Long Island is rich in history—and that includes ghost stories. Historian and paranormal investigator Kerriann Flanagan Brosky said it’s more than a theatrical take of the Amityville Horror House, for which it has become well known.
“In particular, I really like to zone in on those historical places, and the goal is to teach people local history in the hopes of preserving it,” said Brosky, a Huntington resident. “What better way to do that than through a ghost story?”
There are all sorts of spooky sites: from hanging trees and ghostly lighthouses, to haunted playhouses and theaters, to places you’d never expect. There’s public woods, campgrounds, and trails, and a requisite cemetery or two. Not to mention the many sites where blood was shed, whether by war or more personal motives.
So, where are the best places to get spooked? In her book, “Historic Haunts of Long Island,” she details the history of the Country House Restaurant in Stony Brook, as well as the Long Island Maritime Museum, which, she said has quite a lot of things happening.
“As far as towns, I would say that Cold Spring Harbor is probably the most haunted town on Long Island in my opinion — really every one of those buildings has a ghost or two. And, after that, I would say that Stony Brook, St. James, and Setauket area. Those areas have a lot of places.”
In Oyster Bay you’ll find Raynham Hall, whose history goes back to the Revolutionary War. Many ghost stories are about death. Some are about unfulfilled romance. But Raynham Hall in Oyster Bay can lay claim to both – so say visitors who report seeing a young woman and a British soldier within its walls. The tale revolves around the tragic tale involving espionage, Major André, George Washington and the love of Sally’s life, Lt. Col. John Simcoe. To this day, visitors say her second-floor bedroom is the coldest spot at the house. “It makes you feel anxious, as if it’s a weight on your chest,” said one.
If you visit these villages, you will be immediately struck by their New England charm and beauty—unless you’re there to look for ghosts, in which case, good luck!