Monday, October 13, 2008

Haunted Brooklyn: Meet the sexy Bushwick ghost

While doing my ghost research this week, I came across an amusing article from an 1894 edition of the New York Times, back when ghost sightings might have merited a serious investigation. (Or, in this case, not so serious.)

The location of the haunting was Brooklyn's 27th Ward in today's Bushwick area.

After charting out the notion that Bushwick is an ideal place for ghost hauntings -- a "rocky, bleak, lonesome district" loaded with cemeteries and empty houses -- the article describes the ghost in strangely sensuous terms:

"The ghost which is at present disturbing the midnight rambles ... is that of a woman, who goes about in the scantiest attire, with disheveled hair and bare feet, and falls into a fit of hysterics as soon as anyone approaches."

The ghostly vixen spooked a set of women who ran home to tell their brothers, who then brandished revolvers and set out to, uh, do what? I'm not sure guns work too well with ghosts. The cocky search party came upon the apparition which "arose from the ground in front of them and waved its long, lean arms an uttered a weird cry that chilled their blood." The brothers dropped their guns and ran home.

The next night a bolder party of 200 men reportedly went out to the ghost location, around the cemeteries on the Brooklyn/Queens border (between Knickerbocker and Irving avenues). Having no luck in locating the spirit with the posse, one man braved it alone the next night. He returned home "with a face white with terror." He had not only glimpsed the spectre, but was privy to a "serpentine dance" and "moaning wail".

They time, the locals did what anyone would do when faced with supernatural entities -- they called the police. Apparently with nothing better to do, the precinct caption dispatched 300 officers, armed with everything from guns to rusty army swords, all in an effort to confront the spirit and, apparently challenge it to a duel. One officer even donned an ill-fitting suit of armor.

Given the dramatic response, it is no surprise that some officers remained skeptical. The theory of one officer Holliday: "I'll tell you what I think it is. I think it's whisky....it will make a man see anything -- ghosts, snakes or anything else."

The entire area was covered by dozens of armed ghost hunters. However, as the New York Times drolly states, "three or four times there were cries that [the ghost] was coming, but it didn't come."

It is then decided that police might has not only scared away this ghost, but has rid all of Brooklyn of any spectral activity.
"There used to be ghosts in Brooklyn but since Superintendent Campbell took charge of the police department they have all been driven away." He fears Brooklyn's impending consolidation with New York, for "anti-ghost orders would be rescinded and our streets would be haunted day and night."

But it appears that didn't happen when the consolidation with New York came in 1898. Really, when's the last time you've seen a ghost in Brookyn? Hmmm?

You can read the entire article in all its glorious tongue-in-cheekness here.

The location of this scantily dressed spirit was right around here:


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1 comment:

  1. I believe this story with all my heart! I live in Bushwick, have lived on the same block for 38 years. Everyone knows there are things floating, moving, sitting on their beds while they are asleep and movin stuff, but no one talks about it much but you hear a story or two from time to time. There is a man that has been standing over me for more than 20 years. He rubs my foot, snatches the cover off me stands at the foot of my bed or whispers in my ear while I'm sleep.

     I have only seen him twice in broad daylight my God Son used to see him also until he began to talk. I was walking threw my house in the dark one summer night and he stroked my hair, from the top of my head to the back of my neck. It gave me chills. I calmly walked to the light and switched it on. There was no one there nor anything hanging where something like that could happen, just open air. The man is tall, Black (not dark) with an athletic build (like the And 1 sneaker man) he wears blue jeans and no shirt. I can never see his face though. I caught a picture of him once. He was standing at the foot of my bed. I slowly reached for my phone and clicked. His head was not where it should have been and he had others around him but he was the main guy. I don't know why he hangs around me. I showed my family and a few people I trust the picture they were shocked. They asked if I was afraid of him. I told them no he has never tried to hurt me but I think I may remind him of someone in his past so he stays. I did see him walk threw from my god family's wall into my house and walk across in threw to the neighboring house. That's when I followed him and told him he better not hurt my family or I would Burn his ass out of this world. He only did it another time during the day outside in the front yard. I don't know why he wants me to see him but he is here.

     My daughter who is 20 asked me when was the last time I seen him I told her it's been a while, no sooner than I said that he showed up a week later and grabbed my foot. I kicked and told him to STOP! and he left. I live 5 or 6 blocks from the Evergreen Cemetary.  OH! The time I appreciated him the most is when I over sleep he has knocked on my door it's always a three knock, and I jump up or he hits my headboard really hard right above my head. I caught myself thanking him once for the wake up. I was almost late for work. I was drunk one night and the bed was spinning he was laughing. I said FUCK YOU! He laughed one big Echo HA! And left me throwing up in a plastic bag. I could go on about this dude but I guess you get the picture. Bushwick truly is Haunted.

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