Paranormal Adventures: Masonic Temple of Newburgh, NY (Ghost pic included)

Location: 48 Grand Street, Newburgh, New York Google Map

*Images by Grim and Charming

Do you see it? Don’t worry if you don’t. I’ve isolated and pointed it out below.

Ghost at Masonic Temple in Newburgh, New York

This is the third or possibly fourth picture of a ghost that we’ve taken (Prince Charming and I are still debating on one), but its the first time I’m posting any ghostly pictures. To be honest, the first two really creeped me out, so I’m still working that out internally and I when I do, I’ll finish that blog post. But before I go on about ghosts, here’s are a few details on the building:

This is a strange place. At first, there doesn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary, but, of course, the internet says otherwise. The building, originally built as a Masonic Temple, has a history of being used for many things, but more recent descriptions report on cars and buses dropping off people in loads at a time. According to one report, here, the building was purchased in 2000 by A. Justin Sterling of Sterling Institute of Relationship, but I still don’t understand the purpose of the building. There’s no sign out front announcing what’s for sale or what type of business or services are being conducted inside. There’s no room for parking either.

So exactly what is a Masonic Temple? That’s a long story and you can read about Freemasons here, but to put it simply, masonic temples were first introduced in the late 1700s to house lodges of men (only men) who met regularly to pass on knowledge of stonemasonry through secret rituals. History shows that the skills of stonemasons were always in high demand, so keeping knowledge of masonry in secret fraternal societies centuries ago, in truth, seems logical to me. There were periods in history where masons were exploited because of their skills and at other times persecuted (think chemistry/science during centuries where religion ruled the land), so I understand they had to unionize.

Masonic Temple Building in Newburgh, NY


George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, even John Wayne were known to be Freemasons. It’s reported that Freemasons are responsible for building most of America’s original iconic structures, i.e. the Statue of Liberty, the White House.  Its reported that Freemasons donate millions of dollars a day to charity, but the term “rituals.” That bothers me. To be honest, I cannot find a link between the Sterling institute and Freemasons other than Sterling’s purchase of the building.

The Grim and Charming:

What I like best about this building built in 1914 is its tall columns and attention to fine details. From far away, there doesn’t seem to be much, but up close, it’s obvious the builders took a lot of time to craft each of the Greek inspired decorative cornices and art. Masonic temples all over the world vary in their architecture, but this one is charming in both design and color scheme. I wanted to get as up-close a picture as I could get of the edge of the roof and I got a picture of this:

Image of something wearing a robe.

There are tales, here, over the internet of supernatural incidences that have occurred at the temple, including young people who witnessed a chair moving across the room and voices of men not present. And you will find a ton…and I mean a ton of business referrals to the building via Yelp, Manta, the Yellowpages, etc. But what you won’t find are any reviews, comments, or questions/inquiries. That’s some pretty secretive stuff considering how exploitative the internet is. And what type of listing is the building’s address subtitled under? “Social services.” You think my ghost pic is weird? All that other secretive “social” stuff, which the building has been hosting for the last 100 years, is just as creepy.

Links (because education is power against evil): Freemasons | CBS Report | Recent Report

HELLA.jpgD.P. Joynes is a genre-crossing author hosting fairy
tales, folklore, and a few unusual experiments plus occasional torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. My books are here.
“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me
on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new adventures or visit my websites: DpJoynes.net and GrimAndCharming.com.

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Paranormal Adventures: Sing Sing Correctional Facility

Location: 354 Hunter St, Ossining, NY 10562 Google Map

*Images by Grim and Charming

Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, New York

Named after the Native American Nation the land was purchased from, “Sinck Sinck,” now known as Sing Sing Correctional facility in Ossining, New York is one of the most famous prisons in the United States.

The prison originally opened in 1826 and was once described as an “old hellhole” by a former warden. For over nearly two centuries, it has grown and is surrounded by a thick concrete wall extending twenty feet high along the Hudson River. The electric chair at Sing Sing, aka “Old Sparky,” was was responsible for 614 of the 695 total deaths by electrocution, sometimes performed in masses, in the State of New York from 1891 until 1963. The Rosenbergs (here is a 1953 husband and wife espionage news archive) were among several high profile executions, which captured media attention for generations to come. But that’s not all that is reported to have occurred there. Water torture via “the bath”, flogging via “the lash,” and “bucking” a man by hanging him upside down like a pig were all examples of physical punishment reported by the NYCHS in the first century and a half of the prison’s existence.

Just a portion of the great wall at

Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, New York

The Grim and Charming:

There’s nothing charming about this prison, and I’m not remotely interested in investigating any other activity that goes on there. It’s big. It’s ugly. It’s gray, and it’s a huge reminder of the debt some criminals owe to society. Although, some debts, like murder, can never be repaid. David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam, is a serial killer with six life sentences currently residing at Sing Sing. He is known for having satanic cult affiliations but more so for taunting police over months between 1976 and 1977 with handwritten letters left with victims’ bodies as he continued on a shooting spree with a .44 Caliber gun.

Another serial killer worth mentioning, once a resident but later electrocuted in 1936, is Albert Fish, who left one of his victims dismembered in the same county as the prison. Besides being engaged in self mutilation by embedding needles into his pelvis, Albert Fish was a child rapist and a murderer, who also tortured victims of various ages. Not to mention, he was as a cannibal.

The community has considered opening a museum by converting the original 1825 cell block into a time capsule of sorts. It’s difficult to find paranormal reports on the facility as I found one report mentioned prisoners prefer not to talk about ghosts so as not to seem weak. Sing Sing, itself, rests in a community of quaint riverside homes and is located just north of Sleepy Hollow (my blog post on that here). The prison houses an average of 2000 prisoners per 1000 employees and gets over 5000 visitors annually. But when I think about just the few prison breaks that were successful over the last 200 years, I won’t be going back.
Links (because education is our best defense against evil): NYS DCCSOld Sparky | Town of Ossining

corpp book 1.jpgD.P. Joynes is a genre-crossing author hosting fairy tales, folklore, and a few unusual experiments plus torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. My books are here.

“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new adventures or visit my websites: DpJoynes.net and GrimAndCharming.com.

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Just your average girl…mostly. Hella: a Sci-fi Adventure, released today!

In a post-apocalyptic world…

HELLA.jpg

Ella has been transformed, but that’s not the worst of her problems. She’s got a huge crush on a big guy that won’t speak to her but it’s not because he doesn’t want to. She’s also being mind-stalked by the bully she’s come to know as “the Caller.” And if that weren’t enough, she’s stuck with a sidekick who’s timing is impeccably accurate for always needing a rescue at the wrong time. She’s considered taking an axe to more than one of them, but she doesn’t want to live up to her nickname in that way, the nickname that’s a result of her infamous past, the name she’s earned….

Hella.

Get Hella for only 99¢ on Amazon. (Free to KindleUnlmited)

D.P. Joynes is a genre-crossing author hosting fairy tales and folklore and, occasionally, torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. Find me at DpJoynes.net.

“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new adventures and investigations or to find out more about us, visit GrimAndCharming.com.

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Paranormal Adventures: The Salesian Cemetery of Goshen, New York

Location: Salesian Park (Follow Craigville Rd to the rear of the park), Goshen, NY Google Map


This cemetery sits behind the abandoned Salesian School where a boy died by falling (or he was possibly thrown according to a more recent coroner’s re-examination of the evidence) from the roof; you can read the story here. Funny, as much as I love cemeteries I have yet to write a scene that includes one in any of my books. And the scene is worthy of dark fantasy: corpses, weathered headstones, and unusual statues, not to mention, cemeteries are filled with beautiful and some historical artifacts and scenery.

A crucifix in the Salesian Cemetery at Salesian Park in Goshen, New York

Stephen King (whom I love to read), he wrote this crazy story that set us up to fear our pets after they die with the idea of dark magic that exists in a sacred burial spot over disheveled earth with his book, Pet Sematary. (Interesting note: The Ramones were “buried alive” at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for their music video performed for Stephen King’s Pet Sematary movie. You can find my blog on the Sleepy Hollow cemetery here.)

Statue of Mary and infant often found at the entry of Catholic sites. She is the first statue to greet you  in the Salesian Cemetery at Salesian Park in Goshen, New York

Christianity and other religions mark their own sacred spots for the dead too by blessing it with holiness, places better known as hallowed ground, often used in paranormal literature. But whether you believe cemeteries are the dead’s holy place or not, the bottom line – cemeteries also represent the best of the living, the best of humanity.

The Grim and Charming:

When I visited this cemetery a thin blanket of snow spread across the ground. From below my feet, came the sparkle of white icy flakes, which gave the earth a glow. Nestled between black trees left baron by the cold of winter, rested this cemetery of well-laid walking paths, matching marble headstones, and intricately carved life-sized statues. The scene is a tribute to loved ones passed on. The dead may not be obviously beautiful, but the place where they rest and the tributes residing with them here is.

Love this flag at the Salesian Cemetery

And this why I love cemeteries so much. They are a reminder of our mortality and how short our time is. We will be longer dead, than we will be alive. But with or without religion, death is not the end of our humanity. Despite scientific evidence against life after death…our love, our connections, and our hope for others perseveres in small plots of earth where we can visit and continue to cherish life even after it is gone.

Links (because knowledge is power against all evil):

Find a Grave | Salesian Missions | Village of Goshen
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D.P. Joynes is a genre-crossing author hosting fairy tales and folklore and, occasionally, torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. Find me at DpJoynes.net.
“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook  to stay up-to-date on new adventures and investigations or to find out more about us, visit GrimAndCharming.com.


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Paranormal Influences: Fog

Location: Firthcliffe, NY Google Map

When the Fog rolls in, Firthcliffe, New York

Sometimes, you don’t have to go looking for the mysterious and mystical. Sometimes, it comes to you…

One of my favorite movies is the 2005 remaking of John Carpenter’s The Fog, directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Tom Welling. Based on John Carpenter’s original 1980’s version starring Jamie Lee Curtis, the newer version gives “cheesy horror” fans a fairy tale feel of the first version. In case you didn’t know, I do not like excessive horror, especially slasher type movies. I’ve seen enough slicing of human flesh, drainage of blood, and oozing of gangrenous pus as a nurse to know well how much suffering even the slightest nick can cause to a human. Not to mention, I was also a veterinary assistant in my early adult years, so I’ve even seen and smelled the inner bowels of animals too. But going back to my original content, I can understand John Carpenter’s attraction to the eerie state of torrential clouds, flooding the atmosphere with its mystic powers of obscurity and near amaurosis.
The Grim and Charming:
This blue house has served as inspiration in one of my books. I love it more covered in Fog.
Fog. Like the weathering of man-made buildings and substructures under sun and rain, fog is another example of the power of Mother Nature. No matter how we attempt to tame her, she reigns supreme over mankind. Fog is her little reminder that no matter how complex (your eyes have sophisticated minuscule cones and rods that allow it to see color) or evolved we are (some creatures see better color than humans do), a simple cloud of water droplets can easily change our perception and our perspectives.
It’s the middle of the day, and the fog has robbed us of blue skies
Fog may be a danger to drivers behind a steering wheel or worse…hide a witch and a werewolf, so beware. But beyond imagination, in its own entity, Fog is a beautiful phenomenon, especially behind the lens of a photographer.

Links (because knowledge is power against all evil): How does Fog form? | Driving in Fog SafelyComing Soon! A Grim and Charming 5-Part Paranormal Adventure Series Exclusive: West Point, United States Military Academy with original photos even I can’t believe!

HELLA.jpg
D.P. Joynes is a genre-crossing author hosting fairy tales and folklore and, sometimes, torn love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. Visit me at DpJoynes.net.

“I’m a coconut filled with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new adventures and investigations or to find out more about us, visit GrimAndCharming.com.

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Paranormal Adventures: Sleepy Hollow – Home of the Headless Horseman

Location: 540 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY Google MapPhoto Feb 19, 11 48 43 AM.jpgThe town of Sleepy Hollow located on the eastern side of the Hudson River in the State of New York was the inspiration for one of Washington Irving’s most acclaimed short stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, published in 1820. Although the story itself is fictional (based off the tale of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off during the American Revolution), the town already had a history of ghost tales, which were bewitching to Irving, giving rise to great American horror fiction.Photo Feb 19, 9 28 37 AM (1).jpgThe most significant site in Sleepy Hollow is the cemetery (originally conceptualized by Irving and Captain Jacob Storm), which was our prime destination. But I must agree with Irving, once we passed the welcome sign, entering from the north, the town immediately takes on a lively but spooky atmosphere. An unusually warm mid-morning sun in the middle of winter seemed to do nothing to stop the trees from noticing us. I swear the trees of Sleepy Hollow have a life of their own. It’s hard to say if they were welcoming us into the town with their long, tumorous hands or if they were warning us to turn back as we drove along. But they weren’t the only creatures of nature who seemed to want to communicate.Photo Feb 19, 8 32 19 AM.jpgOnce we reached the cemetery, birds could be heard coming from every direction. The chattering of crows, finches, and sparrows echoed along the hills and valleys of what should’ve been a place of peace and rest. The screeching and squawking was so loud that it was difficult to stay focused. But, in truth, we rarely saw a bird, only the occasional crow who came to spy on us as we spied on the tombs of the dead. And the tombs were, indeed, worth spying on.Photo Feb 19, 8 40 24 AM.jpgMany notable people are laid to rest in the grassy knolls of Sleepy Hollow cemetery. Surprisingly, Irving’s plot is quite humble among some of the more large and intricately detailed graveyard monuments. I found a few shorter lists of famous people buried at the cemetery, which can be found here and herePhoto Feb 19, 8 53 36 AM (1).jpgBut humble headstones are just as intriguing as expensive ones. Graves dating as far back as the Civil War are overlooked by the statue of a soldier (a Civil War Monument) and an Old Glory (American flag). It should also be mentioned that many stones have been weathered to the point where the dates are no longer visible, but it doesn’t distract from the history of the cemetery. Instead, I think it rather adds to the enticing mystery of the place.Photo Feb 19, 8 46 43 AM (2).jpgAnd let’s not forget, there is a bridge. If you are familiar with Irving’s story, then you would know how Ichabod Crane meets his fate – trying to outrun a headless horseman across a bridge. There are no horses on cemetery grounds and there is certainly no tomb for Ichabod; he’s fictional. But there is an enchanting bridge that crosses the Pocantico River, no doubt maintained by the historic society, and although it’s not the original bridge as depicted in the story,  I appreciate how the design adds to the folklore and legendary atmosphere.Photo Feb 20, 1 10 22 PM.jpgThe cemetery is ever expanding and its open to visitors. But stick to the path. I was tripped up more than a few times when I wandered off giving a few crows among some smirking statues a good laugh.Photo Feb 19, 9 13 39 AM (1).jpg

Photo Feb 19, 9 17 25 AM.jpgLinks: Washington IrvingHeadless Horseman Bridge | Town Website

Coming Soon! A Grim and Charming 5-Part Paranormal Adventure Series Exclusive: West Point, United States Military Academy with original photos even I can’t believe!

corpp book 1.jpgD.P. Joynes is a genre -crossing author hosting fairy tales and folklore and, sometimes, torn love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook  to stay up-to-date on new adventures and investigations or click the follow button to stay engaged with Grim and Charming here on WordPress.

Paranormal Adventures: A Serial Killer’s Farm House Burned – Lessons in the Ruins

Location: Site has burned down – Goshen, NY Google Map

I won’t lie, this trip scared me. I felt anxious before we even got into the car. This trip reaffirmed that its not ghosts or the dead I’m afraid of, but monsters. Real ones…

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The Nathaniel White farm house, a serial killer’s lair in ruins.

Goshen continues to inspire us, but the charming town was once home to Nathaniel White convicted (through confession) of raping, beating, and murdering six women, including a fourteen-year-old teenager (his girlfriend’s niece) from 1991 thru 1992. Not all of the bodies were found at this site as some where left in other nearby places-abandoned railroad tracks, a lake, a restaurant, and in a victim’s own home.

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Beautiful view of the pond next to the ruins

Nathaniel White now resides in a supermax prison, the Attica Correctional Facility, in New York. He has been sentenced to 150 years imprisonment. Two victim’s bodies were once found slain inside the home and it was abandoned afterward in 1992. A fire in the summer of 2015 left the farm house (pictured) in ruin. There is no report of how the fire started, which remains a mystery. Surrounding the charred home is a serene scene of picturesque farmland with a beautiful pond that is quite charming even in the cold of winter. But the sparkle of white winter snow does nothing to erase the sense of looming dread or the sad memory of young people who were lost here.

The Grim & Charming:

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Top of the ruins under which two women were found beaten and slain

Murderers, especially mass murderers, are the worst of grim; they are reapers. But there are lessons to be learned here from the victims and their families. The first is to trust one’s gut and never give up. When the family of a missing loved one couldn’t find answers from police, the relatives did their own investigation, which led to clues in solving the case and identifying the killer. Also, women should never go home with someone they’ve met at a bar. (Sounds like a no brainer, but it happens all the time!). This is how White snatched some of his victims and how he was later caught. So, women should always use the buddy system, and stay within a group when going out on the town with friends. Lastly, if someone seems creepy, ditch em! Life is meant to be charming. A relative of the slain admitted she had an uneasy feeling about the killer. When we don’t have good feelings about an individual, we should trust our instincts and steer clear of them.

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Be wary of the warning signs. Hunters are not always so.

P.S. If you’re reading this for the second time, you might notice this postscript was not available before. Truth is, I felt it necessary to rewrite this post after it was published several times over. I couldn’t sleep for weeks thinking about the victims whereas their killer resides alive – still eating and breathing. I added “the lessons” in hopes that I would do the victims some justice. Hopefully, we can learn from those who have passed on before us, which is the way it’s meant to be.

Links: Murderpedia | NY Times | Abandoned NY

Coming soon! Haight Mausoleum, Dissection of a Purple Eyed Doll, When the Fog Rolls In, and a Grim and Charming EXCLUSIVE – A 5-Part Series of Paranormal Explorations at the  United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.

More images of a path and pond on the way to a serial killer’s farm house:

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 HELLA.jpgD.P. Joynes is a genre -crossing author hosting fairy tales and folklore and, sometimes, torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook or Goodreads and don’t forget to hit the follow button to explore more paranormal activity with me, Grim, and Charming.

Paranormal Adventure: The Salesian School of Goshen, NY

Location: Salesian Park, Main Street Goshen, NY 10924 Google Map

When my husband and I went looking for images to use in my 1st ever book trailer for my first novel in the RSH series, Goo of the Gods, we stumbled upon this abandoned school building, which was built in 1931. On that early, foggy morning, I knew it had to be a school because of the exterior pendulum style entrance with a clock nested at the top. The old abandoned structure is surrounded by high fencing, but what was most encouraging is there is little graffiti. Most of the windows are shattered, so you can see clearly into 2nd and 3rd floor ceilings that give the impression of classrooms throughout the structure.

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The building sits center stage in a park that the city has had obvious controversy over. Cleanly painted benches decorate well-kept walkways among crumbling masonry of almost a hundred year old walls. The back of the school overlooks a nicely mowed soccer field with plenty of room for parking. Despite the chill of the early Sunday morning, a handful of villagers walked about the park getting their early morning exercise-some with their canine companions. We stopped to ask a friendly villager about the building who told us that the city wasn’t sure what it was going to do with the old Salesian School.

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I admit I had to look up the term “Salesian” online. It is a generic term referring to a particular group of Roman Catholic priests and missionaries whose work involves enabling impoverished children by providing vocational and technical training through its thousands of schools including colleges across the globe.

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The Grim & Charming:

In 1964, a nine-year-old boy had been reported to have fallen to his death off the third story roof. But what’s spookier is a coroner, who declared in 2003 that the distance from the child’s body to the school wall was too close to suggest a fall. From this story, we are to assume that the child had either been pushed or thrown from atop the building. Of course, there is no concrete supporting evidence in either case. But this is not the most grim of stories relating to this school.

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The school is condemned. It has withstood fire and a partial collapse to a side wing, but it may not survive the city’s decision to demolish the building. If there were ever a time to see the abandoned building, which is also surrounded by a Mausoleum from previous owners in the 1800s and a cemetery (later post on the cemetery coming), that time is now. The Village of Goshen is an adorable and charming small town with plenty of metered parking and cafes serving home-style cooking on Main Street. You’ll also see the school from Main Street, and if you dare to venture further beyond the main town, and make a few more turns, you’ll come to an old burned down farm house, once home to a serial killer. But that’s another story.

Links:

Opacity Site 17 | Salesian Missions | Village of Goshen

Photo Nov 25, 8 18 45 AM.jpg Photo Nov 25, 8 41 17 AM.jpg

corpp book 1.jpgD.P. Joynes is a genre -crossing author hosting fairy tales and folklore and, sometimes, torn teen puppy love in realms of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

“I’m a coconut with maudlin sentimentality.” Connect with me on Facebook or Goodreads and don’t forget to hit the follow button to explore more paranormal activity with me, Grim, and Charming.