Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Haunted House in an Unusual Place

by Tanya Goodwin

As a travelling physician, I’ve been to a variety of small towns, many filled with older houses. I’ve marveled at many of these on my walks or runs around the neighborhoods. But I never thought that one day I’d actually practice obstetrics and gynecology during one of my locum tenens assignments in a “haunted home.” That’s exactly what happened when I went to Dansville, New York.

As I entered the obstetric/gynecologic practice located inside a beautiful, classic house, I was blown away to find out that this house, one hundred years ago, was a funeral home! Needless to say, my interest in this historic fact was piqued. Stained glass windows and a fireplace in every room greeted me. Although the house was converted to accommodate a medical practice, including exam rooms, I couldn’t help envision how people used to come here to pay their respects to the dead decades ago.

Aged brown and beige framed photos of Grover’s Funeral Home lined the corridors. In between seeing patients, I could not stop staring at these. I had to learn more. The office nurses were more than happy to share the spooky details.

First we climbed a winding staircase to the second floor while sliding our hands up the polished mahogany banister. The nurse told me of a periodic apparition of a man in a suit who’d stand in between the two flights of stairs. I did not see him during my assignment, but I believe it! The nurses then pulled down the attic stairs and off we went to the dusty abode above us. Among office supplies, the old Grover’s Funeral Home signage sat so macabre upon velvet cushioned chair, as if it was taken down only recently. Wow! I couldn’t believe that sign was still housed in that attic for one hundred years. I, of course, whipped out my camera for a unique photo op.

So impressed by the whole historic feel of the house, now an obstetric and gynecologic practice, I couldn’t help but write about a house such as this in a novel I named, “The Embalmer”, the sequel to “If Memory Serves” by Mitchell Morris Publishing. I can’t wait for you to read it. Meanwhile, enjoy the following photos of the house now, and how it existed one hundred years ago.

Have you ever been inside a haunted house?

Tanya Goodwin writes romantic suspense with a twist of medicine and mystery. Her experiences as a physician are reflected in her characters and in her stories. Tanya is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed her specialty training as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Tampa, Florida. She now resides in New York. Her present life as a travelling doctor allows her to switch from stethoscope to keyboard. Tanya is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. You can visit her at her website, www.tanyagoodwin.com.


  1. I love haunted houses, but I'd want someone to hold my hand while I'm there. And to find that the house was a funeral parlor as well? I would have transferred. Brave you. Congrats on book ---maria

  2. Maria,
    I found it all so fascinating. The old photos were captivating. Nothing out of the ordinary happened to me except that I got a a novel out of it!

  3. I spent many summers as a young girl in 2 extremely old homes that belonged to 2 different great aunts. The one most certainly had the sense of the long dead occupants. There'd been family there since the Revolutionary era, and walking in the dark, mossy garden beneath huge old trees I just knew I was not alone - but in a very comforting way. As though I was acknolwedged as family. Your post was uber cool - I can just imagine the tour you had! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Great post, Tanya. I love reading about huanted houses.