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Mount Misery and Sweet Hollow Road

The Mount Misery area and the nearby Sweet Hollow Road has developed a reputation for being the source of strange experiences and hauntings. Given the number and variety of these reports I suspect many could be categorized as modern myths or urban legends, but as always I would love to hear from anybody who has had genuine experiences here.

Mount Misery’s named is reputedly derived from its hilly terrain that proved difficult to navigate with horse drawn carts, hence causing misery for those travelling the early Long Island roads and tracks. Settled in the 1600’s the residents sided with the British during the War of Independence.

One story refers back to a warning given by the Indians when they sold the land the settlers. They claimed that Mount Misery was haunted by evil spirits and a half-man half-beast type creature with glowing eyes.

Lights had also reputedly been seen in the skies going back to the time of the first settlers in the region to modern day: where they are described as UFOs.

White Lady
A white lady known as Mary is said the haunt Sweet Hollow Road. According to legend she was either pushed or jumped from a moving car after an argument with her boyfriend. Another car is said to have hit and killed her, leaving her ghost to haunt the roadside. One version of the story says she is the ghost of someone from an old hospital once situated by the roadside, that burned down with the white lady trapped inside. When encountered by drivers, she is seen walking along the edge of the road and then suddenly steps out in front of their vehicles. She is said to be buried in a cemetery off Sweet Hollow Road.

Black Dog
A Black Dog with glowing red eyes is also supposed to frequent Sweet Hollow Road, sometimes described as walking on its hind legs. This dog is considered as an omen of death for those who make eye contact.

Ghostly Policeman
The phantom of a police officer is said to stop drivers who realise he is a ghost when they see the back of his head is missing and the remains of shot gun wound.

Haunted Bridge
The bridge for the Northern State overpass crossing Sweet Hollow Road could be where a molested girl hung herself after taking bloody revenge on her attackers at a nearby horseback riding centre. Or you could go with the version where three boys hung themselves from the bridge. Alternatively there is the version where a whole school bus lost control on the bridge during winter killing all occupants. It is said that if you put your car in neutral it will roll backwards uphill, similar to Scotland’s Electric Brae. Electric Brae is an optical illusion and I would hazard a guess that this overpass has something similar, rather than the spirits of the children trying to push the car out from under the bridge. It is also probably not the ghost a woman who was hit by a car whilst changing her tyre under the underpass. From what I have read there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support the stories of these deaths.

Ghostly Children
Possibly confused with the story of the molested girl above, there is a legend of ghostly children seen wearing clothes dating from the 1930’s. They were abused and killed, supposedly, at day centre off Sweet Hollow Road.

Men In Black
In 1967 a woman living near the summit of Mount Misery had a visit from what has been described as ‘Men In Black’ or possibly aliens. Here is her testimony:
"They had high cheekbones and very red faces, like a bad sunburn. They were very polite but they said her land belonged to their tribe and they were going to get it back. What frightened me was their feet. They didn't have a car...they must have walked up that muddy hill...but their shoes were spotlessly clean. There was no trace of mud or water where they walked in my house."

The area is certainly intriguing though the rich mix of stories makes it almost impossible to identify what, if anything, is actually going on there.

Ian Topham

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