A HAUNTING WE WILL GO – Old Bethpage Village Restoration

You would think with the winter months upon us, I’d be home in front of the computer pounding away at posts for this blog. Well, this winter in New York has been so mild, so lovely, that I’ve been out and about for much of it.

OGHOST HUNTING - Old Bethpage Village Restoration - Conklin Dining/Sitting Roomne of my outings took me to Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a historically rich location that makes me think of Colonial Williamsburg and how it might have looked in its earliest planning stages.

Known as the Jewel of Long Island, Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) has been severely underfunded and budget cuts have cost it the “living history” part of its description since almost all of the full time costumed interpreters have been laid off. Fortunately, new management seems interested in revitalizing the Village and our hope is for a rebirth.

Meanwhile, as the Village stands cold and closed for the winter months, a skeleton crew – of sorts – is charged with maintaining and cleaning the buildings. Each house in the Village was brought there from another part of Long Island, each teaming with its own history. Some of the furnishings in the homes belong to the family that once lived there, other furnisOld Bethpage Village Restoration - Williams House Biblehings are mismatched.

All of this makes OBVR a prime location for paranormal activity. Because of that, one of the updates I would love to see in this village is a regularly scheduled lantern ghost tour. When I am in the Village, there is no question in my mind – Here, there be ghosts.

On a particularly sunny cleaning day, we brought our cameras and digital recorders. There wasn’t much activity that day, mostly personal experiences of cold spots, unease, dizziness and headaches. In each home, however, we captured whispered voices, barely audible. I will share four that seem the most vivid and urge you to use headphones for a fuller experience.

If I sound less than disappointed about our soft bits of audio evidence, it’s because of the phenomenal visual evidence we captured. At first, I was excited, then I became frightened. I don’t know what or who we captured in the pictures I’ll be sharing here, but as I considered it, I realized, we’ve never felt threatened in those homes so our perception of what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ looks like is just that, perception. We don’t know what’s on the other side and so we shouldn’t make judgments – can’t judge a book by its cover, right?

GHOST HUNTING - Old Bethpage Village Restoration - Schkank ParlourA word about the recordings on this page. For some reason, the player will play all of the recordings in succession. Just press pause to prevent if from continuing until you’re ready to hear the next track.

And so without further ado…

In the Schenck House – a home built in 1730 by a Dutch Farmer – We are standing at the front door having just walked into the house and locked the door behind us. I just noted the size of the floorboards and beams – HUGE gorgeous wood – when a light sing-songy female voice comes from the space immediately around us. We know it’s not us because it happens as I’m talking about the beautiful wood and my daughter laughs. We didn’t even hear this voice at the time.

SCHENCK HOUSE 2:06 Ghost Child – SCHKANK FOYER

The Williams House – build by a master house carpenter, Henry Williams, in 1820 – is known for its hautings and though presumption is its residual not intelligent, some of the otherworldly ‘comments’ tell us the opposite. Take for example this bit of recording while we stood in the parlour –

Listen hard for the whispers, there are two. The first is at 7 seconds, about two beats after I say, “You have a beautiful house”, the whisper sounds like, “What?” The second, at 11 seconds, sounds like a slow, drawn out, “They’re here.”.

WILLIAMS HOUSE – Parlour Ghost Hunting – WILLIAMS HOUSE PARLOUR

Eventually, we set the recorder in the family room and went about our work in the other rooms and upstairs. While the recorder remained alone on a table by a bible and spectacles, there were separate comments made – we, remember were in the other rooms or on the second floor and our voices, when heard, are distinctly ours.

Listen at 14 seconds. We hear “go”. At .21, .25 and .27, we hear, “That’s you.” “Go.” “Take them.”

WILLIAMS HOUSE BIBLE Ghost Voices – WILLIAMS HOUSE by Bible

At this point, we are upstairs, talking while we work. Listen at 4 seconds. We hear a frustrated – almost weary and bored of our presence – “Go home.” Just before the whisper, you’ll hear silence then us talking in the background.

WILLIAMS HOUSE “GO HOME” GHOST HUNTING – WILLIAMS HOUSE – GO HOME

And finally, at the Noon Inn, built in 1835, we climbed up to the attic. Well, I didn’t. I stood on the steps to the attic and had to come back down. I felt heavy, the air thick. Cold. My daughter followed me down and our friend remained on the stairs, feeling uncomfortable and asking me to take her picture at that moment because something did not feel right to her. The first picture you’ll see is the photo I took at that moment and cannot explain. Look to her left. Right there in black on the stairs.

BLACK MASS NOON INN

IMAGE DELETED

Please forgive me, but I’ve chosen to delete this image due to some ‘darker’ comments I’ve received (and also deleted) regarding it.

Not one of us ‘knows’ what is beyond this world. We can only judge by what we experience, what we believe and what we feel. In all my years visiting the Village, I have never felt that I or my family was in any type of danger and I would never want others to be turned off because of what they interpret from our experiences there. This image seemed too much of a hot button, and I thought it best to simply remove it.

This next photo is one I took once we were all down the stairs. I cannot explain this one either. Look toward the top right.

FACE NOON INN

Ghost Hunting - Face at Noon Inn

This last picture is one I took almost immediately after the one above.

NO FACE NOON INN

Ghost Hunting - Stairway without face Noon Inn

I’ll leave it to you to decide what these images mean. Your comments, opinions and/or personal experiences are VERY welcomed.

For more of my ghost experiences, check out my Ghosts of Gettysburg Posts – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

25 Responses to A HAUNTING WE WILL GO – Old Bethpage Village Restoration

  • Wow, Debbie – what an amazing experience! Are you freaked out or totally thrilled? I haven’t ever gone ghost hunting. Will have to try it one of these days. Glad you’re back!

    • Hi Christine! Thank you for coming by – and so quick, too! lol

      I’m both freaked out and thrilled. The voices don’t upset me. We heard enough of those in Gettysburg to reduce the shock of it now. 🙂 However, that black mass and that face on the stairs… well, they still has me feeling out of sorts. But, as I said, we didn’t feel threatened there – never have – so I don’t believe it was something bad or evil. Yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it… 😉

  • I’d say you experienced something real there.
    And the face, creepy.
    Glad you never felt threatened.

    Our chapter will be hosting ghost hunters at a meeting.
    Can’t wait to hear of their experiences.

    Thank you for sharing the sounds and pictures.

    • That face is creepy! Imagine me, checking the camera right after I took the picture and seeing that in the frame! I don’t know how the picture I took after that isn’t a total blur. lol. It was a very scary moment.

      I can’t believe you’re chapter will be hosting ghost hunters! How exciting! And how I wish I could sneak into that meeting. 😀 Please let me know all about it.

  • Scarrrry

    • lol. It is scary in a way. But then again, we weren’t upset by anything. I wonder if our experiences in Gettysburg didn’t desensitize us to much of what’s around us. There, we felt frozen to the bone – literally. Here, we felt unease but not fear. Not ‘lasting’ fear, anyway. 😯

  • I haven’t been to Old Bethpage in ages! Brings back childhood memories 🙂 Thanks for the info!

    • My pleasure, Angelique! We’ve gone their since childhood, too, though it wasn’t as built up then as it is now… or should I say, as it was about a decade ago. Budget cuts have cause major damage to the place. I just hope it recovers as the economy does. Go back for a visit! Every entry fee counts! 🙂

  • Hi Debbie,

    I understand your curiosity and excitement at the prospect of connecting with the “other side.” However, please be careful. Just as there is good and evil in our world, I expect there to be good and evil in the next. Go with your instincts, and don’t open yourself up too much, if you know what I mean.

    • You’re right, Jolyse and I thank you for caring so much. We did feel odd while there, but, even though we were opening ourselves up to whatever was around us, we were cautious. It’s a vital part of the adventure.

      When we do this, we’re not only tuned into our own instincts but also each others. It is amazing how much of our senses we ignore, though, – and how much we have yet to understand. While we were in Gettysburg, I think we experienced a full range of emotions/instincts/senses and have used that to gauge the tone of each new experience. I don’t ever want to become so comfortable with this that I let down my guard. So don’t worry. 🙂 We make sure we do several few things (we feel help) to keep ourselves protected.

  • I’d been to Bethpage this past Father’s day. We didn’t experience anything like this. We did talk to one of the guides who told us, though they’re not suppose to say anything, many of the workers there have had contact with or have seen apparitions.

    I think (not positive) they have a Halloween tour. That would be fun.

    • My husband and I have been going to Bethpage since we were kids and have taken my daughter since she was a toddler. We’ve always loved it but, until we went looking, had never had any kind of experience like this. Even now, we’ve never felt unwelcomed or threatened in any way. If anything, I think whatever is there is ‘stuck’ in its time – possibly as interested and confused about us (when/if they happen to notice us) as we are about them. But who knows? It’s all speculation at this point. Exciting and nerve-jostling at the same time.

      I do hope Bethpage offers (more) opportunity for ghost tours or ghost stories. A lantern tour through the Village on All Hallows Eve would be super exciting!

  • Wow! How exciting and scary. 🙂 I haven’t exactly gone ghost hunting unless you count ghost tours. Which I’ve done a lot of. I’ve encountered them though. We have a house in the family that is haunted. I have no doubt. Voices, things moving, noises like doors opening and closing or footsteps. While others in the family don’t “feel” anything, it feels evil to me. I hate gong there. I get within 10 feet and I have to force myself to keep walking. I’ve had other ghostly experiences in the past in the house where I live. But I’ve never felt threatened or had a feeling like that.

  • Debora; I enjoy your posts. Would you be interested in being a blogger on Plainview Patch and perhaps doing some stories with me, probing paranormal activity in the area. Please let me know. Best. Joe.

  • Debbie, I loved this post! I need to start using the built in recorder on my iPhone when we visit places I suspect are haunted. Would you be willing to send me the picture you removed from this blog via email? My correct email address should be attached to this reply.

    As for personal experiences, I haven’t had anything weird happen recently. I may or may not have mentioned to you that I suspect my paternal grandfather haunts me. Sometimes I feel his presence very strongly, but it could just be me missing him. He was always on my side. Anyway, I recently dreamed about him, and it was so vivid. He told me, “Baby, you really have watch people.” I’m still trying to figure out what the comment meant, since at the very least, it is my subconscious giving me a message. 😀

    Again, great post.

    • Catie, definitely invest in a digital recorder – they’re about $40.00 and you can take them just about anywhere. Use the iPhone for pictures and/or video. You’d be amazed how one unit will capture a certain voice while the other – even if in the same location – will capture something completely different. Or nothing at all. It’s all so amazing.

      You did mention the possibility of visits from your grandfather. Since your bond with him was so strong, maybe he’s just trying to let you know that he’s okay. At least, that’s what I like to think about this kind of thing. We won’t know until we ‘know’. 🙂

      I can’t say what his message to you meant but coming from NY, that’s kinda like a mantra. 😉

      Glad you stopped by and that you liked this post!

  • Very interesting. Spooky place, huh? I too am ever-so-curious about the deleted image. We mystery readers/writers are typically a curious bunch!

    • What’s funny is that OBVR isn’t really a spooky place. We went looking for spookiness and found it… though some of the volunteers there have talked about hearing sounds like furniture being moved, footsteps and voices. In fact, now that I think about it, there have been visitors who have also said they’ve ‘seen’ people who weren’t there. We’ve never had that experience – not that I’m complaining – but we did get the voices you heard in this post. And those images. The one I deleted was of a black mass I cannot explain. We did not see it at the time so finding it in a photograph was quite a jolt. I just didn’t expect such warped responses to it and thought it best to delete. Old Bethpage is a GREAT place and I don’t want anyone to avoid going because I’ve somehow frightened them.

      • Debora I have to ask how did you plan an investigation at the OBVR? I have an amateur paranormal group that does investigations all over the island and I would love to investigate that place, how did you go about getting permission?

        • Hi Anthony! How cool to hear from another paranormal investigator. Where on the island have you investigated?

          As for the Village, I was a volunteer, but I don’t think you would need special permission to do a simple, unofficial investigation as a visitor.

          It’s usually pretty quiet there during the day, unless there are school groups scheduled, so you could easily take some portable equipment with you as you tour the houses. The guides are familiar with people hoping to capture paranormal images and sounds, so I doubt any of them would object to your efforts.

          If you want to do an official investigation, either during or after-hours, with an entire crew, grids, stationary video equipment and the like, then I would suggest calling the main office. I’m not sure how they would respond, but it’s worth a shot. Please let me know how you make out – and whether you do it officially or as I did, I’d love it if you kept me posted on your results.

  • Hey debora, sorry it took a while to respond. I have my own paranormal group called the midnight society of Long Island. We have investigated many places on the island, officially and unofficially. We are very interested in a full scale investigation of old bethpage. I feel their is too much activity, it would be a waste not to go official on this one. I have been in contact and they did not seem to enthused, but i’m not easily deterred lol. I will keep you posted as to the further developments, thanks again for your help, we appreciate it!

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