By Lizz Panchyk
While there are manufactured haunted houses, qualifying for some spooky, scary entertainment, there’s also the real deal. Long Island has plenty of good haunts that are, in fact, known for their real-life ghostly stories. Their historical backgrounds are what make these areas so enthralling. Below are seven haunted spots to visit this month--if you dare.
Mount Misery: Mount Misery/Sweet Hollow Road in Huntington is one of the most haunted roads on Long Island. This twisty-curvy, poorly lit route is where many people, especially teens, like to go to get a good scare. It started when the Native Americans claimed the area as cursed, and has since had its attempt in steering people away, which hasn’t been all that successful. It is said that the road is haunted by a woman who died from a car crash. The legend is, if you park your car underneath the Northern State Parkway overpass and put the transmission into neutral, a pair of paranormal hands will push you (uphill!) to safety.
Raynham Hall: Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay is a place I’ve visited many times because it is haunted. It originally housed the Townsends, including George Washington’s most trusted spy. It’s a love story gone sour, as poor Sally Townsend's crush left her and she never married. It is said that the heaviness of her spirit can be felt upstairs. Another ghost would be the lady in the kitchen, who welcomes her guests with the sweet smell of freshly baked cinnamon apple pie. When I took a trip there, I heard a bell ringing followed by heavy footsteps from the side room of the kitchen. Because I was the only other person there besides the woman at the front desk, I do believe it to be one of the many ghosts that resides there to this day. Learn more here: hauntedhouses.com/new-york/raynham-hall-museum.
Amityville Horror House: This is the home that once housed a man who killed his entire family in one night. The Lutz family, who moved in after the murders, claimed that the house was filled with paranormal activity. This included cold spots, furniture and cabinets moving on their own, and even slime oozing from the walls. While there is some truth to George Lutzs’ story, because he was so fascinated with the occult, it is very likely that he brought some of that activity into the house. Though the story was made into a horror movie of the same name, today the home is privately owned by a family who have had no complaints of the other-worldly kind.
Lake Ronkonkoma: There’s another tragic love story that impacts those who live in the town of Ronkonkoma. The legend is that a Native woman in the 1600s fell in love with an Englishman from the other side of the water. Though her father forbade her to see him, she sent him letters across the lake. She never got a response, so she rowed out into the very center of the lake and stabbed herself in the heart. Men in particular are said to be fearful of even dipping a toe in Lake Ronkonkoma as it has been the reason for many drownings. Supposedly this heartbroken Native woman is either trying to replace her love or get revenge on the men that dare cross this lake.
Wiggins House: Greenport is home to many beautifully built houses, including Wiggins house. Lavender in color and large in size, it’s very noticeable to all who pass through town. The current owner, Roselle Borelli, had many thoughts about the house, originally owned by Andrew Wiggins, including that it was haunted. It is indeed five female spirits that haunt the house especially up in the tower, which is where Borelli had a couple of scares just after she bought it. A priest had given her advice to sing songs from the 1860s to the ghosts to make them feel more at home while she was working on fixing up the house. As she put more research into it, she was disturbed to learn that members of the Klu Klux Klan had owned her house 100 years prior and very likely did horrible things in that tower. The history of this house can be read in her book, “Greenport: The Right Place at the Wrong Time.”
Kings Park Psychiatric Center: Kings Park is one of the most haunted places on Long Island and is infamously known for its hauntings for anyone who dares step in the building. While the whole idea of entering an abandoned building, left completely as is, seems somewhat appealing, it’s the terrors of what went on here that will certainly keep people in suspense. Kings Park is one of the well known abandoned asylums that housed far too many people in the 1800s and 1900s, along with Creedmoor and Pilgrim State. This place was known for the practice of lobotomies, which probably explained some of the not-so-friendly activity that can occur here. Ghostly figures can appear all throughout the buildings and the grounds, and come in many forms, such as a very tall man or a small little girl. Cameras have also been known to stop working or go dark while filming inside. I myself, without braving going into the actual building, have spotted someone looking at me through a top-floor window.
Wickham’s Farm: Wickham’s Farm in Cutchogue has been in existence for centuries run by the same family. They are not only known for their fresh produce, but for their delicious donuts as well. But it’s their history that might appeal to those who enjoy ghosts. One night in 1854, the farmhand Nicholas Bain was craving a silly revenge on the Wickhams. He picked up an axe and killed Mr. and Mrs. Wickham. Bain was hanged for his crimes but it is said that his vengeful spirit still lingers on the property. In 1988, a dark figure was seen in the main bedroom and has been closed off ever since. Customers are not allowed to enter the property of the farmhouse itself, but the house can be seen from a distance in all its terrifying glory.