Friday, March 18, 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

A pool in Thompkinsville that is now a landmark

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conference House References

RISEUP Paranormal

Staten Island's Most Haunted House pt 2 ?

I did not write these stories they are written by others and refer to their own experiences*

Mike says:
May 9, 2006, 12:00 pm
THE CONFRENCE HOUSE has much more activity. When I was a Teen we used to hang out there all hours of the night….one night we were on the front steps of the Confrence house ,like we did many times. But just in front of us about 70-100 feet we saw what looked like a Priest walk over from the Big tree thats in front of the house. He didnt say a word and kind of floated, well lets just say we didnt stick around very long. There also have been reports of people who walk the Cliffs to the left of the house have seen what appears to be Native Americans,and also claim to hear drums.

Cap says:
September 7, 2007, 7:53 pm
I can believe that strange things happen in the Conference House. Forty years ago ( or so ) I was a kid growing up on the Island and had made 2 visits to the house. Once with my school and once with my family. I remembered that I had gotten sick to my stomach on Both occasions and at the same locations in the house. At the “closed up” entrance to the “hidden” tunnel in the cellar and also on the stair landing above the first floor. I vaguely remembered these experiences through my early adulthood but never gave them much thought through the years. Having since moved away from the Island, I found a book on New York Hauntings by Hans Holzer about 10 years ago. When I got to the chapter on the Billop House and Conference house I had not really though too much about it until I read about two different places that Apparitions seemed to appear.
One on the stair landing where an apparent murder was reported as taking place a hundred years ago and the other site –the tunnel entrance where wounded soldiers died enroute into the house from their clandestine missions. That put a chill into my spine and has ever since. 

Curtis Dunlap says:
October 27, 2007, 2:00 am
I have a couple pictures of actual ghosts around that properity there pretty damn good pictures to when you look at them close up and mess with the coloring ,skulls,3 diff spirits one with a black shirt one red and one like ablueish and you can also see what apears to be a full body and a faceless head only with eyes its truel incredible nyhcthreat18 im me at @ or mail me if you wanna see them there great

leeanne says:
March 4, 2008, 11:53 am
i am a total beiliever! i was there a couple of times.the last time i went inside the house i took pictures and theres faces in the mirror in two of the bedrooms! 0_o…and if your there a night,look in th middle window of the top floor,you could see someone,also iff your standing or siting on the pier of lawn of the house @ night,you will hear a womer cry.thats no joke!

• The site of a failed Revolutionary War peace treaty attempt, the Conference House is believed to be one of the most haunted spots on Staten Island. The manor house and surrounding land are said to host apparitions of British soldiers, a young boy, and a woman on horseback.

 We did go to the Conference House park, but not into the house. The CH does not answer requests for investigations from us or any other group that I know of that tried. One other group went during their daytime public tours, but that's it. That doesn't mean I've given up, but there aren't any plans to enter yet! The CH park, by the way, was pretty strange. Cameras wouldn't work, we captured many voices, etc. We actually had someone with us who claimed to be a psychic and she got lots of impressions. Doesn't hold too much weight in our book, but definitely interesting. We posted some of the EVP's here:

when i was younger i used to go to the conference house park a lot (back then it wasnt a park, just the grounds of the house). kristi its funny u mention being creeped out in the basement because a few kids i used to see around there would swear they saw weird things happen in the basement when looking through the outside window. i looked through those windows for a long time and never saw anything, but maybe there was something to it. people also used to tell a story about a bloodstain on the second floor that only appeared when there was a full moon. again, i never believed it and never saw it, but it would be a great place to investigate, if ever given the chance.

When I was a teenager we used to hang out at the conference house alot.... The weird things don't happen at the House itself ...they happen in the woods and grounds around it. We would always hang out on the Cliffs it's on the left side of the conference house... It's old Indian Trails. There is also 2 hidden wells in the woods there where it is said that bodies were found at the bottom when they dried up. I had one experience there that freaked me out....One night about 1 A.M. 3 of us were walking down the cliffs to the grass that goes up to Hylan Blvd. We usually always checked before we came down because cops would sometimes be there ...So we saw that there were no cops and we came down to the lawn. Just as we did my friend pointed out asking what is that when we looked it looked like a Priest hovering about a foot off the ground, not looking at us at all he just started to move toward an old tree That is still there in the front of the house.Well we didn't stick around to check it out we ran like hell. We also have found Pentagrams , animal sacrifice's and other weird things in those woods surrounding the conference house....Check out the surrounding parts , not the actual House It's not haunted
Tour the Billopp House (also known as the Conference House) in Tottenville, a Staten Island neighborhood located at the southwestern extremity of the borough. The last pre-revolution house in existence in New York City, the Billopp house is home to several ghosts, including a little boy that's believed to be Christopher Billopp's grandson, a British guard that continues to stand on duty, servants that blow out candles and rearrange furniture, and a young woman that stares intently out of a second-story window. While touring the inside of the house, listen carefully for mysterious knocks, coughs, sneezes and footsteps. While exiting the property, take note of the large knoll located within the vicinity of the Billop House. This knoll once held the remains of many Native Americans. Since the remains were exhumed in 1897 by a retired Army General, there has been an increase in paranormal activity on the property

according to reports disembodied laughter and invisible voices have been heard coming from the upstairs bedrooms.  There have been reports of seeing a large man running up the stairs toward a girl waiting on the first landing.  As the story goes the cantankerous Capt. Billopp killed a female slave with a crooked knife on that very spot. Hans Holzer, noted parapsychologist, wrote about his findings in great detail in Great American Ghost Stories. He writes that Mrs. Malone, a former caretaker, reported seeing what appeared to be a British soldier.  Psychics feel the Conference House basement kitchen was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War and British soldiers were buried on the property. This might explain the sighting of Revolutionary War soldier apparitions in the house and garden. There has also been other sightings including a servant girl who fell down a dry well shaft on the property and a child whose body was sealed in a wall.  The child was a victim of a contagious and fatal disease. His parent feared the British soldiers might kill them if their son’s illness was discovered decided to seal his body in a wall of the house. (taken from the book  ‘Haunted History of Staten Island’ written by Lynda Lee Macken)

Justin Malone says:
December 28, 2008, 5:44 pm
I lived in this house for 3 years..(1975-1977)…and what I became “friends” with was a soldier who had died on the grounds. My brother was the first baby to be born in the house in 200 years on January 9, 1977…after he arrived the unusual activity increased…we moved to the corner of Bently and Craig a few months later.

John N. says:
April 29, 2009, 12:21 am
I have studied and been to many of the haunted places in staten island and acctually studied the para normal. In all my studies I can say this, the whole stretch from the beaches of the confrence house to the end of the block which stretches out for about 1000 feet is said to be haunted. The legend is when two lovers go by the conference house Indians ride on horse back can be seen. Also revolutionary soliders and their wives can be seen walking by the water (which thank to certian women cannot be done at night anymore). I tried to interview the woman who lives in the house and i was told by her there is no way she will tell me about the house.

At one point a demonstration of yarn spinning was scheduled in a room and after the props were set up, the house was vacated and its doors locked for the night. The following day it was discovered upon returning that yarn and related materials were tossed about all over the room. Another manifestation seem in the children's room centers around a tour guide who - upon entering the room one day - saw the indentation of a handprint on the bed located there. Stranger still, was the woman's observing the print begin to fade away while she looked on.
There are also two related stories that have Col. Billopp stabbing a disobedient (or sexually unwilling) female servant with the poker from a fireplace and that of a nanny named Elizabeth whose had fallen in love with a local farmer, inciting anger in Col. Billopp who felt she had been "stolen" away from him. He immediately put out a warrant for her arrest. Elizabeth would eventually grow despondent over her husband's death some years later and hang herself. It is surmised that at least one of these three women haunt the Conference House.

Another spirit spotted has been that of a British soldier, in full redcoat dress. His ghost was seen by the young son of a Conference House caretaker sometime in the 1970s. The boy told his parents the soldier had woken him from sleep and patted him on his head. At first dismissing the story, the parents were nonetheless intrigued by their young son's all-too-accurate description of the uniform which a Tory soldier would wear in that era. In fact, there have been sightings of numerous British soldiers walking the grounds over the years.

Staten Island's Most Haunted House pt 1?

Where can I even start on this topic? Not only is this house really important to the history of our island, but of all America too. Not only that, but what about before it was apart of the Revolutionary War? How about after, with its notorious hauntings that have been told to every man, child, and women through out the decades. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, its a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and also a NYC Landmark.

That being said, we are lucky to have it. It sits on the southern most tip of New York State, and marks the end of New York. No one knows exactly when it was built or how old it really is but according to one of the oldest maps we have of the Island it was there in the year 1680. The house was named after Thomas Billopp, though him and his family called it Bentley Manor while they lived there, but it sat on Billopp point. Thomas Billopp was a captain in the Royal Navy and came to America in 1674. He was granted land on the southern most tip of Staten Island, where he built or had built his house that he called Bentley manor. It is thanks to Billopp that Staten Island is apart of NY rather then NJ, he was told if he could walk the whole circumference of the island in one day that it would be apart of NY, and that is exactly what he did (thank god!). Prior to this, these grounds where reported haunted since it was a burial grounds to the Raritan band of the Lenape Indians. The remains of a small child and 2 older adults where dug up here, it is unknown how old they really are. The burial ground is called Burial Ridge and is the oldest Pre-European burial ground in NYC. Aside from that, while the Billopps lived here it was the center of a murder scandal. A servant women was supposedly killed here by Billopp and its been reported that her figure appears every now and then. Some one sent me this story on what may have happened to the girl:
"Colonel Billop himself was a very forceful and unforgiving man, given to frequent fits of rage. During the war Colonel Billop was frequently kidnapped and held for ransom by the colonists. Colonel Billop became convinced someone in his house was informing the revolution of when he was in the house. Legend has it that one evening Colonel Billop saw a servent girl place a lamp in an upper floor window. Colonel Billop took this to be a signal to the revolution that he was home and proceed to accuse the girl of being a spy. He chased her through the upper floor to the downward stairs. It is not clear whether the Colonel pushed the girl down the stairs trying to kill her or she fell to her death trying to get away from Billop."

Christopher Billopp died on one of his trips to London in 1725 and left his daughters in charge of the Bentley Manor. The only daughter that had children bore a son in 1737 and he was named after his grandfather, born in the house and inherited it. He later went on to fight in the war and was named a Colonel. Before the war, He was in charge of the military on Staten Island and was active in making communication with NJ prohibited. When the Revolutionary War began he was an active member in fighting it. On July 16, 1784 He was taken prisoner by New Jersey and his house was taken from him. It was sold to Thomas McFarren, a merchant, for 4.695 pounds. This Christopher Billopp died in Canada in 1827. Only his two younger sons stayed in New York and became business men after the family moved to Canada.

On September 11th, 1776 a peace conference was held at the former Bentley Manor. To name a few people who attended this peace conference was Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, the purpose of this conference was to settle on an agreement to end the war. As we no the agreement was never made and the war continued for some time after. The conference house was at the time the British Headquarters, and where a lot of the Red Coats sought out food and shelter.
* I am going to do a post on stories of hauntings separately