There’s nothing like a little ghost hunting to instantly get you in the Halloween spirit! Just be sure to leave the scaredy-cats at home for this adventure, because we’ve found the five spookiest spots in Hudson County to get your fright on. And beware: We can’t guarantee every ghost you encounter will be a Casper and not a Poltergeist, so use caution in your search for specters. Happy Haunting!
The Ghoulish Guests at Arthur’s Tavern
HOBOKEN: Next time you stop in Arthur’s Tavern for a burger and a drink, look out: the spirits at this place aren’t just behind the bar. The restaurant on Washington Street is said to be haunted by three ghosts who cause all sorts of mischief: guests and staff have reported everything from mysterious footsteps to flickering lights. Parapsychologists have even come by to check out the hauntings, and one was particularly chilled by the upstairs bathroom, according to an article on NJ.com.
Read More: Haunted Attractions in Northern New Jersey
The Mysterious Murder of Mary Rogers at Sybil’s Cave
HOBOKEN: In 1841, the missing body of NYC beauty Mary Rogers washed up on the Hoboken shores, right next to Sybil’s Cave on Frank Sinatra Drive (right down the hill from Stevens Institute). The area was mobbed for weeks with detectives, investigators, and amateur sleuths, and caught the attention of then little-known writer Edgar Allen Poe. Poe turned Mary’s tale into a ripped-from-the-headlines- style story, titled “The Mystery of Marie Roget” setting the novel on the steps of the River Seine but basing the plot completely on the events of that fateful night in Hoboken. The mystery deepened a few months after Mary’s body was found when her fiancé, Daniel Payne, poisoned himself and died on a bench near the Cave, leaving behind a note that read “To the World here I am on the very spot. May God forgive me for my misspent life.” While some considered that to be his confession to the murder, Mary Rogers’ death remains officially unsolved.
The Spirits of the Shippen Steps
WEEHAWKEN: At the end of one of the windiest roads in Weehawken you can find The Shippen Steps, an unusually steep set of stairs that takes you down the Palisades Cliffs. In the 1800s, a pregnant woman reportedly fell down the steps and was killed along with her unborn child. Then in 1898, tragedy struck again when, according to a New York Times obituary, 50-year- old Otto Schultz was found dead at the head of the steps after shooting himself in the heart. Needless to say, there have since been reports of hauntings at this spooky staircase for centuries.
The Eyes of St. Joseph
JERSEY CITY: In 1921 and then again on Good Friday in 1954, reports surfaced of two mysterious glowing lights at the top of the belfry tower of St. Joseph’s Church on Pavonia Avenue. Since then, thousands have reported seeing the luminescent lights, said to look like glowing eyes, at all hours, many believing them to be a miracle or a sign from God. Interest in “The Eyes of St. Joseph” reached an all-time high after the 1954 sighting, when some 20,000 people flooded the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of the miracle in Jersey City. Later that same year, adding to its legend once more, a church sexton was found dead in the choir loft after having last been seen climbing the tower in search of an answer to the mystery. These eerie eyes are so ingrained in local folklore that renowned Jersey City storyteller Bob Leach even released a documentary on the phenomena in 2011. The short video is filled with facts and peppered with personal anecdotes chronicling the nearly 100-year-old mystery at the church.
Robbins Reef Yacht Club
BAYONNE: If there was ever any doubt that Robbins Reef Yacht Club, just off Avenue A in Bayonne, was haunted by spirits, it was stifled in 2006 when a team of ghost hunters found mysterious orbs in the photos they took and confirmed what had been speculated for years. So why did the ghouls settle there? As legend has it, many years ago a man hanged himself in an upstairs room. Many witnesses have since reported an icy chill when stepping inside and bottles jumping off of shelves at the bar at will. Note: The yacht club is on private property and reserved for members only. If you’re looking to ghost hunt there, make sure you get permission (or befriend a member!) first.