The former owner of an 18th century — and presumed haunted — building on Main Street talks about believing in ghosts and what might be hereafter.
So, do you believe in ghosts?
Why is that?
From personal experiences. There are two that have made their presence known to me.
For many years I owned the building at 125 Main Street, built circa 1753.
When did you first discover you had a ghost?
Well, it was after I had purchased the building from Dr Kellman. Growing up in Jamaica Queens, we always made sure we locked the doors and windows, so I always checked to make sure the building was secure.
I was sitting in the right front office one night — and I had checked to make sure the building was secured. I was doing some work about 7 p.m. and I heard footsteps over my head. That was strange, because I knew I had checked upstairs.
In the building there were spiral steplets — they were shallow steps, so much smaller 250 years ago. I know the sound came from second floor right above me, so I climbed the steps to the second floor. I started on the left, then went to the back, then center rear right, until I came to the room above my office.
Were you frightened at all?
Not frightened. I was curious.
I didn’t enter the room; I probably verbalized something like “all right, all right.”
Then I backed off, back through the rooms, and back downstairs.
When I heard those steps it was clump, clump, clump, like a size 12 shoe. It was a big fellow up there.
There was nobody else in the building?
No absolutely not. I was very careful about locking the doors and windows
Any other experiences in the building?
One of my brokers had experienced something similar.
How about your tenants.
One tenant said he saw a black mass, floating against the back wall. Then it floated from the wall to a chair. It just floated.
He left the very next day.
Did he tell you this?
He said emphatically, “I’m spooked.”
He left and never came back.
Another time I was at home and was called by the police about 2 a.m. Apparently a tenant had draped a sheet over a 200-watt bulb, and so a fire started.
[The tenant] was at The Corner Bar and he said he was compelled to go back to 125 Main Street. Something compelled him.
It’s an old building, post and beam, and you could still see the charred marks on the wood.
Another woman, Joanne and her husband, who had purchased the building, started up the doorway. And she felt something. She said “Oh yes, oh yes, there’s a presence.”
She said it was a benevolent presence, and protective of the building.
Do you get the sense that this presence dates back to the earliest period of the building?
What one tenant told me, she communicated not in words, but in thought with this entity, who indicated he was a sympathizer as far as our Revolution was concerned. The British had occupied Sag Harbor and he was a sympathizer. What was communicated to her is he was hung on Main Street at the front of the building.
Prior to this experience, did you believe in ghosts?
I was a person who had read many books on psychic phenomena. I have an open mind.
Have you had any other experiences?
I went to Virginia to visit my granddaughter, an investigative journalist at a newspaper. I visited at an old farmhouse she owns with my grandson-in-law. I was sleeping in the living room, which is the oldest part of the house. I woke up to a figure of what appeared to be a farmer, a big man, about 6-feet tall. He was shaking, quivering, as if in anger. I remember blinking my eyes, and then he was gone. I fell asleep, woke up again and there he was again; quivering. My great-granddaughter had had contact with him also.
Now, my granddaughter’s mother in law – a high Episcopal – did an exorcism. And since then they haven’t had another experience in the house. Although I think he has appeared in the barn.
Have these experiences changed you?
They’ve made me aware there is something, perhaps a purgatory, a vacuum between here and finding rest on the other side; like an unhappy soul.
Were you open to spirits?
Sort of on the fence, if it happened, it happened.
There’s talk about your old building at 125 Main Street being dismantled. Do you think the entity there would be protective again?