It seems wherever you wander in the state of New Jersey, you're bound to have an eerie encounter. From New Jersey's spooky Pine Barrens, to the frightening ghosts of Clinton Road, to other paranormal hotspots in the Garden State, there are endless haunted places in New Jersey that are teeming with restless spirits.
The Pine Barrens
The Pine Barrens are an Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecosystem. This massive forest covers over seven New Jersey counties. The Jersey Devil, the 13th child born to Deborah Leeds in 1735, was the spawn of the Devil. He was born with a horse's head, wings, hooves, and a forked tail and is the most widely known paranormal entity roaming the spooky forest.
However, there are countless ghosts haunting the deep, dark forest of industrial community ruins. Half brick walls of buildings that once housed the production of lead, paper, glass, cotton, and other products are the only signs of once thriving communities. They were abandoned when coal was unearthed in Pennsylvania and coal mines offered greater opportunities for the workers. Entire communities became ghost towns and were eventually swallowed up by the forest and claimed by restless spirits.
These and other ghosts appear to hikers who venture into the forest that is so dense, it's easy to lose your way. The apparition of a small boy haunts the Atco area. He was killed in a hit-and-run accident just off Burnt Mill Road. Other ghosts include the apparition of a white stag, a blonde woman, a headless Captain Kidd, a black dog, and the spirits of plant workers who died on the job. The Pine Barrens are located in southern New Jersey in the Delaware River Region.
Clinton Road in West Milford
Don't get out of your car on Clinton Road! That's the warning locals give. This 10-mile stretch of road in West Milford is haunted, and many of the paranormal entities are malevolent. Located in northern New Jersey, the road is surrounded by woods. However, its trademark ghost is a young boy known as Haunted Roadboy. Roadboy isn't malevolent, but he may cause you to wreck when he tosses his ball onto the road and runs after it. Motorists have spotted him at the bridge along the treacherous Dead Man's Curve.
If you decide to brave a stop, toss a coin into the water below the bridge. Rumor has it Roadboy will throw it back at you. The other ghostly apparitions aren't so accommodating. A ghost truck barrels down the road, hellhounds chase cars, and a wolf with red eyes emerges from the forest and runs across the road. Blue lights bob along the road and the treetops, and a menagerie of other frightening strange creatures appear along the road. You can turn off Hwy. 23 onto Clinton Road in West Milford, New Jersey, 07480.
One of the oldest resort towns along the coast, Cape May has a large population of spectral residents. Many of the hotels, such as Southern Mansion, Washington Inn, and Hotel Macomber, have resident ghosts. In fact, Bruce Tango (Ghost Hunters) says many ghosts haunt the Southern Mansion. Guests and staff hear disembodied voices, experience doors opening and closing by themselves, and see creepy shadow figures.
The Washington Inn is home to an elderly woman's spirit whose disembodied voice calls the staff by their names. The most active spirit is of a little girl known as Elizabeth. Her image appeared in a photo a customer took of her daughter. Elizabeth's spirit showed up sitting beside the child. Elizabeth often sits at one of the tables or on the staircase. She gets the blame for moving silverware and opening/closing doors. Cape May Peninsula is located along the southern New Jersey coast.
Gabreil Daveis Tavern House
Located in Glendora, the Gabreil Daveis Tavern House, also known as the Hillman Hospital House, was built in 1756 and served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War. The attic was the infirmary where wounded soldiers stayed, and the attic floors still retain bloodstains from the injured. Guests and staff hear disembodied voices, moans, phantom footfalls, and shuffling. Ghostly apparitions appear in the windows, and doors open and close on their own.
The State of New Jersey owns the Proprietary House in Perth Amboy. It's "the only remaining official royal governor's mansion still standing in the original 13 colonies." Some ghostly residents include Governor Franklin and his wife, William Dunlap (first American Art historian and theater critic), a scary Revolutionary War Soldier, and various spirits still captive in the wine cellar dungeon. One ghost loves scotch and steals the bottles. The non-profit Proprietary House Association hosts lectures, concerts, guided tours, ghost tours, storytelling, and tea, and other events. The SyFy show, Ghost Hunters and other paranormal investigators have conducted investigations at the house.
There are 22 known ghosts at Middletown's Seabrook-Wilson House (circa 1650). This house is on the National Register of Historic Places. It became a tavern a few years before the Revolutionary War. The tavern owner spied on his British patrons for the Colonist military, earning it the name Spy House. Among the many spirits still frequenting the tavern is Captain Morgan, a frightening pirate who enjoys terrorizes child visitors. A lady in white searches the tavern for a baby, whose disembodied cries ring through the building. Likewise, a young boy likes to peek out the windows at passersby. The Seabrook-Wilson House became part of the Monmouth County Park System in 1998.
Historic Allaire Village
Farmingdale's Allaire Village is a living 1800s museum located in the Allaire State Park. The museum doesn't openly advertise the ghosts dwelling in the village buildings. However, one angry spirit is the former village supervisor, Benjamin Marks. A playful child spirit, Hal Allaire, died during a cholera outbreak and he's a prankster spirit who hides or rearranges objects in the Big House. In the Manager's House, the spirit of the Iron Works manager wanders about the Big House and communicates with toy alphabet blocks. The Visitor's Center has cold spots and visitors feel someone is watching them.
Emlen Physick Estate
Emlen Physick Estate is the only Cape May Victorian house museum and is known as the Physick House Museum. The museum has several resident ghosts. The spirits of Dr. Emlen Physick, his 4- and 5-year-old sisters, mother, and a couple of the family's dogs reside in their former home. In fact, with all the family deceased, the home was sold, but the new family didn't stay in the house for very long because of the nonstop paranormal activity. Subsequent residents were frightened from the home, as well. A woman dressed in period style clothing wanders the house. The voice of a spirit child is heard on EVPs captured in the house and guests feel invisible hands touch them.
Red Mill Museum Village
Located in Clinton, the Red Mill Museum Village was built in 1810 by Ralph Hunt to process local farmers' wool. An unfortunate economic downturn forced Hunt to sell. The building was eventually refitted as a grist mill. There are multiple ghosts in and around the mill. The spirit of the mill owner's young daughter likes to play in the mill like she did when alive. Phantom footsteps, flickering lights, and invisible hands touching and tugging on visitors' clothes are just a few of the paranormal activities. The ghost of a worker who fell to his death wanders, and a young boy who accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun frequently appears. Strange orbs show up in photos and once, the image of a person did as well.
Explore Haunted Places in New Jersey
There are many haunted places in New Jersey, with tales of spirits unwilling to leave this world. With entire townships declared as haunted, you can walk down the streets and have your own ghostly encounter.