Local NJ Haunts
Back in my high school days, there were a few legends about some local haunted places...and naturally my thrill-seeking friends decided we had to check them out.
Now, anyone who really knows me knows how much I hate scary stuff...I don't watch scary movies, I'm not into creepy corn mazes or haunted houses, and I'm not down for gore/suspense/whatever. I'm also not really down for trespassing or generally doing stupid things, but...youth.
That said, one night when I was about 17, three of us piled into a car (graduated license restrictions be damned!) and set out to find
trouble adventure stuff we read about in Weird N.J.
You go? Igoe.
First stop? Igoe Rd. in Marlboro.
A dirt road wide enough for just one car, where supposedly some girl was hanged in the woods, and if you stop in the right spot by this one tree, turn off the engine and lights, and roll down your windows, you can hear her screaming. (Keep in mind, we'd also heard a rumor at school that some of the kids who lived near that road would purposely block off that road with tree branches or whatever, and when someone got out to move the branches, they'd jump out of the woods to scare them, but that's a WHOLE other story.)
We drove a little down the road. I told my friend if she tried to roll down my backseat window I'd flip out. She opened the front windows, turned everything off...and nothing happened.
On to the next.
Why WOULDN'T we listen to the random strangers?
We wound up at a diner on Rt. 35 in Middletown, and met some people who told us that if we were looking for haunted stuff, to check out nearby Whipporwill Rd. They said it used to be a hotbed for the KKK and that it was still fiercely protected by them (I'm hoping they meant 'protected by them' in a haunted capacity.)
Anyhoo, so we find this road, and are on it for about 30 seconds when I just start to get a bad feeling. I told them we had to turn around, and so my friend pulls into a random driveway to make a U-turn. As she's doing that, a Jeep pulls up and blocks our car in. We promptly freak out. What seemed like an eternity (but was likely 30 seconds) later, the Jeep moves, and we are able to immediately leave the random driveway to get back on the road...I look...Jeep is nowhere to be found. I still have NO idea what happened.
Hop this fence, walk through the woods, and bam!
Then of course, the greatest legend of all, the Slaughterhouse.
Located on the grounds of the old Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital, it was a legitimate animal slaughterhouse supposedly once owned by a farmer. The town seized his land for the hospital, he eventually went crazy and wound up in the hospital, then escaped, and basically vanished...but continued to haunt the place. Read more about it HERE.
The Slaughterhouse became the 'cool' thing to check out, but...it was completely abandoned and falling apart and was becoming a legitimate hazard, so the cops started really cracking down as the possibility of someone getting hurt was increasing.
Since I'm not down for potentially getting arrested, and again, I hate scary stuff, I never went to check it out...but friends who did said they heard/saw creepy haunted-type things.
Gravity? Or optical illusion?
The one thing I always WANTED to try but never could find? Gravity Hill. Supposedly located somewhere in Jackson, the story was something along the lines of a little girl and her father being killed (by fire/murder/torture/something terrible...) about 5 houses down from an intersection at the bottom of a hill. If you put your car in neutral and take your foot off the brake, you'll supposedly be 'pushed' back up the hill by the girl's father who is trying to save her from harm. Bonus: if you sprinkle baby powder on your car's hood before you go, you'll see hand prints after.
Keep in mind, this could potentially get you a ticket for obstructing traffic or something.
So there you have it. The local haunts I remember hearing about...one I never knew about? The Paramount Theater in Asbury Park...where a fire in the 1950s claimed many victims, including some kids, who are possibly still haunting the place.
So, when the Paramount/Convention Hall turns into Haunted Hall next month, you can be sure this scaredy-cat WON'T be checking it out. To find out more about Haunted Hall, click HERE.