September 25, 2009
Ghosts of YonkersRate this encounter: Donna - Yonkers, New York - 1940s
I grew up in downtown Yonkers, on the site of Dr. Phillips's Barn, which was his hospital. Prior and during the Revolutionary War there was an epidemic in New York due to bad water. People would escape to Yonkers, which at that time went all the way down to 225th street. There, between Wells Avenue and 5 Larkin Plaza at Yonkers Savings and Loan's old building not far from the main house stood a barn which he probably added an upper loft to. Later someone would raise a barn next to the garage across the street which would become an apartment building then a church.
I grew up with only women in the house. But even now, looking back 60 years, I still can see an elderly heavy-set, bald man with old pinch-nose glasses pulling the covers up over me. Only once did I see a young girl about my age when I had poison ivy so badly it blinded me. Sandy, our dog, always followed someone or something. We also had a table -- a very sturdy table -- that walked when my mother came up from the bus stop in a bad mood.
Many years later I asked my mother if she believed in ghosts after I had an incident while in the Army. I have only had two incidents in adulthood -- one at Fort Monroe, Virginia, in 1968, and one in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1996, each one was less vivid. These are mine.
Grandfather was a cop in Yonkers after they took the police boats off the Hudson River. They put him on horseback out by Woodlawn Cemetery. Someone called asking for police to chase a ghost out of the Cemetery. So they sent the brass, young guy. He sat all night, all the next night, and the next. Finely through the cemetery comes this film of gossamer, it kneels down at a grave, then stands up and curses in some foreign language waving its arms. My grandfather follows the person back to a nearby house. In the early morning he knocks on the door and tells the woman who answers, "If your mother is going to visit the cemetery in the middle of the night make sure she wears her drawers." The woman's husband had died and at the wake she found out he had a mistress and another family. She would sleep walk and pull her night gown up over her head showing her bare butt.
People have seen the Sullivan kids up on Overlook Terrace playing with a kite and a gas light -- all four had been killed by electrocution and the gas blowing up. Sometimes in the fog you can see the light poles which have been removed long ago. Yes there are ghosts in Yonkers, and some are related to my family.
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