The Haunted Surf City Hotel in New Jersey

By 1 month ago

In 1854, a horrific storm hit the coast of Long Beach Island, New Jersey. At the same time, a ship filled with German immigrants was attempting to make landfall. The Powhattan had over 300 passengers on board as it battled the nasty storm. 

Before they could change course, the Powhattan slammed against the rocky coast. A huge hole was ripped into the bow of the ship and it began to sink. Locals crowded the beaches as they watched in horror. At this point, they were there to recover any bodies and hopeful survivors. Sadly, there were no signs of life after the boat went under water...

Bodies and debris began to wash up onshore. It was overwhelming for the small beach town. Only 50 of the 300 passengers washed on the shore, but that was enough to overwhelm the small town. In order to combat the disaster, the State of New Jersey appointed "wreckmasters" who were in charge of disasters like this. 

They were mostly in charge of collecting the debris and any valuable items as well as the bodies to prepare for burial. The wreckmaster for LBI was Edward Jennings, the manager of the Mansion of Health. He decided to bring any bodies that they found to the mansion for safekeeping. This became a problem because the coroner noticed that none of the bodies had any cash or money belts on them. Money belts were a common, almost guaranteed, find on immigrants. So, where were they? 

No one wanted to accuse the wreckmaster of stealing from these poor souls, so they let it slide. They sent the bodies upstate to be buried in a Baptiste cemetery and moved on. Months later, another storm ripped through Surf City. This time, grounds on the mansion eroded, revealing all of the money belts that Jennings stole...

Guests at the mansion reported seeing floating figures and haunting cries. The mansion itself burned down in 1874. Locals believe that the grounds are haunted by the wandering, restless spirits of the German immigrants looking for their possessions. Surf City dedicated a plaque to the historic event and it resides where the mansion used to stand. 

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