Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Union Cemetery

Posted by Stu On May - 20 - 2005

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This cemetery’s location and its condition are what make it so interesting. It can be found in Wyckoff, just off a main road. There’s a sign for the cemetery right along the road, but it’s actually much further back. We walked down the trail and past 3 or 4 houses before actually reaching it. And we were in shock by its appearance:

That’s the view of the graveyard from the fence. Nearly the entire place is overgrown with mostly oak saplings. One entire section of graves was completely inaccessible. The path through the place disappeared before us. About a third of the stones are broken or toppled over, the ones we could see anyway.

Many of the graves are older, but the newest we saw was 1932. I have no idea why the cemetery has been allowed to fall into such bad shape.

Popularity: 3% [?]

Hermitage Tunnel

Posted by Stu On November - 20 - 2004

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Not too far from the Hermitage (a very old and historic house in northern NJ) is what appears to be a tunnel built into the side of a hill, which is supposed to go right to the Hermitage. Its purpose, according to who you talk to, ranged from a Revolutionary escape tunnel to one of the stops along the Underground Railroad.

We took a tour of the Hermitage and found out the truth; the ‘tunnel’ was simply what they used to get water to the house in the 1700’s & 1800’s. The guide, who was very good by the way, didn’t completely denounce the tales though. “It could’ve very well been used in the Underground Railroad, you never know.” But the Revolutionary escape tunnel is unlikely. The original owner’s wife invited Washington to spend the night so he wouldn’t seize the property, since the owner was fighting on the British side.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Zabriskie Mansion

Posted by Stu On March - 16 - 2003

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The side of the mansion

I heard about this place quite a few times. After getting directions from a message board, John & I headed up to the Palisades to check it out. It’s a decent hike to get to it; maybe 3/4 of a mile.
Odd place, indeed. The year (I’m guessing it’s a year) 1911 is on the front of the place. There are trees growing out of the roof. I was surprised how it was built into the side of the Palisades; you can just walk up to the roof. I was a bit bummed to see that half the rooms weren’t accessible; large piles of rocks closed off a few entrances, and others were sealed up. I also noticed that there was no graffiti. I heard quite a few people say there was Satanic stuff all over. This wasn’t true; there were some candles, a few small figures, and what looked like an altar. Maybe I’m just forgetting stupid people equate candles and altars to evil.

The entrance brings you into what I guess is the main room. This is where the candles & whatnot are. There’s also a small firepit set up, with a few rocks for seats. To the left is a room that’s half buried in rubble and totally dark. There are decrepit stairs leading up to a 2nd room. Nothing really interesting up there, except for some DOOMish-looking icicles.

The side of the mansion

The steps that lead to the building The entrance

Altar, figures, and candles

Cozy lil' fireplace.....of DOOM

The upstairs room had a lot of icicles

One of the partially filled-in rooms

The side of the mansion

The side of the mansion

Popularity: 3% [?]

Bergen Mall Basement

Posted by Stu On July - 2 - 2002


Visited 9/01
Written 7/02

This isn’t really exciting, but I did go to it, so I feel I must write about it. When I first read a small blurb about Bergen Mall and the strangeness of its basement level, I was pretty excited. Apparently, the mall looks like it’s from the 50’s or 60’s and the basement contained some kind of Christmas village. A few months back, my brother, Cat, and I decided to check it out. We read about the ‘mall that time forgot’ and were expecting a small, near-empty mall with really old designs and lighting. Either the kid wrote up the article a while ago and they’ve since redone the place, or he was on something. The only thing ‘old-fashioned’ were the chandelier-type lights hanging from the ceiling. Everything thing else about the mall was just that – a mall: lots of stores, crowded hallways, and a decent food court. Of course, this was the ground floor. We then proceeded to the basement level…….

Taking the escalator down, the first thing we saw in the fabled basement was a mob of people and 2 TV’s. The people were all crowded around the entrance to….a chapel? That’s right, there’s a chapel in the mall basement. We went sometime after the 9/11 attacks, and a priest or minister or whatever he was was talking about the attacks. Inside the chapel was packed, hence the crowd outside. Looking further down, we saw signs for an auditorium and even a dance studio. We passed the management office, and I was starting to get annoyed because I saw nothing about the Christmas village I read about. We finally came across it further down the long hallway. This was the highlight of the trip; rows and rows of tiny red & green buildings. I think only 3 or 4 were occupied at the time, which made it even stranger. There were almost no lights to light the little ‘roads’ between rows of stores (they did have street signs). It looked like a town out of one of those old claymation Christmas movies, but in a basement of a mall, and nearly abandoned.

After walking around down there for a little bit, we left quasi-disappointed. Sure, the place was kinda bizarre, but not really enough to make the 2 hour trip worth it. Stokes was only an hour away, so we went there the rest of the day. There’s only 2 things that would make me go back to Bergen Mall: to see if anyone else uses the village during the Christmas season, and that mall has one of the coolest Burger Kings I’ve ever been to.

Popularity: 3% [?]

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