Ghostly Hauntings in Hub City

By Samantha York

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Photo: Samantha York

NEW BRUNSWICK – Under the eerie glow of the harvest moon, spirits roam the narrow streets of Hub City. Listening to the breeze rustle through the trees beyond the Rutgers University entrance of Old Queens, it is easy to imagine the lingering voices of those who walked the paths more than two hundred years ago. Every Friday and Saturday night, the Spirits of New Brunswick Tour owner Roxanne Thomas conducts a walking tour with as many as 12 people to sites where some of the most riveting tales of spirits and ghosts have occurred.

The ghost tour is a natural addition to the Historic Walking Tour of New Brunswick that Thomas, a member of the New Brunswick Historical Society, started in 2013.

“As I put together the material for my historic walking tour I realized there were a lot of other ghostly tales and creepy stories that didn’t quite fit into the tour, but were needing to be told,” Thomas said.

With an extensive amount of research and a love of history, Thomas recounts ghostly tales of some of New Brunswick’s most iconic landmarks.

“Once people heard that I was doing research for a ghost tour, they were very forthcoming with their tales of happenings of a spiritual sort in New Brunswick,” Thomas said.

Thomas starts her tour at the gateway of the Old Queens, describing the “grey lady” who has been seen peering from the upper windows late at night and then vanishing. Grey ladies are ghosts of women who have died for love or who have died while waiting for their love to return, according to Thomas. The ghost is believed to be Kitty Livingston waiting for the return of U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton, with whom she is rumored to have had a brief affair during the Revolutionary War.

For the next hour, the tour winds from Somerset Street down George Street to the Christ Church graveyard, stopping to point out landmarks and ghostly sightings on the way. Thomas said that the graveyard off of Church Street seems to be the hottest spot for activity on the tours.

“I’ve had several people tell me they have seen apparitions as we walk through and talk about several of the resident ghosts there,” she said.
“My favorite spot on the tour was the graveyard,” said Debi Shockley, who lives in Princeton and learned about the tour through the Internet. “There was definitely electricity in the air, and I loved learning more about the history of New Brunswick.”

The Spirit of New Brunswick Tour has been so successful that Thomas now offers it year-round.

“I have been on a number of ghost tours,” said Shockley, “and this was, by far, one of the most enjoyable and entertaining.”

In addition to her ghost tour and the Historical Tour of New Brunswick, Thomas plans to offer a new tour soon called, Drunken History of NB Tour, a bar crawl that combines spirits of a different sort with history.

More information about the Spirit of New Brunswick Tour can be found on the website http://www.historicwalkingtoursofnb.com or call (732) 986-8656 for reservations.

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