SAYVILLE - The Bayport-Blue Point Heritage Association hosted a presentation, “Historic Haunts of Long Island,” last Wednesday at the historic Meadow Croft estate on Middle Road.
The presenters, Kerriann Flannagan Brosky and Joe Giaquinto, took the 50-plus attendees on a ghostly journey through Long Island’s history. Their lectures involve going over paranormal terms, like electronic voice phenomenon.
“We don’t try to prove or disprove anything,” Brosky said. “We want people to decide for themselves.”
She says the main goal is to teach local history, with a strong emphasis on Native American history and the Revolutionary War. “What better way to do that than with a ghost story?” she said. “We take the creepiness out of it. [Our presentations] are very spiritual and nothing like what you see on TV.”
One of the more local ghost stories, Brosky recalled, takes place at Sagtikos Manor on Montauk Highway in Bay Shore. There have been numerous reports of paranormal experiences at the location over the years, including a Native American woman who has been seen wondering the premises.
Brosky said that according to legend, the Native American woman died while trying to save two settlers who were out on a canoe during a bad storm.
The author also mentioned the Country House in Stony Brook, which she has described as one of the most haunted places she has ever investigated. The property, which has since become a restaurant, was built in 1710 and is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Annette Williamson, a young woman who was killed by the local townspeople because they believed she supported the British. Williamson’s parents were away in New Jersey at the time of the murders, according to Brosky, who says the victim can sometimes be seen looking out the window, waiting for her parents to return.
Brosky and Giaquinto researched and investigated the Meadow Croft estate earlier this year, and presented some of their initial paranormal findings during last week’s presentation. Brosky says they detected EVPs and experienced different phenomena during the investigation.
Meadow Croft, also known as the John Ellis Roosevelt Estate, will be featured in Brosky’s upcoming book, due out in 2021.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Brosky said, regarding the upcoming book. “We’re still going through the findings.”
Robert Barnwell Roosevelt, an uncle of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, purchased the property in 1873. His son, John Ellis Roosevelt, later commissioned the estate, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
The presentation at Meadow Croft last week was based on Brosky’s book, “Historic Haunts of Long Island: Ghosts and Legends from the Gold Coast to Montauk Point,” published in 2015. In the book’s foreword, Giaquinto explains that he first met Brosky in 2005. In the decade or so that followed, the duo investigated nearly 100 locations that are said to harbor spirits.
Brosky, an award-winning author and historian, lives in Huntington with her husband, Karl, and their two sons. Her latest book, “Historic Crimes of Long Island: Misdeeds from the 1600s to the 1950s,” was published in 2017. Giaquinto, on the other hand, works with computers by day. But, at night and on the weekends, he is a psychic-medium and ghost hunter.
“When I began researching paranormal activity over 30 years ago, it was a magical adventure,” he wrote in the foreword to “Historic Haunts.” “I felt I was taking part in one of the short stories about ghosts I had read as a child. Every dark street corner, every old mansion and each candle that flickered inside a carved pumpkin on a chilly Halloween night fulfilled my desire to experience something beyond the physical world. It was the same adrenaline rush most paranormal researchers feel when they experience their very first bump in the night.”
Giaquinto’s first experience with a ghost, he states on his website, occurred in upstate New York, when he unknowingly moved into a haunted house. He now resides in Sayville.