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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Oct 05, 2022

Exploring Haunted Houses of New Jersey

By Lori Draz

It’s time for a good ghost story, and New Jersey has got a lot of them! New Jersey has a colorful and sometimes chilling history – and plenty of haunted houses and spaces to go with it. 

For decades, it has been widely acknowledged that one of the most haunted places in the state is the Seabrook-Wilson House, formerly known as the Spy House, in Port Monmouth. The house dates back to the early 1700s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house can be found on the edge of Bayshore Waterfront Park, with scenic views of the Manhattan skyline across the water.  

Long before there was a New York City skyline, there was a log cabin on this isolated parcel of land, and so begins the tale of this historic home, attractive to many, including pirates, soldiers and, of course, ghosts. Over the years, it was a private home, a tavern with a boarding house, a private museum and eventually a property owned and maintained by the Monmouth County Park System. 

We’ll dig deeper into this home’s history in an upcoming Historic Havens, but for now, let’s get to the ghosts.  

The house is full of ghosts, some say as many as 14 different specters. Some are timid and some more sinister, including the surly pirate Captain Henry Morgan who is said to have become so angry at a servant boy that he killed him and buried his treasure under the boy in the basement. No one has ever found the treasure, and the basement is closed to the public, but those who have been down there report cold spots, a general creepy feeling and sometimes what sounds like a child moving around.

Another young ghost is a British boy named Peter. He lived there during the 1800s and has been seen in his period knickers and shirt. He is a trickster, and there are many visitors who have heard him laughing and later found that their pictures were ruined, their recording devices turned off and batteries drained. 

Another story is of a Revolutionary Era male. A curious couple peered into one of the windows and was shocked when the middle portion of what appeared to be a male’s military coat passed right by the window. 

Many have also seen a mysterious guest looking out one of the upstairs windows. Take a close look at the upper left window of the photo I snapped – I may have caught the image myself.

These are just a few of the stories. Locals will tell you all kinds of tales of sounds, voices and visions of children in the backyard. 

The Historic Seabrook Wilson House is open for free self-guided tours on Sundays only through Oct. 30 from 1 to 4 pm. It has no central heating which is why it closes during the winter. 

On Thursday, Oct. 27 from 7 to 8 pm, just in time for Halloween, learn “The Real Story of the Jersey Devil.” The unique ecology of the Pine Barrens includes a special resident known for generations as the Jersey Devil. For more than 250 years, this mysterious creature is said to prowl through the Piney marshes, emerging periodically to rampage through towns and cities. This devil is so famous he became New Jersey’s “official demon” in the 1930s. Get to know more about this hometown horror. 

If you’re on the hunt for more terrifying experiences to visit, the spirit world suggests checking out where you will find practically every scary thing to do in the Garden-of-Evil State. Happy Halloween!