So, when the cat’s away, the mouse will… willingly enter the 7th Gate of Hell? Why not!
Rob was in Vermont for the night so I tagged along with Radigan, B and Marlene for a little fun with dead people at Pine Woods/Forest Park cemetery in Troy. It’s got a pretty intense reputation for being one of the most haunted sites in the U.S. and one of the 7 gates to Hell. And it was a full moon. Excellent.
We were prepared for anything (flashlights, Stewart’s brand beer, ghost beating sticks)… and you will not believe what we saw. More on that later.
I’ll admit—I was digging the hype. A few favorites:
I’ve been to this cemetery with friends 3 times but have only worked up the courage to go in once. The first time 4 of my friends went in. Upon their return, the guy was complaining of pains in his sides and asked me to shine my cellphone light on his stomach. It looked like he was attacked by a cat. He had scratches across his abdomen but he was wearing 2 t-shirts and a sweatshirt. The next day his scratches were gone but his feet turned black, seriously. It looked like he had walked through burnt coals but it was impossible to get off.
Whoa. Son got a case of Jiffy feet in the woods? I didn’t know that was possible. I’m getting goosebumps; let’s continue on.
that very night myself and a friend were walking to take a leak and we both fell about 3 ft into a sink hole which im assuming was an old plot! We pulled ourselfs out and turned around to get back to where everyone was , and to our surprise we were surrounded by those stupid prickly bushes… they were not there 5 seconds before!
Wait, phantom prickly bushes?! A gardener’s nightmare!
We stood there looking at the tombstone when I pointed my flashlight up and there were 2 men in black clothing with hoods completely covering their faces, kneeling on the ground 3 feet from the tombstone, literally right in front of us, in a spot we had just passed. These figures were not there when we walked passed literally 15 seconds prior. The figures simultaneously raised their heads to stare directly into my flashlight. I have no clue why we did not freak out and run but we stayed calm. I said “Oh shit, what’s up?” and the figures did nothing. We walked away immediately.
“Oh shit, what’s up?” Exactly what I would say to some hooded apparitions; indicative of alarm, yet oddly polite.
In an article from the Times Union back in the 70s: An RPI student, pledging a frat, had to stay in the mausoleum overnight tied to a wooden chair. The frat brothers returned the following morning and found the Pledge still tied in the chair….he was 6 feet off the floor, hanging from a rope by the neck. This case was never closed.
Well, neither was the one where my friend who was pledging had to eat pancakes 12 hours a day for 3 months…
This kid is allergic to punctuation:
we start traveling up this one hill near back creek steep too and were all standing there lookin aorund tryin to look for a way out and fuckin no lie dead serious we see this perfect whiteish blueish figure walkin down the hill were all like wtf is that it strarted walkin down on the left side then it was on the right side i mean it was clearly a ghost perfect ghost cuz at first we thought it was a random person or a cop but yea ok what kind of cop or sherrif wears all white outfit in to the woods lol so we deff peaced and took off after that that was enough for the night
Good point on the uniform, my man. I’d ‘deff peace out,’ too.
Continuing on. ‘Twas a full moon. We really didn’t even need flashlights:
I’m really sad Rob couldn’t come on this excursion, because I’m sure we would have witnessed the rare, if very dangerous, Farting Ghost.
There were some pathways cleared out that led to a few different burial grounds, and the famous headless statues. No bleeding eyes, though; those heads had long since been snatched and thrifted and can probably be seen in some hipster’s house in a Selby shoot. I bit it on a small tombstone marked “FATHER” and said a prayer to Sheba.
While screwing our courage to the sticking place to face a cop car (that wasn’t actually there! Our only apparition!), we bumped into a really young cute couple hacking cig butts with some 40s, the girl with a Jersey accent that (oddly) grew more pronounced the longer the conversation went on. “I want to go see the Indians, you guys…” she said in a hushed voice, then stomped out a cigarette with a black Ugg boot.
[Feeling accomplished in front of the headless angel.]
I wish there was more to report… from the cemetery. Instead, the goosebumps, chills, and spooky visions arose in an altogether different venue:
When I was strapping myself in to face a certain dance with the devil, I can’t say I was preparing to have my post-Satanic occult-dodging beer served to me by a topless bartender with black pasties. Wait… before you jump to any conclusions, this visit was purely coincidental! But altogether serendipitous. I can’t say I’ve had as friendly a bartender… ever. And her flapping rubber flip flops and hot pink g-string even assuaged my Floridian homesickness for a spell.
I’ve heard good things about the food (I’m trying to hard to lay off the puns here), but Radigan had something else in mind:
Ted’s Fish Fry*. Sweet, sweet bliss.
This menu rocks my socks off. Friendly, fast, and delicious. I went nuts and got cheese fries and a cheeseburger; Radigan got a couple of CB’s and some fries, Marlene worked on a clam roll, and I can’t remember what B ate, but look! He’s enjoying it. I haven’t had a burger this good and this cheap since the night the cops dropped me off at the Texas Tavern in Roanoke to sober up and wait for friends to come get me.
This is exactly the kind of evening I dig. This is exploring. This is digging in. This is being honored to have one of your best friends show you around his college stomping grounds. This is ghosts, gazongas, grease, and good times. This is Upstate New York peeps!
*Rob just informed me that, on family road trips up to Vermont as a child, they would actually make fun of the Ted’s Fish Fry when they drove past it. And I ate at it. Marriage is about compromise, people.