Albany Rural Cemetery was constructed in 1844, it is known for its scenic views as well as it’s architecture. There are nearly five-hundred acres of land within Albany Rural. It is one of the most renowned, and beautiful cemeteries in the entire country.
Albany Rural is also a place of great historical significance. Erastus Corning, founder of the New York Center Railroad (The Erastus Corning Tower in Albany is named in honor of him), and his son Erastus Corning II, a Yale graduate who became the longest serving mayor of Albany are buried in Albany Rural. Other notable figures buried here are Anne Darling, actress that’s most well known for her role in “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) (which is one of my favorite horror classics), William Paterson, one of the signatories to the U.S. Constitution, Peggy Schuyler, sister in law to Alexander Hamilton, John Van Buren, son to President Martin Van Buren, and General Stephen Van Rensselaer, founder of RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).
However, the most famous of all people buried at Albany Rural Cemetery is President Chester Arthur, who was in office from 1881 to 1885.
Albany Rural was also featured in the 1987 film "Ironweed", a film that follows a terminally ill woman and a homeless man. The movie's setting takes place in Albany, New York and stars Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards.
Legends and Stories
There are many ghost stories that surround Albany Rural, from orbs appearing photos, creepy old pajamas laying around in trails, strange shadows, women singing, and even the ghost of a stallion that whilst in the graveyard died in an accident when it ran into a tombstone because of it getting startled. The horse is said to gallop alongside the cemetery roads.
The creepiest of all rumors, in my opinion, is claims of spectral dogs... The reason as to why I find this creepy is disclosed in the latter portion of this article.
When I first went to Albany Rural Cemetery, I went with a group of friends. We went because we wanted to find the grave of President Arthur (we were all fascinated with history). Unfortunately, when we arrived at the cemetery they were closing. We decided to wait till the guards on duty left and then we created an entry plan. We crossed the train tracks nearby, went through the brush, and under a wide hole in the iron gate. The cemetery was unbelievably dark as we didn't have flashlights on us. As we were looking for President Arthur's grave my one friend and I heard something that spooked us: dogs in the distance... For some reason, only my friend and I heard it, and the other three friends with us did not. We told them after we had heard it several times, and although they did not hear it for themselves they came to the decision that it was time to go. We thought the guards had some how been alerted of our presence and returned with dogs (the kind that you see in crime television shows) and so we decided to bolt. As I began to read more about Albany Rural with the intent to write an article I came across a chat forum in which people reportedly heard and saw spectral black dogs... It immediately sent shivers down my spine. Perhaps the dogs we heard were the dogs of legends and lore. After that experience we decided that we'd only ever visit Albany Rural in the daytime.
© 2019 Elijah DeVivo