Weird NJ Rock & Roll Issue Release Party!

Sunday June 2nd at the Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ. 3:30 PM until whenever. This is the last scheduled WNJ event of the 2013 Spring/Summer season. So come on out and help us celebrate the new issue, get all of your WNJ stuff signed by publishers Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran, and enjoy a great party with a bunch of like-minded weirdoes. All ages are welcome, so bring the whole family!

Tickets are just $7.50 in advance and $10 the day of the show. They’re for sale through the Weird NJ web site, our Amazon storefront, or by calling our toll-free number 1-866-WEIRDNJ (934-7365). Price of admission includes one FREE copy of the new issue of Weird NJ at the door. WOW—That’s a $5 value!

Not only that, but as our gift to you the first 50 people through the door on the day of the event will receive a complimentary souvenir Weird NJ beer mug.

There will be two rockin’ bands for your musical entertainment: The Dirty Stayouts and The Poor Man’s Opera.

The Dirty Stayouts describe their sound as Cow Punk & Dirty Rock N’ Roll, and promise it is unmatched by any other band! You will leave a show feeling dirty and wanting more… Live it Up!!!

The Poor Man’s Opera plays an eclectic mix of songs that you’ve heard before, perhaps a long long time ago, but can’t seem to remember when, or who they were originally performed by. Somewhere around the second verse though, you may find yourself thinking, “Hey, I remember this tune, and I think I really liked it once!” By the third chorus, you’ll be singing along.

There will be documentary films shown in the club’s Crossroads Lounge featuring some on New Jersey’s most picturesque and haunting abandoned locations, courtesy of our friends at Antiquity Echoes.

You can read all about this legendary roadhouse in the brand new issue of Weird NJ, #40. It has a long and colorful history of hauntings and howling music. The Stanhope offers a cash bar and full menu of tasty American fare, and an outdoor beer garden and smoking lounge.

Stanhope House owner Jon Klein will be on hand to share tales of the many ghosts that inhabit the Stanhope House, and he just might tell you the secret of what lays at the bottom of the 40-foot deep well that is located just beneath the floorboards of the Crossroads Lounge.

Your name will be put on a mailing list at the door. Please print out your conformation reply once it is sent to you and bring it the day of the show. If you order more than one ticket, your name will appear plus the extra amount of tickets you ordered.

Haunts and Hoochie-Coochie at the Stanhope House

The following is an excerpt from our article on the Stanhope House from the new issue of Weird NJ:

On any given night you might hear the sounds of banging, thumping and bloodcurdling howls emanating throughout the Stanhope House, a tavern, music venue and former rooming house near the banks of Lake Muskenetcong in Stanhope, NJ. Usually though, those plaintive wails are just the sound of one of the legendary blues acts that have been playing the club since back in the early 1970s…but that is not always the case. You see, according to some, the Stanhope House also plays host to an entirely different kind of “soul” that haunts the place––the spirits of guests who have checked into the inn over the years and never checked out. The honky tonk is rife with stories of the resident ghosts randomly opening and closing doors and moving objects about the place and unexplained footsteps are heard walking around the upper floors when no one is there.

Stories of multiple tragic deaths, including murders, suicides and death by fire, pepper the 222-year history of the Stanhope House, making it a likely spot for restless spirits to hang around. Originally built in 1790 as a single-family home, what we know as the Stanhope House today would have a number of different names and incarnations, including serving as a post office, a general store, a stagecoach stop and eventually an inn (some allege it was also a brothel). When the Morris Canal was constructed across northern New Jersey it ran virtually right past the door of the inn. The canal was in operation from the 1820s to 1920s and when workers needed someplace to stay, the Stanhope House became a rooming house to accommodate them. There were about 30 rooms on the second floor, and on the third floor in the attic, where it was routinely over 100 degrees in the summer, there were another 20-30 small rooms added for the more aromatic of the workers, such as the muleskinners and the drovers. From its very early days there has always been a tavern in the building in one form or another.

The music has been the main draw at the Stanhope House ever since they started booking big name blues acts back in the early 1970s. The roster of talent reads like a who’s who of Blues-Rock history. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Dr. Jon, Luther “Guitar Jr.” Jonson, Lonnie Mack, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Hubert Sumlin, Richie Havens, Jon Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Albert King and Buddy Guy all performed on the Stanhope House stage, most more than once.

The Stanhope House’s web site describes the scene ‘back in the day’ this way, “Picture Muddy Waters’ deep, grainy voice trading chicken recipes with former club Matron, Mama Wrobleski or the original Hoochie-Coochie Man, Willie Dixon stopping by for Thanksgiving dinner. All of it happened at The Stanhope House…”

The Stanhope House is haunted from the rafters of its attic all the way down to its stony basement foundation. With such a long rich past of both supernatural and musical history, it is a unique and unusual landmark. The new owners have spruced up the décor a bit, making it look a little more like a funky blues club now rather than its former juke joint appearance, but have still managed to retain the authentic vibe that made the Stanhope the cool place that it was. Whether you’re searching for spooks or just want to hear some great live music while enjoying your beer, it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Stanhope House. It’s one of the last great American roadhouses––and it’s found just down the road, in Stanhope, New Jersey.

The Stanhope House is located at 45 Main Street in Stanhope, NJ. (973) 347-7777, Go here for directions.