Haunted Places to Visit in New Jersey
1.) Burlington County Prison Museum
128 High St., Mt. Holly, NJ
Built in 1811 the building served as a prison for 154 years before shutting down in 1965. Criminals convicted of a capital crime during that time were all sentenced to death by hanging. In the prison yard out back, you can still see remnants of where the gallows once stood. The fact that the overall appearance of the prison has remained unchanged throughout the years is one factor that makes it a prime candidate for a haunting. Other contributing factors are the imprints left behind in the form of writings and drawings on the cell walls, a tape that plays "Sounds of Prison Life" constantly on speakers throughout the prison, and realistic looking mannequins resembling prisoners placed randomly among the three floors. Museum workers report seeing apparitions on the first floor, ghosts "with no legs" floating on a path from the massive front door toward the small backdoor leading into the prison yard. But the most activity takes place on the third floor -- Death Row. Smack in the center of the row of cells sits the gloomiest room, originally designed to hold a death row inmate during his last 24 hours. In 1908 it was turned into a tool of punishment and reinvented as a solitary confinement chamber. Convicted murdered Joel Clough supposedly haunts this dungeon frequently. The cell just to the right of the dungeon has an extremely bad vibe as well. Visitors frequently report intense stomach pain that attacks upon entering the room, but subsides as soon as they leave. You'll know you're in the right room because there is a sketch of a tree on the wall near the window. Perhaps it was drawn by a forlorn prisoner gazing outside at the world beyond and longing for a taste of freedom...
2.) Old Jake Brown Road (NIKE missile base)
Route 9 South, Old Bridge, NJ
At the end of Old Jake Brown Road sits a group of small, one-family houses that were obviously abandoned---in a great hurry. The homes were probably inhabited by employees of NIKE, since a locked fence at the back of the tiny community leads to the old missile base that was deserted in the early 1970's. What no one knows is why the base and it's surrounding homes were deserted so quickly. If you go inside any of the houses, you will find furniture in every room, family photos still in frames and nailed to the walls, trash cans that were never emptied, rotting food in the cupboards, and stacks of newspapers from the 1970's in the attic.
3.) Monmouth Battlefield--Old Tennent Church
448 Tennent Road, Manalapan, NJ
Monmouth Battlefield was the site of the longest battle to be waged during the American Revolution. Supposedly, a young soldier was resting against a large oak tree near a church when a cannonball fired by the British hit him, taking off his entire arm, and starting the battle of Monmouth. On June 28, 1778, after several long, hot hours of battle, the American army emerged victorious. But the casualties were many. The church was quickly converted to a makeshift hospital. Legend has it that there was so much carnage that doctors and nurses were wading around in blood up to their ankles. Saw marks can still be seen on the church pews from where soldiers had limbs amputated (without anesthesia). Making this site doubly interesting is the local legend of an alleged witch who died in the 1600's, an outcast, whose only departing wish was to be buried at the center of the new cemetery up on the hill. Of course, town officials did not honor this wish and buried her instead on the outskirts. However, over time, the cemetery grew larger and larger, extending out in several directions on all sides of the hill. Today, what was once the outskirts of the small graveyard has become the exact center. Visitors frequently catch a scent of ginger or vanilla when they are close to the witch's resting place.
4.) Charlie Brown's Steakhouse
109 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown, NJ
Over 250 years old, this restaurant once served as a hotel and, before that, a brothel. In the 1800's a man hung himself from the enormous tree that still stands out front. His ghost has been captured in photographs of the outside and his voice picked pick up on audio recorders. This place is an absolute hot spot for capturing EVPs (electronic voice phenomenons). Only two of the three floors are open to the public, but if you can make friends with a waitress, hostess or manager, they'll be glad to show you the third floor if you sign a waiver saying you will not hold them liable for any injury that may occur since the third floor is the most active but is also in a state of disrepair. Supposedly a woman who frequented the building when it was a brothel used to rent the room at the end of the wing, the only one with it's own bathroom. She used to bring her toddler son with her to "work" and lock him in the bathroom while she entertained her guests. Because the walls were so thin, other guests could hear the child crying out for his mother from behind the bathroom door. The story here gets hazy, but either the woman had just gotten out of the bath when a client showed up and she had no time to drain the water and her son drowned in the bathtub or, bereft with grief over the twist her life had taken, she committed suicide by drowning her son and then drowning herself. This section of the third floor is CREEPY. Intense stomach pains hit virtually anyone who passes through there, and cold spots are often felt. The little boy is said to roam the third floor, still seeking his mother. My own mother and I were investigating this room when we picked up an EVP of a child's voice saying "Mommy". Further down the hall there have been sightings of a man in a hat roaming near the exit sign.
5.) Rose Hill Cemetery
Ravine Drive, Matawan, NJ
Go for the three hundred year old masoleums, stay for the intriguing headstones and the almost-certainty of EVPs. But leave before it gets dark, because that's when the bats come out, and they are not afraid to divebomb your head. There's no crazy legend or local tale behind this cemetery, founded during the Revolutionary War. For some reason it is just ripe with paranormal activity. Winding roads and a hilly terrain make it great for exploring, and it seems to interact very well with devices such as divining rods (used in dowsing, a divination that detects the presence of electromagnetic fields aka spiritual presences) and pendulums (essentially a weight on the end of a string that also reacts to electromagnetic presences; can also be asked questions and commanded to swing in a straight line for yes, swing in a circle for no). When my mother and I visited Rose Hill, she had a pendulum with her and I suggested that she swing it over a particular grave and ask those resting there a question. Later, upon playback of the audio recorder we had with us at the time, we discovered that we had picked up a voice saying insistently, "No, no, no!" right after I asked my mom to hold the pendulum over the grave.
- Blue Moon Ghost Hunters
Click here and scroll down to the bottom to hear the EVPs discussed in this hub ("Mommy" and "No, no, no!")