Local legends say more people are buried in Clinton than the number of people that actually live there. In this edition of Your Hometown, YNN's Andrew Sorenson shows us some of the ghostly attractions.
CLINTON, N.Y. -- Some secrets you take with you to your grave, but there are two men in the Village of Clinton who spend their free time trying to dig them up.
One is Richard Williams, public historian for the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton. With the Clinton Historical Society, he documents parts of a dozen cemeteries, and preserves the Old Burying Grounds.
"Clinton was settled in 1787 by Captain Moses Foote, who's buried here in the Old Burying Ground. So there was a need for a burial ground in the early period of the 1790s. And that's when this burying ground was first used," Williams said.
There are plenty of nuggets, like the 49 Revolutionary War soldiers buried here. However, what Williams finds interesting are the epitaphs.
One headstone reads, "He's gone and left this world, of this dark and dismal shore. We only part to meet again, to meet and part no more. Soldier of the Revolutionary War, founder of Clinton."
There's a joke among Clintonians that because there are so many cemeteries, this is a pretty dead town. Surprisingly, that hasn't spawned a lot of ghost stories. At Hamilton College however, there are plenty of ghost stories.
As the campus turns to darkness, Assistant Campus Safety Director Wayne Gentile's job gets more interesting, but not because of the students.
"Because it's such a great place to be that even the people that have passed don't want to leave," Gentile said.
Some security officers claim the place is haunted. It's drawing more living eyeballs to see for themselves.
"It went from a little tour here, and a little tour there, and in the past couple years it seems like every time I turn around I'm getting an e-mail about, 'Oh, can we do a ghost tour?'" said Gentile.
He takes groups through seven buildings officers have had spooky experiences in. The smaller the group, the more likely you'll experience something.
"If we do hear anything, as my word, there's nothing set up. This is not a haunted house," he assured.
Hamilton security guards have encountered the weird through cobwebbed basements and eerie attics.
Gentile said of one officer, "He swears up and down that right next to him, the cushion sank in like somebody sat there."
There was another time a strange poltergeist blew cigar smoke in their faces.
"People tell me the same stuff, people who haven't talked to each other. So that's why sometime I'm a little creeped out a little bit myself," he said.
As Gentile recanted tales of phantom chanting in dark rooms, or disappearing faces in windows, it was easy to imagine that somebody is watching.
Whether it is just bumps in the night or something else, you'd have to decide for yourself. But for the people who've experienced it, they say there is something going on they can't explain.
"And I'm somewhat skeptical on stuff. A lot of times I like to pass it off on old buildings and old pipes and stuff, but I have had a few experiences that I just can't nail down," Gentile said.
"Just because there's a cupboard door opens mysteriously, does that mean there's a ghost there some day? It's a lot of hog wash I think," said Williams.
The only way to say for sure is if you're brave enough to check it out for yourself. For now, Hamilton ghost tours are limited to people affiliated with the college.
But the Assistant Public Safety Director says he's considered doing something more organized with the increased interest.