DEBUNKED: Claims of Oneida County Town Home to Secret Sect
Claims of Oriskany Falls being home to a secret cult are nothing more than an urban legend.
Legend has it Oriskany Falls was home to a secret cult, a story that began at Colgate University, near the village with less than 800 people. Students use to warn one another about leaving campus, according to Weird US.
The cult is so well known on campus because its members supposedly hate the nearby university and its students and faculty.
Oriskany Falls Mayor Steve Jeffers has lived in the village his entire life and says there is no proof of any secret cult. "I heard the rumor years ago and don't know why anyone would claim that. It's hurtful. I know everyone in this village."
The Colgate Maroon News, a student newspaper, explored the famous legend in 1997, claiming “Butterflies on many of the houses represent membership in a secret cult."
The famous legend was even featured in a SUNY article that explored hidden stories in New York state.
But other than a few stories without any actual proof, the rumors are just that, rumors. And they are hurtful to everyone who lives in or has ever called Oriskany Falls home.
The tiny village isn't home to a secret cult. It's home to a community with a big heart. "Everyone knows everyone here and helps everyone when they can," said Mayor Jeffers. "We're a tight-knit community that takes pride in our hometown."