The Staten Island, New York police were summoned to wait for the early morning ghost who terrorized residents of Richmond and Ward’s Hill, and who frightened a motorman of the trolley car line into a state of collapse. This 1921 haunting was also responsible for the arrest of nineteen young men on Staten Island for disorderly conduct.
The detachment of officers waited in vain as well as the patrons who drove to the Old Baptist Cemetery on Emerson Hill to see the spirit who had become the talk of the south shore. The “ghost of honor’ chose not to appear.
Among the watchers were nineteen young men who claimed the assault of the trolley car barn on Clover Road was purely a matter of poor aim. The bricks, sticks, and stones which broke windows of the barn were meant for the bothersome ghost whom they were attacking.
Motorman Haines was finishing his morning run from Stapleton to New Brunswick when, directly in front of the graveyard, on Clover Road, the trolley of his car jumped the line. Haines left the car and walked around to the rear of the trolley as fast as he could. He claimed that on his previous run to Stapleton, while passing the cemetery, he saw the ghost walking restlessly up and down the road with a tombstone on his back. He was not interested in a closer encounter.
Haines fixed the trolley car as fast as he could. When he returned to the front platform of the car, he found the ghost—no longer burdened with a tombstone, standing in the car’s doorway. People living on the surrounding hills reported hearing a terrible shriek.
Nineteen young men who had been wandering around the cemetery for hours in hopes of catching a glimpse of the ghost had heard Hayne’s scream. When they reached the stalled trolley car they found the motorman passed out on the floor. After coming to, Haines pointed to the rear window of the trolley and indicated that the ghost had exited that way.
The young men left the trolley car and followed along the tracks for a great distance. They stated that as they neared the trolley car barn they saw the ghost! They gathered several stones and began to bombard the building. The night superintendent called the police and the nineteen young ghost hunters were arrested.
When the tale of the ghostly encounter began to surface along the South Shore, the residents of Richmond Hill and Ward’s Hill called the police and demanded protection. A detachment of officers were sent to watch the graveyard at night. However, they had little to do except keep law and order over the large crowd who gathered to see a real live ghost in action.
Today buses and motor vehicles race by the old cemetery on the Staten Island Expressway. Has anyone seen the tombstone toting ghost lately?
For more information: Debe Branning email@example.com