The Farnam Mansion is a 19th-century mansion in the city of Oneida, which is located in Central New York State midway between the cities of Syracuse and Utica. Built circa 1862, it is situated on the southwest corner of Main and Stone Streets within the city's Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
The Farnam Mansion is currently owned by writer and former antique dealer Gerri Gray, who, along with her husband Brian, have painstakingly worked to renovate and restore the house to its former glory. In 2010 they opened their doors to the public as a bed and breakfast called the Collinwood Inn. Themed after the 1960s gothic daytime drama, Dark Shadows, and decorated with antiques and Dark Shadows memorabilia, the inn offered guests the choice of four rooms named after the television show's main characters: Barnabas, Angelique, Josette, and Quentin. In 2013 the bed and breakfast ceased operation. The mansion is now used as a single family dwelling, and hosts occasional paranormal investigations. Guided tours are available to the public upon request.
After experiencing a number of strange and unexplainable phenomena in the Farnam Mansion and learning of the alleged paranormal experiences of some of its former owners and residents, Gerri and Brian Gray contacted a paranormal research group called the New York Shadow Chasers and invited them to investigate the house. The first of many paranormal investigations of the Farnam Mansion by the Shadow Chasers team took place in April 2011 on Good Friday. During that initial investigation, paranormal activity was witnessed and documented by all of the investigators and included the sighting of a shadow figure darting along the exterior wall in the main parlor, a lamp in the parlor turning on by itself, unexplained footsteps and voices coming from the bedroom directly above the parlor, a light anomaly on the second floor, and numerous intelligent responses via a PX device and voice recorders, which were believed to be spirit communications. The New York Shadow Chasers concluded that "it was clear before we even began putting away the equipment that the Farnam Mansion was haunted and the spirits were very happy to communicate."
On August 13, 2011, the Farnam Mansion hosted its first annual "Night of Shadows" public paranormal investigation with the New York Shadow Chasers to help educate the public about ghost-hunting as well as the history of the house. The investigators and participants alike documented paranormal activity which included the sounds of footsteps, disembodied voices and shadow figures. At midnight a seance conducted by Gerri Gray was held in the seance room and the paranormal activity in the mansion increased to the point of heavy footsteps pacing the halls and the materialization of a white phantom cat on the attic stairs.
Numerous paranormal investigations (both public and private) have since been conducted at the Farnam Mansion, which has quickly earned itself the reputation of being a "paranormal hot spot.". Groups and individuals that have investigated the mansion include the New York Shadow Chasers, New York State Paranormal Research, psychic-medium Lesley Marden, author and radio show host Ron Kolek, Anne Kerrigan of East Bridgewater's Most Haunted, the New England Ghost Project, Michelle Desrochers of Canada's Most Haunted, and Island Paranormal.
The Farnam Mansion and its history and hauntings are featured in the books, Ghost Hunting the Mohawk Valley by Lynda Lee Macken, Cano Davy and Marcus Zwierecki (Black Cat Press, 2012) and Chasing Shadows: New York Ghosts by Katya Von Heuser and P.W. Creighton (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012).