Working with the Farnam Mansion the Shadow Chasers put together the first ever Night of Shadows to help educate the public about ghost hunting and the history of the site. The night was even more active than the investigation as participants were able to experience the footsteps, phantom voices and shadow apparitions first hand. At midnight the proprietors conducted a Victorian Seance in the front Seance Room with everyone in the room. The activity in the mansion increased to the point of heavy footsteps pacing the halls and even the apparition of a cat appearing.
The brick Italianate Victorian mansion that is now the Collinwood Inn was built sometime between 1865 and 1870 for Stephen H. Farnam, a successful business owner, President of the National State Bank, and President of the Glenwood Cemetery Association. He was also one of the organizers and first directors of the Oneida Gas Light Company and served on its board of directors until his death. Stephen H. Farnam, who was for many years a well-known and highly esteemed citizen of Oneida, died in his home on November 17, 1897. According to his obituary, the cause of death was apoplexy. His funeral took place from the Farnam Mansion and his body was interred in Oneida's Glenwood Cemetery, which is known for having some of the grandest and most unusual tombstones in Upstate New York.*
Over the years the mansion has been home to a number of people from many different walks of life. In the early 1900s it was owned by a locally famous woman by the name of Mary Dyer Jackson. An early activist in the women's suffrage movement, she was the first woman to circulate a petition in Central New York for the women's suffrage cause. She also founded the Progress Club in 1889 and became a charter member of the Madison County Historical Society in 1898.*
Not surprisingly, some guests of the Collinwood Inn have reported strange unexplained phenomena while staying there, ranging from phantom cats in their rooms to lights turning on and off by themselves. Other people have witnessed apparitions, shadow figures, ghostly voices, and strange sounds and sensations. Many who have experienced these things are convinced that the spirits of those who have died in the Farnam Mansion have never left the house.*
The Shadow Chasers investigated the Farnam Mansion on-behalf of the proprietors Gerri and Brian. While they were curious what the team would actually be able to document they were certain that we would be able to capture something.
Utica Firefly Series
The premier episode of the Utica FireFly was shot after the conclusion to the Night of Shadows thanks to local award-winning videographer Geoff Storm.