Published on March 7, 2014
Fact or fiction? Presented by Greg Caggiano Instructor, Brookdale Community College (Where the ghosts are scarier than the property taxes…)
Sightings of a strange creature reported in the Pine Barrens area of New Jersey for hundreds of years American Indian legend is the original story. The Pine Barrens was known as “the place of the dragon” More widely known legend begins in 1735 when Mrs. Deborah Leeds gave birth to her 13th child
Deborah Leeds gave birth to the Jersey Devil A snippet from folklore: "It was said that Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after finding she was pregnant for the 13th time, stated that this one would be the Devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the Devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a goat's head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, then killed the midwife before flying up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exorcised the demon for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890."
Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, 1909
The important question we have to ask is not DOES it exist, its CAN it exist?
Almost everyone has an interest in ghosts, whether they are believers or skeptics People try to find answers of what lies beyond the grave Anyone can believe in ghosts, religion (or lack thereof) has nothing to do with it I have seen and heard enough to where I know that ghosts are real
Though it can happen, there is a 99% chance that a spirit will NEVER appear in full bodied form or speak to you so you can hear them clearly However, children are susceptible to contact with them Very rarely is there any physical contact made between a ghost and a human, though I know several people who have been touched Voice-to-voice communication is extremely rare unless you have the right equipment
1. Camera 2. Tape recorder 3. Common sense Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment to be a good investigator
Investigators rely on Electronic Voice Phenomenon to capture the voices of ghosts Tape recorders, cameras, and even cell phones can capture noises that are inaudible to the human ear That said, most of the time clear words cannot be understood, and it takes expensive sound equipment to sift through the static and background noises
A type of radio that scans frequencies in reverse (up to 10 stations a second, depending on the speed set) to create white noise Through the white noise, it then becomes possible for investigators to communicate directly with spirits Allegedly opens up a portal with the white noise, to allow the spirits in Not to be fooled around with
Popular form of evidence that is scoffed at by most Orbs are transparent circles of light that show up in pictures Only question is, are they dust or actual forms of spirits?
Floorboard creaking Small animals in walls/floorboards Shadows and reflections Light sources Noise pollution Power of suggestion (Do not plant the seed!) And finally, it is my strong recommendation to not eat before an investigation!
Paranormal research is a lot of fun, but it can be dangerous You never know what ghosts are capable of-- some can latch on and follow you home It is of the upmost importance that if you are ever investigating a haunted house to be respectful of where you are. “Its not the dead you have to worry about, it’s the living”. For that reason, NEVER investigate alone!
Perth Amboy, New Jersey
Built in 1762 by John Edward Pryor Served as the mansion for New Jersey’s last Royal Governor, William Franklin, from 1774 until 1776, when he was arrested on the front steps by the Provincial Congress Purchased by British Secret Agent John Ratoon after the Revolution Later owned by Matthias Bruen, one of the richest men in America in the 1800’s
Aside from being the Governor’s Mansion, it was turned into a hotel called “The Brighton” by Bruen, and later it was a Civil War hospital as mounting casualties after the battle of Gettysburg caused more hospitals in port cities to spring up After the war it, was an orphanage run by a Presbyterian minister and his family, and then a retirement home Up until the 1960’s it was even an apartment building and low-income housing
It is safe to say that the house has had thousands of visitors coming in and out, including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and William Howe, along with Civil War officers whose names have been lost to time. There are many good memories present in the rooms of the Proprietary House, but some bad ones as well. Some of the many visitors still remain…
Many people of all backgrounds, some of whom have never been to or heard of the house before, have reported seeing the same ghosts, down to exact detail Keyport Paranormal did an investigation of the house and said there were over 40 spirits inside The alarm system is constantly being tripped causing the police to come, who arrive only to find that no one has broken in The Perth Amboy PD is afraid to go into the house. When they are called, they wait outside to talk to one of us, rather than investigate themselves
Almost every haunted house has a “Lady in White”. They are thought to be women waiting for a long lost love who will never return We believe it to be Mrs. Franklin, who never saw her husband again after he was arrested in 1776 This lady has been seen numerous times by workers and outside visitors who thought she was a worker in period costume I believe I once saw her out of the corner of my eye, but I cannot confirm it Police officers have come to the house telling us to take manikins out of the windows (guess what I’m going to say next)
A boy named Alexander who lived in the house died there in the 1800’s. The legend is that he was thrown from the third floor window by his Uncle Many have seen him in full bodied form, including my friend’s niece, Karli, and a UPS worker Has actually spoken to Karli, telling her his favorite color is blue and that his name is Andrew, which confirmed what a psychic told us He loves to play around with visitors (especially children) and rides in the elevator Story is both encouraging and saddening
A angry spirit of a former caretaker who used to roll his own cigarettes with one arm. He used pipe tobacco which we sometimes smell in the first floor dining room, where he died This is called a residual effect, which is when a smell or odor is present Many people have also reported feeling drunk in the spot that he died in
My person definition: “a shadowy mass darker than the darkest darkness” Shadowy figures can be seen in two separate locations in the house: the basement hallway and first floor staircase Psychic has told us the meanest one is named Byron Has caused lots of trouble during periods of restoration and almost inflicted injury
Many people have reported smelling food cooking, and even manure These are residual affects, and the reason why manure can be smelled is because during violent storms, the horses would be brought into the kitchen to prevent them from getting scared A worker has also heard a voice say “Bon Jour” and if you speak French in the room, noises can be heard coming from the back wall. This leads us to believe that someone of French descent stayed or lived in the house at some point in time
The secretary and one witness saw a blue light shine out of the wall and land on her chest I have lit candles and see the flame stay perfectly straight, but after asking questions, it started to bounce around Noises and pings can also be heard on the back wall after asking questions No draft is present in the room, and there are no windows or any way to get outside light in
Almost as rare as physical contact or full-bodied appearance because of the amount of energy needed Three times I have heard distinct disembodied voices First time: a little girl spoke to us in the side hotel building Second time: little children laughing in the foyer Third time: a little boy spoke to a worker and I
Proprietary House EVPs Attic scream Staircase “hey” Full sentence in basement hallway
Matawan, New Jersey
Site of graves of soldiers from the American Revolution and Civil War Also notably, a victim of the infamous 1916 New Jersey shark attacks (one location being Matawan Creek) is buried there
Why would a cemetery be haunted? That is a very good question Main hill in the center is an Indian burial ground from the 1700’s. White settlers then took over the area and used the land in the same way Reports of shadowy figures, orbs, and ectoplasm (ghostly matter visible in pictures)
EVP Recording at James Godfrey Grave
Middletown, New Jersey
Port Monmouth, New Jersey
Site is loaded with myths and ghost stories However, new ownership is stingy on paranormal themed events and activities there Building operates strictly as a nature and environmental center All of this silence has not helped quell the myths surrounding the location In February, I conducted the first paranormal lecture/investigation at the Spy House
Built in 1648? LEGEND: Used as a station by pirate Henry Morgan (maybe), where he supposedly kept the bodies of all the people he killed in the basement (eh…probably not) PARTIALLY TRUE: was a tavern during the American Revolution where the owner would try to get British soldiers drunk so he could get them talking and spy on them, relaying the information to Washington TRUE: Spies would use the house and a nearby hill to spy on British ships entering New York Harbor (which was called Shoal Harbor at the time)
No doubt the house is haunted, but which stories are true? There are legends of child ghosts playing on the front lawn, an evil spirit in the basement, and a widow doomed to look out an upstairs window for her longlost husband However, none of these stories were known until the 1980’s and 90’s, due to the house’s caretaker Gertrude Niedlinger, who loved the paranormal and supposedly conducted candlelight séances in the house for visitors
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
Built as the summer home for the wealthy Strauss family. Father Adolph made his fortune as a businessman in New York City Built in Queen Anne Style with two towers (only of such houses open to the general public in Monmouth County) After it left the Strauss family, it was an apartment building and low-income housing, and also the set of a horror movie in 1979
Aside from the “usual” aspects of a haunting, such as footsteps and disembodied sounds, Strauss Mansion also features a ghostly piano player EVP warning of a fire Mysterious ticking clock in the library A lively SB-7 Spirit Box session
Whipporwill Road (Middletown) Crybaby Bridge on Cooper Road (Middletown) Dempsey House (Leonardo)
One of the most famous roads in New Jersey Plays host to visitors night in and night out Famous legends include: In the 1700’s, 14 witches were executed and buried along the road (some stories say hanged, some say they were burned) In the 1800’s, devil worshippers would use the surrounding woods as a meeting place In the 1900’s, members of the KKK would meet near the road
A creepy looking “house”, no doubt Legends talk of murders and suicide
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