Mystery History

The Cult of Mysterious “Monks Castle”

In the late 70s and early 80s rumors of a “Sex and Drugs” cult residing at “Monks Castle” began circulating around Montclair. One resident described the reaction of the community as “panic stricken” in a New York Times article about the cult, which ran under the headline “Guru’s Cult in Castle Troubles Montclair.” Continue reading

The Quest for El Dorado

The remaining ruins of El Dorado Gardens can still be found today, hidden in small patch of woods along the muddy banks of the Rahway River in Springfield. Concrete bridges arch over stagnant fetid waters, and overgrown, barely visible walkways wind their way past the crumbling remains of communal baths. All that is left to remind us of one of New Jersey’s lost resorts. Continue reading

A Governor In Queen’s Clothing

New Jersey’s first royal governor, a first cousin of Queen Anne, took office in 1706, and quickly gained the dubious distinction of being one of our state’s most loathed leaders. Edward Hyde, Viscount Cornbury, (1661–1723) had already rubbed Americans the … Continue reading

A Bridge Abridged in Hoboken

Today, one backyard along 12th Street in Hoboken is five feet wider than it was a few years ago. Because that’s when Hoboken’s “Phantom Bridge” cornerstone mysteriously disappeared. Once located in the backyard of 1200 Garden Street, it was a … Continue reading

The Mummies of Newark

Most people would find it weird that a church would pave over its own historic cemetery to create a parking lot. To some, it may seem sad, the cemetery was one of the oldest in the state and contained members of the founding families of Newark, who settled the town in the 1660s. Some might be disturbed to know that most of the 2,000-plus graves in the cemetery were not removed prior to paving the parking lot in 1959. Continue reading

Leo the Lion: King of the Gillette Jungle

Almost anyone who has watched an MGM movie or television show has heard the roar of Leo the Lion just before the camera fades into the main event. You’d think that such a Hollywood icon would rate a burial in La La Land, but in Leo’s case, that’s not so. And thus begins the lion’s tale… Continue reading