A haunting in West Camp

Tracy and Tyler Snyder (photo by Will Dendis)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


Hamlet, Act I, Scene V


(This article was originally published Feb. 22, 2012)

We live in one of the oldest parts of this country. Many generations built homes and farmed the land before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Is it possible our predecessors left something behind? Half of all Americans believe in ghosts, and a fifth say they’ve seen one. Few have tales as creepy as Tyler Snyder of West Camp.

It was late in the evening of May 2 of last year, the day Osama bin Laden was killed. A strange feeling came over the fifteen-year-old Saugerties resident while he was in his room. He didn’t feel well. So he went out to the family room to listen to some music on his iPod. Suddenly the full-charged device went dead. Missy, the family’s lab/shepherd mix who has since passed away, barked. Tyler looked up, and that’s when he saw it: a huge black figure in his kitchen. It was all-black, he says, no detail. It stood next to a counter in the center of the room. Transfixed, he stared at the specter for a full 10 seconds through the doorframe between the two rooms before it exited to its left, through the pantry toward the home’s main entrance.

Suitably freaked out, he went to his parents’ room and woke them up with a message. “He told us in no uncertain terms that he was leaving the house and there was nothing we could do to stop him,” said Tracy Snyder, his mother.


Tyler headed off to a friend’s that night, but he’s still living in the family’s Emerick Road home. A night owl, Tyler says he was fully awake when he had the experience so it couldn’t have been a waking dream. He later discovered his cell phone, also charged, had also gone dead at the same time.

Tracy believes his story whole-heartedly, and says when she shares it with others just about everyone can relate a brush with the paranormal of their own. Father Bruce isn’t so sure. “He believes that when you’re gone, you’re gone,” says Tracy.

The family home is on a road called Emerick Road and Old Route 9W. The latter designation is fitting for a haunting: As most who believe in ghosts figure they represent some sort of imprint on the material world made by the consciousness of past souls, so an old ox bow of a well-trod state road, so hard to find shipping couriers often give up and tell the family they need to pick up at the distribution center, can feel as though time has passed it by.

The former name hearkens back to the history of the property. It was first settled by the Emericks, whose family history dates back to the early 1700s. The Emericks were Palatines; German war-refugees who fled to England and were dispatched to the Hudson Valley by Queen Anne to fell timber for the Royal Navy. They settled on both sides of the Hudson and, being logical and plainspoken German folk, gave simple names to their new homes: East Camp is now called Germantown, and West Camp is part of Saugerties.

A portion of the Snyder’s home dates back more than 160 years. The house and the 5-acre parcel that is the Snyder’s was once part of a much larger dairy farm owned by John Mull Emerick.

There are 9 comments

  1. Tracy Snyder

    The reason why that was included in the story is because when asked when this occurred I said it was the night Bin Laden was killed. I was driving home at 12:30 AM after bringing my son to his friends and heard on the radio about Bin Laden.

  2. ramon

    if it is harmless, then just talk to them like talking to a real live person. tell them not to harm anybody.

    for malevolent ghost, my advice is, have a radio let it played some rock n roll, heavy metal, after a few days theyll leave. they hate that kind of music. put the radio on some wet areas of the house especially on the bathroom,

  3. Marilyn

    There are many many strange things that happen in our area of Saugerties for a very long time.
    My parents told me a few like;
    Years ago before Malden Turn pike even had lights people walking that road back to Malden from Katsbaan would hear a horse galloping behind and beside them but no one was there, they would run frantically home scared out of their minds!
    For me I have seen and heard things more then once in my life.
    Let’s put it to you this way, if someone gave me a beautiful home in West Saugerties Area, they can keep it!


  4. Anastasia

    My Mom lives in Saugerties and has also had unusual events occur at her home. Among other things, she has seen a man dressed in 18th century garb walking in her yard and then disappearing, and there have been strange noises in the house as well.
    My thought is that Saugerties is located on a particular crossing of the ley lines,
    the magnetics of which incline towards a thinning of the veils between dimensions which allows for inhabitants of those planes to more easily interact with us who dwell in this plane.
    Certain people have a particular kind of energy that could facilitate this process, and I think the Snyder boy is an example of such.

    Also, it should be noted that in many cases, Orbs have been connected with ET activity, it’s possible that the black form he witnessed was not of human origin but some kind of Alien.
    The Aliens who have contact with people have been known to cloak themselves in this manner, and it’s possible that Tyler is a contactee, even tho’ he may have no conscious recollection of the events.
    I have been studying the Alien contact phenomena for over two decades, and have attended several conferences devoted to this subject.
    I also have a close friend who is a Psychologist who specializes in counseling Individuals who have been traumatized by their contact experiences.
    This is not the stuff of Science fiction but is a very real occurence, in spite of the fact it lacks mainstream coverage.

    The sightings of the black figure and presence of orbs has been documented many times by different people,
    who have later uncovered memories of being contacted.

    If Tyler or Tracy have any questions about this,
    I’d be happy to share what I know if it could help.
    Please feel free to email me at Stasia7stars at yahoo.com

    and good luck !!

  5. oldblackdog

    Having descended (in part) from those old Palatine Deutsch, from a family that was called variously, Emrich, Emmerich, Empie— who moved on to the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys- it sure wasn’t a German ghost! Far too pragmatic and disdainful of “mystery.” On the other hand they can hold a grudge—

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