On a dark and eerie night on the misty beaches of Sandy Hook, a lone soldier can be seen staring intently out across the sea. The man is believed to be Captain Joshua “Jack” Huddy, commander during the Revolutionary War, who was tragically hanged in 1792. If you approach him, it is said, you can sense his rage and feelings of betrayal that surround his presence before his apparition disappears. This is one of the many hauntings that lurk the quant seaside towns at the Jersey Shore. A haunting is a paranormal phenomenon, or the appearance of a spirit. It can also be the replay of a devastating events that took place at a particular location in the past. There are many places in New Jersey that have been documented for unexplained and paranormal activity.
Cape May is one of New Jersey’s most haunted towns, with one of the most well known hauntings at Peter Shields Inn and Restaurant. The spirit of a 15-year-old boy has been seen wandering the hallways looking for his father. Those who have encountered his presence describe him as a sad and lonely ghost. Also, The Union Park Dining Room, located within the historic Macomber Hotel is known for tablecloths that lift and billow as if a gust of wind passed through, yet no windows are open to the ocean’s breeze. Hotel Room #10 is particularly creepy, because of the ghost of a deceased guest who frequented the hotel in the 1940’s still likes to come visit the hotel three or four times a summer.
The Seabrook-Wilson House, Port Monmouth, was built in 1663, and while known as “The Spy House”, this now vacant dwelling and historic place was once a tavern during the Revolutionary War. Several ghosts are known to haunt this house, including a woman in white, a little boy, and an apparition that is said to be Captain Morgan.
Dublin House in Red Bank, built in 1840, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Mrs. Patterson, who was a tenant when the restaurant used to be an inn. She likes to lock doors and rattle walls.
Beach Haven harbors the ghosts of so many victims of shipwrecks who still endlessly wander the beaches. The Gables, a restored Inn and highly rated Restaurant, is haunted by a lavender perfumed ghost who died of a broken heart. She can be heard sobbing and wailing in one of the rooms at night.
In Spring Lake, The Essex & Sussex Hotel was one of NJ’s last grand old hotels by the sea. It is now a condominium for 55+ residents who may be sharing the haunted hallways with ghosts. Perhaps they are elegantly dressed Victorian guests who are looking for the ballroom and the Big Band from centuries past. Employees have seen these apparitions floating through the hallways, stepping in and out or doorways.
The Monmouth University Library in West Long Branch is also on the list of places with paranormal activity. Once part of the mansion of the wealthy Guggenheim family, it officially closes daily at 11:30pm, just in time to respectively give the ghostly woman in a long gown her privacy as she glides down the main staircase every night at Midnight.
The Grenville Hotel & Restaurant, in Bay Head dates back to 1890 and the hauntings have been recorded for more than 100 years. Employees claimed to hear footsteps in empty rooms, particularly on the third floor, while silverware and dishes seem to move on their own in the dining room. If you listen closely it is said that you can here the laughter of small children playing throughout the property.
Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City was built in 1857 as a result of the Powhatan shipwreck that killed 311 passengers and crewmembers. The Absecon Inlet has been nicknamed the Graveyard Inlet because of this disaster. Beginning in 1905 when the lighthouse keeper avowed to have seen the Jersey Devil at the top of the tower, numerous claims of apparitions and spooky laughter have been recorded at this now historical site.
A visit to the Big House at Allaire Village in Allaire State Park in Wall Township, could offer you the opportunity to witness the hauntings of the ghost of Hal Allaire who likes to play tricks on the employees there.
Mediums who have visited Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, claim to connect with the teenagers who tragically died in the 1984 fire at the Haunted House attraction that claimed 8 lives.
Eerie ghosts haunt the island town of Ocean City, where residents claim that much of the town’s paranormal activity can be found at specific hotels such as the beachfront Flanders Hotel built in 1922. The hauntings there are usually related to the Lady in White, known as Emily, who randomly has been seen gliding through the Hall of Mirrors at this historic hotel.
But the most haunted of all locations in Asbury Park, is the Paramount Theater in Convention Hall. After the disastrous shipwreck in 1934 of the SS Morro Castle, where 137 passengers either drowned or burned to death in the slowly sinking ship, some believe the ghosts still wander along the beach, boardwalk and throughout the Paramount Theater inside the Hall. Workers are always aware of the dark presence there, but they don’t appreciate being poked and nudged while they are preparing the stage for a show. One of the workers was very disturbed when the ghost grabbed the back of his legs while he was high on the ladders adjusting the lighting on stage. Amidst the sea serpents, mermaids and shells that are represented in the ironwork and painted dome ceiling, one wonders is the ghosts of the two cabaret showgirls that were killed in a dressing room fire many years ago still wander about the stage. To this day Dressing Room No. 8, the last room down the dark, narrow hallway above the stage still remains locked and undisturbed.
So if you find yourself walking the streets of any of these haunted towns on a dark night and you see a ghostly figure, you can be rest assured that you’ve just witnessed another Haunting at the Jersey Shore.
Written by TaraJean McDonald