Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Creepy Places You Can Visit Right Now: Salesian Seminary

by Diana Cook

salesian main 2

Is your idea of a perfect vacation destination less of a tropical paradise and more like a gigantic, long abandoned building that’s possibly haunted by the spirits of people who suffered immense pain and suffering? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out the abandoned Salesian Seminary in Goshen, NY.

Located sixty miles north of New York City, the property is heavily wooded and filled with structures in varying states of disrepair. It’s the Detroit of abandoned seminaries, basically.

First developed in the early 1800s and owned by a series of wealthy aristocratic families, the original grounds included a mansion, private mausoleum and cemetery. In 1925, the Salesian Fathers purchased the property and opened it as a Catholic resident school for boys. The former mansion served as the administration building. Several other structures were added over the years including the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto (Those can be fun!), a priests’ cemetery and the large brick building where students lived and attended class. They also dug a man-made pond to use for swimming instruction.

Come on in, the water is putrid and gross!

The entire area is said to be haunted by a young boy who died while attending summer camp at the school in the 1960s. His spirit reportedly walks the grounds and has been spotted peering from the broken windows and along the rooftop of the decaying dormitory.

The circumstances surrounding his death remain a mystery. Depending on whom you spoke with at the time, on the night of August 9th, 1964, nine-year-old Paul Ramos either fell or was thrown off the roof to his death. His body was found the next day behind the main campus building.

The case was reopened in 2003. The modern inquest deemed that the distance of the body from the building was inconsistent with a fall. While the new findings point to foul play rather than an accident, the case remains unsolved.

In addition to its spooky pedigree, the school also has a bit of celebrity cache. Comedian George Carlin briefly attended school there in the early 1950s. As a seventh grader, Carlin was sent to the upstate junior seminary after he was caught stealing money from the visiting team’s locker room during a basketball game. Carlin told Playboy about it in a 1982 interview.

“So I was sent to The Brothers,” Carlin said. “That’s what they called this parochial school up in Goshen, N.Y. I was supposed to get closer supervision there and more ‘masculine influence,’ whatever that means. But I was thrown out for telling a couple of really lame kids on the playground that I had heroin.”


Thanks to declining enrollment, the school was shut down in 1985. For years the buildings and grounds sat neglected and unoccupied. In 2006, it was turned into a town park. The buckling walls and partially caved roof of the old mansion made it a public safety hazard and it was torn down. Complaints of unexplained noises and mysterious sightings from the construction workers on the demolition crew have added to the notoriety.


Today, the foundation of the mansion, the man-made pond turned swamp and various monuments to the dead, remain in place. The dilapidated main building is still standing. All of the windows not boarded up have been broken. On a breezy day, remnants of curtains move eerily through the open spaces between the jagged glass.


If you’re in the New York area and interested in experiencing the place first hand, the grounds are open to the public until dusk. Of course, you probably wouldn’t want to be there after dark anyway. Check out more pictures of the Salesian Seminary below.


Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 6:28 PM  

It is truly sad to see this place in this condotion. I attended camp there in 1959 and 1960 and it was a beautiful venue...well maintained, music playing form the tower, and the lake was peefect for swimming and boating. The open pavillion was for arts and crafts, and meals were eaten in the old mansion. I served my first mass in the beautiful chapel, and we saw movis in the gym. I still remember sitting in the grotto alongside the main driveway, waiting for my mom to arrive on visiting day, every Sunday. So distressing for me, now 62, to see my old camp so forlorn and even ridiculed. I truly have cried looking at these photos. Please, all who pass by here, know that this was once a happy place. Thank you.