Happy Halloween Greenpoint!!! Before you head out to play trick or trick tonight it might be fun to arm yourself with some ‘real’ ghost stories to spook out your friends. The New York Times recently wrote an article about a haunting at the Sweetwater Tavern, but have you heard about these ghost sightings ripped from headlines of papers that faded long ago?
It was said her heart died long before she did.
Back in the 1830’s Miss Carrie Sene was the catch of the day. She played the piano, crocheted, her parents were rich, and all the young men from the ‘burg were in love with her. But none of them matched up to Rudolphus, a new minister from the Heights, noted for his “superior shape and manner, his high connections and moustache.” Carrie was captivated by Rudolphus and her parents were happy as clams. Soon Williamsburg would be ringing with wedding bells.
The day before their wedding, Carrie and Rudolphus arranged to meet at the South 4th Street stop on the Greenpoint trolley line. Carrie stood on the corner and waited as trolley car after trolley car whizzed past. By the time Rudolphus hopped off a trolley car it was years later–just in time for Miss Carrie’s funeral. Apparently Rudolphus’s grief was so great, he bolted from the funeral and hopped on South 7th Street ferry. Little did he know that would be the ferry’s sixteenth and last trip. Together, Rudolphus and the boat sunk into the cold East River and were never seen again.
After her death, Carrie’s ghost haunted South 4th Street night after night. Sometimes she would appear in her bedroom window looking for her lost lover.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle July 2nd, 1935
Cornelius Reid, a young black man from Jamaica Queens, was the new night watchman at the Fleer Brothers coal yard along Newtown Creek on Gardner Avenue. He was in the middle of his shift, sitting in the coal yard’s garage, when at the stroke of midnight he heard a weird moaning floating through the silent night air. He also heard chains rattling and then suddenly a ghostly figure appeared and glided across the coal yard. Terrified, he called the police. They searched the coal yards and found nothing. Cornelius returned to his post shaken and spent the next couple of hours terrified the ghost would return.
Hours later, around 3 am, the police found Cornelius face down in the street several blocks from the coal yard. Greenpoint Hospital doctors said his heart was fluttering uncontrollably. They did what any good medic would do and gave Cornelius a nice big shot of whiskey which instantly revived him. The police officers and the doctors huddled round as Cornelius whispered that two hands had reached through the open window and grabbed the newspaper he was reading. He was so frightened he ran six blocks before collapsing from a heart attack.
It was only afterwards Cornelius learned the night watchmen he had replaced died a week earlier from carbon monoxide poising while cleaning a truck in the garage. Police believed the rattling noises came from the coal boats tied up along the docks. Cornelius didn’t believe them. A few weeks later, the coal company decided to get rid of Cornelieus and hired another watchman. Guess the ghost sightings were too much for the man to bear.
Call it a case of mistaken identity. Neighbors who lived around Winthrop Park were seeing some funky things in February, 1928. Complaints poured into the police station about a ghost sighting in the park near Driggs Avenue and Monitor Street. Police waited until night and began their investigation. A few hours into their shift a white ghost-like figure appeared floating among the trees. The cops were hot on its trail, but the ghost must’ve gotten spooked and disappeared with a trace–a bedsheet was found on the ground near a tree.
Days later, the police returned to the park. They found the ghost, tackled it to the ground and arrested the man responsible for the spooky sightings. His name was Michael Pozak and he was charged with vagrancy. Mr. Pozak explained in court that he was unemployed and had to sleep in the park. He got a sheet, he said, and if someone approached him he would wave it above his head as a deterrent. It worked so well he had the whole neighborhood scared. The judge threw him in jail for three days.
Happy haunting folks!