Pollepel Island, Beacon, NY

Status: Former Residence and Business; Cursed Island; Ruins



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By <a href="//" title="User:Leonard G.">User:Leonard G.</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, Public Domain, Link

By <a href="//" title="User:Ahodges7">Ahodges7</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0Link


Francis Bannerman VI bought Pollepel Island in 1900 and began construction on his Scottish castle. This structure is one the few buildings in North America that can be called an actual castle.

Mr Bannerman dealt in military surplus and kept his considerable collection at the castle. Seven major buildings were constructed on the island: three arsenals, a lodge, a tower, a superintendant’s house and the family residence.

Breakwaters were built by sinking boats to protect the harbor. The island is now part of the Hudson Highlands State Park.


Paranormal Activity

Long before Bannerman built his castle the island was regarded as cursed and haunted by the Native American population. They believed that evil spirits inhabited the island and refused to set foot upon the island.

Due to the severe storms that plague the Hudson River around the island the original Dutch Settlers that lived in the area believed the island was filled with goblins whose King controlled the storms.

The legendary “Flying Dutchman” was lost in the river waters near the island and is said to be forever cursed to sail the river. The voices of the ship’s crew are still said to be heard in the winds of the storms.

In the castle itself a phantom sound of a boat’s bell ringing; this is said to be from a curse from a tugboat captain who cursed Mr Bannerman after having asked to not have his tugboat sunk for the breakwater until he had left the site – the tugboat was sunk as the captain turned to leave.

Today the castle lies in ruins on the island and the legends of evil spirits and goblins live on. Strange activity such as unexplained lights and phantom footsteps are still reported.