Main Menu | NJ Bicycle Routes | Great Jersey City Stories | New Jersey History | Hudson County Politics | Hudson County Facts | New Jersey Mafia | Hal Turner, FBI Informant | Email this Page
Removing Viruses and Spyware | Reinstalling Windows XP | Reset Windows XP or Vista Passwords | Windows Blue Screen of Death | Computer Noise | Don't Trust External Hard Drives! | Jersey City Computer Repair
Advertise Online SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Marketing - SEM Domains For Sale George Washington Bridge Bike Path and Pedestrian Walkway Corona Extra Beer Subliminal Advertising Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Pet Care The Tunnel Bar La Cosa Nostra Jersey City Free Books

Stories of New Jersey
The Morristown Ghosts
A Story Of 1788.

By Frank R. Stockton

Originally published in 1896
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Rogers was a chemist; and he frequently went out to one of these lonely meeting places in the afternoon and prepared a mine, which he exploded during the midnight meetings, and thus created a great wonder and terror among his followers. When they were indoors, there would be knockings and strange voices heard coming through the cracks; these voices proceeding from the other schoolmaster, who covered his mouth with what the writer of the pamphlet calls "a superficial machine," probably a bit of tin with a hole in it, which so disguised his voice that it was not recognized.

When they were out of doors in the black night, they would sometimes see a ghost flit about under the trees at the edge of the woods; and the second schoolmaster, well wrapped up in a sheet, seems to have made as good a ghost as could have been found anywhere. There were many supernatural performances, and among them was a great act, in which each one of the members of the company lay flat on his face in the field with his eyes shut, holding in one outstretched hand a sheet of paper. This was done in the hope that the spirits would write their instructions on the paper. Mr. Rogers knelt down with the others and held his paper; but it was not a blank sheet like the others. When this performance was over, all the papers were shaken together, and then they were drawn out one by one; and judge of the surprise and awe of all present, when one of them would contain some writing, – generally in a beautiful hand, such as could only be expected from a supernatural being (or a schoolmaster), – which would be The most important of these directions ordered thatfound to be instructions as to what must be done.

before any march could be made toward Schooley's Mountain, or any definite directions given in regard to the whereabouts of the treasure, each member should pay to the spirits, through Mr. Rogers, who would kindly act as agent, the sum of twelve pounds. And, moreover, this must not be paid in the paper money then current in New Jersey, which was called "loan money," and which would not pass outside of the State, but in gold or silver. When every member had paid in his twelve pounds, then the party would be led to the place of the treasure.

When they found out what they had to do, each man went to work to try, if possible, to raise the twelve pounds; but Rogers soon saw that it would be impossible for some of them to do this, as specie money was so hard to get, and he reduced the sum, in some cases, to six or four pounds. He was a good business manager, and would not try to get out of a man more than that man could pay.

Not one of the people engaged in this affair had the slightest idea that Rogers was deceiving them. It is not likely that any of them were people of much culture or means; and it is said that some of them went so far as to sell their cattle, and mortgage their farms, in order to get gold or silver to pay to the good schoolmaster who was generously acting as a mutual friend to both parties. But what were these sacrifices compared to the treasure they would obtain when at last they should be permitted to dig up the buried hoard on Schooley's Mountain!

It was now winter, and of course they could not start on the expedition in bad weather; but meeting after meeting was held, and it was at last definitely promised that the expedition should go forth from Morristown early in May. On the first of that month, they all gathered at midnight in the lonely field, and there was a terrible scene. There were more fireworks and explosions than usual, and one of the spirits appeared at the edge of the wood greatly excited, stamping his feet, and rushing about under the trees; and when Rogers went to see what was the matter, – for of course none of the others would dare to speak to a spirit, – he found that the supernatural beings with whom they had so long been in communication, and who were now scattered about in all parts of the woods, were very angry and incensed because they had become aware that some of the party were unfaithful, and had divulged the secrets which had been made known to them. They were so thoroughly indignant, in fact, that they refused to go on with the affair for a time, and announced that the expedition to Schooley's Mountain would be postponed until they were positively certain that every man who was to go there was the sort of man who would never let anybody into the awful, soul-dazzling secret which would be divulged. So they must all go home, and wait until this important matter could be satisfactorily arranged.

Strange to say, they all did go home, and waited, and not one of them suspected Rogers.


Main Menu

Hudson County Facts  by Anthony Olszewski - Hudson County History
Print Edition Now on Sale at Amazon

Read Online at
Google Book Search

The Hudson River Is Jersey City's Arena For Water Sports!

Questions? Need more information about this Web Site? Contact us at:
297 Griffith St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307