|Location: Ringwood, NJ
Ringwood Manor is a beautiful mansion with grounds to match and the perfect setting for an afternoon stroll–but it has been said that if you do decide to visit this place, you should come home before dark.
This Victorian style mansion was originally built in 1740 by the Ogden family and at this time, was much smaller than it is today. After many more portions were added on, George Washington’s photographer and head of the Iron Works, Robert Erskine, bought it. It was later sold to Martin Ryerson, who tore the original building down and rebuilt the current manor house that stands in 1807. In the 1830′s, Peter Cooper bought it and passed it on to his son-in-law, Abram S. Hewitt.
There is much history behind Ringwood Manor and I’m sure a simple search would bring up a lot of information, but the best site that I know of dedicated to the history of the manor is this one.
There are quite a few ghosts that are said to manifest themselves throughout the mansion and the grounds. The first one is said to be a housemaid who was allegedly beaten to death in a bedroom on the second floor where footsteps, objects falling, and soft crying can be heard. Also, the door has been found open and the sheets on the bed rumpled. I’ve heard that it’s quite common at the manor for the caretakers to close the doors and lock them up tight only to find them wide open in the morning when no one could have possibly opened them.
Behind the Manor pond you’ll find a very old cemetery where it is rumored that hundreds of graves are, although many of the stones are missing. In one of these graves lies the remains of Robert Erskine who has been said to sit on his tomb at dusk and stare across the pond. Another claim is that if bricks are missing from his tomb, this signifies that Erskine is out wandering around. Some claim to have seen him around the grounds carrying a lantern.
In this same cemetery, it is said that the remains of French soldiers from the Revolutionary War lie in an unmarked grave near the General’s resting place and sometimes during the night voices speaking French can be heard in the distance.
Another well-known manifestation of the manor is that of a servant named Jeremiah, who was unhappy with how he was being treated.
It has also been said that Mrs. Erskine also haunts the manor.
The Ringwood Manor was given to the state of New Jersey in 1936 and has been opened as a museum. Vistors have claimed to have felt certain “presences” since it has been opened to the public. The park is open every day until dusk, so I would definitely recommend paying the manor a visit and seeing who…or what…you may meet.
- Ange, 2003