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The Most Haunted House On Long Island

October 7th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

Having just received our invitation to Raynham Hall’s Halloween Masquerade Dance, (the theme being the Culper Spy Ring) to be held on Saturday, October 27th, I thought I might fill you in on last year’s event written as follows:
The snow that began earlier in the day was still peltering in horizontal sheets, too wet and slushy to be anything but a hindrance. I almost backed out, relishing the thought of a cozy night indoors with freshly baked banana bread and a bowl of hot soup made from scratch. That, and a scary movie to kick off the Halloween festivities. But Raynham Hall beckoned. Its ghostly garden where I’d sat waiting for Michael a year ago was still fresh on my mind. It spoke to me then as it does now. We would go.
Upon arriving, the house was still. Not a flicker of light glowed from a single window.  No doubt the event was cancelled because of the weather. Maybe we should have called first. But the door opened into a dimly lit corridor already filled with waiting people; prospective ghost hunters, thrill seekers, ordinary folk. One small lamp from somewhere cast shadowy expectance into the darkened recessed corners. Some gloomy music added to the atmosphere. The last few stragglers arrived ushering in the wind and wet.
We were ready to begin our annual ghost hunting expedition. Assembled in the main hall before the fireplace, (the vortex, it was said), where souls enter and exit from the spirit world  into the the house, we stared in anticipation of its next spectral inhabitant to make its grand entrance. But it remained as it was. A fireplace.
Following in single file through an unlit passageway, we found ourselves in the colonial kitchen, a faint redolence of something spicy still lingering. A local paranormal group offered their expertise on the hows and whats used to track our spiritual counterparts. An ordinary flashlight flicked itself on and off intermittently throughout the session much to everyone’s amusement. We were soberly reminded this was a sure indication that the spirits were present and wished to establish contact.
Afterwards, we were extended free reign of the house, the still darkened rooms roped off but allowing us to peer into its depths. After some adjustment to the lack of light, a movement was detected and with prolonged consideration determined that the would be “ghost” was a person in period guise staged to give us a fright. It might have worked but we wondered how the lady in the dark could possibly read her book as she gently turned the pages.
Upstairs in the nursery, the ghosts of children past played with antique dolls in utter silence. Two were playing patty cake in slow motion as though immersed  in a murky sea while chanting in such a low tone as to render the rhyme inaudible. Very creepy. Small black hooded figures sat perfectly still alongside the more distinguishable human (?) forms.
In another bedroom, a woman sat rocking in the dark contemplating her non existence, while a front bedchamber was apparently empty of anyone but for a breath of wind moving the canopy that draped to the floor. I checked but no window was open, yet the motion repeated itself every few seconds like clockwork. Aha! I found the fan I was looking for off to one corner of the room. Nice prop. But later, upon complimenting this act of deception, I was assured they had simply forgotten to turn it off. Very effective nonetheless.
We ended our night with a reading by a kindly gentleman in an exotic version of a Dixie Cup hat embellished with a tassel who saw me as a gardener in his crystal ball. I hate gardening but didn’t have the heart to let on. I do love gardens though, so maybe he was half right. Perhaps next year he’ll see me for the writer I like to believe I am, or at the very least, writing in a garden.
Thanks to everyone at Raynham Hall for another imaginative Halloween event. The black hooded boy was spied by Michael through a crack in the door eating a cookie in a brightly lit back room. It’s comforting to know that even in the netherworld they take time out for a cookie now and again.
So……….whadayathink? Raynham Hall is reputed to be The Most Haunted House On Long Island, beginning with its illustrious connection to the Revolutionary War. With everyone attending this year’s event in period dress, who’s to say who’s real and who is not. Before you answer….May I have this dance?

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One Response to “The Most Haunted House On Long Island”

  1. Home Page Says:

    I am actually a huge ghost afficianado and live on Long Island – they’re out there !!!! I like this blog.This post actually made my day. You don’t mind if a put a link here – you know, tit for tat. Thanks.

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