When you live in a place for so long, you become blind to the rich history surrounding you. Some dark and interesting legends are attached to certain places that we may have passed without thinking. These spooky places are definitely places to visit while in New Jersey...if you dare.
1. Gates of Hell, Clifton
Behind the Old Prince Distillery in Clifton lays the notorious Gates of Hell, a collection of drains that inhabits the devil according to local legends. Satanic graffiti inhabit the walls and apparantly the underground tunnel contains the remains of satanic sacrifices—bones and decaying carcasses, crosses, and more.
2. The Devil's Tree, Bernards Township
According to locals, several suicides and murders occurred at this tree. One of the famous murder suicides was of a farmer who killed his entire family and then hanged himself on the tree. The curse of the tree is so powerful that anyone who attempts to cut down the tree has unfortunately died. The tree has a tragic history, as well. When Bernards Township was a central headquarter of the KKK, this tree was used for lynchings.
3. Old Tennent Cemetery, Manalapan
The grounds of the cemetery and the surrounding area was the site of the Battle of Monmouth, where hundreds died. One of the legends is of the bloodstained pews in the church, which was one used as a makeshift hospital. The story goes as follows: a young soldier sat in the graveyard while watching the battle, got struck by a cannon ball (breaking a tombstone), and was put on the church pew. Some say you can hear faint screams at night and smell gunpowder...
4. Clinton Road, Passaic County
Many call this the most haunted road in America. The legends surrounding the road include devil worshipers, witches, ghosts, and other beastly figures. One tale is of a ghost boy who hangs out under the famous bridge at Dead Man's Curve, a supposed supernatural hot spot on the road.
5. Burlington County Prison, Mount Holly
Currently a museum, the building served as a prison from 1811-1966. At the time of its closing it was the oldest used prison in the United States. Known for being haunted, the prison walls have seen quite famous criminals. For example, the Boston Strangler (Albert DeSalvo) resided there. Hangings, murders, and torturous treatment occurred at the prison.
6. The Spy House, Port Monmouth
This location has a rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War. It was considered Monmouth County's most popular tavern for British soldiers. The owner, Thomas Seabrook, hated the Redcoats so much that he would get them to talk about their plans by giving them free food and alcohol. He would then leak their plans, making him one of the first American spies in history. In later years it became a brothel and pirate hangout. Ghostly apparitions have been seen.
7. The Union Hotel, Flemington
Built in 1814, the hotel was the center of a famous court case in 1943. This case, the Bruno Hauptmann case, was for the man who kidnapped and murdered Charles Lindbergh's son. This was known as the "trial of the century". The trial occurred directly across the street. The rooms were the base of operations of journalists and temporary home of jurors. In addition, some say that Room 52 is known for the most paranormal action.
8. Devil's Tower, Alpine
The Devil's Tower is located in Bergen County and is known to be the site of the devil. In the 1900s, a man named Manuel Rionda built the tower for his wife. His wife caught him cheating from the window of the tower, so she jumped to her death. Every attempt to tear the tower down have failed after multiple construction workers fell to their death. Many say if you go there you can hear the cries of Manuel's wife.
9. Stephen Crane House, Asbury Park
In Asbury Park sits the previous childhood home of Stephen Crane, the author of the famous novel: "The Red Badge of Courage". Numerous reports of ghostly action have been reported.
10. Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Trenton
This was New Jersey's first public mental institution, and where a doctor's brutal methods lead to its reputation. It was originally founded in 1848 by the famous health advocate Dorothea Dix. Originally planned to be a healthy, welcoming environment, the intended ambiance was ruined when Dr. Henry Cotton became the medical director in 1907. He used surgery as treatment and commonly hurt their patients, cutting out teeth and gallbladders, stomachs, colons, testicles, and ovaries. His death numbers were high and many of his victims were forced and dragged in to the operating room. Still intact, but crumbling, the former hospital holds years of pain and torture that make it so eerie and creepy.