Paranormal File: Twenty Minutes at the Spy House was More Than Enough

“I’ve seen enough!” is what Jeff Huber yelled to me after we both saw the shadow of a floating head in one of the upstairs windows of the old Spy House in Port Monmouth, New Jersey, last night. We had only stayed twenty minutes, and although we had not gone inside, we wanted to get out of there.

The Spy House is one of the more legendary attractions in New Jersey, known for it’s ghosts and paranormal activity. But it has since been acquired by new ownership, and renamed “Bayshore Waterfront Park”. It’s lame, I know. Want to know what’s worse? How about when it re-opens, the people working inside are not allowed to mention ghosts. Along with no mention of the entities who have made the place their eternal home, there also will be no mention of spies in any tour given from now on. This has led us to believe that maybe someone was injured by a ghost in the past. With a house that has so much potential money to make, and more notoriety to earn, there would be no other reason to not mention ghosts, unless you were trying to bury the legends. There are so many spirits at the house, dating back to when it was used as a station by a pirate, who psychic Jane Doherty claimed still resides there. There are also countless figures from the American Revolution there, as it was used to spy on the British while used as a tavern.

So there we were. It was such a spur of the moment thing. He called, we went, and we left in a hurry! The perimeter was surprisingly not fenced in, so we got pretty close to the house, but not within an arm’s length. We snapped shots of every inch of the house, especially aiming for the windows, hoping we would catch something. At three separate occasions, Jeff noticed a shadow walking by a top window (pictured middle, below):

It was when he turned away to go to another area did I see the same shadow move too. This was the side of the house not facing the road, so it was not a reflection of any passing cars, but an actual shadow. Ten minutes later, however, we would both see something that made us want to get out of there as fast as we could. We were standing in the back of the house, and at the exact same time, we both looked to each other and said, “Something does not want us here.” In those exact words.

Orbs or just dust on the lens?

Jeff is as close to a veteran as one can get with dealing with this kind of activity, and he says he felt something that he never felt before. It was like an evil emanating from the house. Something indeed did not want us there. So were turned and went around to the side to take some final pictures, when we saw the shocker of a lifetime.

In the window (middle floor, all the way to the left, on another section of the house) we saw the shadow of a head looking right at us. It is not in the picture below, because that was taken at a different time by me, but Jeff has it on his camera, and we are hoping to get it uploaded soon. However, when looking at the view box on his camera after the shot, the shape of the head looks more like a square, which was really strange.

We will be returning there in the next few days, as we feel that short twenty-minute bursts would be better than one visit of a few hours. Our cameras will be rolling again, hoping that we can capture more of the spirit world. Until then, I have added a paranormal category to this site’s side-bar, because a lot more of these will be on there way in the next few weeks.

As a side note, after getting home and reviewing the pictures, I noticed something strange in the photo. It caught my eye immediately. Because the power of suggestion is really strong, and could sway someone into thinking they see something that is not really there, I will not point it out. But do you see anything strange in this photo?

UPDATE (February, 2014): Check out our paranormal investigation of the Spy House as part of a lecture Greg gave there in February of 2014, by clicking here. There are videos on the episode listing as well as pictures and historical documents relating to this location. There are also additional articles on this blog in the Paranormal File.

UPDATE II (August 2014): Since writing this article, I have learned so much more about the Spy House, like a lot of the legends mentioned here not being true. While you can read all about them on the Internet, research I conducted for a recent article says otherwise. I have not removed this article only because we really did experience these instances of paranormal activity that night and because it shows how strong the myths are about this location.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Gloria says:

    Hi Greg,

    I just got done reading and looking at pictures of The SpyHouse and I think what you are refering to in the last picture is a human figure in the lower window to the right of the door. That is the first thing I noticed in your picture. Is that what you saw as well?

    Years ago, The SpyHouse used to be open everyday and anyone could have gone in. I was in that house so many times I couldn’t count. Back then they used to do ghost tours and that is how I first got familiar with this house. They used to have pyschics give the tours and my sister and I became friends with a guy named Frank and we found out more about the house.

    Everytime I have ever been in there, I always experienced ghosts and “something” going on. There used to be a sweet old lady named Gertrude who was the curator of the house unitl the historical society kicked her out because they said there were seances going on there where people walked around with lit candles. Anytime I was ever there, no one ever had a lit candle. There were battery operated candles in each of the windows. Ever since they kicked Gertrude out( who now passed away), they let the house go to shambles. They didn’t want anyone in the house asking about ghosts then either.

    Many times after the house closed to the public, I went there to see if the house was still haunted. The answer is yes as you know too. I am very upset that the historical society didn’t open this place back up as a museum like it should be. It is probably the oldest house in NJ and should be treated with respect. Alot of history happened in that house such as George Washington being there and supposedly Abraham Lincoln was there as well. Wouls they think of turning Vallet Forge into an “Activity Center”?

    Anyway, I give you and your friend thumbs up for checking out the house. I have a feeling when you go back, you won’t be disappointed. My sister and I never were.



    1. Bruce says:

      Gertrude was removed because of funds being misappropriated from the Spy House. The séance thing was a figment of someone’s imagination. I lived right down the road from the Spy House.

  2. gcaggiano says:

    Gloria, thank you for the information. It helps to have some more background on the house for further investigations. Jeff is currently trying to get us inside the house for a private tour at night, hoping that we will get something good.

    What you noticed as the human figure to the right is correct. If you check out my other article on the spy house, we zoomed in on it and then returned at a later date and the object was not there, thus we can 95% confirm that it is a ghost.

    Thank you for the read and for the comment. They are always welcome!


    1. Lenny Chase says:

      I always used to go the spy house, my dad and stepmother lived right up the road. Every weekend we would be there.
      I wanted to tell you about some of our personal experiences. One time I was looking at some of the artifacts from revolution era carpentry when a man walked in the room and gave me a short lesson. When I went to ask him about another tool, he was gone. I ran downstairs and asked the woman where the man with the beard went, she went on to tell me that the man in question was a caretaker who passed several years earlier. Another time we were in the backyard where you were when all the candles in the windows went dark and then got paisley for lack a better term. Like someone didn’t want us there. I have more.

  3. Ken says:

    Greg, any idea when Spy House –excuse me,“Bayshore Waterfront Park”– will reopen for visitors?

    I live in Jersey about 75 minutes away and I would love to go there with my brother and sister when they visit me around Thanksgiving.

    1. gcaggiano says:

      Please click the historical lectures tab at the top of the page for information on the lecture I am giving at the Spy House in January.

  4. RaRah says:

    i went there last night and didnt see anything at the main house, but when i went to the smallest house, i have orbs all in my pics, i sat on the front porch of the main house, knocked on the front and back doors. our camera died 2 times. i went to the woods and screamed ATTENTION SOLDIERS! and the street light house lights went out and back on at the same time. I LOVE THIS PLACE! but no apperances from the pirate old lady/man or who ever.

    1. gcaggiano says:

      I have never seen the clear figure of a person either, just shadows of what looks like a head and shoulders in the window. I have never yelled anything, though. The ghosts at this house are more evil than playful, and I don’t want to incite anything or cause them to latch on.

  5. Hi, The Paranormal Rangers have a series of videos about the legends of the Spy House. Pretty cool stuff.

    also it’s awesome that you are a rangers fan!!

    1. Jo says:

      I had been in the Spy house many times, having lived right down the street from it, and walking by it day and night, on a few occasions I did see something in the upstairs window, and twice when inside I sensed a spiritual presence of sorts. Gertrude was the sweetest woman, who devoted her life to that place. Looking at the photo’s of the New Spy house is very disturbing should have been left the way it was.

  6. Carol says:

    Sorry that some haven’t seen Spirits at Spy House. I have a family connection to Spy House and have seen and photographed Spirits there. I wrote a small book which includes some stories about the house. Can be found on or Book is called It Really Happens, My Gift.
    There is a picture on the front cover of the book of a Spirit taken at the house before the renovations and some others pictures are in the book as well.

  7. Charles Degnan says:

    It is truely a crying shame when a facility with such a rich historical and spiritual significance gets a name change, only to cover up its actual historical significance in American history. But hey what do I know, I am probably the last person alive that can and will say that I am proud to be an American and believe that history should not be rewritten in the name of political correctness.
    I grew up spending my summers (mid 1940’s to 1959) at my grandparents business (Kay’s Boathouse) on Port Monmouth Rd less than a quarter mile from the spy house. I was told some of the house’s history, although I was really too young to appreciate it, and the story that was always stressed was not to play near the house because there was a tunnel somewhere near it and we could fall into it and get seriously hurt.
    I took my wife up there back in 1990 and really liked the museum and the tour.

  8. Ashley says:

    Hi in the last picture,after the mention of the man in the bottom right window did I see it. But, if you zoom in to the top left 2 windows the second to last one there is someone staring out the window.

  9. Bruce says:

    I lived on Brainard Ave. for 15 years. Moved in 2001. I know the Spy House quite well. Before we moved, the Spy House only ran ghost tours on Halloween. That was until the Township traded it to the County for road projects. The County closed it to the public and used it for offices. I never, ever heard of anyone being beaten up or thrown down the stairs or being injured by anything n the Spy House.
    The house does have a long history, but it does not include any pirates. The house as it now stands is not what it was originally. The main part of the structure is original and had been added onto by moving other structures to the site and added to the main structure. It was a farm house first and foremost. It was alleged that it was used to spy on the British fleet in New York harbor during the Revolutionary war. A ship captain once owned it also. He was lost at sea and his wife’s ghost is still there. She could be seen on the widows walk looking out to sea for her husbands ship. I experienced her on the cat walk while fishing the beach at night. My children thought it was funny when they and my wife took the ghost tour one Halloween. They were told that a ghost named Tom was friendly. If you invited him home with you, he would go with you. My children invited him. He did come home with them and did crazy funny things for the time we lived there. He would leave for a few days and then return to play jokes on us. Items missing, then put back. Walking around upstairs while everyone else was downstairs. Many mornings I saw his reflection in the patio doors. Another strange thing about the Spy House. Port Monmouth was flooded in 1991 during a noreaster. The Spy House was never touched by the water. Same happened during Sandy as told to me by several residents including one daughter who still live in the area. As for it being renamed waterfront park. I don’t believe it was changed to that. It is within the confines of what the township calls the waterfront park.

  10. Emily says:

    I live 5 minutes from the spyhouse and have been going there since I was a kid. The funniest and most consistent thing I have noted there is that technology, especially cameras, tend to malfunction. Oftentimes, when you’re about to take a shot of the house, your camera will shut down for no reason.

  11. Debi Hansen Grady says:

    When I went there maybe twenty twenty-five possibly thirty years ago there was a woman who took us on a tour and every time my spirit was near her stomach would blow up it was pretty freaking awesome does anybody remember that

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