Many think Long Island is a typical boring suburbia devoid of anything unusual besides the Big Duck, but looking deeper reveals a region replete with stories of aliens, ghosts and Bigfoot sightings.
Local reports of extraterrestrial, psychic and cryptozoological phenomena have been met with skeptics as well as believers, but some claims are easier to explain away than others. The sheer number of such purported sightings suggests the Island’s residents either have wild imaginations or are indeed living in a cauldron of metaphysical mysteries.
What follows is a roundup of five weird, bizarre things reported on Long Island:
5. Montauk Monster
Some say it was just a decomposing animal carcass that beachgoers found washed up on the shore in Ditch Plains in July 2008. Others maintain it was viral marketing for a horror movie. Conspiracy theorists suggest it is some otherworldly experimental creature that escaped from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Either way, a legend was born when international media picked up on the story and the body of the enigmatic “monster” couldn’t be recovered for testing, leaving only speculation based on creepy photos of the beast.
4. Do You Believe?
With all the alien encounter allegations that originate from LI, some say the region is as much an antenna for extraterrestrial activity as Roswell, New Mexico, the infamous purported UFO crash site. Several local residents previously interviewed by the Press shared stories of spaceships landing on the Island. Some even said they were abducted by aliens, but few were willing to publicly share their stories, for fear of being ridiculed. Believers and sky watchers meet to swap stories of their sightings in the local chapter of MUFON, a national UFO research group.
3. Strange Island
The hit Netflix series Stranger Things was originally titled Montauk is based on local lore of children purportedly being abducted and taken to Camp Hero military base, where they were forced to participate in secret government experiments, including time travel, telekinesis, teleportation and mind-control. The show’s creators later changed the name and setting to the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind., but there are parallels aplenty between the series’ plot and LI suburban legend, chronicled in The Montauk Project book series. Skeptics say the books are science fiction, but author Preston Nichols continues to fuel speculation.
2. Bigfoot or Big Hoax?
Last year, the paranormal investigative unit of Scoopy Doo, a local dog poop collection company, released a video purporting to show footage of a Bigfoot sighting in Glen Cove, but the video appears to be a joke. One local newspaper picked up the story with a note at the end indicating that it “may or may not be completely true.” Patch.com posted a similar story recently about a sighting in the same area, but retracted the article. For what it’s worth, Scoopy Doo’s proprietors also predicted in 2012 that Mitt Romney would win the presidency because dog poop he picked up resembled the Republican.
1. Ghostly Encounters
There are so many purported specters on LI that the region has more than a half dozen ghost-hunting groups, a bus tour that visits the haunted sites and police increase patrols around the Kings Park and Pilgrim state psych centers around Halloween to deter thrill seekers. The infamous Amityville Horror house drew so many gawkers over the years that the owners changed its address and replaced its creepy windows. Besides Amityville, among LI’s the most infamous haunted locations are Sweet Hollow Road, Lake Ronkonkoma, Raynham Hall in Oyster Bay and Katie’s, a bar in Smithtown.