8 Apr 2010
Rolling Hills Asylum™ Re-Opens Under New Ownership
Rolling Hills Asylum™, E. Bethany, NY – Last summer the paranormal community was up in arms
and a buzz as news leaked out that this paranormal hot spot was closing- permanently. Ghost
hunters and historical buffs alike were worried about the fate of the property and concerned for the
spirits who still reside there. A few paranormal aficionados wished out loud they could buy it and
keep it open, but there was only one who rose to the challenge.
Sharon Coyle, founder of Journey Paranormal Society™ and Start the Journey, A Paranormal Meetup
Group™, both based in southern California, had first visited Rolling Hills Asylum™ back in June 2008.
Little did she know, a year later she'd be visiting it again - in consideration of purchasing it. Even
more mind bending, that she and her husband, Jerry Coyle (a former Waterville NY native) would
become the owner of this extremely haunted location, all within less than two years of her initial
visit. For Sharon though, it all makes perfect sense. Her decade plus in sales and marketing for
trade shows and special events to her years of experience in the film and television industry, come
together in the needs of this property, all wrapped up with a pretty little para-bow.
Centrally located between Buffalo and Rochester, Rolling Hills Asylum™ sits on a knoll in the hamlet
of E. Bethany, NY. Though just 15 minutes or so from Rte 90, as you turn down Bethany Center
Road, houses become scarce, farm land abounds, and once darkness hits, an absolute eeriness sets
in. As you drive along, you know you're becoming closer when you spot the little cemetery on the
right, near the old town hall. Just then, an enormous 53,000+ sq. ft. brick building with its famous
copola explodes on the horizon. Upon entering the building, you immediately feel the energy.
Disembodied voices, doors mysteriously held shut, screams in the night, shadow people and more
are all common experiences. "It's amazing- when those new to investigating or even when skeptics
come to Rolling Hills Asylum™ for the very first time, how quickly they become believers - especially
when they have their own personal experiences such as being touched, feeling the extreme
temperature changes or the first time they see a shadow person."
Opened on January 1, 1827 and originally named The Genesee County Poor Farm, it was created by
Genesee County to house those eligible for assistance including paupers, habitual drunkards,
lunatics, the blind, lame or otherwise handicapped, orphans, widows, vagrants, and even a murderer
or two. The original property consisted of 200+ acres, numerous barns, dorms,and outbuildings,
vegetable and flower gardens, orchards, grape arbors, all types of farm animals, a bakery, and even
a wood shop (where caskets were built, among other things) and was essentially self sufficient.
Those inmates capable of handling a task were given farm duties, to help maintain the daily
operations of the farm. By the early 1950's the Genesee County Poor Farm gradually made its
transition to, as its affectionately referred to by area residents, "The Old County Home." By the
mid-1970's the Old County Home & Infirmary residents were relocated to newer facilities, the
property closed and it actually sat empty for nearly 20 years. By the mid 90's it opened as Carriage
Village, a place of unique shops. Fast forward to 2002 when the property was sold to new owners
who re-opened it as an antiques mall. When the property owners, vendors and shoppers began to
notice strange occurrences, a paranormal group was called into investigate. The rest, as they say, is
Sharon, a seasoned investigator herself, hand picked her new in-house para-team, which consists of
four seasoned Rolling Hills Asylum alumni, Marlena Treat, Steve Hall, and Amy & Suzie Yencer. All
have spent an enormous amount of time in the building, both as guides and paranormal
investigators. Collaboratively, they have amassed an incredible amount of personal experiences, as
well as solid evidence. Disembodied voices, footsteps, moaning, laughing, crying, and screams, have
all been heard. What's most remarkable are the amount of and frequency full body apparitions and
shadow people have been seen and photographed.
RHA™ Case Manager, Suzie Yencer relates a most interesting experience. "It was September 2007
while working a public hunt we had a gentleman with us that was filming a documentary about the
building. He wanted to try an experiment in one of the rooms. The room he chose was in the
basement….we called this room the Christmas room. The experiment he wanted to try was to sit in
the room with no lights or equipment on. The only light we would use was a pink glow stick in the
middle of a circle of people. We also placed a small ball and a toddler size rocking horse in the
circle. The gentleman conducting the experiment requested that only I talk and try to make contact
with the spirits. The more I talked, the more strange occurrences began to happen. The glow stick
started to move back and forth, and the rocking horse began to slowly rock. A few of the guests in
the room including myself saw a hand and arm come out of nowhere and reach for the ball in the
circle and then just vanish. The most exciting part of the experiment was when I began talking to
the many young children spirits around me. I asked them to please come into the circle and play
with the toys. While sitting there I put my open palm over my shoulder and asked the children to
take my hand, and I would help them into the circle. One at a time the children took my hand and
each time my hand would begin to tingle. As I lowered my hand into the circle people sitting around
the circle began gasping and saying they could see what looked like glitter floating above my hand.
This went on for over 30 minutes till there was a bang on the closed door, then a voiced yelled “it is
time to close”! When we went up to begin letting guests out, we realized that we had been in that
room for about three hours."
The Coyle's certainly have their work cut out ahead of them. Some would even go as far as seeing it
as an overwhelming and daunting undertaking. Those of you who have an older property realize and
understand there is always something needing to be fixed, repaired, or replaced. With a look
towards the future and their eye on sustainability, they hope to install some sort of alternative
energy system, reclaimed water system, and other eco-friendly options, all without deterring from
historical aspects and authenticity of the property. "Our main desire is to arrest the decay and
become energy efficient." Though not officially a non-profit, in-kind products, services and donations
are always appreciated.
Rolling Hills Asylum™ may very well be one the most haunted places in the country, or at the very
least, the most haunted location in the north east, and should be on the top of every ghost hunter's
top 10 list of places to investigate. Rolling Hills Asylum™ offers 8 hour private overnight
investigation opportunities as well as 8 hour public overnights, and 4 hour half night public
investigations. Soon to be added 2 hour historical and 2 hour flashlight tours. Sneak
announcements on Facebook (The Official Rolling Hills Asylum™ fan page) and Sharon Coyle's recent
radio interviews on Nocturnal Frequency Radio (Toronto, ON) and Dead Air (Daytona, FL) talking
about the para-plans for the property have been met with overwhelming support and excitement
from the paranormal community. For more information on the aforementioned opportunities or if
you are speaker or conference promoter interested in hosting an event at Rolling Hills Asylum™ go
to www.RollingHillsAsylum.com or call them at (585) 502-4066.
For interviews or other
media requests contact
RHA™ Marketing/PR Dept.
Rolling Hills Asylum™