One island in New York City is being haunted by an evil presence — and it’s ruining everyone’s holiday.
Hillary Clinton is set to make her official campaign announcement June 13 at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, east of Manhattan. Residents are already complaining about the announcement, which overlaps Roosevelt Island Day, throwing the tourist-friendly holiday — which features a blood drive — into confusion and causing the cancellation of a toddler-focused event called Imagination Playground.
A bad omen, to be sure. But Hillary and the residents of the island might be in store for combustion of a more supernatural stripe.
Four Freedoms Park is located on the same island as The Octagon, an appropriately named octagonal apartment building constructed on the site of the old New York City Lunatic Asylum, and five miles from the ruins of the old Renwick Smallpox Hospital.
The park is just 1.7 miles — a 9-minute drive — from The Octagon.
The entire area is believed to be haunted.
The New York City Lunatic Asylum, built in 1839, horrified writer Charles Dickens, who described the gruesome institution and its maniacal residents.
Dickens wrote that “everything had a lounging, listless, madhouse air, which was very painful. The moping idiot, cowering down with long disheveled hair; the gibbering maniac, with his hideous laugh and pointed finger; the vacant eye, the fierce wild face, the gloomy picking of the hands and lips, and munching of the nails: there they were all, without disguise, in naked ugliness and horror.”
Some years after an inferno nearly burned the asylum and its patients to ash in 1858, journalist Nellie Bly went undercover to document its horrid conditions.
Blogger Melissa Bastian visited the site of the old Lunatic Asylum in 2009 and reported that she had what appeared to be a paranormal experience.
“At first the space felt like most newly constructed spaces feel – sort of vacant and dead,” Bastian wrote. “But then, all of a sudden, a wave came over me — of panic, of fear, of Very Bad Things. I looked around, and the lobby was still as calm and unremarkable as could be. But this energy was surging through me with a force that made me feel as if I might fall down. I collected Sarah and got the hell out…And it just hit me out of nowhere, like a sickness. Whatever it was that happened in there, it is not an experience I have any desire to repeat.”
Bastian was not alone.
“The residents of the building have reported numerous unexplainable incidents,” a ghost-sightings blog noted. “Ghost hunters have taken pictures of ghosts lurking in the hallways of this building and even the pets refuse to walk up the stairs of this once ‘human rat-trap.'”
The Renwick Smallpox Hospital, meanwhile, is cited by RoadTrippers.com as the most haunted place in New York City.
“Not much is left of the inside of the building but crumbling floors and rotten stairwells,” RoadTrippers.com reported. “Luckily, the outer framework was salvaged, and today a gate surrounds and protects the hospital to keep people from getting too close. Many who’ve visited the hospital report experiencing strange sounds, lights, and even dark shadows that seem to watch you from behind the looming walls. When you consider the amount of death that occurred inside the building, it’s no surprise that many visitors report having their own first-hand experiences with spirits at the Renwick Smallpox Hospital.”
Some intrepid amateur ghost-hunters found video footage of a human-like form in the window of the old Smallpox Hospital (1:00).
The Hollywood ghost movie “Dark Water” is set on Roosevelt Island, with Jennifer Connelly playing a single mother haunted by spirits in a cheap apartment building.
Actress Connelly took a tour of Roosevelt Island, where she learned about the haunted asylum.
“I learned about it while we were there. (I would ask) What is that odd abandoned building and came to learn about its history of madness and illness, what with the asylum and the hospital,” Connelly said.