During the 1960's, Helen and George Ackley purchased an old Victorian house located at One Laveta Place in Nyack, NY. Neighborhood kids told them the house was haunted but they bought it anyway. After moving in, the family learned that there were three apparitions residing in this home - a man, a woman and a Navy lieutenant during the American Revolution.
Stories began circulating around Nyack about phantom footsteps, knockings, doors slamming, and beds being shaken violently for no reason. The Ackleys and their children told most of these stories. Ten years later, they decided to write about their experiences and published it in Reader's Digest.
Occasionally the ghosts left gifts for family members. A few examples are a small silver sugar tong, coins, and baby rings. The ghosts and Ackley's co-existed in the same house for over 20 years. During the 1990's, Mrs. Ackley decided to sell her home. She didn't think to mention anything about the ghosts, though.
The house sat on the market for nearly one year before Helen received an offer. The potential buyer, Jeffrey Stambovsky, put down a deposit. A few weeks before closing, Helen asked her realtor to tell the buyers about the ghosts. The Stambovsky's wanted to proceed with the purchase but changed their minds right before closing. They wanted their deposits back; the Ackley's refused so it went to court. In Stambovsky v. Ackley, New York's Supreme Court agreed that the buyer had the right to back out of the deal because Helen Ackley didn't disclose anything about the ghosts prior to contracts being signed.
One Laveta Place became known as the only "legally" haunted house in New York State. Since then, subsequent owners have not experienced any paranormal activity. Nyack's history is rich in potential ghost sightings. A few places to look include Hook Mountain, Nyack Library, Oak Hill Cemetery and Mount Moor Cemetery, a final resting place for black Americans.
Directly across the Hudson River lies Sleepy Hollow. It is well-known for its story about the "Legends of Sleepy Hollow" and "The Headless Horseman". Ghost hunters will find plenty of ghostly adventures to explore.