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Long Island's Legends and Myths: Mary's Grave

Have you ever searched for Mary's Grave? Here are some possible locations.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 04, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Thanks for writing, Nick. Wow! I haven't heard this one. There are similarities to some of the other stories. Thanks for sharing this version.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Thanks for writing, LI Mom. It's fun to think how many people over so many years have searched for Mary's grave. As I said to Samantha above, the lengend continues! :)
AJ September 05, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I thought Mary's grave was in the Cenacle in Lake Ronkonkoma. I know there's plenty of graves in those woods, but that was over 30+ years ago!!
matthew paules September 05, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Ghost stories and history are deffinetly fun,but you have to realize that if you go looking for something you may just find it. Many spirits are evil. The bible tells us to stay away from fortune tellerers, phycis and alike for a reason and that reason is because this is a area that satan was given power in. Not saying all are evil or bad just saying know what you are getting into.
Ranger Sewer September 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Some of the Homes I have been in do have strange things going on. When your tools are moved and you are the only one in the basement or when you know you are being watched and nothing is there. Even better when the Homeowners admit to "Something" going on.
Gabriel September 09, 2012 at 04:22 AM
This is a facinating topic and a truly engaging column. Bravo Ms.Flanagan Brosky! Rare demonstrations of inquisitive thinking that boldly steps outside the box of traditionally ignored subject matter are a refreshing step in a forward direction. Our society evolves because of people who push into new and/or previously under explored areas of discussion. Thank you.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 09, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Hi AJ, That's a new one. I haven't heard that before. Interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 09, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Yes, it is true, Matthew. You do have to be careful. In my work, we've always stayed away from negative things and spirits. I like to concentrate on the positive aspect of spirit communication. The story of Mary's grave is a legend, nothing more. Thanks for sharing!
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 09, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Interesting. Oddly enough these things happen to so many people. It's amazing! Thanks for sharing!
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Thanks so much, Gabriel! You made my day! There are so many interesting, thought provoking topics out there, and I really try to share them all with my readers. They can pick and choose what they want to believe, but they're all interesting stories none-the-less. I really appreciate your comment and thanks for reading my blog!
Rina September 09, 2012 at 10:12 PM
I've always loved a good ghost story! When we were teens we did a lot of ghost hunting too. There was some story about Shep Jones Road where a girl hung herself and if you parked under the tree you would hear her feet banging on the roof. We went there many times, but nothing ever happened, but just being there at night is scary in itself. Kerriann, I would love to hear more of your stories. I myself haven't had any ghost encounters, but have had some experiences with people that have passed on. I guess that's why I've always been interested in this subject.
Christina Fifield-Winn September 20, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Love our post! Well done! I have one follow up question though...has anyone done any research into public records about this family? I'm an avid follower of the supernatural, but am also a very healthy skeptic. I think it would be interesting to uncover any facts and then compare them to the folklore...sometimes that's the better story and it validates the sightings and reports. I look forward to hearing more. Thanks for sharing!
John K Massaro September 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Wow! You're quite the drag, eh Charlie? You must be a riot around the family dinner table...
Carla September 20, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Ghost stories are quaint but the true story of the Northport Village hatchet murderer has never been solved, and the killer may still be lurking in the shadows of Scudder Avenue !
Halford September 20, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Over 40 years ago, my friend decided that with me and our 2 girlfriends, that we should take a ride to Mary's grave- somewhere in Amityville- he knew the location- so off we go around midnight on a dark, dark night. We are in a cemetary...we turn a corner, and at the end of the aisle, a super bright light in the shape of the Virgin Mary is shining brightly...the girls are screaming their heads off- I too was frightened, heightened by the screaming- my friend takes off immediately due in part to the screams...looking back, I guess it was a reflection off of a polished gravestone, but who knows...???
Patti Lopez September 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Love it! I think my kid neighbors and I spent the better part of our childhood riding our bikes around the convent woods near amityville looking for "bloody Mary"! She's a true suburban legend!
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 28, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Glad you liked the post, Christina. I like your idea about uncovering facts and comparing them to folklore. After all, the story had to start from somewhere originally.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 28, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Wow! This one I haven't heard, Karl.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 28, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Amazing story, Halford. An experience you won't forget! Thanks for sharing.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky September 28, 2012 at 04:03 PM
That she is! Glad you enjoyed it, Patti.
Paul L. October 01, 2012 at 10:36 AM
In addition to the Mary legend, there are many others associated with the area around Sweet Hollow Road in Melville. I've heard the Mary story told about Melville Cemetery which is right on Sweet Hollow Road. I've done some genealogy work there and have not encountered any headstone of any Mary with no dates on it. There is another about a mental institution that burned down in the 1800s killing many of the "residents" there and the story tells of ghosts of those residents still roaming the area. Another tells of someone who hung himself from the Northern State Parkway overpass over Sweet Hollow Road and if you drive by at night you can still see him hanging there. Still another story tells of a policeman who pulls people over on Sweet Hollow Road (at night of course) and when he is standing next to the car and turns his head to look away, you can see that the back half of his head is missing.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky October 01, 2012 at 08:34 PM
You beat me to it, Paul! I'm planning on writing about the Sweet Hollow Road Legends around Halloween! All the stories you mention are in my first Ghosts of Long Island book. Stay tuned!
Paul L. October 01, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I'll be watching for it.
Paul L. December 04, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Can someone get rid of this spammer?
Lon Cohen December 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Done, Paul L.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky December 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Thanks, Paul. It just came to my attention as well.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky December 04, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Hi Lon, A few of my other posts have the spam as well. If you could check it out, that would be great.
Paul L. December 04, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Thanks.
Bill Holland October 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Halford has it sort of right. the "grave" is east of route 110 off Wellwood Ave. I think it is in the St Charles Cemetery. Been 45 years since my friends and I made the drive over there. You would turn into the lane between the graves and Mary would appear murky, when you hit your High Beams she would really light up. The ghost was a reflection off a head stone, the facial features were the result of the Crucifix carved into the top of the stone. You could only see the Ghost when you were 20-30 from the grave marker. Closer than that the Ghost vanished. something to do with the angle of the reflection and properties of the stone.
Kerriann Flanagan Brosky October 17, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Thanks for writing, Bill. That's really intersting. I haven't heard that before. Thanks so much for sharing.

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