NEW YORK FOLKLORE
Vol. 17, Nos. 1-2, 1991
THE SUPERNATURAL IN SULLIVAN COUNTY, NEW YORK:
LEGENDS AND ANECDOTES
by LeeAnne Green
Sullivan County, New York, has been my family’s home for many generations,
and I have always been interested in its history and legend. When
my ninth grade English teacher, Mr. Douglas Houghton, invited me to engage
in independent study, it seemed the perfect opportunity to satiate
my current curiosity for the supernatural. What better place to explore the
mysteries of the spiritual world and the occult, I thought, than my own
region. I happily pursued the assemblage of local legends about ghosts
and supernatural occurrences.
I began my research in the fall of 1983 by calling town historians for
clues on the whereabouts of local haunted houses. What followed was a
long journey through a web of countless contacts—a friend of a friend,
a relative of a witch—all of whom led me to more and more people with
stories or new leads. I conducted interviews for months, most of which
were fruitful and smooth, although some of my contacts were suspicious
and refused to discuss their experiences. Surprisingly, from the many leads
I followed, I found only five complete stories. Two concerned witchcraft,
while the rest were about ghostly presences. When I had finished interviewing,
I synthesized my many bits of information into the written collection
One of the most exciting parts of my project was visiting the various
sites associated with the stories, where I personally experienced the magic
of these tales. It is my hope that my treatment of supernatural legends,
through the eyes of a fourteen-year old, can share with the reader that
sense of magic.
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