Real stories behind haunted places

Since moving to New Jersey, I have heard about thousands of tourist attractions there is Visit. A few of my favorites are going to The Stone Pony show in Asbury Park in the summer, cruising the Delaware watershed in the spring, and finding historic small towns like Lambertville to explore.

I’m on a mission to discover what’s new in New Jersey. I want to explore the weird and wacky sides of New Jersey. So my first mission is to find the spooky side of New Jersey.

I grew up loving the stories of haunted mansions and ghosts in the window, so I set out to find some places in New Jersey that have been visited by some spooky visitors.

The first stop on my trip is Mount Holly to free a vengeful Burlington prison inmate.

Burlington County Jail (Google Street View)

Burlington County Jail (Google Street View)

The building was built in 1811 and is intended for only 40 prisoners. At its peak, the prison housed 100 inmates, and several remain there forever.

Many people died during the 155-year operation, both prisoners and workers. One prisoner, Joel Clough in particular, was publicly executed at a crossroads a few miles from the prison. According to reports, his body is currently lying in the corner of the prison yard where a large tree stands.

Ghoul in Prison (Kayla May)

Ghoul in Prison (Kayla May)

Joel tried to escape before his execution, which landed him in a maximum security cell called “death row.” You can find Joel here when you visit the prison. Joel is known for moaning and following visitors around the museum that now stands on the site of the prison.

It first made its presence known in 1999 when the reconstruction project for the museum began. He was known for stealing and misplacing instruments, making unusual noises, and appearing. During the investigations, the researchers found several pieces of evidence in the form of electromagnetic indicators or spheres and anomalies captured on film.

Next stop on my trip is Wayne, NJ to visit Terhune Memorial Park’s Phantom Dog.

Terhune Memorial Park (Google Street View)

Terhune Memorial Park (Google Street View)

In 1847, a respected author named Albert Payson Terhune purchased a property in Wayne, New Jersey to serve as his summer home, but in 1912 he moved out full time. During his tenure at Terhune Estate, he began breeding Rough Collies. When this venture was successful, Albert opened Sunnybank Kennels on his property, where he continued to breed and sell collies to local animal lovers.

Rough Collie Dogs (Pexels Stock Photo)

Rough Collie Dogs (Pexels Stock Photo)

Although Terhune only had purebreds, there was one particular dog that he was particularly attached to. Rex was a mixed-breed collie/bull terrier with a scar on his head in the shape of a star that only enhanced his uniqueness for Albert. Rex adored Albert and was never far from him, and over time visitors noted how much Albert valued Rex, cementing their strong bond.

This bond was so strong that it was maintained even after Rex’s death, as visitors to the estate reported seeing him sitting at Albert’s feet or walking the property. Although Albert Rex never saw an apparition, people who saw him reported seeing an image of a dog so lifelike that it was often mistaken for the real Rex after his death.

After Albert died in 1942, the property fell into disrepair and was sold to the State of New Jersey to become Terhune Memorial Park, a public park. If you visit the park, you can find graves for many dogs that once lived in the Kennel. Rex’s grave is unmarked, but many visitors report seeing him still walking the property.

Communicating with the benevolent spirits of the Great House, I continue my journey to my final stop. I am going to visit Allaire Village in Howell, New Jersey.

The village of Allaire

Allaire Village (Google Street View)

Today, New Jersey residents know it as the historic residential park, Howell Park, where visitors can experience what life was like in the early 19th century with costumed volunteer reenactors.

Tour guides tell the story of James Peter Allaire. A philanthropist, engineer and businessman who purchased the land that would become Howell Works. Allaire purchased the land in 1822, but moved his family there in 1832 due to a cholera epidemic in New York.

The Big House

The Big House (Google Street View)

He feared for the health and safety of his family, especially his wife, Frances Duncan, who had previously been ill with what they thought was tuberculosis. When they arrived, Allaire moved his family into a large farmhouse known as “The Big House.”

Allaire took his family out into the fresh air, but did not help his wife, who died in the Great House in 1836. It is said that Allaire was very sad for his wife and tried to return to New York, but had a bad time and was in financial trouble. In 1851, Allaire retired to the Great House with his new wife Kalisia and son Hal. They lived there until the end of their lives, and the land became state property in 1941.

Three prominent spirits hang around the property. The first is Frances Duncan, Alaire’s wife, who roams the mansion at night. Because of the venue and Allaire’s second wife, Calicia, it’s common courtesy for volunteers to say goodbye to the ladies of the night before closing time.

The last notable spirit to roam the property is Allaire’s son Hal, known for his poltergeist activity of moving books, playing with candles and opening locked bookcases. The stories of all the ghosts on the property are told by the guides when you visit the park, and you may encounter one yourself.

Kayla May is a promotions and marketing assistant at Townsquare Trenton.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be all about the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s great exercise.

Before you hit the trails and check out some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some hiking etiquette tips from the American Hiking Society.

If you are descending and encounter an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the hiker room. A pedestrian going uphill has the right of way unless he stops to catch his breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side roads, if they are not marked as an official trail, stay away from them. By going off-road, you can harm the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just stay away from the wildlife and keep on walking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers also have to yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on the roads in New Jersey.

If you plan to take your dog on a walk, be sure to leash them and clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is very muddy, it is better to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions for the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.


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