Ghosthunting New York City: 256 (Americas Haunted Road Trip)

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9781578604487: Ghosthunting New York City: 256 (Americas Haunted Road Trip)
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Book by Hladik LAura

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On this leg of the journey, readers will explore the scariest spots in the Big Apple. Author L'Aura Hladik visits more than 30 legendary haunted places, all of which are open to the public so visitors can test their own ghosthunting skills, if they dare. Join L'Aura as she visits each site, snooping around eerie rooms and dark corners, talking to people who swear to their paranormal experiences, and providing a firsthand account. Readers may enjoy Ghosthunting New York City from the safety of an armchair or by hitting the road and using the maps to find 50 more spooky sites and "ghostly resources." Take the A(HRT) Train to the spookiest subway ride of your life.

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EXCERPTS - Ghosthunting New York City, by L’Aura Hladik

Chapter 1

Sailors Snug Harbor

Walking through the gardens, relaxing in the gazebo or meditating while meandering through the pond area, one would hardly suspect the frightening qualities inherent in this Monet-come-to-life tranquility. According to the website Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, a distinguished Smithsonian Affiliate, is Staten Island's premier destination for culture and entertainment. Set within a stunning 83-acre park-like setting, Snug Harbor presents a unique blend of gardens, museums, theaters, educational opportunities, and seasonal festivals.”

In 1801, wealthy Robert Randall, son of a merchant seaman, provided in his will for a safe haven where "aged, decrepit and worn-out" seamen could retire. His 140-acre farm became that haven in 1833 with the building of a hospital and home on the property for retired seamen of any nation. The rule of occupancy was simply that the retired sailors had to attend prayer services, say grace before every meal, maintain sobriety and be in bed by 9:00 p.m.

From 1867 to 1884, Captain Thomas Melville, brother of Moby Dick author Herman Melville, was governor at Sailor’s Snug Harbor. By 1900, there were approximately 1,000 retired sailors living there. It was the ideal place for them, as it was self-sufficient with its theater, churches, farmland, and, best of all, its proximity to the water, a comforting sight for the old salts.” As time passed, the population diminished and the remaining 110 sailors were relocated to Sea Level, North Carolina, in 1976, when the City of New York took possession of the property.

I visited Snug Harbor in May 2009. It was a clear evening, warm, but not muggy. Brian Backstrom, a security guard who has worked at Snug Harbor for the past eleven years, guided me through the various buildings. This young man not only had his own paranormal experiences while working here but a wealth of historical information as well.

We started at the Music Hall. Brian told me that this theater was the second oldest in New York City, the first being Carnegie Hall.” We entered the theater and, per my request, Brian kept the lights off. I used my camcorder in night shot” mode to record in zero light for any potential paranormal anomalies. Additionally, I used a thermal scanner to check for temperature drops, and I took pictures with my Nikon digital camera.

I followed Brian down the main aisle to arrive in front of the stage. Rumor has it that a man committed suicide backstage by climbing the catwalks above the stage and using the rope of the pulleys to hang himself. It was one of those unrequited love tales. Supposedly, a retired sailor fell in love with Mrs. Randall, but realizing he could not have her, ended his life. Brian said he could not confirm this story while researching it in the archives, which he had access to before they were transferred to Sea Level, North Carolina, for storage. The story is perpetuated, however, by various performing artists who claim to have seen a silhouetted shadow of a man dangling on the left stage wall.

Brian told me of his experience in the music hall back when he was employed as maintenance staff. It was around 11:00 p.m. and I was vacuuming this area of the theater {stage left, rows 4-6} when I heard a crash behind me. I turned around and saw the light rigging had been pushed from the balcony it was attached to and slammed right into the floor. It missed hitting me by two rows!” Needless to say, he did not finish vacuuming that night.

I wandered backstage to take some recordings and photos. I didn’t capture anything paranormally suspicious.

From the Music Hall, we went over to Building K, called Matron’s House. The story that is attached to this building is disturbing. Brian said that at one time the Head Matron had adopted, or in a sense, enslaved, a local teenage boy

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9781458730053: Ghosthunting New York City

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ISBN 10:  1458730050 ISBN 13:  9781458730053
Editorial: ReadHowYouWant, 2012
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