A Day at the Museum: September 2021

Ghost Hunt Turns Up Surprises
by John Simon

HURLEYVILLE, September 2021—I recently went to the Sullivan County Museum at 265 Main Street in Hurleyville with a small team in an attempt to see if we could find the ghosts that Lynda Lee Macken wrote about in her 2019 book, “Catskill Ghosts.”
In her book, Ms. Macken writes that “On multiple occasions, the Sullivan Paranormal Society investigated the Museum due to feelings of unease experienced in the building.”
Because of that point, we made sure to include in our group, Barbara O’Rourke, one of the founders of Sullivan Paranormal.
We were given a guided tour of the Museum by Sullivan County Historical Society volunteer Patricia Burns, who was very thorough and entertaining. We toured most of the building, but did not encounter any spirits.
We did, however, see lots of other interesting exhibits, including an entire room dedicated to the polar explorer Dr. Frederick Cook. Dr. Cook, a native of Sullivan County, was an American explorer, physician, and ethnographer who claimed to have reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908. That was nearly a year before explorer Robert Peary, who similarly claimed to have reached the North Pole on April 6, 1909. Both men’s accounts have been disputed ever since.
There were many different exhibits in the room, and some of us really found the “sledge” built by Dr. Cook for arctic exploring to be the most interesting.
Although Lynda Lee Macken reported in her book that the Dr. Cook room was one of the places Sullivan Paranormal experienced ghosts, which Barbara O’Rourke confirmed, we did not see, hear or feel anything unusual.
We also got to see quite a number of old Singer sewing machines in different parts of the Museum. These machines, which were several models from different years, may become part of a future project, so stay tuned.