What is its history and is it haunted?
Poster Child of Haunted Places
It almost seems to be a poster child for haunted locations, however most who have posted the picture do not know what or where it is.
The building is named Halcyon Hall, and was the main structure for Bennett College, an all women's college that provided education, starting with high school and all the way through college on its grounds.
The building was built in 1893 in Millbrook, New York, and was originally a 200 room hotel resort. The resort was funded by publisher H.J. Davison Jr and designed by James E. Ware. Unfortunately, for the financier, the hotel didn't draw the crowds it needed to stay open as a viable business, so was forced to shut down
Many prominent American families sent their daughters for the six years of education that Bennett College provided, including a very robust curriculum that included music, design (fashion and interior), languages, literature, drama, dance, domestic science... and much, much more.
The five stories and double basement sat unused for a number of years before Halcyon Hall was purchased by a collection of people who made attempts at renovating it, to see new life, but all ultimately ended in failure.
It has since become a haven for urban explorers who derive great enjoyment by exploring its floors and rooms. Much of the furniture remains, including school desks and cupboards, but all have long been stripped bare.
Wreck and Ruin
Plants and trees can be seen growing indoors where sunlight permits, and much moss, mould and fungus has attached itself to surfaces both inside and out.
As for hauntings, there are not a lot of stories out there, but if you do some digging you can find some curious experiences related by some of the people who have ventured into the structure.
Most are typically events concerning doors closing when you are not looking (walking up to a door, having your attention distracted and you turn around but upon turning back the door had silently closed), rooms turning pitch black in a matter of seconds, even during the day and of course footsteps and the sounds of running and playing.
However, there is one type of experience that people have been having that is quite creepy. Many times when groups of explorers enter the building they find it so vast that they split up into more than one group, in order to better cover all the ground.
The group will make it back to the meeting location and no one will be there. After waiting a while, it becomes evident that something is amiss, and at a later time when they are all gathered and an enquiry is made it will be discovered that all the groups had stayed together the whole time and no one was sent to the others with a message.
The conclusion is that something does not want people to venture into the attic or basement at certain times and it will take on the likeness of another in the group in order to cause them to turn back.
The Fate for Halcyon Hall
More pictures of the building both in its prime and in a ruined state can be found here: http://www.kuriositas.com/2012/12/bennett-school-for-girls-college-which.html