Five Crazy, Scary Facts, Legends & Stories About Long Island

Just in time for Halloween we recount some scary things you might have missed.

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The Native American in Lake Ronkonkoma who takes a life every year


Photo: Lake Ronkonkoma, North beach, 1901. Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions]


The legend of the Lady of the Lake says that a Native American princess takes the life of one boy every year by drowning them in the lake looking for her lost love. There are actually many variations of the curse of the Lady of the Lake story, one of which is called the Birdsall Legend. According to the story on the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society website, the tale  is about a beautiful Indian princess who fell in love with a settler named Hugh Birdsall.


“Birdsall lived in a log hut on the Connetquot River. The princess was not permitted to see or marry Hugh and for seven years she sent messages to him on bits of bark that floated underground from the lake to his hut. After seven years of waiting, she paddled out to the middle of the lake in her canoe. The next day the canoe carrying her dead body floated down the Connetquot River to her lover. He leaped into the canoe and together they were swept out to sea. The lake is said to weep for her every seven years.”


An artist carved a 32-foot-tall statue out of wood of the Lady of the Lake, whose name is Tuskawanta. Read more facts about Lake Ronkonkoma here.


A Colonial-era witch hunt in East Hampton predated Salem trials


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Before the Salem witch trials there was Goody Garlick, accused of witchcraft by the dying daughter of Lion Gardiner, the man who founded the first Colonial-era settlement in New York on Long Island in the 1600s. Read the full story here.


A Mystery at Mount Misery


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In one chapter of his book, The Mothman Prophecies, author John A. Keel outlines the experiences of Long Island radio DJ Jaye Paro who reportedly saw UFOs at Mount Misery in West Hills Park located in Huntington back in the 1960s. The area had already been known for supernatural sightings. Paro and others who experienced sightings even reported being visited by men in black asking about their experience. Paro shared her story on the radio and was bombarded by eerie and threatening-sounding phone calls afterward inviting her to meet at the site. She refused. Read about more UFO encounters on Long Island here.


The Fire Island Lighthouse is said to be haunted


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Legend has it that in the 1800s, a caretaker was so upset by the death of his child that he hung himself and his spirit now allegedly roams the lighthouse. People report seeing a ghostlike figure inside, sometimes holding a rope. Read more crazy facts about the Fire island Lighthouse here.


Perhaps the most infamous ghost story on Long island is the Amityville Horror House


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Back in the early 1970s, a horrible murder took place in this house on Ocean Avenue in Amityville. The Lutz family moved in afterward and claimed they were haunted by evil spirits and demons. The book they wrote about the experience became a famous film in 1979. One of the most famous homes in America, the house has since changed owners many times. Click here to read more scary, crazy facts about the Amityville Horror House.