Haunted Places 1
The Historic Grenville Hotel and Restaurant
The Victorian-styled Grenville Hotel majestically overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on property that was purchased by Anna Nunemaker in 1886. A hotel was built on the site by Wycoff Applegate in 1890. The hotel changed ownership in 1922 and was renamed the Georgette Hotel by its new owner, Nellie Georgette. In 1945, it was purchased by the Grenville Corporation and became The Grenville. Subsequent owners were the Spurgat Family in 1956, Joseph P. Milza in 1987, and Harry and Renee Typaldos in 2004. Both Milza and Typaldos carried out extensive renovations and other improvements so that today the Grenville boasts twenty-nine rooms including five suites, central air and heat, private showers, and a four-star rated restaurant.
Tales of ghosts residing at the Grenville can be traced back to the 1950's when Grenville employees first reported strange events that included sounds of children playing in empty hallways, ghostly apparitions, strange mists, and unexplained movements of furniture.
Carol and I recently paid a visit to the Grenville and had a fascinating conversation with Alan Tighe, one of the managers. He told us that besides the seasonal invasion by hundreds of vacationers and members of the public looking for a great meal and an elegant place to stay, the hotel is a favorite location for paranormal researchers and ghost hunters. Episodes of the popular TV shows, "My Ghost Story" and "Ghost Adventures" have been filmed at the location. Alan told us that the most active location is the hotel's third floor where phantom children can still be heard talking and running up and down the hallways and where the elevator opens and closes its doors to unseen entities. Rooms 303 and 304 are well known hotspots of paranormal activity as is Room 205 on the 2nd floor where shadowy figures have been seen. In the restaurant, tableclothes have been known to suddenly fly off the table.
If you plan to visit the hotel, consider going during late fall and winter when room rates are reduced. At those times Alan said researchers would be able to roam around and conduct investigations as long as the hotel is not crowded or hosting any special events. In addition to the main number listed above, Alan said that you can reach him on his cell phone. 732-789-2407
Alan Tighe, Grenville Manager
A portion of the Grenville dining room.
We included Kip's Castle in our "Haunted Places" page as a public service. A few members of SCOPE NJ recently went on a self-guided tour of this magnificant edifice and thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Built from 1902 to 1905 by wealthy industrialist Frederic Ellsworth Kip and designed by his wife Charlotte to replicate a medieval Norman castle, the impressive 9,000 square-foot mansion boasts
a variety of beautiful features. Inside are 30 rooms, vaulted ceilings, six fireplaces, stained glass, massive corner turrets, deep-set windows, and a nearby 6,000 square-foot carriage house. Outside can be found impressive stone gates, retaining walls, gardens, and serpentine driveways.
After Charlotte passed away in 1926, the castle went through several successive owners until it was purchased in March, 2007 by Essex County with the help of several funding grants. Now open to the public for tours and special bookings, additional visitors information can be obtained on the county's website listed above.
But is Kip's Castle haunted? We'd rather leave that up to you. During our visit and subsequent conversations with the castle's support staff, we sensed that the Essex County castle management would prefer to emphasize the historical and architectural aspects of the castle. When we visited the site one cloudy Tuesday afternoon in December (actually on the day of this writing), we brought along only a few pieces of inconspicuous equipment--a digital voice recorder for EVPs, two digital cameras, and a K2 meter. We have yet to analyze the data we collected. The only thing I can report at this time is the fact that none of us sensed anything malevolent or threatening as we navigated the rooms that were open to the public. As evidenced by the photos below, the rooms were magnificently decorated for the holidays.
SCOPE NJ highly recommends that you visit this wonderful historical landmark that spans 11 acres. There is no charge for admission, but donations are greatly appreciated.
The Proprietary House
149 Kearny Avenue
Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
This house is the only proprietary governor's mansion of the original 13 colonies that is still standing.
In 1773 it was updated to house William Franklin, the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, who was appointed by King George as Royal Governor of New Jersey. This house was investigated by the "Ghost Hunters" television show and numerous other paranormal research teams. Photos by Tom Petuskey
Royal Governor's Mansion
Tom & Carol enjoy a Wednesday tea and tour.