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NJ’s Spooky Past: Neighborhood Hauntings

by: Sue Adler
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    New Jersey is known for being a great place to live, to have a family, and provide a safe recluse from the city life. With our rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant communities, New Jersians may be shocked to learn that there is a spooky side to our local towns. There is, in fact, a mysterious history of haunted houses that have intrigued and terrified locals for generations.

“The Watcher” House, 657 Boulevard, Westfield

With a Lifetime movie based on this infamous house, I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve seen the name “Watcher House.” However, the full story is much more diabolical than the name infers. Imagine buying your dream home, spending thousands of dollars to make a house a home. And then, after moving in all of your belongings, your children, your dog…you receive a letter. But this letter is not a neighborly welcome, but rather a cryptic warning from a seemingly slighted, bitter individual with strong ties to the home. These foreboding notes continued to appear, each with increasingly nefarious intent. The once excited and happy family became anxious, suspicious, and on edge. When these messages began referring to the owner’s young children, they had no choice but to list the home back on the market. For $300,000 less than they had just paid for it…Eventually, they sold the home and sued the previous owners who sold them the home for lack of disclosure. The anonymity of this creepy crawler has remained one of the largest mysterious New Jersey has encountered.

?“The Devil’s Tree,” Bernards Township

In a large field off Mountain Road right before Emerald Valley Lane, there stands a lone, unholy, oak tree in the field. According to legend, this tree is where a farmer killed his entire family, and then met his own end. This sinister tree has prompted many locals to conjure upon their most feared nightmares and imagine the horrors this tree holds. One such legend states that any attempts to destroy the tree will be met with a curse. 

If you love everything spooky, and want to experience some haunted horror firsthand, here are some top-rated options:

“13th Hour Haunted House,” 105 W. Dewey Avenue, Wharton

This infamous event intersects fear with fascinating. It features 3 Haunted House attractions complete with special effects, and movie quality sets. There are also 8 award-winning, 60-minute, Escape Rooms and a Haunted Hatchets attraction! Click here for more on tickets and schedules…if you dare!

“Brighton Asylum,” 2 Brighton Avenue, Passaic

New Jersey’s most visited Halloween destination for over 13 years now!  Take your scream squad on a journey they will never forget, and experience 3 award-winning haunted houses, live entertainment, immersive escape rooms, larger than life photo experiences, a Monster Midway (featuring horror CarnEVIL games), a horror museum, a horror themed mini-escape game, and more!  Whether you go for the scares, or just for snacks and photo evidence, New Jersey’s Legendary Brighton Asylum is the ultimate Halloween destination! Click here for more scary details and hours of operation! 

?Halloween House Paramus, 700 Paramus Park

Find yourself completely immersed in this exclusive Halloween experience, where you are transported to the Halloween world.  Each of the impeccably detailed, fully-realized, rooms has a unique and spooky theme designed to make every Halloween lover’s experience unforgettable. Check it out here if you’re feeling extra brave! 


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