The history of Long Island is long and fascinating. It cannot be summed up in a single book. Even an encyclopedia dedicated to the Island’s past could not capture every detail. This place has seen war, poverty and generations upon generations of families living their lives, one would hope, to the fullest. But those Long Islanders who perhaps met their fate with unfinished business on this Earth, might still be hanging around some of their, and our, favorite stomping grounds, and Kerriann Flanagan Brosky has spoken to some of them.
Brosky, author of Ghosts of Long Island I and II, now brings us Historic Haunts of Long Island: Ghosts and Legends from the Gold Coast to Montauk Point. Each chapter of this book tells a different tale and recounts her interaction with a different spirit, seemingly stuck in one place for decades or centuries for unknown reasons.
Brosky teamed up with medium and paranormal investigator Joe Giaquinto to explore restaurants, shops, mansions, lighthouses and more to communicate with the spirits who “haunt” or linger there. Here is an excerpt from an EVP (Electronic Voice Recording) taken at Cutchogue’s Village Green in the Old Schoolhouse:
Joe: Mr. Travis, how many students did you have the last year you taught here?
Joe: Did you enjoy being a teacher?
Kerriann: Are you happy that we’re including the schoolhouse in the new book?
Spirit: Yes, I am.
Equally as interesting, the duo also spoke to the current residents and employees of these places about their experiences. These conversations are what make this book special. Everyone has a story to tell and Brosky relays them to readers plainly and beautifully.
Most of the spirits the author encounters are benign. A few sweep glasses off the shelves of a bar and knock on doors in a ghostly version of ‘ding-dong ditch,’ but it’s mostly harmless mischief. Uncle Levi, the great-great-great-great uncle to the current owner of Lloyd Antiques in Eastport, smokes cigars and plays practical jokes. He once sold a $400 table to a customer for $65.
The anecdotes make the reader wonder if they’ve unknowingly encountered any of these characters while out shopping or drinking because all of these locations are right in our own backyard. Who would have guessed that OHEKA Castle, the site of lavish weddings and TV and film productions, has its very own ghost? Or that the popular nightspot Katie’s Bar in Smithtown is considered one of the most haunted places on Long Island?
The best part—each section is a little dip into the history of each building. Readers would never otherwise know that one of the rooms in Villa Paul Restaurant in Hampton Bays used to be a “birthing room” during the 1800s. Or that Strong’s Neck, Setauket, harbored an actual spy ring during the Revolutionary War.
Historic Haunts of Long Island is certainly worth the read, if only to open your eyes to the massive amounts of history beneath our feet and the other worlds we connect with every day without knowing.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky will be at Our Lady of Mercy Academy’s annual Christmas Tea for a book talk and signing Saturday, Dec. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Historic Haunts of Long Island: Ghosts and Legends from the Gold Coast to Montauk Point is great gift for paranormal enthusiasts as well as local history buffs and is available for purchase at Book Revue in Huntington, Arcadia Publishing and on Amazon.