181 Mountain Road
Status: Natural Wonder; Murder Site?; Suicide Site?; Definitely Cursed Site; Urban Legend
This legendary tree sits alone in a field across from a housing development in Bernard Township in Sommerset County. Legends, rumors and stories all say this – admittedly rather creepy looking – tree is cursed.
As the plans to continue developing the area the Township decided not to cut down the tree – rather they have protected it. The bottom part of the trunk is now wrapped in chain-link and there is now a sign posting when the tree is open to the public – in an effort to keep vandals away from it during the darkness.
There are a few legends around the tree and the paranormal activity around it. While none of them can be historically proven they can’t be historically disproved either.
So, watch what you say and do around this tree – better safe than sorry.
It is said that this area was once a headquarters for the Klu Klux Klan and that many African Americans were hung to death on this tree; including many escaped slaves.
Another legend says that a local farmer murdered his entire family before hanging himself in this tree. This legend says that should this tree ever be cut down the person doing so with quickly to a rather nasty and fatal end.
A further legend says anyone getting too close to the tree will be chased by a black truck. The truck disappears eventually and does no harm but, rather, seems like preternatural warning not to mess with the tree.
The tree is said to be supernaturally warm – along with a nearby boulder – and neither will have snow near them in winter.
Anyone who harms the tree – this has created a coming of age dare for local teenagers to urinate on the tree – is said to suffer directly from the curse. The offender will suffer anything from car accidents to financial or love losses to life issues to breakdowns. Again; better to be safe than sorry.
I have never been to this tree but was at a similar site where another person – not even me – was teasing a spirit at a cursed site and I was nearly involved in a potentially fatal car accident on my way home. Best not to mess with curses – after all everything is energy.
Finally, this tree is rumored to be one of the Portals directly to Hell itself.
While finishing up this location my Spotify began playing Runnin’ with the Devil by Van Halen. Things that make you say “hmmmm”
727 Beach Drive
Status: Operational Hotel
This building is a family run boutique hotel. It was built at the turn of the century and is the last historic landmark building in Cape May.
Over the years, many incidents have been reported especially in the area of room #10. Three or four times a year, customers in the room will be awakened by sounds of things moving around in the dark.
Dresser drawers open and close. Lights turn themselves on and off, and radios suddenly come on full blast. Sounds of heavy furniture moving around have been heard as far away as the floor below.
The strong feeling of a presence is often reported in the hauntings occurs here.
Clocks stop and re-start in the room and sounds of the bathroom doorknob turning when no one is in the bathroom have been reported.
Appliances in the utility room next door come on in the middle of the night when no one is around.
It is believed that the activity is in some way caused by a past customer who used to visit the Macomber 3 or 4 times every year until her death.
1048 Washington Street
Status: Former Residence; Heritage Property; Museum
Philip Sying Physick is known for his contributions to medical science and his innovations that brought about the modern age of medicine. Often cited as the "father of American surgery," Physick received his license to practice medicine in 1790.
But what started as a landmark career was eventually destined to end in tragedy. Philip Physick died in Philadelphia putting an end to the long career of a brilliant doctor.
But the story of the Physick house would center around his wife, who would die shortly after a strange tree was cut down during the couples' divorce the same year.
The newly licensed Doctor Physick found himself dealing with an understandably emotional Mrs. Physick as the divorce proceedings went along. And medical wisdom at the time indicated that an individual in the grips of hysteria should be given a dose of one of the powerful calming medications at the time.
Often these medicines did more to harm patients than they did to soothe or help them. It is unknown if this was the case with Mrs. Physick when the doctor prescribed her opium to calm her nerves, but she did die shortly afterward.
But the events leading up to her death were quite strange in themselves. Not only was Mrs. Physick increasingly distressed about her quickly deteriorating home life, she found herself spending more and more time with a strange tree that grew in the back yard.
Often leaving an argument or missing an engagement to spend more time sitting beneath this tree which was a source of comfort for her. She was very distressed when the doctor decided to cut the tree down.
It's unknown the details behind this act, but it clearly distressed her when it happened. Shortly afterward Mrs. Physick died.
But for years afterward, and leading up to even this day she would be seen in the yard kneeling over the area where the tree was cut down still weeping for it. As time wore on the paranormal events would come and go in waves - reportedly happening on the anniversary of her death or when renovations were going on within the Physick house itself.
The house would eventually become a museum, which would allow visitors a look into the house's history and the life of Physick himself.
All throughout this time the ghost would occasionally appear once again showing the same grief and distress. Is she really weeping for a tree? Or something else?
This thought to be a residual haunting – like a recording of the past playing over and over again. Residual hauntings are often said to be connected to emotional events that follow people not only through their lives but on into death as well.
Paranormal investigators theorize that a person's emotions can be burned into a place in time or space like a photograph and then play in that area for several years, decades or even centuries afterward. It seems the case of the Physick House might be a perfect example of that.
35 Washington Street
Status: Former High School; Completely Demolished: Urban Legend
Built in 1854 it was the first high school for the city’s school district. A fire almost completely destroyed the building in 1926 and it is said that a number of students perished in the blaze. Factual evidence of fatalities in the fire is hard to get due to the length of time that has passed. The school was completely rebuilt/remodeled and opened again in 1927.
The fire in 1926 is denied by the local government and no historical proof can be found that it actually happened. Its very possible this is just an urban legend.
The last class would graduate from the school in June of 1959 as it suffered the fate of many country schools as the government consolidated school districts and built bigger more modern schools. For a while after the school closed an electronics store called Taurus Electronics ran out of the building but it eventually closed.
The school sat abandoned and generally intact before someone set fire to it in 1992 heavily damaging the inside and the roof. At that point the building became structurally unsound as the walls began to collapse.
When the building still existed Lambertville Police were called numerous times and some drug and alcohol related charges were laid. The building became very unsound and there were numerous worries that would collapse on its own perhaps resulting in injuries to trespassers.
In 2012, in one day, the building was completely demolished. There is nothing at the site now but a lawn and a forest.
The legend of Buckeye
When the school was still operating there was a championship football game between New Hope (a rival school) and Lambertville on Lambertville’s field. A New Hope offensive player was tackled and had his neck broken killing him instantly. New Hope then killed their football program citing the sport as too dangerous and it is said to this day, they do not have a football program. New Hope’s now defunct team was called the Buckeyes and the player is said to haunt the now deserted football field.
The apparitions of children (rumored to be those who burned in the fire) have been seen in the school and looking out of the broken windows when the building was standing.
Phantom sounds of footsteps, breathing and laughter were heard in the building and are now heard on the grounds. Mysterious lights and mists were reported inside the school.
Extreme cold spots (as in seeing your breath in mid-summer) have been reported. Phantom screams and growls (described as a rattle right in your ear) coming from the third floor – when it was standing - which was mostly overgrown with missing floors.
(Burlington County Prison Museum)
128 High Street
Status: Former Prison; Non-Profit Museum; Ghost Tours Available
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Designed by Robert Mills this modern – at the time – prison was designed to not just service justice but also reform the criminal. This was in direct opposition to the nightmarish hell hole prisons in Britain at the time.
Construction was begun in 1810 and the first prisoners were jailed in 1811. Large rooms were constructed for holding multiple prisoners not considered dangerous; like debtors. On the top floor there is a cell – with shackles still present – for the most dangerous prisoner.
The prisoners on death row were kept in the basement. There were seven people executed on this site; all by hanging. That being said the sheriffs doing the hanging had no experience in it resulting in grisly deaths – most of them died slowly by strangulation rather than quickly by snapping the neck.
Two other people sentenced to death were held in the basement but taken to a meadow in Hainesport to be hung.
Staff and prisoners have been murdered in the building.
The prison closed in 1965; at the time it was the oldest still operating prison in the United States.
Shortly afterwards it was turned into a museum which it remains today.
This is one of the most accessible sites with a high level of paranormal activity in North America.
The first report of paranormal activity on this site dates back to 1833 after the hanging of Joel Clough. The phantom smell of cigarette smoke was reported by both the guards and prisoners in the basement. The phantom sounds of chains rattling and moans were also reported.
During renovations done in the 1990’s workers saw apparitions throughout the building and reported unexplained sounds. On more than one occasion their tools disappeared only to be found in locked cells.
Cell doors slamming shut and disembodied voices are described as a daily occurrence in the building.
The ghosts here are famous for interacting with the living and will often answer questions posed to them.
To this day Joel Clough – who murdered his girlfriend after she said no to his marriage proposal – still wanders the building. There have been numerous EVP’s captured where a male ghost identifies himself as Joel. He is said to be especially active on the anniversary of his execution; July 26.
In the basement people feel as if as if they are being choked. Many believe this is due to Albert De-Salvo being jailed here. He went on to become one of America’s most famous serial killers – the Boston Strangler.
The apparition of a tall man in uniform is often seen in the basement.
The third floor is said to be the most active in the building.
Other Reported Activity: shadow figures known for moving through walls; electrical disturbances; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of being watched.
Central Park of Morris County
Status: Former Psychiatric Institution; Completely Demolished; Municipal Lands and New Psychiatric Facility
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Conceived of in 1871 to alleviate overcrowding in the Trenton Asylum this facility opened on August 17, 1876 with a population 292 patients.
The main Kirkbride Building was 673,700 square feet (62,590 metres squared) with room for over 600 patients in 40 wards. Employees were housed on the top floor and administration offices were located in the center building. As per the Kirkbride Plan females were housed in one wing and males in the other with the most violent patients housed at the furthest end of each wing.
By 1895 the hospital was overpopulated by 365 patients. In 1901 a new dormitory was built which eased the overcrowding a little; by this time patients were sleeping on cots – which were not cleaned daily – in the exercise rooms and hallways.
In 1911 the newly named State Asylum at Morrisburg had 2,672 patients who were again sleeping wherever a cot could be set up.
In 1924 the name was changed again to become the Greystone Park Psychiatric Center. From 1921 to 1951 three fires started in the severely over crowded main building with the worst being in 1931 when patients were tied to trees to prevent their escape. There is no death toll from these fires but one can only imagine what it was like trying evacuate patients with hallways filled with cots.
Also, in 1931 the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital was opened and some patients were transferred there. The patients had to pass a test to be transferred so Greystone was left with the most disabled and mentally ill patients. After this so many of the patients left were unable to do even the simplest tasks forcing the facility to bring in state workers for maintenance.
In the late 1950’s singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie stayed here for treatment of his Huntington’s Disease.
In the 1980’s – as patient care turned more to de-institutionalization – cottages were constructed on the grounds to allow the patients to live in a group home setting. The 1990’s resulted in numerous patient escapes as the decaying infrastructure had insufficient security measures; the escapees included the criminally insane and sex offenders. During this decade reports began to surface of staff abusing the patients and even raping them – some female patients even became pregnant. Greystone very nearly lost it’s licensing during this period.
Many of the older buildings were demolished in the 90’s as well although, the main Kirkbride Building was saved for it’s historical significance. The Governor, though, did sign a decree to close the building in 2000.
In 2001 Morris County purchased the grounds for $1 while agreeing to clean up the site and remove the environmental hazards like lead and asbestos. A law was also passed forbidding the construction of commercial or residential properties on the site.
In 2005 the County began demolishing some of the buildings starting with the 1901 dormitory. Also, in 2005 construction began on the new Greystone Psychiatric Hospital further up the hill from the original facility.
In 2008 the old site was closed for good and all patients were transferred to the new facility.
The Curry Complex and Ellis Complex were demolished in 2007 and 2008. The County built a parking lot, a skating rink and ball fields were the buildings once stood.
Despite public opposition and protest – and numerous submitted plans to restore and re-use the building – the State demolished the Kirkbride Building 2015. Some architectural features were removed and saved prior to the demolishment.
When it was still standing this location was considered one of the most paranormally active places in New Jersey. It was thought to be home to hundreds of lost souls who died here as patients and there’s no reason to think demolishing the structures changed this.
When the buildings – especially the main building – was still standing ghostly apparitions of patients were seen staring out of the dusty broken windows. Anyone entering the buildings immediately found the temperature dropping far faster than could be explained. Doors would open and close on their own. Electrical equipment would suddenly fail or brand-new batteries would suddenly go dead. Shadow figures scurried along the walls and many people reported being touched or pushed by something unseen. Disembodied voices and other unexplained noises were heard frequently. People also felt as if they were being watched or stared at as well as unease that built to the point that they would do anything just get off the former campus.
Now that the location has been turned into a park people still report sudden unease and chills that creep up their back. Misty apparitions have been seen after dark wandering the fields. Unexplained cold breezes will blow across the park even on the hottest summer day. People been touched or bumped up against something unseen. Disembodied voices and whispers are heard. There are still reports of being watched by something unseen and anxiety attacks that only fade when the person exits the area where the hospital used to stand.
(Bayshore Waterfront Park)(Spy House)
719 Port Monmouth Road
Status: Former Residence; Former Inn/Boarding House; Heritage Property
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The original house built here in 1663 by Thomas Whitlock was a one room cabin for him and his family.
The cabin was converted into a 2 story house by it’s second owner Thomas Seabrook – a member of the New Jersey militia. The Seabrook family – who owned the house for 250 years – made many additions to the house over the years.
Until the mid-19th century, the house stood alone surrounded by salt marshes and farmland. In the latter half of that century, as steamboat traffic began to become the norm, Port Monmouth began to grow as a town and port around the house.
By 1900 the house looked very close to what it looks like today.
As tourism began to become a lucrative industry in the 1900’s the house was converted to an inn/boarding house. It was first called the ‘Bayside Manor’ and then ‘The White House’. The house was used for tourists until the late 1950’s.
By 1967 the – then abandoned - house was beginning to show its age and lack of care; a citizen’s group convinced the township to buy the property and house so it wouldn’t be lost to history.
In the 1960’s a caretaker made up a story that the house was used as a tavern during the Revolutionary War and the British were spied on by the American patriots; there is absolutely no historical proof that the house was used as anything except a residence before the 20th century. The story did, however, help interested citizens make sure the house was saved.
This caretaker made up a lot of stories about the property including the pirate in the basement and a lot of ghost stories which puts the entire haunting under question. But every year there are reports of people seeing ghosts so. . .
Until 1998 the Middletown Historical Society operated the house as a historical museum. It was then passed to Monmouth County when it became part of Bayshore Waterfront Park which also preserves the delicate saltmarshes and shoreline.
The house is open to the public from 1-4pm every Sunday April through October.
There are no longer ghost tours on site as the County has focused on the history and denies any paranormal activity or ghosts. There are multiple interviews with tour guides who say they are sick of questions about ghosts.
On the other hand, this has been called home 22 or more ghosts and billed as “the most haunted house in America” but most people consider this as just hype.
That being said, there is no shortage of stories of encounters with ghosts at this house.
There are reports of police standing guard at the house all night only to find furniture moved around and – in one case – a hammer smashed through the drywall. The police were on site because of changes made in the house when it should have been empty.
There are a few stories over the years of people who took tours from very knowledgeable guides dressed in 18th or 19th century attire only to find out the house wasn’t open and there were no guides on site that day.
A young boy, who is said to have drowned swimming near the house, is frequently seen staring at people from a second story window. The ghost of the boy’s mother – a woman in white – is also seen both on the property and in the house.
The apparitions of 2 young children – a boy and a girl - have been seen playing the front yard only to fade away before people’s eyes. They have most often been seen after dark which, of course, draws attention to them – in one case it was after midnight in November.
A woman the former tour guide named Abagail – she wears a long black skirt and a red blouse with her hair pulled back - has been seen staring at the window at the endless ocean. She is said to be waiting eternally for her husband who died at sea.
One man had a woman in colonial attire standing next to him throughout the entire tour. When he mentioned this to his friends, they had not seen the woman. When he checked with the tour guide, he was told there was no one in costume on site that day.
There’s also a story of the infamous pirate Captain Morgan torturing people – and hiding treasure – in the house’s basement. His ghost, of course, is said to prowl the basement. This story is most definitely considered to be pure fiction.
(Laurel Hill Park)
Laurel Hill Road
Status: Former Almshouse; Former Insane Asylum; Former Hospital; Former Penitentiary; Former Sanatorium; Former Quarry; Mass Grave Site; Natural Wonder
Snake Hill was formed about 200 million years ago when a large intrusion of igneous (volcanic) rock pushed out of the Earth. The Palisades Cliffs were formed from the same geologic event. By 1960 mining the hill had reduced its size by 4/5 and its height by ¼.
The original Dutch Colonists in the early 17th Century named the location Snakes Hill due to the large population of snakes in the area. In 1658 the new English settlers purchased the area of Secaucus from the Aboriginal population. A plantation was built on the site; it was then divided into 2 plantations just a few years latter.
From 1855 to 1962 the land was owned by Hudson County and used for penal and charitable needs. The buildings were grouped on Snake Hill’s north side and included 2 almshouses (charity housing for the poor who had no one else to turn to), a penitentiary, a quarry, an infectious diseases hospital and tuberculosis sanatorium. The Hudson County Lunatic Asylum was added in 1873.
Many people were locked away in both the almshouses and the asylum who didn’t deserve it. Many were put there by their families for being a burden. Few records were kept on the vast number of people who died as they were just buried in a pauper’s cemetery – now called Hudson County Burial Grounds.
In 1926 the name of the hill changed to Laurel Hill.
In 1939 the 1,879 patients in the asylum – now called the Mental Disease Hospital – were transferred to the new Meadowvale Hospital and the asylum closed down.
In 1962 Hudson County closed the entire facility and turned the quarry over to an asphalt company for 20 years. In 1982 all quarry operations stopped.
In 2003 the New Jersey Turnpike was put through the area. The bodies of 4,500 people were moved for the creation of Exit 15X serving the Secaucus Junction. Old records of the former asylum were discovered at this time as well. Testing proved the bodies came from the former facility.
BY 2013 one almshouse was only building left on the site. This structure appears to have demolished since then.
Many people believe the ground under the park is the resting site of thousands of more people buried on site. Considering the poor records kept and the amount of people who would have died in a facility containing not just an asylum but also a hospital and tuberculosis sanatorium, almshouses and a prison. All institutions statistically having large numbers of deceased.
Those who remember when the buildings were still standing say the asylum sat above the entire complex and it gave off very oppressive and dark energy. It gained names such as “Psycho Island” and “Dracula’s Castle”.
Paranormal Activity recorded here: apparitions of former patients, prisoners and staff wandering the grounds where the facility once was; shadow figures; a dark oppressive energy hanging over the area especially after dark; cold and hot spots; light anomalies; mysterious mists; time slips were people see the massive complex as it once was; disembodied voices, whispers, screams, crying and laughter; nausea and headaches and a feeling of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
During the period the buildings were abandoned but not yet demolished faces were seen looking out of the empty windows and many unexplained sounds were heard from the empty buildings.
(New Jersey State Hospital at Trenton)(New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum)
101 Sullivan Way
State: Former Insane Asylum; Partially Abandoned; Operational Forensic Hospital on Site
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This hospital was the first institution in the State designed to help the mentally ill. It was the brain child of Dorothea Dix – the mother of care of the mentally ill – who had toured the Poor Houses and Jails and saw the appalling conditions.
This was also the first building built in the Kirkbride Plan created by Thomas Kirkbride – a Philadelphia psychiatrist – who designed a hospital to have a central administration with 2 wings going out on both sides resembling something like a bat. One side would be women’s wards and the other men’s wards. The calmer patients would near the central administration while the more violent ones were at ends of the wings.
Having investigated a couple of Kirkbride Buildings myself I can tell you the energy is almost unbearable at the end of these wings. At Buffalo State Hospital one member had to quit the investigation as she was unable to move on she was so physically ill.
The hospital opened on May 15, 1848 and 86 patients were admitted in the first year. Psychiatrists and administrators came from all over America and the world to see the Kirkbridge Plan. It is assumed they loved it as numerous asylums were constructed using this plan from point on – ie Danvers State Hospital, Buffalo State Hospital, Topeka State Hospital and many many more.
In the 1850 – 60’s new buildings were constructed for patient housing and recreation facilities. As the 19th century came to a close another building was constructed for long term and incurable cases – previously the State had limited stays to 6 months.
By the 1950’s the hospital – like all of its contemporaries - was massively overcrowded and understaffed and suffering from financial issues. By the 1960’s the invention of antipsychotics began to steadily decrease the population.
Eventually the buildings began to empty until even the huge Kirkbride Building was empty and locked up. The former asylum was replaced with a new 450 bed forensic – the criminally insane – hospital. The old asylum buildings remain abandoned as they were closed up.
This hospital has a very dark chapter in its history.
Dr Henry Cotton took over as the medical director in 1907. At first everything was as it should be – Dr Cotton removed the use of mechanical restraints and started a number of occupational health programs. Then he discovered that untreated syphilis could cause madness.
This translated into his head that all mental illness was an infection in the body. He took it upon himself to do pre-emptive strikes and began to do unnecessary – and sometimes unsanctioned – operations on the patients. He removed vast amounts of teeth but also gall bladders, testicles, ovaries, stomachs and other parts of patient’s bodies.
He turned the asylum into a hell house of horrors. Patients were not given a choice – nor was their consent given or even asked for – and they were put through incredible pain for no reason at all. It amounted to human experimentation.
Dr Cotton claimed a level of success near 90%. Of course, the large number of patients who died due to this mistreatment were not included in these statistics.
Dr Cotton died in 1933 and some of the tortures ended but up until 1960 removing patient’s teeth was still standard practice in the hospital.
These events are thought to be responsible for most of the paranormal activity on site.
The ghost of Dr Cotton has been seen; whether he is repenting for the sins or anxious to begin his horrific experiments again is unknown.
Apparitions of former patients are also reported – some with missing limbs.
Other Activity: touches, tugs and pulls from unseen presences; poltergeist activity; disembodied voices; cold spots; feelings of being watched, not being wanted and not being alone. Some people on site have developed a sense of paranoia they had to leave the property to escape it; electrical disturbances and light anomalies.
Status: Former Home for Wayward Boys and Girls; Former Tuberculosis Sanatorium; Former Asylum; Formerly Abandoned; Demolished; Municipal Park
The original institution that would eventually become the Essex Mountain Sanatorium was the Newark City Home established in 1873. Verona High School now sits on the site it once occupied.
The purpose of the home was to stop the downward spiral of the city’s wayward boys and girls and serve as an orphanage.
On January 9, 1900 the entire building was destroyed in a fire. It is said a passing locomotive blew it’s whistle alerting the residents to the fire and there were no fatalities. Considering the almost non-existent fire safety of the time and the fact that you were dealing with children who had little respect for authority having no fatalities is tantamount to a miracle.
One we find hard to believe and call into question.
After the fire it was decided keeping the children in one large building may not have been the best choice. They switched to the cottage system with no more than 50 children in each home and separating the boys and girls.
As part of this program the Newark City Home for Girls was built on top of what’s known as Second Mountain (Hilltop Reservation) today. It was completed in October of 1900 but as early as 1906 the home was sitting vacant; in a large because there weren’t many wayward girls and most of them were housed with existing families.
However, there were approximately 3000 active cases of tuberculosis in Newark in 1906, with almost 850 recorded deaths, and no real place to house these highly contagious patients. The now vacant girl’s home was put forth as a possible solution.
The surrounding population was not happy with this solution and attempted to file a court injunction to stop it from happening. The State’s solution to this was move a few TB positive patients into the building under the cover of darkness.
Actually evicting the patients was far more difficult than an injunction and all legal proceedings came to a halt.
Over the next decade the tuberculosis epidemic became worse and worse and a massive building campaign was began on 11 new – and much larger – buildings. By 1922 there was a large population of tuberculosis patients on the site.
By 1930 the site had expanded from 32 acres to 200 acres including a large farm – which was worked by the inmates from the North Caldwell Penitentiary – for feeding the staff and patients.
The sanatorium was – and still is – considered one of the best with a 50% recovery rate. It was thought that the clean air on top of the mountain was second only to Denver, Colorado for recovering.
It was even used for World War I soldiers returning with injuries related to being gassed on the battlefield.
With pasteurization of milk and discovery of streptomycin (antibiotic) by the 1950’s the number of tuberculosis positive patients began to rapidly decline. By the 1970’s most of the sanatorium’s buildings were empty leaving the State with an issue of what to do with a large site becoming over 75% vacant.
The solution was to transfer mentally ill patients from the nearby overpopulated Overbrook Asylum (Essex County Hospital Center).
In 1975 a male site for alcohol and drug rehabilitation was also opened on the sanatorium site in the building that used to house the male sanatorium staff.
By 1977 the last patient, cured of tuberculosis, was released from the sanatorium.
On December 1, 1982 the site was officially completely abandoned and the gates were locked up.
From 1982 to 1993 the site was left vacant and became a Disneyland for urban explorers and paranormal investigators as well as the local teens.
Between 1993 and 2002 all of the sanatorium’s buildings – some of which were massive – have been demolished.
The site is now a park called Hilltop Reservation, senior’s condos and the aforementioned high school.
The encounters with the paranormal date back to not just when the site was being used but to when the buildings were still being constructed as the picture of what appears to be a little girl above the construction workers taken in 1918.
The Sanatorium site while the buildings still stood was private property and patrolled by security, but some paranormal investigators got permission to enter the site.
While the buildings are long gone but their removal doesn’t seem to have affected the haunting.
Pretty much all levels of paranormal activity have reported here both in the past and in modern times including: apparitions of staff and patients of both the sanatorium and the asylum (both children and adults); both shadow figures and shadow people; touches, tugs and pulls from unseen entities; physical interaction with the living including hair pulling and scratches; objects moving on their own including things being knocked out of people’s hands; unexplained noises from loud bangs to whispers; disembodied voices, laughter and crying; light anomalies; unexplained mists and vortices; cold and warm spots; time and dimensional shifts; electrical disturbances; empathic sensations of fear, sadness, anxiety, euphoria and hopelessness; physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pains and difficulty breathing and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
(The Haunted Clinton Road)
Status: Public Road; Urban Legend
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Clinton Road runs mostly north-south from Route 23, past the Clinton Reservoir, to the Warwick Turnpike. It is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) long.
There are very few houses along it and most of the land on either side is public forests. Until recently it wasn’t even paved and it still isn’t on the State’s County Road System so receives minimal maintenance. There is very little traffic at busy times of the time and almost none at night.
The road and property surrounding it has long been thought as haunted. There are stories of ghosts, cryptids, Satanist meetings, the KKK and dumped bodies to cover a few of the legends.
We have labeled this stretch of road as an Urban Legend, but it goes way beyond that. There are multiple reports of paranormal activity here by trusted witnesses and pretty much every group in the State that studies the paranormal and strange.
The most famous legend of Clinton Road is that of the Ghost Boy Bridge. This bridge crosses the Clinton Brook near dead man’s curve and is said to be haunted by a boy who will return coins you throw into the brook by placing them back on the bridge. Legend says you throw the coin in at night and then return the next day and it will be on the bridge.
There are a few origins to this haunting including the boy being left on the bridge while his friends drove to Route 23 and back; he was found dead when they returned: the boy being struck by a car while bending over to pick up a coin: and the boy drowned either while swimming or by falling off the bridge.
Some witnesses have even seen the apparition of the boy – and a few claim he pushed them off the bridge – and others have seen the face of the boy in the brook after they threw the coins in.
Another ghost is said to be that of teenage or early 20’s girl who died in a car accident on the road. She is said to reappear in the Camaro she died in if her story is brought up while on the road after dark.
The ghosts of 2 park rangers have also been met in the area – they are said to have died while on the job in 1939.
People dressed in strange clothing and masks have been seen along the road as well. If you slow down or stop it is said they will either stare at you silently or immediately fade back into the surrounding forest.
In 1905 a man called Richard Cross built was is called Cross Castle for his wife and 3 kids in the highlands above the reservoir. It would later fall into ruin and then was badly damaged by a fire. In 1988 the Newark Water Department demolished it leaving only a stone foundation. Today, and while the castle was standing, people claimed to have strange visions near it. There are also reports of mysterious bruises appearing on people and some people having seizures.
There is a stone structure east of the road and south of the reservoir that people claim is an old Druid Temple capable of cursing you. In fact, it is an iron smelter built in 1826 that is now sealed off by a fence.
A phantom truck has been reported as chasing people driving on the road after dark. It will suddenly appear right behind you with its’s high brights on and will not pass you no matter how slow you go – it will just continue to tailgate you. People have reported this truck disappearing only to suddenly appear again further down the road.
Strange creatures from werewolves to hell hounds to monkeys are reported on the road. There was a jungle attraction – closed in 1976 – in the area and it is said the animals were set free. They my still live in the surrounding forests.
Other Activity: unexplained lights in the sky and the forest; ghostly laughter from a young girl coming out of the woods; sightings of albinos and feelings of being watched.
Forewarned is forearmed – they say never get out of your car on the road at night.