The Young

Ghost Searchers





McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact



McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact






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Mattydale is a small hamlet on the north side of Syracuse, just over the city line. The agricultural nature of the area began transitioning to residential after World War I and received its name from a prominent citizen. The residential expansion continued in support of the nearby Army Air Base that was built at the beginning of World War II and the baby boom after the war. Parents thought it was a nice, safe place to raise their families but some of their children felt that the place was just too dull.

In the summer of 1959 a young girl named Colette moved to Mattydale with her family. When school began in September she quickly made two new friends named Nancy and Sam. They soon discovered a common interest of investigating and solving mysteries. The appearance of a strange stalker on Halloween night led them to form an investigation agency that they named “Les Mademoiselles.” They would use this organization to pursue the trail of this stalker and the other mysteries that came their way.

A school report about the small local library, that the girls originally thought would detract them from solving mysteries, provided a bigger mystery. They were collecting an increasing amount of evidence that led them to believe that a ghost had taken up residence in the little library. It was also becoming apparent that Colette had much more experience with ghosts than she had told her friends, and Nancy and Sam began asking her more questions about her mysterious old neighborhood back in the city of Syracuse.

The girls faced much skepticism as they tried to find support for their belief. In their struggles to communicate with the entity, that they believed inhabited the library, the girls encountered obstacles that needed to be overcome. During a late night entry into the library they discovered that a Dark Stranger had also taken an interest in their activities. This would indicate some support for their ideas; but not the kind that they were seeking. They started out to break the cycle of boredom in their dull little town. When they found themselves in the middle of a very scary situation a small part inside of them was wishing that things would be dull once more.


The Authors

After high school their lives followed different paths. They married, raised families and later retired. After changing circumstances in both their lives, they reconnected in the summer of 2018 and began exchanging emails. As the frequency of the emails increased and Michael learned more about Colette’s old neighborhood in Syracuse, NY, he realized that this was the part that was missing in a ghost story that he had been trying unsuccessfully to get off the ground. Early in 2019 he put together a story outline and sent it to Colette, asking her to sign on as his co-author. When she agreed this story was created.


Colette Smolinski

Colette was born in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. Her family came to the U.S. in the early ‘50s and settled in Syracuse, NY. In 1959 her family moved to Mattydale. Today she resides in Westvale, just west of Syracuse, NY.


Michael McGraw

Michael was born in Syracuse, NY and lived for a while in the university area. In September, 1949 his family moved to Mattydale, NY. Today he resides in Cedar Park, just north of Austin, TX.


They both attended St. Margaret’s Catholic School in Mattydale and later North Syracuse Central High School.


Background Information


The Old Salina Free Library



The Original Salina Free Lirary


The Real Story of Michael Gleason

Although it couldn't be known with certainty if Michael Gleason's farmhouse was the same building as the one that was selected by Fred Bauer for the new Salina Free Library it was assumed that they were the same to make the story more interesting. There was a real Michael Gleason and he did die from a gunshot wound. His true story can be found by following the links below.


     The Michael Gleason Shooting

     The Shooting Affray in Salina 1872-04-20    

     The Gun 1872-04-29

     The Trial of Sterzer 1872-10-07