Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Long Island Mysteries

Long Island is not lacking some seriously, disturbingly delicious legends. 

I love a good legend, and I always wonder if there is any kernel of truth in them. In the case of Long Island's Hatchet Mary, it appears to be purely urban legend. 

The legend says a young woman in 1978 murdered her parents with a hatchet and then killed herself and her ghost roams the wooded roadside at night at Sweet Hollow Road as a Lady in White. Another variation has the young woman being admitted to the local mental institution after killing her parents.

In fact, Sweet Hollow Road and Mount Misery Road are considered especially haunted roads on Long Island and also cloaked in Native American legends of "off limits/taboo" places. As well, there are UFO sightings, wandering specters, a legend of a hellhound that walks on two legs, and other oddities often associated with "portal" regions or places with multiple para-activity in one geographic area. 

The other legend of the area is called Mount Misery, a local term for a closed psychiatric hospital called Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital. People believe the area to be haunted by past patients. Some of these legends about it are quite detailed and unsettling such as this one:

If a policeman pulls you over, check the back of his head. If he has no skull back there, you have just met one of Mount Misery’s ghosts. If you see a man walking along the road in the rain but when you stop to pick him up, he is gone, do not be alarmed. He may be a ghost. Some witnesses have reported seeing a disheveled man walking with a basket of heads, supposedly from people who mysteriously disappeared in the area. (Weird USA - link below)
f heads, supposedly from people who mysteriously disappeared in the area.

"Lost Suburbia" documentary 

The legend is that there was once a mental hospital there and a mental patient started a fire in her room, killing herself and destroying the hospital. Ten years later the hospital was rebuilt, but only a few months later another fire broke out. Fearing another event, the town decided not to rebuild again and just used the land for housing. There are still some houses there hidden deep in the woods, but very few.

(King's Park Mental Hospital)

Mainly there are just thick woods on both sides of the road. The legend is that if you find the right trail that will take you to the spot where the main hospital once was, you will see burning ghosts running and screaming. Another part to the legend is that Mount Misery Road is haunted by the mental patient who started the original fire there. She can be seen at certain times along the road. I’ve heard that she wears a hospital robe and has wild white hair. I’ve also heard that she slowly dances along the side of the road. I’ve been there several times and have seen nothing.
(Weird USA - link below)

Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet 

There is a legend of Mary's Grave. This infamously supposedly spooky site is vague. There are many stories as to where it is. There are also various versions of the legend including that she killed children tried as a witch long ago and hanged. It is said if a child goes to her grave, she will come to life and kill them. Another version of that legend says Mary was married to a sailor who died at sea. It is said that she lights a candle in the window of the house she lived in, searching for her husband. There is yet another version in which she was locked up and abused by an insane mother, she went mad and killed her with an axe, she went missing and still roams the area. Locals have added much more to the legends including certain rituals and incantations to elicit reactions from the spirits. 

Mount Misery Road

The infamous DeFeo murders at the Amityville house were also a subject of Long Island creepiness. A man was arrested for killing his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters in their sleep. How he shot one without the others waking up and fleeing, I'm not sure, but the house became cursed with legends and a family that moved in created a story of horrifying hauntings that launched the famous book and movie "The Amityville Horror." 

Lake Ronkonkoma is know by the Natives as a place for pilgrimage and healing. It is also part of legends of underground tunnels, odd lights, strange whirlpools, and a tale of a woman who tied rocks to her ankles and drowned herself with unrequited love and each years takes a male swimmer and drowns him. 

The legends of ghosts on Long Island are vast and quite gothic and classic in nature. There are so many stories of wandering spirits in agony, angst, lonesomeness, and anger. 

There is no doubt about it that when a place has multiple types of para stories, urban legends, Native American taboo and a dark history, it becomes a kind of sinkhole of weirdness. Long Island seems to have its own harbor of darkness and mystery. I find it utterly fascinating and inspired. This is an urban legend lover's dream!

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