EAST BETHANY — You’ll have to wait until 10 tonight to see how a Travel Channel crew’s visit to Rolling Hills Asylum went.
Rolling Hills owner Sharon Coyle said mum’s the word on the crew’s experience while filming for tonight’s “Destination Fear” show — which represents the first “Destination Fear” episode filmed there.
“They filmed it in late July — after the state opened us back up (during the phased reopening of businesses), that’s when they came,” Coyle said. Dakota Laden, lead paranormal investigator, and crew members Chelsea Laden, Tanner Wiseman and Alex Schroeder made the trip to East Bethany.
“They’re a younger group. There’s super-nice people — very engaging,” Coyle said. “When they’re investigating, they do it completely on their own, just as you see on TV. They’re in buildings by themselves, investigating so they can have their own personal experiences. There’s no outside crew or anything in there. I’ll be just as surprised as everybody else once the show airs, to see what happens.”
Coyle said she was interviewed as part of the show, along with other Rolling Hills Asylum crew members.
Why would Coyle encourage people to watch tonight’s show, she was asked.
“Rolling Hills Asylum is an integral part of the Genesee County history. As far as the paranormal goes, ‘Destination Fear’ is one of the most popular shows on TV,” she said. “It’s an international show,”
Rolling Hills, likewise, is internationally known, its owner said, adding Rolling Hills brings a lot of tourism dollars to the county and the state of New York.
“Many people have been here and they’re excited to see what Dakota and Chelsea and the team are going to find. Other people have never been here, but it’s on their bucket list,” she said.
“We do respect the history of the people who lived and died here. It’s really important that the people understand that we honor the history. The paranormal is just one way we communicate with the people who passed away here,” Coyle said. “It’s also one of the main ways we’re able to make improvements on the property and keep the history alive. Shows like ‘Destination Fear’ help with that. It brings awareness to the property.”
The history of the property may be found on the Rolling Hills Asylum website, rollinghillsasylum.com, on the drop-down menu under “ABOUT RHA.”
The history highlighted there includes the following:
• ”On December 4, 1826, the Genesee County Board of Supervisors met in Bethany for the purpose of establishing a County Poorhouse. A brick building, originally a stagecoach tavern, located near the corner of the Bethany Center Road and Raymond Road was the site selected, as it represented the geographical center of the county.
• “This official announcement, dated December 9, 1826, appeared in an issue of the Batavia Times newspaper: ‘Notice is hereby given that the Genesee County Poorhouse will be ready for the reception of paupers on the first day of January 1827 … The Overseers of the Poor of the several towns of the County of Genesee are requested, in all cases of removal of paupers to the county poorhouse, to send with them their clothing, beds, bedding and such other articles belonging to the paupers as may be necessary and useful to them.’”
“The Genesee County Historians dedicated a historical marker honoring those who died while living in the County Home from 1827 until the facility was closed in 1974 (Residents were relocated to new facilities in Batavia).”