27 August 1892
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

A GHOST IS HAUNTING THE OLD OCEANIC HOTEL _________________ He Walks Heavily Through Rooms Where Lights Are Burning and People Watching- Yet He Cannot Be Seen Strange Knockings On The Walls _________________

The old Oceanic Hotel, Gravesend, which stands back in a grove near Brighton Beach, used to be the great hotel of Coney Island. Fourteen years ago its pleasant piazzas were thronged with fashionable people. It stood on a fine open lawn in a grove of huge and venerable trees. Now the guests are gone and the place is cut up into furnished apartments, while the fine lawn has become a wilderness of towering weeds. The roads leading past it are unlighted and it is a lonely and eerie spot at midnight. About eight years ago there was a murder committed in the Oceanic hotel and ever since that time there have been occasional complaints about strange occurrences and appearances in that place. This has been especially the case as the season has waned and the place became more and more deserted. Footsteps made my no human being have echoed down the broad old corridors, unearthly groans have fallen on the ears of trembling listeners and men returning late from the beach have been confronted in dark passages by uncanny presences which , made their blood run cold. Last night the usual complaint which is expected about this season of the year came in and Chief McKANE determined to have no more fooling with ghosts, but to give them a lesson which would teach them once and for all not to play any more tricks in his bailiwick. He, therefore, called for volunteer for extra hazardous service and Officer WHISTANCE and Special Officer GALLAGHER, who does duty at the West End hotel. bravely responded. He ordered them to take clubs only and go to the Oceanic hotel, where they were to post themselves and lay in wait for supernatural visitors. The families in the Oceanic were: Mr and Mrs. Aaron LOUIS, who keeps an ice cream saloon at the beach Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo RIKER Mrs. SHERWOOD, chief ballet dancer at PAIN'S fireworks Mr. and Mrs. PEARSON Mr. and Mrs. GREGORY and Mrs. SMITH. When the trouble first began about a week ago, Mr. and Mrs. LOUIS left the place. Mr. and Mrs. PEARSON moved two days ago, and that same night Mr. and Mrs. RIKER were kept awake by the sound of heavy footsteps over their heads in room 30, where the murder occurred. The footsteps moved in a circle all night. When daylight came the RIKER'S moved. Mrs. SHERWOOD, Mrs. SMITH and the GREGORY'S are the only ones now left in a house of 500 rooms. One of these women who did want her identity revealed said: "When I have been lying in bed with the light burning, the heavy footsteps have passed right along in front of me shaking the floor and I have seen nothing. A sound like people beating carpets is sometimes heard. Often the person, or whatever it is, knocks three times on the walls, always three times. I would not stay here for a week for anything." WHISTANCE and GALLAGHER and two reporters looked over the house last midnight, from cellar to attic, and went out on the grounds and examined the outbuilding and the cottage. They found no trace of any tramps, but discovered that the hotel is very easy to enter. Many of the windows are open and most of them had no catches. There is furniture in some of the unoccupied rooms, including many beds, and the great, rambling old building, with its hundreds of rooms, ought to be a paradise for homeless men. After examining the hotel and closing the windows and doors the policemen and reporters went on the second floor. They listened for hours and finally heard two distinct footsteps in a part of the house where nobody was. They made an immediate search, with no results. Some of the women living in the house said that they heard the sounds as usual. Six months ago, Officer Michael TANZY, one of the best policemen on the Gravesend force, was chased by an apparition which came out of the Oceanic grounds. He ran all the way to the station house and was not able to speak when he got there. This adventure is a subject he avoids now. The watchers left the place at daylight. The search for the ghost will be renewed to night. Back to GHOSTS Main Back to CEMETERY INDEX Back to BROOKLYN Page Main