Its official name is Seabrook-Wilson Homestead, but most people know it much better as The Spy House. It is also known as one of the most haunted houses in the U.S.

Spy House, YouTube

Before you even step foot inside, the white wooden building that sits in front of Sandy Hook Bay in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown creeps you out.

The first thing you notice is that it sits alone. A very ominous structure for sure.

Here's the history of Spy House according to Weird NJ,

The Spy House was built sometime around 1650 and originally sat on 300 acres of land along the lonely Port Monmouth shoreline. As the story goes, at the time of the Revolutionary War it was a tavern and a popular drinking spot for British troops. Its owner at the time was an innkeeper named Thomas Seabrook, who was a patriot in the New Jersey militia. The origins of the "Spy House" moniker come from the legend that Seabrook would get the Redcoat soldiers liquored up enough to spill military secrets and then pass his overheard intelligence onto the Colonial forces. Historians are dubious about the validity of this tall tale, though most will admit certain aspects of it are at least partially factual. The building actually would become a tavern, but not until around 1910, more than a century after the legend states. It would be employed as an inn right up until the 1970s, operating under various names such as The Bayside Manor and the Lighthouse Inn.

In the early 19th century the house belonged to a local reverend named William V. Wilson and his wife Martha, whose residence there would add the second part of its official name, the Seabrook-Wilson Homestead.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and it became a museum around the time of the United States bicentennial in 1976. It was at that time that it started to be known as The Spy House. The term is credited as being coined by a former curator named Gertrude Neidlinger, who would give public tours of the house and its hodgepodge of various artifacts of supposedly historical significance. Gertrude, an elderly woman who, by most accounts, was a colorful character with a vivid imagination, would spin yarns of the house's past, weaving in threads of ghosts and espionage as she walked visitors around the museum. Though most historians today bristle at the tales she told, they will admit that Neidlinger's narratives gained quite a bit of attention for the house in the public's eye. Current day preservationists will concede that she may be at least partially responsible for the fact that the Seabrook-Wilson Homestead still exists today.

Some paranormal accounts from Weird NJ readers include:

One morning my friend Dave's parents went to visit the old Spy House Museum in Port Monmouth. They were there at the appointed opening time but the curator wasn't there. After about a half hour of waiting they said "the hell with it," and left. As they were getting back into their car, my friend's father looked up and pointed out a kid about 10 or 12 years old, looking at them from the upstairs window. His dad said that the kid had on one of those puffy shirts that they used to wear in the old days.

As they watched, he slowly backed away from the window. Just then the curator drove up and apologized for being late. They told her that they had seen a young boy in the upstairs window. She said no one is supposed to be in there. She opened the house up and together they searched the place, but found no one. –Ray

 

On the way back from a very fun day at the water park in Keansburg, my dad decided to show my sister and I the Spy House. When we got there we looked into the windows. It was extremely dark inside, and everything was locked. When we made it to the left side of the house my dad noticed something moving inside the house. I just shrugged it off as nothing, but then when I was looking in the same upstairs window I noticed that the rocking chair moved!

I was scanning all the windows to see if I could see anything else unusual, and I clearly saw a man sitting in a rocking chair reading. It couldn't have been a ranger because he was wearing old clothes and was sitting in the dark, reading, in a locked up house. We snapped a picture and ran, and as we pulled away, a ranger pulled up and unlocked the doors, so we assume it must have been a ghost. –Ali

 

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