GHOSTS ON THE COAST: JOURNEYING THROUGH NEW JERSEY’S HAUNTED HISTORY IN ASBURY PARK April 17, 2018
Asbury Park, NJ is known for the Stone Pony and its world famous musicians, but some believe it’s also home to an abundance of paranormal activity. Like many places along the Jersey Shore, Asbury Park has its fair share of ghost stories and sightings. Visitors have reported spirits walking along the boardwalk, appearing in the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall, and at Asbury Lanes. This history of hauntings is not new. In 1894, famous American author Stephen Crane published an article “Ghosts on the New Jersey Coast,” containing reports of people throughout the shore seeing lovers on a beach, an elderly woman laughing and a Revolutionary Brit looking to kill fishermen. Even Crane’s own house, located on Fourth Avenue, has had reported ghost activity. Visits to the Crane House can be scheduled through Facebook, or stop by during open house hours every Sunday from noon – 2 pm.
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about paranormal history, Paranormal Books and Curiosities on Cookman Avenue is the place to go. Kathy Kelly opened Paranormal in the summer of 2008 as a way to, “bring enthusiasts together, from beginner to expert, to share in the journey of exploring the realms of all things paranormal.” Kelly combines history and paranormal investigations to create a cohesive and exciting story about the past. Paranormal offers a large array of books about New Jersey’s spooky past and is also home to the Paranormal Museum. The museum houses a collection of artifacts from around New Jersey and the world that have experienced paranormal activity or have a ghostly past. Most of the artifacts have been donated to the museum because the owners were uncomfortable living with the artifact or the artifact needed protection for its historical significance. Some notable items include a singing couch from North Carolina, a plague mask, Jersey Devil memorabilia, and a brick from the hanger of Journey through Jersey site Naval Air Station Lakehurst, which was the location of the 1937 Hindenburg crash. During the summer months, tours and investigations are available to learn more about Asbury’s haunted boardwalk, pubs and downtown legends. In order to better plan your journey, check out Paranormal’s scheduled events before you visit.
If you want to continue your journey through haunted sites in Monmouth County, pop over to the nearby Historic Allaire Village in Farmingdale, said to be haunted by by Hal Allaire, son of James P. Allaire, who purchased the property in 1822 and developed the site into Howerll Iron Works and built homes and industrial buildings around it. The ghost reportedly hangs out in the “Big House,” playing pranks on the costumed employees by moving objects or playing with candles. Oscar Smith is another spirit said to reside at the village, specifically around the Manager’s House. Reports say this ghost likes to spell out names using the children’s toy blocks.
If all this paranormal activity builds up your appetite, we recommend stopping at one of the many delicious restaurants in town. If you want to keep with the historic theme, the Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten is located inside a renovated 100-year building that was home to Lerner’s department store in the 1930s.
Planning an overnight stay? The Berkely Carteret is a historic oceanfront hotel designed by Beaux Arts architect Whitney Warren of New York that has been beautifully restored and updated. Although it’s newly restored, there may still be some old spirits lurking around – some guests have reported they think the hotel is haunted!
Are you brave enough to uncover the stories behind the Jersey Shore's paranormal mysteries? The Paranormal Museum “invites each of us to decide what is fantasy and what is truly possible.”