On a remote hillside above the New York village of Millbrook, a vast mansion is slowly crumbling to dust. With its dark, empty windows, rotting woodwork and abandoned, echoing rooms, Halcyon Hall looks like the setting for a horror movie. And now, an intrepid group of explorers have penetrated its spooky interior to reveal its secrets to the world.
The story began in 1893, when H. J. Davison, Jr., a publisher from New York, decided to build a grand hotel. Inspired by Mohonk Mountain House, an upstate hotel built in the style of a Victorian castle, he planned to create a similarly opulent destination in Millbrook, some 30 miles to the east.
To that end, Davison employed architect James Ware, who had worked on the design for the Mohonk building. And eventually, the results were spectacular – a sprawling, five-story hotel enjoying a picturesque location atop a hill. Boasting some 200 rooms, the building was constructed in the Queen Anne style and equipped with elegant terraces and intricately carved columns.