There's certainly no shortage of ghost stories in New York, but it's not often a political figure steps up and makes statements about potential spirits. Current NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has done just that.
According to the Albany Times Union, Cuomo mentioned the topic back in April, noting that he's not interested in ghosts and considers himself a 'big, tough guy,' but bravado aside, he reports that he doesn't sleep much in the mansion:
"It's a creepy house. I'm a big, tough guy so I don't get afraid of ghosts, but I'm not enamored with them anyway. So I don't sleep much when I'm in that house because there are a lot of noises going on, and it gives me a chance to read up on past governors and what they've done in New York."
A later report in the New York Post offered further statements from the Governor:
"So, it's me alone, when I'm in the house because my family is in Westchester...and there are stories that this house is haunted. Now, I don't believe in ghosts, and I'm a big, tough Italian guy, but I'll tell you, it gets creepy in that house, and there are a lot of noises that go on and you are very alone."
The mansion is 161 years old and sits near the Capitol building in Albany. According to historians, the only recorded death in the mansion occurred in 1909 when the Reverend David C. Hughes, father of Governor Charles Hughes, died from a "stroke of apoplexy."
Whether or not Rev. Hughes is responsible for the paranormal activity in the mansion is up for debate. Most people don't believe that the Reverend had any unfinished business to keep him around. Still, New York State Capitol assistant curator Stuart Lehman, who leads the annual Capitol Hauntings tours every Halloween, says visitors have reported a variety of strange sounds and sights in state buildings, including the governor's mansion.
Former governor David Paterson stepped up with his own take on the haunted mansion telling the Post that ghost absolutely did exist in the grand old house.
Paterson says that while living at the mansion, his five-year-old nephew told him he could feel an invisible hand guiding him up the home's stairs. The former governor also relayed one of his personal accounts.
Late one night, he was in a second-floor bedroom when he heard a sound 'like a vase smashing.' He searched two floors of the building but could find nothing to explain the strange noise. The following day, he spoke with staff who told the governor he'd encountered the mansion's ghost.
"I told the staff, and they all got quiet and left the room. One came to me and said, Governor, nobody wanted to say this to you, but it's the ghost. One employee is afraid to clean one of the rooms because she thinks the ghost is in the room."
Staff members at the mansion believe the spirit is that of a former groundskeeper. In fact, they believe it's the groundskeeper for the mansion's original owners, that is-before the state bought the building in 1877-meaning that the noisy spirit may have been present for a very long time.
Paterson offered some words of comfort to the current governor:
"Governor Cuomo should be relieved, it's a friendly ghost, like Casper."
As for current governor Cuomo, he spends most of his time at his family home in Westchester and when he's in the Albany mansion, well, those sleepless nights are spent buried in books, trying perhaps, to ignore the eerie sounds that take over the historic building each night.