Legends and myths abound on Long Island, and I'm sure many of you are familiar with several of them. Probably the most well known legend is that of Mary's Grave. How many of you have searched for the infamous grave of Mary?
For generations, people have been looking for its location. Some claim it is located in the woods off Mount Misery Road in the West Hills area of Huntington. Other stories place her grave in Stony Brook, Head of the Harbor and Mt. Sinai. Who is Mary though?
The legend of Mary herself, who doesn’t seem to have a last name, has changed several times over the years. One story claims that Mary murdered her two children and her husband, and because of doing this dreadful deed, she cannot rest peacefully in her grave. It is said that her tombstone has her birth date but no death date, and the location of her gravesite is a center for strange happenings. Supposedly, if the tombstone is found and you shine a flashlight on it at night, the face of Mary appears.
Another story claims that Mary became possessed by an evil spirit. She was a lonely girl who was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She didn’t have any friends because the family lived some distance from town, so she kept herself occupied with her animal friends. Her father built her a stone clubhouse on their property, where she played with the animals. As the story goes, it was at the clubhouse where she became possessed. She started mutilating the animals she had loved, and then set out to kill her brother and father with an ax. As time went on, the townsfolk wondered where the landowner was. When people came to the house to check on him, they found Mary sleeping in bed next to her dead father, who was covered in blood. Mary was hung by the townspeople in a nearby tree. This tree is said to still exist, although no one seems to know where. Burn marks from the rope supposedly can be seen on the tree branch, and the tree itself appears to be dead all year long. It is rumored that her stone clubhouse exists somewhere in Stony Brook on private property.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s there was another story surrounding the Stony Brook location where the grave was said to be located. Young men were considered brave if they went up to the haunted gravesite and urinated on it. However, rumor has it that whoever did so would get into a car crash on his way home, trying to avoid hitting a ghostly girl wearing a white dress.
There is also said to be a stone clubhouse located somewhere in Head of the Harbor. This particular story states that the father was abusive, and would abuse Mary at the site of the stone clubhouse he made for her. Not being able to bear it any longer, Mary took her own life by hanging herself in a tree. Her body was buried somewhere nearby, and her gravesite contains an angelic statue. The statue appears to be crying, and some believe it is Mary crying for other abused girls that she cannot protect.
Finally, there is the story of Mary’s grave being on the old Chandler estate in Mt. Sinai. When Mrs. Chandler converted her house to a boarding house, a girl named Mary came to stay. Supposedly, she had been a patient at Kings Park Psychiatric Center. Whether Mrs. Chandler was aware of this or not is unknown, but as the story goes, Mary disappeared suddenly and Mrs. Chandler was concerned about her whereabouts. The rent had not been paid, yet her room looked still lived in. At night, the lights were said to go on in her room when nobody was there, and strange noises could be heard. Mrs. Chandler was quite worried, but never did she see Mary again.
Have you searched for Mary's grave?
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky is the author of Ghosts of Long Island; Stories of the
Paranormal and Ghosts of Long Island
II; More Stories of the Paranormal, both available on Amazon in hardcover
and e-format. www.ghostsoflongisland.com.