Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Patriots Park Phantoms Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, New York

Sleepy Hollow isn't just Headless Horsemen lurking around to scare the locals. They have their share of other ghost stories. Patriots Park located along Route 9 is thought to be haunted by the spirit of a revolutionary spy, and a man believed to be the model for Ichabod Crane. But not to worry another spirit who's thought to haunt the area, avoids the place.

September 24, 1780 Major John Andre is on his way back from an important meeting at West Point with an influential General.  As he was advancing into the village of Tarrytown he was approached by three gentlemen at gunpoint. The men began to question the Major, asking him his whereabouts and his intentions. One of the gentlemen was adorned in a Hessian coat. Major Andre believed the men were there to help escort him through New York. When informed he was mistaken, the men subsequently searched the Major. They found on him a pass signed by General Arnold. They also found letters exchanged between the Major and the General. The Major also held in his possession diagrams for West Point. Quickly the men realized they were now holding captive a British spy.

The men vehemently turned the Major over to the Continental troops who held him captive in nearby Tappan. Major John Andre's plan with General Benedict Arnold began to unfold through military trials. While Benedict Arnold ran off to Britain to acquire General status there, Major Andre was hanged by the order of George Washington. The Major eventually became quite enraged with his homeland as well as the United States. Britain refused offers for Benedict Arnold, which may have saved the Major, while the U.S. refused his request to be killed by firing squad.

Near the town of Sleepy Hollow today stands a monument to Major Andre. It's here that his spirit has been known to disturb late night visitors, even Ichabod Crane. An unnatural spirit has been seen and felt within the presence of the monument. Those passing by on quiet evenings have heard murmurings of a spirit reciting poetry. Strangely the Major himself was a published poet.
There's another apparition that's been spotted around the area of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, but this one specifically is believed to not haunt the Patriots Park area. General Anthony Wayne was in charge of American forces located along the Hudson. He was also responsible for the hanging of Major Andre. Locals have spotted General Wayne's ghost lurking along the banks of the river, but claim out of respect he avoids Patriots Park.

No matter how many ghost stories Sleepy Hollow may have, they all go back to the Washington Irving fabled phantom. The park is believed to also be frequented by another soul. Samuel Young a local man who lived in the area long ago is believed to visit the area occasionally. As a young man he was a schoolteacher and later became a lawyer, he was also believed to be the model for Ichabod Crane. It was in this area that Ichabod had first encountered the headless phantom that would haunt him until his demise.

...It was at this identical spot that the unfortunate Andre was captured, and under the covert of those chestnuts and vines were the sturdy yeomen concealed who surprised him. This has ever since been considered a haunted stream, and fearful are the feelings of the schoolboy who has to pass it alone after dark.-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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