Many beautiful and historic buildings in New York state have a history. And some people swear that the history is still a part of the present.

What You Need To Know

  • Hal and Rachel Kench bought the old rectory in Ogdensburg in 2019

  • When they are in the North Country, they spend their days renovating the mansion into a bed and breakfast

  • However, during the renovations, they have found they may not be alone in the home

In Ogdensburg, a couple is restoring a beautiful mansion into a bed and breakfast. But the story they tell is one where they aren’t doing it alone.

It's been four years since Hal Kench and his wife Rachel bought a historic home in the city of Ogdensburg.

“I’m a wood shop teacher, so I kind of know how to do some stuff,” Hal said while doing some renovations to the home.

The renovations were started to create their dream, a bed and breakfast and a place to hold special events.

“This weekend, we're very lucky to be hosting a wedding party,” he added.

It truly is a dream come true, because for Hal, Ogdensburg is his hometown.

“Well, this is going to be our first one,” Hal said of hosting a wedding party. “But we're definitely excited about it.”

They hope memories will be made as the new couple and their families gather at this home.

“It's something they're going to remember for their whole lives and to think like, hey, I’m a little piece of that memory now, the house does anyway,” Hal said. “The house will be part of everything, all the pictures they take, all their memories, all the videos.”

That's how we know that this couple are very good sports. Because there's one thing about this house: It's haunted.

“This house is full of surprises, mysteries, questions, things that we'll probably never have the answers to,” Hal said.

“Inside this little square here,” Hal said while holding an Alter Stone found in the basement, "…that's chiseled out are the bones of Two Saints and a scroll that says who they are.

“And this one actually has a pair of shoes in it, which I guess was a tradition back in the day. You would put shoes in the wall for good luck,” Hal said after opening a hidden door in the attic.

“This is our new laundry room,” Hal said as he walked in.

It’s a room that has a ceiling that Hal says led to a hidden room.

“We had plans of using it, but every time we tried to get in there, something happened,” he said. 

From singular shingles just flying around, to wood molding falling, to even random water leaks, Rebecca and Hal made a decision.

“So I feel like the house is telling us, stay out of that room. So you know what? They can have that square footage just, you know, leave us alone down here,” Hal said with a laugh.

But, of course, that wasn't going to happen.

“So, this room is called the Bishop Conroy Suite,” Hal said as he walked in — ringing a bell to alert the spirits.

This house was built in 1884, along with the original Saint Mary's Cathedral. 

It was home to the rector and other priests for 76 years, until the cathedral was destroyed by fire.

“And we believe Bishop Conroy is still here,” Hal said.

And to show why he believes that, he points to a photo that was clearly taken from the outside of this very room.

“We believe that's Bishop Conroy,” Hal said, pointing out a face inside a window. “So, it was certainly spooky in the beginning. But then again, you know, when's the last time you heard of a ghost killing somebody? Amityville Horror excluded.”

This house is so haunted that it was recently featured on an episode of the Travel Channel’s and Discovery Plus’ TV show “Ghost Hunters.” For more information on the house, its renovations and availability, you can reach out to Hal and Rachel on the The Claire House’s Facebook page.