Port Monmouth Spy House aka the Seabrook-Wilson House is located at 119 Port Monmouth Road Port Monmouth, NJ. Built in 1648, legend has it was nicknamed the Spy House because during the Revolutionary war, it was frequented by British troops and the tavern owner would tell the Colonial troops about British plans of attack. All though the current curators say there isn’t truth to that and it wasn’t hard to count the Brittish ships coming in and out of the harbor from the homes water front view. The house started as a one room private residence. Sometime in 1677 the middle section was added, when it was the widow Seabrooks home in 1703 . Daniel Seabrook extended his home to his mother’s across the lawn after the death of Thomas Whitlock. The home stayed in the Seabrook family for 250 years .
But the Spy House has its shadowy side also. It is said to be one of the most
haunted places in America.
An alleged female apparition dressed in white come down the stairs from the
attic . She then walks into the rooms known as the Blue and White rooms,
located on the second floor. She than leans over a crib and straighten
a quilt in the crib. Then suddenly the apparition just turns away and fades into thin air.
It once touted 22 active ghosts. Some others said to include a stern-looking sea captain has been seen looking through a telescope pointed to the sea. He has visibly materialized to several people throughout the years, the spirit of Abigail has been seen at the back upstairs window staring out to sea. She reportedly waits for her husband to return. Another one is a spirit of a young boy named Peter who has been seen wearing an English style shirt and knickers probably dating to the 1800’s. Peter reportedly plays with buttons and is known to interfere with cameras. (Which is weird because I had issues with my camera in the main part of the house.) Even the infamous pirate Captain Morgan was known to hide treasure in the houses’s basement and conduct sordid business and tortures in the old house. He’s been seen in a ghostly form threatening children and others who visited the museum. This ghostly activity has been going on for years.
The Spy House was on the brink of being torn down, when a retired concert singer, Gertrude Neidlinger and her brother saved it. With her exuberance and pride in the history of the Shoal Harbor area Gertrude created a hands-on museum in the late 1960’s. For years, school children and groups of people enjoyed the museum along with the various outdoor activities that were offered there. In October 1990, Jane Doherty started ghost tours at the museum to educate people about the other side and to help generate revenue for the Spy House. The ghost tour’s became so popular that more tours were added each year to accommodate the crowds, but tours were still sold out. On the brink of national fame the Spy House was featured in two nationally distributed books, the television show Sightings, and had just been named in U.S. News & World Reports as one of the three most haunted houses in America, when the board of trustees evicted the curator and founder of the museum, Gertrude Neidlinger.
The board then stopped the ghost tours, changed the furniture, filled-in the original cellar with dirt and shortened the museum hours to weekends because of lack of funds. The controversy ensued from 1993 until a few days before Gertrude’s death.
Today its open to the public August – October 11 – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays.
But the ghosts can be seen in the windows during the twilight hours..