Book Signings

We will be discussing and signing copies of our book Long Island Oddities at the following dates and locations:

10/23/13 7PM Carle Place, Barnes and Noble

10/24/13 7PM Bay Shore, Barnes and Noble

10/30/13 7PM Lake Grove, Barnes and Noble

This old Patchogue cemetery is full of history, and also holds a very sad story. The month of February 1895 was a brutal one with record cold temperatures and winter storms. A schooner called the Louis V. Place set sail from Baltimore to New York. Their journey took place during an unusual spurt of extreme cold and stormy weather. It snowed from the Carolinas all the way to Canada and winds were as high as 72mph.
 
On the trip, the schooner's sails kept freezing up. This made the ship less and less maneuverable. The crew had been in the cold and extreme weather with little sleep for the past few days. Disaster seemed imminent. Finally the captain, unable to do much else, ordered the men to dress in all their clothes and he gave them whisky to try to hold out from the cold. The ship at this point was little more than a moving block of ice. The captain believed he was near Sandy Hook.
Depiction of the frozen Louis V. Place Schooner from the Brooklyn Eagle February 1895 edition
 
Here is where the story gets strange. The stranded ship was beset by scavengers who looted the contents. While looting, if they came across a body, they would bring it ashore. They brought 8 sailors ashore that day, 7 white sailors and 1 black sailor in all. Now back in those days people had strange and prejudiced opinions of African Americans, especially sailors. They believed the 7 white men to be Christians and gave them a normal burial in the Lakeview cemetery located in Patchogue.  
   
Graves of Louis V. Place sailors
 
 
The scavengers buried the black man in the sand believing him to be a non-Christian. They later found out that he was a devout Christian and was the ship cook. He was affectionately named "Whistling Sam". Remorseful, they went to the mark to dig his body back up and give it a proper burial, however no body was ever found. This was on Fire Island and it said to be a possible reason for a haunting that takes place. People have reported a black man in a pea coat walking along the beach whistling. He then suddenly disappears. A pea coat was very common amongst sailors of the time. The disturbances seemed to stop around 1953. Some say that may be the year when the last surviving scavenger of the ship would have died, thus allowing Whistling Sam's spirit to rest.
 
 
There is another legend concerning this wreck. This one was even written about in an issue of the Brooklyn Eagle (Feb 1895). Few paranormal events have the prestige of being covered by regular media. Shortly after the sailors were buried at the cemetery, rumors started flying. The workers at the now demolished Patchogue Lace Mill were afraid to walk home in the evening, and residents were afraid to go out at night. Starting on February 5th 1895 a strange nightly phenomena began to occur.
   
An eerie moaning would begin at sunset. A white figure would rise from one of the sailor's graves and would begin to wander about the cemetery, finally settling down near a tree. It would then wave and flail its amidst all the moaning. Finally the figure would disappear but not without causing a serious fright. Could it be one of the sailors still trying to signal for help from the riggings? We will never know or sure but PSLI is currently conduction investigations. If you know something about this legend or have had an experience please e-mail them This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
   
 
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