The New York Post sent a team of ghost hunters to investigate the haunting of the Morris Jumel Mansion, Manhattan's oldest house. According to the NY Post:
... A crowd of ghost hunters — wielding cameras and gadgets that can sense electromagnetic fields — converge on the doorway, as Furhman continues to flap and shimmy alongside the invisible phenomena.I don't know if the Morris Jumel Mansion is haunted but we do now that there are those who believe that spirits and ghosts are inhabiting Roosevelt Island. To mark the coming of Halloween on Saturday, I though it appropriate to revisit two earlier posts asking if Roosevelt Island is the most haunted place in New York City.
Days later, a review of audio recorded at the scene will reveal mysterious sounds: what seems to be the sound of a woman sighing when asked about Burr.
On this night, teams led by two of New York’s top paranormal investigators, Villella and Dan Sturges, have combed over Morris Jumel Mansion with armloads of nifty electromagnetic field detectors, digital sound recorders and video equipment....
First, there was the Creepy Spirits Scare The Crap Moment at The Octagon.
Blogger Melissa Bastian travels the length of the F train subway line from Jamaica Queens to Coney Island Brooklyn with a stop at Roosevelt Island to do some exploring. She visits the former Roosevelt Island lunatic asylum that is now the Octagon rental building noting that Charles Dickens and Nelly Bly wrote about the asylum as a place of suffering and horror.
Her first impression of the new and improved Octagon residential building was:
... The architects really did do a wonderful job of restoring the structure; the building itself is indeed quite beautiful, with a spiral staircase winding around the perimeter of the atrium....But then came her Dark Water moment when the spirits and ghosts of Roosevelt Island come alive.
... At first the space felt like most newly constructed spaces feel - sort of vacant and dead. But then, all of a sudden, a wave came over me - of panic, of fear, of Very Bad Things. I looked around, and the lobby was still as calm and unremarkable as could be. But this energy was surging through me with a force that made me feel as if I might fall down. I collected Sarah and got the hell out.The Dark Water movie was filmed at the Eastwood (now re-named Roosevelt Landings by the new owners, Urban America) buildings not the Octagon but the spirits inhabiting Roosevelt Island may be all over the place. Remember the Encampment?
We crossed the street to a little area with benches and a sundial, and it took me several minutes of sitting and breathing to collect myself. Now, I am not one to go in for a lot of heebee jeebee mumbo jumbo. But I have this thing with places. I suppose the best way to explain it is that I believe in energy; that a place can be infused with the energies of its occupants if those energies are strong enough, good or bad, and that the traces can last long past their actual presence. I know it sounds a little goofy, and maybe I just watched The Shining too many times when I was a kid. But I've felt many things in many places, and never in my life have I felt anything like that. And I lived in New Orleans for chrissake. Granted, I went in knowing the history of the place, but it certainly isn't what I was thinking of at the time. I was thinking about how pretty it was, and the nice weather, and how yuppies like to live in expensive places with tennis courts. And it just hit me out of nowhere, like a sickness. Whatever it was that happened in there, it is not an experience I have any desire to repeat...
A reader points out a 4 bedroom/flexible 5 bedroom apartment available at Roosevelt Landings on Craigslist for $4125 a month. No word on whether that includes the spooky spirits though.
This 2007 NY Times City Room item has more on whether Roosevelt Island is haunted.
Recently renovated as a pricey apartment building named “Octagon,” tenants may find that their new apartments have “squatters.” In a May 2006 segment on “Paula Zahn Now” on CNN, reporter Allen Chernoff noted the eerie coincidence that, on the day that the Octagon reopened, the Roosevelt Island tram to Manhattan broke down. Additionally, pet owners observed that some pets refused to walk up stairs in the building. CNN invited in a team of ghost hunters, who claim to have detected several apparitions on their sophisticated equipment.A Curbed reader may have spotted an Octagon ghost on the spiral staircase during a 2006 visit.
I took a picture of the stairwell. in the attached photograph (above), you can see that it's still a delightfully maddening spiral, but also i do believe that is a ghost in the upper left corner of the picture. it's the grayish blur near the banister. it's not sunlight from the windows, as you can see that stops in the lower half of the picture. it's not a reflection from my camera's flash, because the surrounding wood would show a gradation of light.And second, the Spooky Happenings At the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital
Blogger Melissa Bastian, who was creeped out by the spirits and ghosts at the Octagon has company in thinking that Roosevelt Island is:
possibly the most haunted piece of land on the planet.Well maybe not the most haunted on the planet but perhaps in New York City. Another visitor to Roosevelt Island sees spooky images in pictures he took of the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital wall and a friend feels a tap on the shoulder when nobody is close by according to this Live Journal account.
Last winter, my friend and I took the tram over to Roosevelt Island's crumbling Smallpox Hospital.I don't see the images but that doesn't mean they aren' t there.
... For those who aren't skeptical, I kept seeing odd images come up on these, but take that as you wish.
When I first opened this on my phone, the image of a forlorn emaciated person's upper half with their face leaning on their hand jumped out at me from the left side of this picture. Then the image of a small boy on the right of the black hole in the middle was pointed out to me. Now that it's been lightened in photoshop and enlarged, I can see even more faces.
My friend told me that he felt someone tapping him on the shoulder, turned around to find me several feet back, but didn't mention it until we had left.Image of face on Renwick Ruins Wall from Live Journal
A reader, Just a Mommy, shared her memories of driving past the Renwick Ruins in this earlier post.
As a child who grew up in Manhattan my family and I used to drive alot on the FDR and I remember looking out the window to my right and seeing what was left of this building. My brothers would say it was a crazy house where monsters lived and my older brother would tell the younger one if he misbehaved he would be shipped there permanently. I always found it very pretty and I envisioned it a castle and I would one day grow up and restore it and live there...Here's a night time excursion to the Renwick Ruins via You Tube.
That's it. What do you thing? Is Roosevelt Island the most haunted place in New York City?