Haunted Haunts to Visit in NJ

Juliette DeHanes, Staff Writer

Looking for some spooky pieces of history to explore this Halloween season? You’re in luck; New Jersey is packed to the brim with them. 

Named for two of its previous owners, the Seabrook-Wilson Homestead (or the Spy House) is often referred to as one of the most haunted houses in the country. Built in the mid 17th century, the Spy House has stood for nearly 350 years. The legend surrounding the house tells of a man named Thomas Seabrook, patriot and tavern keeper. Seabrook used his tavern as a way to get secrets out of Redcoat soldiers so that he could feed his findings to his fellow American soldiers. While the story is definitely debatable, as the house didn’t become a tavern until the early 20th century, there still have been plenty of ghost sightings on the property. The homestead currently stands in Bayshore Waterfront Park and is open to the public on Sundays from 1-4 PM.

If you’re interested in something a bit more laid back, the campus of Drew University in Madison is the perfect place to go. Roxanna Mead Drew, wife to Daniel Drew, supposedly haunts Mead Hall, which was named in commemoration of her. Many-a-student have claimed to see her standing beside the doors to the Founder’s Hall as well. There have also been plenty of supernatural experiences on the fifth floor of Hoyt-Bowne hall, most of which involve items disappearing without a trace. Five students even claim to have seen a woman with long dark hair peering out of the attic window, however her presence cannot be confirmed. While it is home to several ghosts, Drew’s campus is also a very beautiful scene during the fall months, and could even be a college contender — if you’re willing to stomach the haunts, that is.

If nature is more your speed, the Pine Barrens of New Jersey are home to the state’s most notorious resident — the Jersey Devil. While the story of how the Jersey Devil came to be is widely debated, the most common tale is about one Mrs. Leeds, whose thirteenth child turned out to be an incarnation of the devil. The creature, which is usually depicted as a dragon-like creature with hooves, is said to roam the pine barrens, killing animals and trashing chicken coops. The belief in this entity was so strong that a $100,000 reward was offered to anyone that could capture the beast. Unfortunately, the Jersey Devil has never actually been captured. There are several parks to visit in the Pine Barrens while the weather is still warm. Maybe with a little luck, you might spot the Jersey Devil yourself.

Even if history isn’t really your kind of thing, there are plenty of other more lighthearted haunts in and around New Jersey, including Six Flags’ Fright Fest events and the Haunting of Asbury Park. There’s something for everyone this holiday season, so make sure to enjoy it!