Legends of a Haunted Long Island 1996

Tired of the same old haunted houses, corn mazes and Halloween scares? How about a giving yourself a real scare this year?  Long Island is a place rich in history and accordingly has its share of folklore, myths and hair-raising urban legends. Whether you believe the stories or not, visiting any of these local haunts is sure to send chills down your spine.

 

Amityville Horror House

We start this list with a place that most everyone has heard of, including those who do not live on Long Island,  the Amityville Horror House. Featured in many books and movies throughout the years, the terror of the Amityville Horror House begins in 1974 when Ronald DeFeo, Jr. killed his family in their sleep in that very house. Was it madness or evil spirits that led Ronald DeFeo to murder his family in 1974? George and Kathy Lutz, who bought the place a year later, believed the house was pure evil. The Lutz family, moved into the residence and after just 28 days of living in the house, moved out because of supposed possessions and paranormal occurrences.  Many world-renowned ghost hunters and psychic mediums agree, this house is a gateway to another dimension or spirit world.

Country House Restaurant, Route 25A, Stony Brook

Originally built as a farmhouse in 1710, the Country House is haunted by the spirit of a woman named Annette Williamson, who is believed to have been brutally murdered there during the Revolutionary War.  Many say they have personally witnessed Annette’s full apparition, that her spirit regularly blows out light bulbs and causes electricity flashes, and that other spirits also dwell on the premises.  The location is currently a restaurant where ghost seekers can dine or even attend an annual psychic night!

Fire Island Lighthouse, Fire Island

The original Fire Island lighthouse, standing 74 feet high, was constructed of stone in 1826.   It was replaced by the current lighthouse which was built in 1858 by J.T. Morgan.  Legend has it that the lighthouse keeper, Nathaniel Smith was living close to the lighthouse while it was being constructed.  During that time, his daughter fell ill and medical attention was unable to reach them in time to save her life.   The lighthouse is rumored  to be haunted by Nathaniel, who committed suicide after the loss of his daughter. Some visitors claim they can hear a man moaning for the loss of his daughter as they ascend the steps to the top of the lighthouse, others claim to hear him walking beside them once they reach the top.

 

Katie’s of Smithtown

Stop into Katie’s on west Main Street in Smithtown. While you are wetting your whistle, be sure to keep a look out for bartender Charlie Klein who has been serving up scares since the Prohibition era.  Patrons and workers have experienced strange phenomena like glasses moving across tables on their own, doors swinging open and toilet lids banging. Some have even reported seeing apparitions floating through walls.  Katie’s has been featured in numerous books and websites about hauntings. Paranormal StateGhost Adventures, and other paranormal-themed TV shows have also filmed episodes on location.

 

Lake Ronkonkoma

There are many different legends that surround Lake Ronkonkoma, which is Long Island’s largest freshwater lake. One of the most famous legends is about a lovesick Native American princess who killed herself in the waters of Lake Ronkonkoma when her father, the Chief, would not allow her to marry the man that she loved (a white settler). Those who believe her legend claim the ghost of the princess, whose body was never found, is responsible for the high percentage of male drowning victims in the lake.  Rumor has it that she takes the life of a male every year either in retaliation for her lost love or to find herself a new soulmate in death. The ghostly princess is said to been seen lurking around the shore line seeking to lure her next victim into the lake.

The Normandie Inn

Originally built as a residence for a Czech baron in the 1920s, the location became a speakeasy during Prohibition and then the Hotel Chateau La Boheme before it became a restaurant. The Normandie Inn located  on the corner of Smithtown and Lakeland has been vacant and boarded up since 2004 and is currently on the market.  The location is rumored to be haunted by Maria, a woman who was allegedly strangled to death in the upstairs back bedroom.  While the Inn operated as a hotel, Maria could be heard walking the hallways and knocking on visitors’ doors.  Guests also often reported random cold spots, service bells ringing without explanation and sights of apparitions. One prior owner even a reported footprints once appearing on a just-shampooed rug in a locked bedroom.

Reid Ice Cream Factory

There are actually two paranormal tales associated with Reid’s Ice Cream Factory. The first is about on a young woman who died on the property. There are two versions of this story, and it is unknown if either are true. Both speak of a woman who worked in a nightclub in  Bayport during the 1950s. The woman, known as Linda, is said to have met a man and agreed to meet with him after her shift was over. They drove to the abandoned Reid’s Ice Cream Factory and this is where the stories split. In one version the woman ultimately tells the man to stop his advances on her they struggle and he ultimately kills her.  In the second version, the couple is unaware they are being watched a stranger approaches and kills the man, and then proceeds to rape and murder Linda.  People passing the area claim to see the figure of a woman appear on the property, some also claim of a female sounding crying and screaming.

The other most common paranormal tale is of a young boy who often played on the property. in the 1970’s. The tale states that as he was playing in the building he climbed the old equipment and accidentally fell to his death.  Rumor has it that the demolition team had incidents involving doors that would open, close, and lock themselves.  Now that the factory is gone, houses sit on property concealing its former identity.  People who have been at the site claim to hear the boy playing on the property.

Sagtikos Manor

Sagtikos Manor is said to have hosted President George Washington and is also believed to be haunted. According to tales told about the manor, there is an Indian ghost that visits the structure’s loft.  According to  legend dating back to the 1700’s, an Indian princess who once lived on the main grounds attempted to rescue settlers coming from Fire Island, where a storm had been brewing. She successfully crossed the water in her canoe several times, but never returned from her final trip. Supposedly, on stormy nights the princess and these men can be seen roaming certain parts of Montauk Highway. Today, the Suffolk County-owned property is used for festivals, tours and other community events.

Sweet Hollow Road

Sweet Hollow Road is a winding road  through dense woods and hills, a place surrounded by horror and dread and one which is the subject of many spooky legends.

One legend is about a hospital that burnt down while patients were trapped inside sometime during the late 1700’s.  Years later another hospital was built on the same location only to tragically burn down again. Legend speaks of a deranged nurse who set the blaze and roams the woods with or without a number of faceless children. Some claim to have seen burning spirits fleeing from the grounds, accompanied by screams.

Another legend tells of the mass suicide—in which several teenagers hung themselves beneath the Northern State Parkway overpass.  A shadow figure and glowing ghost-woman known by many as the Lady in White can also reportedly be seen.  She is believed by some to be a depressed patient who set the hospital afire, and in doing so, killed herself.  Some profess her to be Mary, killed by a car or murdered on the road, who haunts a nearby graveyard.

Many visit Sweet Hollow Road and its overpass to test out the local legend. It is said that visitors who honk their cars’ horns or flash their headlights three times can see the lifeless bodies of the teenagers who committed suicide. Visitors also claim that if you put your car in neutral under the overpass that spirits from children who lost their lives on this road will push your car forward in an attempt to put you out of harm’s reach.

 

 

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Coding and Makerspace at South Country School 76

Coding and Makerspace at the Verne W. Critz Library

 South Country Central School District libraries are no longer a place to just hear a story and select a book. The district’s librarians have been teaching crucial technology skills that will help prepare students for the 21st Century workplace. Verne W. Critz librarian Lynn Cullen explained that in addition to lessons in research, students are now learning basic coding skills and are inventing and creating in Makerspace labs.

At Verne W. Critz Elementary School, students are afforded the opportunity for hands-on activities that require critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaborative team work. Ms. Cullen, along with the support of Principal Mandy Mazziotti, have furnished the library with engaging products such as PowerClix, Brix, K’nex, Keva, Squigz and IO blocks. The library will soon introduce modular robotics called Cubelets.

During a recent trip to the library, second grade students collaborated to design an incline plane with Keva wood planks, which allowed a ball to travel without falling off-course. Not only did the students use teamwork to design their course, they utilized science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics principles to acquire their results.

Verne W. Critz Elementary School students worked in the school library with Keva wood planks and used STEAM principles

 

Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

Town Receives Tree City Growth Award 47

Brookhaven Town Receives Tree City Growth Award from Arbor Day Foundation

Town has earned Tree City Designation for Four Consecutive Years

Farmingville, NY – Brookhaven Town has for the fourth consecutive year been designated a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation, and in recognition of its ongoing successful tree programs, the Town has this year also earned the “Tree City Growth Award.” Brookhaven spends over $1.4 million per year on community forestry programs. Pictured left to right are New York State DEC Supervising Forester John D. Wernet; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilman Neil Foley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and Town Clerk Donna Lent.

Supervisor Romaine said, “I am proud to have the Town recognized as a Tree City USA. We have given away and planted thousands of trees and strictly controlled the clearing of trees across Brookhaven to help protect and preserve the environment. I thank the Arbor Day Foundation for honoring the Town and all the residents who have followed our lead to make Brookhaven a greener place to live.”

Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro said, “The preservation of healthy trees is a priority of the Brookhaven Highway Department. In instances when trees were planted too close to the Town Right-Of-Way (ROW) and roots were growing into the roadway, we remove the trees and replace them with street-friendly trees, planted the appropriate distance from the road.”

Tree City USA is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, benefits of a Tree City USA program include:

  • Reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control
  • Cut energy consumption by up to 25%
  • Boost property values across your community
  • Build stronger ties to your neighborhood and community

Growth Award

The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country. More information about the Arbor Day Foundation can be found at www.arborday.org.

Growth Awards are given to communities that have earned the Tree City designation for at least two consecutive years and:

  • Engage in education and public relations programs on the importance of planting trees in their community, and
  • Create partnerships with utilities, Green Industry Partners or other organizations
 Photo Courtesy of Town of Brookhaven

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