• The Boutonville Oak in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is reputedly haunted.
    Ghosts & Spooks,  Local History & Interest

    Tragedy at the Boutonville Oak

    Let’s hike in the woods of the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation to the Boutonville Oak. We can thread along roads and trails, traverse hollows, and make our way along densely wooded hillsides. It is a nature preserve of nearly 4,400 acres and one of Sleepy Hollow Country’s largest parks. It has a deep and storied history and the many points of interest can lead from one legend to the next. History of the Boutonville Oak Embedded on the far eastern border though, towers an ancient and gnarled oak tree. Known locally as the Boutonville Oak, for its proximity to the hamlet of Boutonville, this sentinel in the landscape took root…

  • The Piermont ghost lurked between Haddock's Hall in Piermont, NY and Kipps Corner in Sparkill.
    Ghosts & Spooks

    The Reckoning of the Piermont Ghost

    “If ghosts were as plentiful in fact as they are in newspaper columns white-robed shapes and people who can be seen through would be almost as numerous as stray cats. It is astonishing what a quantity of ghost stories are in circula­tion among the journals of the country.” -White Plains Eastern State Journal, April 23, 1887 Five miles from Sleepy Hollow as the raven flies, or ten by highway, is a stretch of road where the Piermont ghost terrorized two villages in March and April of 1887. We cover a lot of reported ghost sightings in these pages but this one stands out for the regularity of the ghost’s appearances…

  • Photograph of Grand View village hall.
    Ghosts & Spooks,  Local History & Interest

    The Ghost of Grand View

    “It was not long after that when towels were mysteriously removed from the bathroom and left in fantastic shapes in various parts of the house. Whenever all the occupants left the house, things were sure to be turned topsyturvy. Clocks stopped, trunks were unlocked, furniture displaced, but there was never any evidence that these things had been done for the purpose of plunder.” The New York Herald, August 27th, 1908. The Ghost of Grand View Arrives Something strange was happening in the Blauvelt house in the summer of 1908. It began when Mrs. Blauvelt came home to find what appeared to her to be an elderly man sitting on her…

  • Ghoulish Jokester Robs a Grave in a cemetery, setting the skull atop a tombstone.
    Local History & Interest,  Vanished Sleepy Hollow

    Ghoulish Jokester Robs a Grave

    “Echoes of Ichabod Crane’s ghost stories in the Tarrytown cemetery led to the discovery early today that some one had removed a skull from a pauper grave and placed it on top of a tombstone in the conventionally gruesome manner.” -The Washington Times, May 25, 1929 One night in May 1929 a person passing through the hamlet of East View received quite a jolt at the sight of a human skull atop a tombstone in the county poorhouse cemetery. Not bothering to give his name, the individual reported to Town of Greenburgh police that a ghost was roaming the cemetery. Sergeant Dunkel investigated and found the skull placed on top…

  • Sunnyside, Washington Irving's home, sits on the shore of the Hudson River.
    Local History & Interest,  Washington Irving

    The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Washington Irving. Part 1: A Venturesome Urchin!

    The year was 1783. The day was April 3rd. The place was 131 William Street, Manhattan, New York. It was a surreal week for those residing in old Gotham. After eight arduous years of occupation in the city, the British had called a ceasefire, effectively ending the American Revolution. We were no longer the colonies, but the United States. A new republic! There was a collective sigh of relief from the former colonists. William Irving, Sr. was a Scottish merchant and former petty officer of the British Navy, and his Cornish wife, Sarah Sanders were two of those who were consoled by the end of the hostilities. Right after their…

  • Color postcard showing Andre Brook in Patriot's Park in Tarrytown, NY.
    Local History & Interest,  Places & Landmarks

    Patriot’s Park

    Located on the cusp of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow lies a rolling green space known today as Patriot’s Park. Named for being the famous location of the capture of John André by local patriot militiamen in 1780, the park boasts the capture monument and memorial, but also features other last vestiges of other pieces of local history and folklore. The earliest known historical act of significance where Patriot’s Park is located today is the capture of British Officer, John André as he was attempting to escape from behind enemy lines after helping infamous traitor Benedict Arnold. A large poplar tree supposedly marked the capture site, which was located about 200…

  • The 2019 sandstone grave stone of the Edgar Mathew Bacon character Hulda The Witch.
    Folklore,  Witches and Witchcraft

    Hulda the Witch of Sleepy Hollow

    “. . . in the days of our nation’s birth-throes he was a brave man who passed the cottage of the witch, even in the daytime. A hundred years ago the people took witches seriously.” –Chronicles of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Hulda the witch of Sleepy Hollow has over the last decade performed a most difficult feat: she has transformed from a minor fictional character into a real person, complete with a headstone in a place of honor at a local church. Until very recently, the historical record of the alleged witch of Sleepy Hollow consisted entirely of seven short paragraphs in Edgar Mayhew Bacon’s 1897 book Chronicles of Tarrytown…

  • Set Back Inn in Tarrytown, NY has a red door between two plate glass windows.
    Ghosts & Spooks

    Haunted Taverns of Sleepy Hollow

    “The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head.” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, Washington Irving When it comes to phantoms in these parts, Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman is, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, top of the list, king of the hill, A-Number-One. Although he is the undisputed top dog he is a bit of a recluse, preferring solitary rides along dark, lonely roads. Fortunately, there are three haunted taverns of Sleepy Hollow where the resident spirits are more sociable. The ghosts we introduce here are reportedly less…

  • Ghosts & Spooks,  Local History & Interest

    The Baychester Depot Ghost

    Andrew J. Parker died “suddenly” at the age of 63 in September 1885 in the village of Pelham, NY. For most of his life, he worked as a chemist, and in Pelham, he had been the manager of the Neptune Powder Mill, a dynamite company. As an employee of a dynamite manufacturer, he lived much longer than anyone of that time would have figured; as it was a volatile and dangerous trade. But he was lucky to have survived and retired to spend time with his family. News reports at the time never explained exactly how Parker died, but not being blown to pieces was perhaps the most unexpected part…

  • An historic image of the Old Polhemus Mill, site of the last witch trial in New York State where the Witch of West Nyack was acquitted.
    Local History & Interest,  Witches and Witchcraft

    The Witch of West Nyack

    “This neighborhood has the doubtful honor of having been the scene of the last trial for witchcraft held in New York State, possibly the last among a so-called civilized people.” -The History of Rockland County, by Frank Bertangue Green Think of witches and Salem, Massachusetts comes to mind. But Sleepy Hollow Country has its own including Hulda the Witch of Sleepy Hollow and Jane Kanniff, the alleged witch of West Nyack. In the hamlet of West Nyack, six miles from Sleepy Hollow as the raven flies, is a historic marker at the site of the last witch trial in New York State. Some versions of her story use the name…