Grapevine Farm

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The spirits of two former owners who are buried nearby
like to reside here and keep an eye on the activities.

Other spirits from their family keep them company.

A happy spirit is in hog heaven in the Wine Cellar!


We visited Grapevine Farm during our October 2021 road trip through New York, and found this lovely Victorian farmhouse turned commercial endeavor by the side of the road. It still has its 1880 Victorian charm, complete with green shutters. Inside the house, it was bustling with activity, with a great variety of items for sale. Every nook and cranny is used to generate a profit.

We were impressed with the owners Tracy and Tim Purcell with their ability to use all the space inside their two and a half story farm house for retail and food, and their out buildings for social events like weddings. They have a Bistro, a coffee bar, a wine cellar, a bakery and plenty of shopping opportunities downstairs and upstairs as well in their renovated farm house.

When revisited Christmas was right around the corner, and they were prepared! Each room upstairs has a theme that dictates what items are for sale. For example, one room offers toys and items for children. The downstairs was jam-packed with all kinds of stuff, from wind chimes to knick knacks.

The owners of Grapevine Farm House have their bases covered when it comes to what people like to eat and drink, and what atmosphere is preferred, formal or informal.

Their well-stocked wine cellar and tasting room is a very popular place for locals and tourists alike. You owe it to yourself to take this opportunity to see what wines you like if you don’t already know, and then buy some bottles to take with you for the trip back home.

For people who like to sit down in a classy, historic place, there is The Bistro, that offers a variety of entrees. More informal places are The Coffee Bar which offers a nice selection of coffees and is a great place to get a pick-me-up.

A bakery with all sorts of temptations offers great deserts and other treats to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth for a snack to build energy to shop, or to take home for a meal or special occasion.

Looking at the pictures online, Grapevine farms also a great place to have a wedding, as their out building is beautifully renovated and offers a lovely setting and plenty of space for family and friends – a great and memorable experience for all!

Tracy and Tim Purcell clearly know how to “work” the buildings and property to make a successful business at this location.
Who had owned this property in its past? And how did Tracy and Tim find themselves in this farm house and its property?



This farm house was built in 1850s’ by German immigrants Mr. and Mrs David Hiltz and their extended family, which probably included the daughter’s family as she had married a member of the Maus clan. Unfortunately, David Hiltz suddenly died in 1859 at the age of eighty, so his daughter and her husband took over the farm and carried on making a living from the land.

As was the custom for folks who lived in the country, the Hiltzes decided to have a family cemetery right on their property, where they could visit deceased loved ones.

The Maus family, one of the many German farmer families who settled in this county were probably of Jewish descent, as Maus was one of the most common of the unflattering surnames imposed on Jews by non-Jewish government officials in 18th and 19th century central Europe. In German, maus means mouse. It is no wonder they came to America to get a new start.

Several generations of the Maus clan and other farm families ran the farm through the years, enjoying the beauty of the countryside as they lived the hard life of farmers. At some point in time, they probably built a newer house somewhere on the huge farm, abandoning this 1880 farmhouse that needed serious renovation. On farms that are 100 years old or more, it is typical to find old abandoned farmhouses.

In 2002, the descendants decided to try to sell the farmhouse before it became too creaky and would cost too much to renovate, or perhaps they thought that the new owner would simply knock it down and build something more appropriate for business. And so, the 1880 farm house and a few acres were put on the real estate market.

Tracy and Tim Purcell, full of enthusiasm after finishing business courses at SUNY Cobleskill, wrote their business plan. They were all fired up to find just the right property for their purposes. Then, they came upon this woebegone farmhouse in need of serious renovation, just waiting for the right owner with vision to see what can be done as it was in a prime location spot, just off the major thoroughfare.

The Purcells snapped up the property, and with the help of family and friends, renovated and restored the Grapevine Farmhouse with a cellar and two floors so it could bet to profitable work. The Purcells loved the charm of the outside of the farmhouse, so they just restored it the way it was originally. The inside was renovated, especially the first floor and the cellar, which became the Wine tasting bar and wine store. The bedrooms were basically left as they were, perfect for different rooms of items for sale.



When people are buried on their own property, they sometimes decide as spirits to move back inside their old structure, that has so many memories for them.

Hammond Castle, MA (Jack Hammond was buried in his front yard, in a corner by the wall. His spirit has moved back inside his beloved castle).

Ringwood Manor, NJ (The owners of Mr. and Mrs. Erskine and their servants were all buried in the family cemetery, a nice walk down the hill from this mansion. Their spirits have all moved back inside their forever home, which is still in the same condition as it was when they were while alive).

The McLoughlin House and The Barclay House, OR (At the original location, Mr. & Mrs. McLoughlin were buried next to the mansion. In the 1970s, their bodies were moved and buried again between the two mansions, at its new location. The ghostly hauntings started after their graves were transferred).

Grapevine Farm, New York (Spirits of the members of the Hiltz/Maus families who were buried on the property seem to reside or visit inside the Grapevine Farm).


Spirits can attach themselves to their headstones, or their grave decor, and travel where the headstone is placed, or become upset at its misuse.

Wood County Infirmary, OH (In the temporary display showing 19th Century Mourning Practices, a female spirit was attached to mausoleum glass that had originally surrounded her gravesite one was unhappy, wanting it put back. A child spirit who was also attached to its headstone wasn’t happy either).

Glebe House, CT (Using headstones that were so worn by the elements that they are blank, as stepping stones in the outside gardens has caused paranormal activity of the spirits who are still attached to their headstones).

Rose Hill Historical Cemetery, CA (Between the 1950s and 1970s, living dolts stole headstones and ran over other headstones knocking down and breaking a lot of them, upsetting spirits who loved their tombstones).

Grapevine Farm, New York (Sometimes living farmers will move a headstone on their property to cut the grass. For some reason, David Hiltz’ headstone was never returned to his grave and was found in the cellar by Tracy and Tim Purcell, who were alarmed).


When a person’s stay in their beloved forever home is a short one, they as spirits like to spend their afterlife there.

Pittock Mansion, OR (Mr. and Mrs. Pittock didn’t get to live very long in their retirement home, so they are doing so now in their afterlife).

Whaley House, CA (The Whaley family wasn’t able to stay very long in their forever home due to circumstances beyond their control. They have moved back inside as spirits).

Hartford Twain House Museum, CT (The Twain family had to sell their forever home because of the tragedy that happened there, and because they needed the money. They have since returned as a spirit family).

Grapevine Farm, New York (The spirit of David Hiltz wants to stay in his old room and enjoy the farmhouse as he wants to spend his afterlife here after dying so soon after it was built).


When a spirit decides to reside in the family forever home, spirits of his family members may stay as well to keep him or her company.

LeDuc Mansion, MN (When the spirit of father LeDuc decided to stay in his forever home, the spirit of his daughter decided to stay with him).

Eldridge Hotel, KS (The spirit of Colones Shalor Eldridge resides in his favorite place. His family comes and visits him).

Stranahan House, FL (When so many spirits of her family members decided to stay in the family forever home, the spirit of Mrs. Stranahan stayed also to care for them and to be a good hostess to the many living visitors).

Grapevine Farm, New York (When the spirit of David Hiltz decided to reside in the family farmhouse for his after-life, his wife and anyone else in his extended family who are buried on the property came to reside here as well).



Most of the activity in this farmhouse is auditory, though the personal appearance of a particular spirit and tactile activity have happened as well. People have been touched in a good way, and unseen presences have been felt.

The Spirit of David Hiltz

He is still the kind, patient and disciplined man he was while alive.

He has been seen at the top of the stairs as a see-through apparition.

He likes to stay in his bedroom upstairs, which is out of the way of the living, especially when it gets busy.

He tolerates all the children’s toys for sale in his space, choosing not to look at them, and tries to enjoy his memories of how his bedroom once was when he was alive.

Speaks Up

When Tracy and Tim Purcell found his headstone in the cellar, they brought in a medium to ask his spirit if he wanted it to be put back.

The spirit of David told her to just leave it there as he preferred to be inside.

He politely but firmly told paranormal investigator Dan Pacillo (Orange County New York Investigators) to “get out of my room.”

The next time this paranormal team came, Dan sent other team members, Emily and Tim into David’s room while he went down to investigate the wine cellar.

Emily and Tim shard with the spirit that Dan thought he did not like him. They asked the spirit, “Is this true?” He answered, “Yes!”

When asked about the children’s toys in his room, the spirit of David did admit that he wished they would take them out, but he respects the owners wishes.

Still Kind

He has been credited for saving several people from falling down the steep staircase that leads to the second floor.

People who have gotten wobbly or who actually began to fall, report that they felt a pair of cold hands stopping their fall and steadying them.

Power Spectral Couple

The spirits of David and Wife coexist with the living here with fortitude and endurance.

People have heard disembodied conversations between a man and a woman.

Visitors and staff have felt them walk by in the hallways and downstairs, going about their business.

Footsteps have been heard when no one living was walking.

They accept the fact that their forever home has been turned into a business.

They have to share their forever home with the throngs of humanity and perhaps other spirits who lived here too.

The Silver Lining

They like the new owners for saving their home, and admire all their hard work and the activities that result in money coming into the coffers.

There are plenty of things to watch in the bakery, the kitchen, all the people coming, buying and going.

Weddings held at Grapevine Farm must bring back many memories in their own lives.

They have the farm house to themselves once again after closing time.

Spirit Children

Have been heard running and playing upstairs.

They may try the children’s toys on display when they visit David Hiltz.

The Wine Cellar Spirit Child

There is an eight year old spirit boy staying in the Wine Cellar.

He told Dan and Emily that his name was Michael and that he was sick.

It didn’t sound like he knew that he had died.

Experience with Michael

While investigating the wine cellar and other storage areas of the cellar, Dan and Emily saw a halloween skeleton. Dan commented on that he liked it better than the ghost woman he saw at The Wayside Irish Pub.

Michael piped up and said, “It has eyes.”

The Singing Male Spirit

In the wine cellar, the disembodied voice of a male has been heard and recorded singing “Got what I wanted!”

It must have been his favorite song from his time period.

His song could mean something else. Perhaps this singing spirit had tried to grow grapevines here to make his own wine while alive, and feels now that he is in heaven, in a well-stocked wine cellar, with people tasting and buying wine, which may have been a dream for him while alive.

An Intelligent Spirit?

If this spirit is intelligent, who could it be?

He could be a relative of David Hiltz, or the spirit of another 20th century farmer or worker who once farmed the land.

He could be an intelligent spirit who had attached to a piece of furniture, like the bar that was brought into the wine cellar during the remodeling.

Residual Energy?

This could be a residual energy loop of a man singing his favorite song of yesteryear. It could’ve been attached to something that was brought into the cellar during renovation.

A paranormal team, Dan and Emily of Orange County New York, heard the disembodied male voice singing, “Got what I wanted” in the wine cellar.

When they asked the spirit why was he singing, he sang back, “Got What I Wanted” and gave out a jolly but crazy laugh.

No matter what they asked him, he just sang “Got What I Wanted.”

While the gadgets lit up every time Dan sang the same line, “Got What I wanted,” it could’ve been the eight year old spirit child having fun with the gadgets.

Some would say that there is no hard proof that an intelligent male spirit was doing this, but the jolly and crazy laugh keeps the intelligent spirit theory still on the table as being possible.


Since Grapevine Farm was renovated and opened, the owners, the staff, visitors and patrons have all had pleasant experiences with these spirits and know that they are sharing the building with the original owners and some of their clan.

Some visitors have recorded the sounds that they have heard with their own ears while shopping.

Dan and Emily Pacillo paranormal investigators have had several investigations here and have experienced and caught meaningful evidence of the spirits who still reside in the farm house. Dan and Emily have a special relationship with the owners and have gotten to know the staff, and are always welcome to come back.

Paranormal investigators are never disappointed here. David is truthful and will say what he thinks, not afraid of the living. He won’t answer questions that are asked to elicit responses about his feelings about the situation in the farmhouse because it doesn’t matter what he thinks, the owners have a final say about how to set up their business here. Why start potential trouble when your goal is to be able to reside here in your afterlife?



A big Yes Indeed!

The spirits coexist with the staff and the owners who are always respectful as they go about all the retail sales and business in this farmhouse and the property. They hope to find David’s grave so they can put a new marker on it.



2373 State Route 7
Cobleskill, NY 12043

Grapevine Farm can be found 1.3 miles east of the town of Cobleskill. Go east on East Main Street, which turns into NY – 7. It is located by the side of this road on the north side.


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