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Since 1978, I have investigated countless reports of the paranormal in New York and New England. Underground tunnels feature prominently in some of this area’s greatest mysteries.
In 1980 I came across a letter written to the editor of the New York Daily News from a resident of Brewster, New York, referring to underground passages and old mines in the area. The writer was sure that the government was using them for some covert operation. He claimed that he saw lights from some type of unknown aircraft settling down in the hills at night where the old entrances to closed mines are located. These lights moved like helicopters, but there was no sound. They were seen several times a week for almost 18 months.
This letter intrigued me since I knew that area was a hotbed of UFO activity. I made an attempt to find the location of these mines, but to my dismay the people who ran the local historical societies had no idea about the locations of the entrances. However, they did have a great deal of information about the mining history of those towns.
Since the late 19th century, ghosts, UFO-like phenomena, strange creatures, and occult activity, including magical ceremonies and Satanic worship, have been reported in the vicinity of these underground tunnels. Locals still pass along legends about them, and old-time residents warn people to stay clear of the mine and tunnel entrances.
The entire town of Brewster is catacombed by miles of underground passages. Many of these tunnels have openings leading to the basements of some of the older homes in the downtown area. Over the years, many of these portals have been boarded up and sealed over with cement. As these homes have been sold to people from out of town, knowledge of the tunnels below them has become lost. How might these new residents react if they found out their basement hosts a doorway to an underground world?
In 1995, I explored the mines with paranormal researcher Marianne Horrigan. Although we did not find aliens or other strange creatures, we discovered evidence that at least two of the mines were once used for Satanic worship, in the form of symbols and prayers written on the walls. We also found new tunnels that were made by modern machinery. These recent tunnels lead to pits now flooded with water. Clearly, someone with modern technology made use of the mines long after they were shut down and sealed 100 years ago.
The locations around the old mines show very strong magnetic anomalies. One would expect this, since magnetite, a very pure form of iron ore, was mined here. Many researchers have noted a connection between paranormal phenomena and magnetic anomalies. Many of the unexplained experiences over the years came from the town of Southeast (a part of Brewster), very close to the Croton-Magnetic mine. Iron ore was mined here until 1899.
In 1901, the Croton-Magnetic mine was used by a cult group called the “Fallen Ones,” which performed rituals to honor Satan and the fallen angels. Although it was never proven, the cult was blamed for the disappearance of several children. The local sheriff ordered the mine sealed, and it remained that way until 1995.
It is in this area on Reservoir and Upper and Lower Magnetic Mine Roads that many encounters with UFOs and strange hooded beings have taken place. Also at this location there are sightings of what seems to be a spook light, a globe of light that appears to be intelligent and which follows people and cars as if trying to communicate with them. According to local folklore, the light (and sometimes lights) are the ghosts of 13 men killed during a mine cave- in on November 29, 1895.
According to local newspapers dated 1899, the phantom lights were not seen until after the cave-in of 1895. I have about 34 cases in my files of the “Spook Light” in the location of Reservoir and Upper Magnetic Mine Road in Brewster. It’s interesting to note that such sightings made before 1950 were dubbed ghost sightings, while reports from witnesses after 1960 refer to the phantom lights as UFOs.
The encounter below with the ghost of Reservoir Road took place in 1995. The witnesses identified as Jane and Carl are residents of a nearby town.
On Halloween Eve, Jane and Carl decided to take a trip to the old mine for some spooky fun. As they drove down the dirt road around 11:00 p.m., everything was quiet until Carl reported that he heard a voice whispering in his left ear. The voice was very deep and sounded like a man trying to talk with a very sore throat. Carl had trouble understanding what the voice was saying, but each time he heard the voice it seemed to be clearer. He was sure that the voice told him to “back away and leave this place.”
Startled, Carl told Jane, but she just laughed, thinking he was making it all up as a Halloween joke.
Carl insisted that he heard a voice. He stopped the car and got out to see if anyone was on the road, but he heard and saw nothing. While he was walking down the road, Jane became concerned and a wave of fear rushed through her. Attributing this feeling to nerves, she heard a sound in the now-empty driver’s seat. A depression formed in the seat as if someone invisible had just sat down next to her.....read the rest of this article exclusively in the September-October 2008 issue of FATE. Click here to buy this issue now!