or desirable location to investigate. The thousands of shotgun shells indicate people use the area for a shooting range routinely and the hazards of the site (drop offs, rusted metal, crumbling stone work) certainly discourage exploration.
 The Split Rock Quarry is known for its history and for its accounts of paranormal activity. Site is historic and holds a tragic past but there is little activity to justify the perils of the site. It is difficult to get to, hazardous to explore and those ambitious enough to follow the legends may just end up adding to the site's history if they are not careful.