Don’t be scared
We found these South Shore haunted sites just in time for Halloween
In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve decided to compile a list of places within our readership area and neighboring hamlets that are allegedly haunted or are believed to have experienced ghostly phenomena.
JT’s Farmhouse, Bayport
The building has operated as a tavern since its completion in 1868. There are numerous stories surrounding the Bayport restaurant. One involves how the previous rendition, the Grey Horse Tavern, got its name. About 60 years ago, when Hans and Katie Rohde owned and operated the joint, they often brought their grey horse into the bar to join the festivities.
Another story involves a spirit named Iris, according to reports, who has been sensed throughout the building. It was reported that the former Grey Horse owner, Linda Ringhouse, was once alone in the tavern with her dog and saw a bright light coming down the staircase. The dog, reports add, also saw the light and ran away.
Justin Templeton, one of the new owners, is skeptical about the ghost stories. But one of the other owners, Brenin Burgess, said there’s something behind them. Burgess worked at the Grey Horse from 2012 to 2015. “When I was there, you could hear the doors open and closing [when they shouldn’t have been],” he said. Burgess also recalled being first told about the building’s “presence” by the head bartender, Ryan Murray. “Everyone [who worked there] knew the stories,” he added.
The new owners bought the property shortly after it was announced, in May, that Grey Horse would be closing. They hope to be up and running by Thanksgiving Eve.
Reid’s Ice Cream Factory, Blue Point
The story surrounding the former ice cream factory typically involves a young woman, referred to as Linda, who was killed on the property in the 1950s.
Linda, according to local legend, worked as a go-go dancer at a nightclub in nearby Bayport. One night, she was seen talking and making plans with a male patron, who just so happened to be eating ice cream while watching her on stage. Linda’s co-workers advised her against going out with the stranger, but the dancer ignored the warnings. She was seen leaving the club, hand in hand with the stranger, never to be seen alive again. Her body, the legend goes, was found outside the ice cream factory. The murder was never solved.
In the decades that followed, loud screams and high-pitched crying were reported at the factory. There were also mysterious fires and, in typical ghost story fashion, sightings of a ghostly woman walking the property. The facility operated as an ice cream factory from the 1870s until it closed in the late 1960s.
The ghost story became more prominent in the 1970s after a young boy reportedly died inside the vacant building. He was playing on a piece of heavy machinery and got spooked by something. The boy fell to the ground and the machine he was climbing on crushed him to death. Afterwards, sounds of giggling were reported at the premises.
The property where the former building stood was eventually sold and in 2006, houses were built on the land.
Gateway Playhouse, Bellport
In the late 1800s, there was a murder at the location, according to reports. Since then, numerous ghost sightings have been reported. Mike Baker, the Gateway’s artistic director, said the location offers a lot of history. Before the playhouse came about, there was a farm and hotel on the property. Baker said over the years, he and visiting actors have experienced ghostly encounters. Baker, who is also the director for the theater’s haunted house, doesn’t like sharing his personal experience too often, but insists there is some kind of “energy” on the property. He also laughed about the Gateway’s owner, Paul Allan, not experiencing any paranormal activity, despite the countless others who said they have.
Hanging Tree, East Patchogue
Individuals accused of witchcraft in the colonial times were hanged in Patchogue. Or at least that’s how the story goes. Located at the edge of a wooded property on the Swan River, a gnarled, old tree (where the accused hanged by their necks until dead) is believed to be a hotbed for paranormal activity. Visitors, according to reports, have seen moving shadows and strange lights. Some claim they felt unusually hot and cold spots near the tree, while others said their electronic equipment malfunctions at the site.
Almhouse Potter’s Field, Yaphank
Local paranormal investigators, Joseph Flammer and Diane Hill, recalled a ghostly encounter at the potter’s field during a presentation at the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville earlier this year. One early morning, around 2 a.m., the ghost-hunting duo entered the cemetery. Hill said she always asks permission before entering a cemetery. She also thanks whoever might be listening while leaving. While doing just that, in the potter’s field in Yaphank, the friends said they heard a muffled “you’re welcome.” Over 1,000 bodies are buried at the site, not by name, but by number, according to Hill.
Woodland Cemetery, Bellport
Diane Hill also recounted an experience she had at the Bellport cemetery… during the day. Hill said she was visiting the cemetery when she saw an orb of light. She later learned that someone had recently been buried where the orb was located. “We’re all energy,” Hill stated. “We don’t really die. Our energy just takes a different form.”
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