THE PARANORMAL WORLD DATABASE       nEW JERSEY   ABSECON LIGHTHOUSE (ATLANTIC CITY) BACKGROUND: At 171 feet it is the tallest lighthouse in the state of New Jersey and the third-tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. Construction began in 1854, with the light first lit on January 15, 1857. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and, although the light still shines every night, it is no longer an active navigational aid. The lighthouse is open to public visitation and, for a small donation, one may climb to the watch room and external gallery. A re-creation of the keepers' quarters was opened in 2002 and serves as a museum and gift shop. PHENOMENA:  The Absecon Inlet has been dubbed, “:The Graveyard Inlet” in large part due to an 1854 wreck of the Powhatan which killed 311 passengers and crew members. The hauntings date back to 1905 when a keeper reported a sighting of the Jersey Devil on top of the lighthouse tower. There are phantom smells of cigar and pipe smoke reported along with disembodied sounds of laughter, footsteps and doors opening and closing on their own. There have also been claims of dimes appearing out of nowhere in various places. Apparitions of seemingly distressed people in 1800s garb including military uniforms have been seen at night. An employee was called away from her station one day and when she returned, her computer screen was now blank except for the word “ghost” appearing on it. TRIVIA: The lighthouse was a subject of an investigation by SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. ALLAIRE VILLAGE (FARMINGDALE) BACKGROUND: The property was initially an Indian ceremonial ground prior to 1650, by 1750 a sawmill had been established on the property. The village was later established as a bog iron furnace originally known as Williamsburg Forge then 'Monmouth Furnace' was then renamed the Howell Works by Benjamin B. Howell. In 1822, it was then purchased by philanthropist James P. Allaire, who endeavoured to turn into a self-contained community. The wood burning furnace business collapsed in 1846 and the village closed. Following his death, the property passed through a number of family members before being used by the Boy Scouts who started to restore the buildings for use as a summer camp. Allaire Village and its existing buildings are now operated by a non-profit organization - Allaire Village, Inc. PHENOMENA: Visitors claim they have seen a ghostly woman in white gliding across the village meadows. The ghost of Hal Allaire, the youngest son of James Peter Allaire who died on the property in 1901 is said to haunt the Big House. He enjoys playing pranks on the costumed actors there by moving books and other objects, unlocking locked cabinets or toying with lit candles displayed there. People also report seeing candlelight and faces peering out the windows of the Big House long after closing Objects sometimes go missing or chairs are moved around. There also also sounds of disembodied voices and ghostly images in mirrors. A former Iron Works manager, Oscar Cheesman Smith isd also said to be a spectral resident and his most impressive trick is to use children's blocks on the second floor to spell out his fiancé’s name, “Laura.” He has also been known to materialize only to vanish when seen.  BURLINGTON COUNTY PRISON (MOUNT HOLLY) BACKGROUND: Operated from 1811 through 1965. It was designed with prisoner rehabilitation in mind. The motto over the door, "Justice Which, While it Punishes, Would Endeavor to Reform the Offender", was chosen by architect Robert Mills. Mills, a Quaker, designed the Jail with the Quaker idea that inmates should be reformed through religious instruction, education and vocational training.  He submitted his plans for the jail with an essay outlining his ideas about prison reform. When it closed in 1965, it was the oldest operating prison in the United States. From the founding of the county in 1694 until executions were moved to Trenton in 1905, at least 35, and perhaps as many as 40 people were executed. All executions were by hanging, but none of the sheriffs had any extensive experience in hanging people. Between the inexperience of the executioners and the fact that they used a hemp rope less than one inch in diameter, hangings were particularly grisly affairs in which most of the convicts died of strangulation rather than broken necks. It is currently a museum. PHENOMENA:  The first reports of spirits roaming the prison’s halls was in 1833, following the execution of Joel Clough, who was buried on the grounds. Guards and prisoners heard moaning, screaming, rattling chains, and smelled cigarette smoke coming from the “dungeon”. During renovations in the 1990s, workers heard sounds and saw apparitions throughout the building. Most disturbing to them was when their tools went missing and were later found in locked cells and other parts of the prison. This prompted the Board of Freeholders to ask a paranormal team to investigate. As a result of the investigation, the prison joined the ranks of the most haunted buildings in New Jersey. At one point, an apparition was seen in the shower area along with a footprint in the dust in that same area. Clough’s apparition has also been seen in his former jail cell. TRIVIA: The prison was featured on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. CLINTON ROAD (WEST MILFORD) BACKGROUND: There are very few houses along the road and much of the adjoining property is undeveloped publicly owned woodlands and the road itself is a narrow two-lane highway that receives little maintenance, is not part of New Jersey's county route system and was until fairly recently unpaved for some of its length, connecting two areas of minimal population and growth and thus having little traffic even at the busiest times of day. It is also notorious for having the country's longest traffic light wait. This occurs at a double intersection where Route 23 crosses the road. The two lights can cause motorists to wait for 5 minutes in total. The lengthy wait was a result of traffic planners giving increased priority to Route 23 to reduce backups during rush hour. PHENOMENA: The road and the land around it have gained notoriety over the years as an area rife with many legends of paranormal occurrences such as sightings of ghosts, strange creatures, and gatherings of witches, Satanists, and the Ku Klux Klan. It is also rumored that mob hit men dispose of bodies in the surrounding woods. Urban legend alert >> There is a legend if a quarter is placed in the middle of the road at one of the bridges over Clinton Brook (Dead Man's Curve) near the reservoir, at midnight, it will be returned by the ghost of a boy who either drowned while swimming below or had fallen in while sitting on the edge of the bridge. One witness claims to have seen a ghostly Camaro driven by a girl who allegedly died when she crashed it in 1988. Another claims to have encountered two park rangers one night while camping with friends near Terrace Pond only to discover they were the ghosts of two rangers who died on the job in 1939. A conical stone structure south of the reservoir was said by Weird NJ readers to be a site where local Druids practiced their rituals, and horrible things might come to pass for any intruder who looked too closely or came at the wrong time (it is actually an iron smelter built in 1826). Phantom vehicles such as pickup trucks or floating headlights not attached to any vehicle supposedly appear from nowhere in the middle of the night, chase drivers to the end of the road, then disappear. Strange creatures, from hell hounds to monkeys or unidentifiable hybrids, are alleged to have been seen at night. In 1905, a man named Richard Cross built a castle on high land near the reservoir for his wife and three children. Visitors have told of strange occurrences in or near the castle site, such as people going into seizures, finding bruises appearing on their bodies afterwards, or having strange, disturbing visions. Satanic symbols have been reported being written on the castle's interior walls, particularly in areas that were supposedly inaccessible. COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (TRENTON) BACKGROUND: TCNJ was established in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School. The institution was the first normal school in the state of New Jersey and the fifth in the United States. Originally located in Trenton proper, the college was moved to its present location in adjacent Ewing Township during the early to mid-1930s. Since its inception, TCNJ has undergone several name changes, the most recent being the 1996 change to its current name from Trenton State College. TCNJ is a selective institution, with a stated mission to keep New Jersey's most talented students in-state for higher education. PHENOMENA: On September 4, 1977, a young woman named Sigrid Stevenson was brutally murdered in Kendall Hall while practicing the piano under mysterious circumstances and the case remains unsolved. Since then, strange phenomena has plagued Kendall Hall. One student reported witnessing a paper towel float from one side of a bathroom into a garbage can on the other side of the room without the aid of open windows or air vents. Others report the sensation of someone standing behind them. Phantom footsteps and doors closing by themselves have also been common experiences there. The second ghost is a familiar companion to many students whom reside in Norsworthy Hall on the far side of campus. According to an article in the TCNJ Campus Paper, The Signal, the building, specifically room #216, is haunted by the dormitory’s namesake, Naomi Norsworthy. Supposedly, she is known for moving furniture and knocking objects over, much to the dismay of several residents. Naomi graduated from the College in 1895 but sadly died of cancer before the age of forty.  Her spirit has roamed the halls of Norsworthy ever since. CRANBURY INN (CRANBURY) BACKGROUND: What is now The Cranbury Inn has been functioning as a place to eat and drink since the 1750's. In the year 1800 Hannah Disbrow Dey & Peter Perrine were married in the Presbyterian Church across the street from The Cranbury Inn. Middlesex County Courthouse records say "they built as their home the house that is now The Cranbury Inn". Their house was built across the front of two original taverns built in 1750 & 1765, thus further developing and upgrading their business. A converted flue space is an alleged slave hiding space from the days when what is now The Cranbury Inn was an alleged stop on the underground railroad. What is now the Liquor Store of The Cranbury Inn once served as the telegraph office and the Justice of the Peace office; since prohibition it has served as a Liquor Store and The Cranbury Inn's wine cellar. PHENOMENA: A pregnant employee had doors mysteriously, yet courteously, swing open for her and some staff members insist they've gotten telepathic messages, warning them to turn off electrical fixtures. It’s said a man hit by a stagecoach in the 1790s haunts the inn, and doesn't approve of renovations. The kitchen was being remodeled when suddenly pots and pans flew out of the cabinets striking many present. Staff and guests also report disembodied voices, odd cold spots and doors that open and close by themselves. TRIVIA: Albert Einstein came here frequently to drink beer with and speak German with his friend and inn owner Adrian Van Ravesteyn. Brook Sheilds came here when she was attending Princeton University. Paramount Pictures filmed scenes from the movie I.Q. here featuring the inside and outside of The Cranbury Inn as "The Old Geneva Café" so Meg Ryan, Walter Matheau, Lou Durning, Tim Robbins, Susan Surrandon and all the producers and directors stayed at The Cranbury Inn for four days. DEVIL’S TOWER (ALPINE) BACKGROUND: Part of an estate built in 1900s, the tower was constructed sometime after WWI by a former southern plantation owner named Manuel Rionda for his wife Harriet to enable her to see New York City from across the Hudson River. Legend has it that one night while she was in the tower taking in the scenery, she saw Manuel with another woman and distraught, threw herself off the structure and to her death. (Records show she died of natural causes in 1922.) PHENOMENA: After his wife’s death, Rionda claimed to experience strange occurrences inside the tower in the forms of footsteps following him when he’d enter and noises echoing through the hallways. He claimed to hear his wife sobbing or screaming in agony and claimed at times he was pushed by cold, unseen arms. Convinced Harriet had come back from the dead, he decided to cease construction of it and closed up an underground tunnel yet the occurrences continued and the tower soon gained infamy from locals who would give it its notorious moniker.  After Rionda’s death in 1943, locals attempted to demolish the tower but after several workers fell to their deaths, that plan was scrapped as well. There are stories from the 1980s about Satanic rituals being held there that include animal sacrifice and the ghost of Harriet wandering the building. Today, strange sounds can be heard fro inside the tower and the smell of perfume often permeates the area. The sounds of Harriet’s screams and those of the construction workers who plummeted to their deaths can also be heard as well as people insisting they have been pushed. Motorists have claimed losing control of their vehicles to an unseen force when passing the tower which has resulted in a number of accidents. Urban legend alert >> It’s said if you drive a car in reverse three times around the tower, Harriet will appear. As an added bonus, if you walk backwards around the tower three times, the Devil himself will appear. DEVIL’S TREE (BERNARDS TOWNSHIP) BACKGROUND: A solitary oak tree, with some dead limbs, growing in an undeveloped field on Mountain Road in the Martinsville section of Bernards Township across from a private housing development. Various legends surround the tree. A common claim is that Bernards Township was one of the central headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey and that the tree had been used to lynch African Americans and rebellious slaves since Colonial times. The township's plans to develop the land where the tree is located might have required its removal, but the township decided to protect the tree and keep it intact. In 2007, a sign was posted at the site stating when it is open to the public. The Devil's Tree was surrounded by a chain-link fence following vandalism.  Its trunk has been severely scared by axes and chain saws, some wounds appearing to be quite old. PHENOMENA: Urban legend alert >> Local legend suggests the tree is cursed: those who damage or disrespect the tree (usually by urinating on it, or making disparaging remarks about it while nearby) will soon thereafter come to some sort of harm, often in the form of a car accident or major breakdown as they leave. Another claim is that a farmer hanged himself from the tree after killing his family and that anyone trying to cut the tree down will "come to an untimely end". Other legends surrounding the tree allege that visitors who get too close to the tree will get chased by a black Ford pick-up truck that will then disappear at a certain point, or that anyone who touches the tree will find that their hands have turned black if they try to eat at a restaurant. In winter, the ground beneath the tree is allegedly free from snow, no matter how much has fallen or how recently. A nearby boulder called "Heat Rock", and sometimes the tree itself, are said to be warm to the touch regardless of the season or time of day, and is claimed to be a portal to Hell. EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE (CAPE MAY) BACKGROUND: The 18-room mansion, attributed to acclaimed American architect Frank Furness, was built in 1879 for Dr. Emlen Physick Jr., descendant of a well-known Philadelphia family, his widowed mother, Mrs. Ralston, and maiden Aunt Emilie. The mansion is closely related to Furness's Knowlton Mansion in Northeast Philadelphia. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) was formed in 1970 to save the Physick Estate from demolition. The city purchased the estate and MAC leases it from the city of Cape May. MAC has restored, maintains and operates the estate as a Victorian historic house museum and offers guided tours year-round. PHENOMENA: The home is believed to be haunted by Dr. Emlen Physick and his family; his aunts Emilie and Isabella, as well as his mother, Frances Ralston. Dr. Harry Sidney Newcomer and his wife Dr. Marian Newcomer purchased the house around 1946 from Frances Brooks. Marian died in 1949 and Harry to his secretary Pauline in 1955. They lived in the house for a couple of years until they moved into an apartment downtown because Mrs. Newcomer was afraid to live in a haunted house after hearing the nightly sounds of footsteps and other odd noises. Today, strange cold spots are felt along with strange noises, disembodied footsteps and voices and doors opening by themselves. Visitors have reported being pushed by unseen hands and witnessing the reflection of a woman in vintage clothing in a mirror. TRIVIA: The Physick Estate was used as a location in the 1981 slasher film The Prowler, which was special effects wizard Tom Savini's second movie. The mansion was also featured on season 1 of Haunted Towns on Destination America and was investigated by series paranormal team, Tennessee Wraith Chasers. FLANDERS HOTEL (OCEAN CITY) BACKGROUND: The hotel was built in 1923 by the Ocean Front Hotel Corporation and named after Flanders Fields in Belgium, where poppies grow over the rows of graves of American soldiers who died there during World War I. The hotel was originally managed by J. Howard Slocum until 1932 when Elwood F. Kirkman took over ownership of the hotel. James M. Dwyer purchased the building in 1996. The hotel was converted into luxury condominiums for daily rentals operating as a "Condotel" in 1997. Mr. Dwyer suffered several financial setbacks, including tax liens and personal bankruptcy. As a result of the bankruptcy, Mr. Dwyer was removed from his involvement with the hotel. In December 2005 a new board of trustees were installed and Peter Voudouris was named President of the Board of Trustees and also assumed the responsibilities as General Manager. He presently holds the title of Director of Hotel & Banquet Operations. Presently the Flanders is a thriving destination for guests all year round. PHENOMENA: The resident ghost here is named Emily, but sometimes is simply called “The Lady in White”. Emily is thought to be in her early 20s with long brown hair who walks the hotel hallways in her bare feet and is sometimes noticed by the back of her white gown as it trails her around corners. She is a benevolent spirit who, it’s said, has the ability to disappear through walls, and likes to lock or unlock doors. She is sometimes heard singing in the hallways and function rooms and is not above unscrewing light bulbs as a joke on the living. It’s been theorized her fiancée was killed in battle in WWI. She is a wandering ghost who has been seen in the basement of the hotel, the Hall of Mirrors, the hotel lobby, and on the second and fourth floors. She has been memorialized in a painting that hangs on the second floor that was created based on descriptions of her by guests to artist Tony Troy. In the basement area or “The Catacombs” where it’s said many mob- related killings took place, laughter can be heard with some claiming to see dark and shadowy figures. GREYSTONE PARK PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL (PARSIPPANY) BACKGROUND:  Built in 1876, the facility was built to alleviate overcrowding at the state's only other "lunatic asylum" located in Trenton, New Jersey. Originally built to accommodate 350 people, the facility, having been expanded several times, reached a high of over 7700 patients resulting in unprecedented overcrowding conditions. The main building was constructed in 1877 and had the largest foundation of any building in the United States until the Pentagon was completed in the 1940s. In 2008, the facility was ordered to be closed as a result of deteriorating conditions and overcrowding. A new facility was built on the large Greystone campus nearby and bears the same name as the aging facility. Despite considerable public opposition and media attention, demolition of the main Kirkbride building began in April 2014 and was completed by October 2015. PHENOMENA: People who have worked there have long claimed the feeling of being watched and the subsequent desire to leave immediately. Witnesses have reported disembodied voices and dark shadows there. People going into rooms feel a wave of energy come through them along with the sense they are not wanted there. Dark shadows have been seen in the tunnels below the buildings. TRIVIA: Greystone’s most famous patient was folk singer, Woody Guthrie, committed to Greystone on May 29, 1956 with Huntington’s disease, which he inherited from his mother. The Kirkbride building has been used in numerous television shows and films, including Marvin’s Room and House, M.D.   HOTEL MACOMBER (CAPE MAY) BACKGROUND: Built between 1911 and 1919 in the Edwardian style, the Hotel Macomber at 727 Beach Avenue in Cape May's historic district, is a huge five-story mansion. At the time, was the largest frame structure east of the Mississippi River. PHENOMENA: A woman named Irene Wright was a regular guest of the hotel beginning perhaps in the 1930s. She always requested room #10 and arrived every time with a very large trunk. She was not married and assumed did not have any children and was known to wear a significant amount of perfume. “Miss Wright” passed away sometime in the 1970s but is said to regularly visit the hotel (and the room) she very much adored. Guests staying in room 10 have been awakened by pounding on their door, drawers opening and closing and door knobs turning only to find no one there. Doors in general are known to open and close on that same floor at odd hours even in the off-season with no one else there. Lights dim by themselves, particularly in the lobby area. Years ago, a prior owner was involved in renovation of the kitchen and dining room and witnessed a woman wearing old-fashioned clothing literally float through a room and into the kitchen. When he checked to see who this might be, he found no one inside. Another popular spirit is called “Lily”. It is believed that Lily was a waitress at the Union Park Restaurant, part of the Hotel Macomber, and likes to visit the wait staff regularly. She is said to remove kitchen utensils from there setting on the table, remove pots and pans from the hanging hooks in the kitchen and touches staff members on their back sometimes creating a cold sensation. Lights and radios turn off and on, drawers open and close and guests' clothes disappear from their closets only to reappear there again. There is also said to be a male presence in the basement who is known as “The Growler”. JENNY JUMP STATE FOREST (HOPE) BACKGROUND: The park has extensive hiking trails on the mountainside, featuring large glacial boulders and outcroppings from the Wisconsin glaciation approximately 21,000 years ago. It is said that the park was named after a Native American chasing a 9-year-old girl named Jenny, who jumped to her death to escape him. Another account has her as a young woman jumping from a cliff (and surviving) to rebuff the advances of a man named Arthur Moreland who wished to woo her from her fiancée, Dr. Frank Landis. The park grounds include the Greenwood Observatory, built by the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey (UACNJ) in 1995. The observatory is open for public stargazing on Saturday nights April through October. PHENOMENA: A young girl with blond-ish brown hair wearing a white dress has been seen skipping along the hiking trail running through the forest. It’s been said a Native American burial ground lies below the surface of Ghost Lake and strange pillar-like mists named the “Great Meadows Fog” form over the water in the morning. Mysterious figures thought to be dead Native Americans or victims of heinous crimes have been said to rise from the depths of the lake and apparitions have been seen on the shores and the surrounding area. There are also many ghost stories attached to nearby Shades of Death Road whose name itself is the subject of multiple legends. One is that it takes its title from an area where lawless squatters would constantly engage in murderous activities. The area was called “Shades of Death”. Another legend has it derived from a combination of the numerous shade trees that covered the area coupled with a host of unsolved murders that occurred there in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In order, a man had his head bashed with a tire iron over some gold coins, a woman decapitated her husband and buried head and body on opposite sides of the road and a man named Bill Cummins, was shot to death and buried in a pile of mud. Perhaps the truth lies around 1850, when what would become an annual outbreak of malaria began and residents feared the inevitable loss of loved ones and friends to the deadly disease. There are more salacious tales of the low-hanging trees being used for night-time hangings of local bandits and nearby open areas hosting human sacrifices and black magic rituals conducted by mysterious hooded figures. It’s also been reported that human figures seen walking the road at night will suddenly vanish into thin air. TRIVIA: Shades of Death Road was investigated by SyFy’s Haunted Highways with Jack Osbourne. LAKEHURST NAVAL BASE (LAKEHURST) BACKGROUND: It is primarily the home to Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst, although the airfield supports several other flying and non-flying units as well. Its name is an amalgamation of its location and the last name of Commander Louis H. Maxfield, who lost his life when the R-38/USN ZR-2 airship crashed during flight on 24 August 1921 near Hull, England. NAS Lakehurst was the center of airship development in the United States and housed three of the U.S. Navy's four rigid airships. A number of the airship hangars built to berth these ships still survive. Hangar One, in which the Shenandoah was built, held the record for the largest "single room" in the world. The installation is probably most famous as the site of the LZ 129 Hindenburg disaster on 6 May 1937 where the airship burst into flames killing 35 people on board and one ground crewman. A ground marker, painted black, and rimmed by a bright yellow painted chain, locates where the gondola of the German zeppelin Hindenburg hit the ground. PHENOMENA: Hangar One, which was used as a makeshift morgue after the Hindenburg crash, is said to be an extremely haunted place where footsteps are often heard and a feeling of fear and dread comes over even the bravest of personnel assigned there. People have reported apparitions and voices yelling “She’s afire!” Some of the more amazing claims are disembodied voices, sounds of cocktail parties with people speaking German, people being physically contacted and shadowy figures on the catwalks. A night watchman claims hearing his name called and being approached by pale, gaunt man who repeated his name and then…walked right through him. The watchman never returned to the hangar again at night. There are also reports of an old airman in vintage flight gear who walks the hangar, sometimes greeting onlookers with a “Good morning!” before vanishing into thin air. TRIVIA: The base and Hangar 1 were investigated by the TV show Ghost Hunters. NEW JERSEY BAR & GRILL (MINE HILL) BACKGROUND: Built in 1854, the NJ Bar and Grill was a hot spot watering hole and now serves a similar role with more of a family dining aspect. PHENOMENA: It’s been said that a man was murdered by his mistress while playing billiards in the bar which triggered a haunting in the bar. People claim seeing shadowy figures, unexplained cold breezes and most remarkably, wine bottles seemingly floating in mid-air before drooping to the floor. Tenants in the upstairs apartments report seeing ghostly figures coming in and out of the building and its owner claims to feel threatened by the spirits occupying the bar. TRIVIA: Was featured on an episode of TV’s Ghost Hunters. PETER SHIELDS INN & RESTAURANT (CAPE MAY) BACKGROUND: Peter Shields was a wealthy businessman from Pittsburgh drawn to Cape May at the turn of the 20th century when the city’s stature as a premier vacation destination was in danger. Shields was part of a group of entrepreneurs that wanted to reclaim Cape May’s former glory by creating a grand resort that would outshine its new rivals. They created the Cape May Real Estate Company in 1903, and appointed Shields as the company's first president. As work progressed on the development project, Shields commissioned Philadelphia architect Lloyd Titus to design a summer cottage for his family with the same level of grandeur. The Shields moved into their magnificent Georgian-Revival-style home in the summer of 1907. The following year Shields suffered a devastating loss when his 15-year old son Earl was killed in a tragic shooting accident. The Cape May Real Estate Company was also forced to declare bankruptcy. Shields resigned and returned to Pittsburgh with his family. The Shields’ home has served as a private residence, an exclusive club for boat-owners and the Tuna & Marlin Club. Today the Peter Shields Inn operates as an inn and a restaurant, offering luxury accommodations with nine guest rooms and Zagat-rated fine dining. PHENOMENA: It’s long been said that young Earle Shields haunts his former home. His presence is most often felt or observed on the third floor in an old attic room and in the basement. Visitors and staff claim to often sense the presence of others in rooms throughout the inn. THE PINE BARRENS BACKGROUND: Also known as the Pinelands or simply the Pines, this is a heavily forested area of coastal plain stretching across more than seven counties of New Jersey. The name "pine barrens" refers to the area's sandy, acidic, nutrient-poor soil. Although European settlers could not cultivate their familiar crops there, the unique ecology of the Pine Barrens supports a diverse spectrum of plant life, including orchids and carnivorous plants. The area is also notable for its populations of rare pygmy pitch pines and other plant species that depend on the frequent fires of the Pine Barrens to reproduce. The sand that composes much of the area's soil is referred to by the locals as sugar sand. During the colonial era, the Pine Barrens was the location of various industries. In 1740, charcoal operations began in the Pine Barrens, and the first iron furnace opened in 1765. In 1869, the bog iron industry ended in the Pine Barrens,[9] after the discovery that iron ore could be mined more cheaply in Pennsylvania. PHENOMENA: We’ve all heard tales of the creature known as “The Jersey Devil” and he (it) is covered in the cryptid section of the website. But there are a few more ghostly claims that originate from this desolate and spooky area of New Jersey. One is the ghost of Captain Emilio Carranza, a Mexican pilot who was a close friend of the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh. Returning to Mexico after a visit to the states in 1928 his plane crashed in an electrical storm near Pine Ridge, claiming his life. Unexplained footprints have been seen near the monument erected in his memory. Urban legend alert >> Legend says if you approach the gate where the memorial is and say his name three times, his plane will appear in the sky. A little boy who was killed in a hit and run accident haunts Burnt Mill Road and is said to appear in the road, ostensibly searching for the driver that killed him. Another ghost roaming the Barrens is that of James Still, an African American doctor who was said to have been lynched lynched merely because he was practicing medicine. That claim remains unfounded, but he’s said to appear as a benevolent spirit who will help those who are injured or lost. Near Winslow, a body of water known as “The Devil’s Puddle” Located near Winslow, this body of water is renowned for supernatural activity – so much so, that it’s also been called “The Devil’s Puddle”. It’s said evil spirits inhabit the water and will reach out to snatch anyone who wanders too close to the water, dragging them under. Further, phantom spots of quicksand are said to appear that will claim the lives of humans and sometimes horses and vanish from sight leaving no trace. PROPRIETARY HOUSE (PERTH AMBOY) BACKGROUND: The only proprietary governor's mansion of the original Thirteen Colonies still standing. Overseen by architect and builder John Edward Pryor, construction began in 1762 and was completed in 1764. The home was occupied temporarily, 1774 to 1776, by the Royal Governor of New Jersey, William Franklin (the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin). In January 1776, he was ordered to be held under house arrest on order of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey and under guard of the Committee of Safety. In June, after the onset of hostilities between Great Britain and the fledgling nation, he was ordered arrested and taken to Princeton for trial and then imprisoned in Litchfield, Connecticut until his release in a prisoner exchange in 1778. After the house was ravaged by a mysterious fire in the late eighteenth century a new owner, John Rattone, of Perth Amboy restored it. Rattone was an ambitious New Yorker who added a large wing and turned the property into The Brighton, a hotel of grand stature in its day. Over the years it deteriorated from a comfortable apartment house with a public restaurant to a dilapidated rooming house and suspected flophouse. In late 2011 a historically accurate re-restoration began. PHENOMENA: Staff in some professional offices there have reported a host of odd activity over time. The ghost of William Franklin is said to haunt his former home in the form of a mysterious shadow person often seen in the drawing room. There, he’s joined by a female spirit dressed in white. There is also an apparition seen on the stairs that has been seen passing by a window and disembodied footsteps have been heard late at night by those unfortunate enough to be working there late. One deliveryman claims to have been let into the house by a small child and led to the third floor before the little boy vanished from sight. TRIVIA: The building was investigated in 2008 by SyFy network’s Ghost Hunters. ROWAN UNIVERSITY (GLASSBORO) BACKGROUND: In the early part of the 20th century, there was a shortage of properly trained teachers in the state of New Jersey. It was decided to build a two-year Normal school in the southern part of the state to counter the trend. Among the candidate towns, Glassboro became the location due in no small part to its easy access to passenger rail as well as its offer to donate 25 acres of land to the state for the purpose of building the Normal school. The 1917 purchase price of the land was raised by the residents of the town ($7,000 at the time) and used to purchase a tract that belonged to the Whitney family, who owned the local glass works during the 19th century. The college was one of the first in the country to begin programs for teachers for reading disabilities and physical therapy in 1935 and 1944, respectively. Industrialist Henry M. Rowan, Jr., a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology class of 1947, and his wife donated $100 million to the college, which later changed its name to Rowan College of New Jersey in his honor. PHENOMENA: It’s said that Bunce Hall is haunted. Lights turn off and on by themselves, cols pot are felt in in halls and bathroom stalls, doors open on their own and there are thuds, bumps and creaks that cannot be explained. There are many anomalous shadowy figures seen roaming the building. A theater major working on a set once saw his screw gun slide away from him as he reached for it. He also claims to have felt “something” grab his leg and a door close by itself, both incidents occurring in or near the control booth. There is a spirit called "Liz," who takes in productions from the upper back rows. It’s thought she may be Elizabeth Tohill, the university's first drama teacher. Another ghost who frequents the stage is a bit of a prankster, constantly flicking lights on and off. The third floor harbors a more negative energy and some believe that a custodian hung himself there years ago, but this may just be the stuff of legend. The ghost of Thomas Whitney who owned the estate on which Rowan sits is also said to haunt the campus, displaying disapproval of the changes that have been made to it. TRIVIA:  The college hosted Black Sabbath's first U.S. concert on October 30, 1970. There have been at least two notorious murders that occurred on campus. Donald Ferrell, 19, was robbed and beaten to death by an unknown assailant in 2007 and 22 year old Cindy Nannay was shot to death in 1996 by an ex-boyfriend who then killed himself while students looked on in horror. SHIPPEN MANOR (OXFORD TOWNSHIP) BACKGROUND: Shippen Manor was built in 1755 on an estate of four thousand acres for Dr. William Shippen II and his brother Joseph Shippen II. The brothers owned the nearby Oxford Furnace and would manage the furnace from this home. Dr. Shippen was a member of the Continental Congress and counted among his worthy patients Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, George Washington, and Generals Gage, Howe, and Lafayette. His grandfather had been the first mayor of Philadelphia, and Dr. Shippen was related by marriage to the Lees of Virginia and the Livingstons of New York. His grandson was the personal secretary of Thomas Jefferson. The Shippens provided the furnace workers, many of them indentured Scots-Irish servants, with shelter and food for the nine months of operation during the year. The Furnace went "out of blast" during the winter because the water, used for the water wheel, froze. By the time of the Revolutionary War, the Furnace operation was large enough to support on-site workers who lived in small log cabins built on the property. PHENOMENA: The ghost of a little boy in period clothing has been seen in the museum as well as the ghostly torso of a woman. One visitor to the mansion claims a remarkable burst of air went right through them as they entered a room. Unknown items are said to appear on shelves and doors are known to unlatch and open and close by themselves. The spirit of Revolutionary War soldier has also been spotted from time to time. TRIVIA: The manor was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters that aired September 8, 2010. SOUTHERN MANSION (CAPE MAY) BACKGROUND:  In 1863 the Philadelphia industrialist, George Allen, built an American villa of bracket, post and beam on the island of Cape May. Designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Samuel Sloan, and constructed by Henri Phillipi. This seaside palace was used by Allen and his descendants as a country estate for the next 83 years. In 1946, the last of Allen’s direct relatives, Ester Mercur, passed away. Her husband, Ulysses, sold the estate with all its furnishings for the pittance of $8,000. Purchased as income-producing property (and before Cape May began its own renaissance), the building was converted into a boarding house, and immediately a different type of clientele began to occupy the home. Inspired by a Samuel Sloan lithograph of the house entitled “The Southern Mansion” (which now hangs prominently in the entrance hallway), the house was re-opened with that name in the spring of 1996. PHENOMENA: It’s been said a number of spirits haunt the mansion, but the authority ghost is none other than Ester Mercur, who continues to be witnessed in all her sartorial splendor and seems to support all the renovations done that have brought the mansion back to its original beauty. Her presence is often signaled by the scent of perfume and joyful laughter. Her apparition has been seen dancing in various areas of the house and the sound of her petticoat swishing to her movements is common. A favorite place for her is said to be the kitchen, especially when meals are being prepared. Disembodied voices and conversations have been heard in all areas of the mansion. TRIVIA: The mansion was featured on SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters. SPY HOUSE (PORT MONMOUTH) BACKGROUND: Also known as the Whitlock–Seabrook–Wilson Home, the original house was built in 1663 by Thomas Whitlock, who came to the North America in 1641, first living in Brooklyn. It is still standing today. It started out as a 1 1⁄2-story, one-room cabin, and Whitlock lived here with his family. The house was turned into a two-story home by its second owner Thomas Seabrook, who was a patriot in the New Jersey militia. Over the years the Seabrook family added to the original structure. The home stayed in the Seabrook family for a total of 250 years. For most of its history, the farm on Sandy Hook Bay was home to generations of two prominent Port Monmouth families, the Seabrooks and the Wilsons. Ship owners and captains, a Revolutionary War militia officer, local business owners and investors, and a clergyman were part of these notable families, many of whom served in local government positions. By the early 1900s the old Seabrook- Wilson farmhouse had become an inn for tourists, known first as “Bay Side Manor” and later as “The White House.” Urban legend alert >> In attempting to create interest in the building, in the 1960s part-time caretaker Gertrude Neidlinger fabricated a story that the house was a tavern during the Revolutionary War where British troops were spied on by patriots. There is no evidence that the house was ever a tavern at that time. It was a private home. PHENOMENA: There is a push/pull sort of relationship between those who shrug off the idea of ghosts here and those who truly believe the house is haunted. While waiting for a curator to show for a tour one day, a couple tired of waiting and were about to leave when they saw the figure of a young boy in period clothing in an upstairs window. When the curator finally showed up, he assured them no one was in the house. Another time, a man saw an older gentleman sitting in a rocking chair through a window. Shortly afterwards a ranger showed up to open the house which signified no one should have been in there at the time. Other ghosts said to haunt the Spy House are: “Abigail”, who looks out a window on the second floor waiting for a ship bringing her husband home; Children playing on the front lawn, laughing and chasing each other around; “Robert”, a pirate who walks the upstairs halls; A ghostly man who pinches women on their rear ends; and screams or the feeling of being choked in the basement. STEPHEN CRANE HOUSE (ASBURY PARK) BACKGROUND: Stephen Crane, the famed author of The Red Badge of Courage, half a dozen other novels, two volumes of poetry, scores of short stories, and hundreds of newspaper articles, lived at 508 Fourth Avenue in Asbury Park for a large part of his short life. Arbutus Cottage remained in the Crane family until 1899 when it was sold to a man from Newark. It has gone through several phases, most recently as one of the hundreds of summer boarding houses in Asbury Park. In the 1950’s through the 1970’s it was owned by Archie and Florence McCorkindale of Newark who named the house “The Florence”. Later it became uninhabitable, falling on the same hard times as the city. In 1995, it was slated for demolition. It was saved by Tom and Regina Hayes who lived on Sixth Avenue here. They purchased the run-down structure for $7,500 which was $500 more than Mrs. Crane paid in 1883! After the Hayes family and friends put in a lot of hard work and resources, they turned the house into a community resource and small museum. PHENOMENA: In one room, a former renter is said to have been scared away from the house by a ghostly gentleman in Victorian-era clothing. The room in question has a long history of negative experiences and feelings from those who enter it. In the third floor attic tower, the apparition of an elderly woman staring out a window has been seen. Workmen have been frightened by falling objects and chairs have been known to drag across floors in empty rooms. Bottles of scotch have been found emptied, even those that were unopened and some even still in gift boxes. Visitors have been hit in the head by fireplace tools that seemingly levitated out of nowhere. TRIVIA: The Crane House was visited by TV’s Ghost Hunters. TRENTON PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL (TRENTON) BACKGROUND: Founded by Dorothea Lynde Dix on May 15, 1848, it was the first public mental hospital in the state of New Jersey, and the first mental hospital designed on the principle of the Kirkbride Plan. The architect was the Scottish-American John Notman. Under the Hospital's first superintendent, Dr. Horace A. Buttolph, the hospital admitted and treated 86 patients. In 1907, Dr. Henry Cotton became the medical director. Believing that infections were the key to mental illness, he had his staff remove teeth and various other body parts that might become infected from the hospital patients. Cotton's legacy of hundreds of fatalities and thousands of maimed and mutilated patients did not end with his leaving Trenton in 1930 or his death in 1933; in fact, removal of patients' teeth at the Trenton asylum was still the norm until 1960. A fully operational psychiatric hospital and a correctional facility remain on the grounds. PHENOMENA: It’s thought that many patients that died within the building still haunt it, but the most notorious ghost is that of Dr. Cotton wearing his white coat while walking down the corridor outside his office. There are a host of disembodied voices, screams and moans emanating from various rooms. Apparitions of patients with amputated extremities have been seen in some of the rooms, but are said to quickly vanish into thin air. UNION HOTEL (FLEMINGTON) BACKGROUND: First constructed by Neal Hart in 1814, it served as a gathering place for well-to-do stagecoach passengers and socialites throughout the 19th Century, as well as many local characters and tourists visiting the area. The exterior of the present building dates to 1878. It gained national notoriety in the early months of 1935 when the trial of Bruno Hauptmann was conducted directly across the street at the Hunterdon County Courthouse and members of the national media covering the trial all stayed at the hotel. Decades later the property was purchased by new owners, renovated, restored, and converted into what is now officially known as the Union Hotel Restaurant. PHENOMENA: Room 52 is said to be incredibly active. Among the accounts are: singing, mysterious cold breezes, doors opening by themselves, and disembodied footsteps to name but a few. There are also the sounds and sights of little kids playing in the dining room long after closing. The belief that the hotel was haunted is quite prevalent, though few members of the public were ever allotted access to levels above the dining hall where a few rooms are used by management for business purposes and ghost sightings or poltergeist incidents have been reported by employees. One reported seeing a pair of shoes walk up a staircase all by themselves. Others have told of hearing or seeing small children in rooms despite the absence of hotel guests. The manager claimed to have felt an unseen presence in her office late one night when she knew she was all alone. BACK TO TO PARANORMAL DATABASE