When a woman sells her home and doesn’t disclose that friendly ghosts haunt it, the subsequent court case leads to the New York Supreme Court officially declaring the house haunted.

In 1989, Helen Ackley sold the 18-room Victorian mansion that she’d lived in for 24 years. Located at 1 Laveta Place in Nyack, New York, overlooking the Hudson River, and lovingly restored by Helen and her late husband when they first purchased it in the 1960s, it was the perfect home for the Stambovskys, a Wall Street Trader and his wife, who purchased it. Except for one thing–the house was haunted.

Helen Ackley was proud of her ghosts, and seemed to consider them close friends.

When a local architect mentioned the house’s paranormal reputation to the new buyer, Stambovsky immediately sued to get his down payment back, and refused to move into the home. That led to a court case, widely known as the Ghostbusters Ruling, that went to the New York Supreme Court–twice–and cumulated with a pun-filled ruling that quoted the ghost from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as well as the hit 1984 movie Ghostbusters. The judge had spoken: “as a matter of law, the house is haunted.”

Highlights include:
• Fun facts about haunted houses
• The ghost of a Revolutionary War naval officer
• A fixer-upper with ghosts
• A spirit-approved paint job

Follow the podcast on instagram @buriedsecretspodcast

E-mail the podcast at buriedsecretspodcast@gmail.com

Sources consulted RE: The Ghostbusters Ruling

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stambovsky_v._Ackley
  • http://www.ghosttheory.com/2015/09/03/the-haunted-house-on-the-hudson
  • http://www.ktransit.com/Kavanagh/Ghost/ghost-update.htm
  • https://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/20/nyregion/phones-ringing-eerily-for-nyack-spook-home.html
  • http://www.ktransit.com/Kavanagh/Ghost/ghost-background.htm
  • https://nwsidebar.wsba.org/2013/10/31/halloween-law-lawyers/
  • https://loweringthebar.net/2008/09/case-law-hall-o.html
  • https://io9.gizmodo.com/this-new-york-mansion-is-legally-haunted-1788327098
  • https://www.coasttocoastam.com/article/legally-haunted-mansion-for-sale/
  • https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/10/legally-haunted-mansion-up-for-sale-in-new-york/
  • https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-york/legally-haunted-house-ny/
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-ghost-of-nyack-nyack-new-york
  • 18 Rms. Riv Vu. Ghosts. Sullivan, Ronald.New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]16 Mar 1990: B.3.
  • Buyer fears ghost of resale future but judge won’t slime the deal: [METRO Edition] Star Tribune; Minneapolis, Minn. [Minneapolis, Minn]31 Mar 1990: 01R.
  • The Realities of Real Estate: Buying a haunted house
    McWILLIAMS, BOB; McWILLIAMS, DONNA.Capital; Annapolis [Annapolis]27 Oct 2013: C.14.
    “Let Buyer Beware? Indeed!” New York Times, 19 July 1991. New York State Newspapers,
  • https://link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/doc/A175292062/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=0ad920f8. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  • Anderson, Susan Heller, and James Barron. “CHRONICLE.” New York Times, 9 Apr. 1990. New York State Newspapers, https://link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/doc/A175484954/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=b2b6f33c. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  • Barron, James. “Phones Ringing (Eerily?) For Nyack Spook Home.” New York Times, 20 Mar. 1990. New York State Newspapers, https://link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/doc/A175445997/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=409f4992. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  • “‘Must home sellers disclose that a home is haunted?’.” Washingtonpost.com, 30 Oct. 2015. Gale OneFile: News, https://link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/doc/A433186038/STND?u=nypl&sid=STND&xid=7110d7be. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  • Tinning, Andrea. “Four ways to avoid having a ‘deadbeat’ roommate.” UWIRE Text, 31 Oct. 2017, p. 1. Gale OneFile: News, https://link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/doc/A523809066/STND?u=nypl&sid=STND&xid=97a701c3. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
  • https://www.realtor.com/homemade/haunted-house-survey/
  • https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/millennials-more-likely-to-buy-haunted-houses/
  • https://news.move.com/2018-10-23-Millennials-Most-Likely-to-Purchase-a-Haunted-Home-for-Something-Extra
  • https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/haunted-house/
  • https://www.villagevoice.com/2015/10/20/how-a-quintuple-murder-and-a-dream-house-on-the-hudson-brought-the-paranormal-into-our-legal-system/
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-ghost-of-nyack-nyack-new-york
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreskin
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghFzI9zq-WY
  • https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-07-28-mn-274-story.html
  • https://nypost.com/2019/09/19/legally-haunted-new-york-manor-is-for-sale-again/?utm_campaign=iosapp
  • Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254 (N.Y. App. Div. 1991) (https://casetext.com/case/stambovsky-v-ackley)
  • “‘HAUNTED’ HOUSES HAVE BECOME TRENDY.” Cincinnati Post [Cincinnati, OH], 29 Oct. 1996, p. 3C. Gale OneFile: News, https://link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/doc/A72811237/STND?u=nypl&sid=STND&xid=accdb265. Accessed 11 Apr. 2020.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=ehWLF6yYepYC&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=ackley+reader%27s+digest&source=bl&ots=oQ2WJZwoXb&sig=ACfU3U1F4I7-9nuZGO12hOsr0G9aT9UMeQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjh8sOwt-DoAhWjgnIEHfVEA944FBDoATAFegQIDBAz#v=onepage&q=ackley%20reader’s%20digest&f=false
  • https://books.google.com/books?id=eU7rj_hooGIC&pg=PP34&lpg=PP34&dq=ackley+reader%27s+digest&source=bl&ots=Hnm9mUpsY8&sig=ACfU3U19j_oZP1gmcGywif-_AW4Fmw9vVw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjh8sOwt-DoAhWjgnIEHfVEA944FBDoATACegQIDBAt#v=onepage&q=ackley%20reader’s%20digest&f=false
  • http://www.ghosttheory.com/2015/09/03/the-haunted-house-on-the-hudson
  • https://www.stevelee.com/featured/stambovsky-v-ackley-aka-ghostbusters-ruling/
  • https://pnlawyers.com/a-cup-of-joe-house-in-nyack-held-haunted-as-a-matter-of-law/
  • https://apnews.com/ff183e209fd81e5d716aeb344a457fa9
  • https://www.trulia.com/p/ny/nyack/1-laveta-pl-nyack-ny-10960–1100346429
  • https://www.lohud.com/story/money/real-estate/homes/sell-this-house/2015/09/01/ingrid-michaelson-nyack-home-sale/30567473/
  • https://nyacknewsandviews.com/2012/10/nyack-sketch-log-1-poltergeist-place/
  • https://athomeinnyack.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/nyacks-legally-haunted-house/
  • http://www.ghosttheory.com/2015/09/03/the-haunted-house-on-the-hudson
  • http://www.ktransit.com/Kavanagh/Ghost/ghost-background.htm
  • http://www.ktransit.com/Kavanagh/Ghost/ghost-court.htm
  • https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/queen-anne-victorian/

Don’t miss past episodes:

A deep dive into the darker side of The Exorcist‘s production, with scary facts from The Exorcist’s production, from the director’s tendency to shot blanks from a gun at random on set to scare people, to evil deeds that two actors with bit parts went on to do after being in The Exorcist.

Highlights include:
• The erratic behavior of The Exorcist’s director
• A urban legend about lightning striking a tombstone during the filming of The Exorcist
• A mysterious black dog
• The extra in The Exorcist who became a killer

Note: This episode contains discussion of abuse within the Catholic church.


The Exorcist end scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_IG7u4ph0M
The Keepers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Keepers

 

Follow the podcast on instagram @buriedsecretspodcast

E-mail the podcast at buriedsecretspodcast@gmail.com

Sources consulted RE: The Exorcist in New York

Check out the sources here.

Don’t miss past episodes:

A look at the Catholic rite of exorcism and the connections that the 1973 film The Exorcist has to New York City, in particular to Fordham University.

New York City’s Fordham University wasn’t just a filming location for The Exorcist; it also was the home of two real priests who appeared in the film. One of those priests was the former teacher and friend of the William Peter Blatty, author of the novel The Exorcist, and this priest encouraged Blatty to research and write about exorcism.

This episode draws a lot from interviews with Fordham-affiliated Jesuits back in the 1970s, who, like many members of the Catholic clergy, found themselves barraged with questions from the general public about exorcisms. With the increased popularity of exorcisms, the Catholic church–which still performs exorcisms to this day, but doesn’t want to talk about it–found itself scrambling to respond.

In the next episode, the story will continue, with a look at the many dark true stories and urban legends that are tied to The Exorcist’s production.

Highlights include:
• A rumor about a place in NYC where exhausted exorcists might go to recover
• The story behind why the Catholic church doesn’t like to talk about exorcisms
• The priest who inspired The Exorcist

Follow the podcast on instagram @buriedsecretspodcast

E-mail the podcast at buriedsecretspodcast@gmail.com

Sources consulted RE: The Exorcist in New York

Books RE: The Exorcist in New York

  • A History of St. John’s College, Fordham, New York
  • Fordham: A History and Memoir by Raymond A. Schroth
  • Fordham: A History of the Jesuit University of New York: 1841-2003 by Thomas J. Shelley
  • Confrontation with Evil by Stephen LaChance
  • The Exorcist by William Blatty (mention of Fordham here: https://archive.org/details/exorci00blat/page/52/mode/2up?q=fordham)

Videos RE: The Exorcist in New York

Websites RE: The Exorcist in New York

  • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070047/locations?ref_=tt_dt_dt
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coler_Specialty_Hospital
  • https://www.newyorkalmanack.com/2014/12/remembering-goldwater-hospital-in-nyc/
  • https://rihs.us/2020/05/14/thursday-may-14-2020-goldwater-served-the-needy-for-over-50-year/
  • https://fordham.libguides.com/c.php?g=279582&p=1863714
  • https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?locations=Fordham%20University%20-%20441%20E.%20Fordham%20Road.%20Rose%20Hill,%20Bronx,%20New%20York%20City,%20New%20York,%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_13
  • https://untappedcities.com/2019/02/19/the-the-top-10-secrets-of-fordham-university-in-nyc/6/?displayall=true
  • https://fordhamobserver.com/22507/features/a-film-history-of-fordham/
  • https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/medny/venturi-poebells.asp
  • https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/medny/venturi.asp
  • https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/medny/downey.asp
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordham_University
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Allan_Poe
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Jesus
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignatius_of_Loyola
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bateson
  • https://jimcofer.com/2007/06/22/about-the-exorcist/
  • https://www.fordham.edu/info/24738/jesuits_at_fordham
  • https://news.fordham.edu/politics-and-society/fordham-sociologist-explores-exorcisms/
  • https://news.fordham.edu/university-news/northeast-province-of-the-society-of-jesus-releases-names-of-priests-credibly-accused-of-abuse/
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/nyregion/22fordham.html
  • https://www.theodysseyonline.com/straight-horror-movie
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Bronx
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/12481/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.factinate.com/things/26-chilling-facts-exorcist/
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/19030
  • https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70383/ghosts-might-attend-these-7-supposedly-haunted-colleges-and-universities
  • https://news.fordham.edu/politics-and-society/fordham-sociologist-explores-exorcisms/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/67104/opinion/misleading-the-flock-the-murray-weigel-fiasco/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/67569/opinion/release-names-or-close-murray-weigel/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/67702/news/priest-list-is-no-longer-available/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/66543/news/priests/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/66193/news/priest-article-placeholder/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/69758/news/rev-william-j-omalley-removed-from-murray-weigel-hall/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/65307/news/priest-accused-abuse-new-orleans-housed-fordham/
  • https://thefordhamram.com/65959/opinion/shame-fordham-releases-list-of-abusive-priests/
  • https://fordhamobserver.com/40974/news/jesuit-living-at-fordham-accused-of-sexual-abuse/
  • https://fordhamobserver.com/37437/news/jesuit-sexual-abuse-scandal-shakes-university/
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/OBVR/id/2625/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/14878/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/OBVR/id/5183/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/newsMedia/id/0/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/20575/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2019/10/25/making-exorcist
  • https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/sites/default/files/imce/30047/Exorcising_the_Exorcist.pdf
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/22350/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/20741/itemsearch/bensalem
  • https://www.theodysseyonline.com/straight-horror-movie
  • https://www.thisisthebronx.info/things-to-know-about-fordham-university/
  • https://vocal.media/horror/the-haunting-of-fordham-university-pt-1
  • https://www.library.fordham.edu/digital/item/collection/RAM/id/26841/itemsearch/exorcism
  • https://www.fordham.edu/info/24738/jesuits_at_fordham#:~:text=In%20addition%2C%20the%20community%20at,Weigel%20Hall%20and%20Kohlmann%20Hall.
  • http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-O.html
  • https://nypost.com/2012/06/27/exorcist-priest-gets-school-ax/
  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/16/rev-william-omalley-the-exorcist-accused-sexual-abuse/2031071001/
  • https://fordhamram.com/23771/news/film-crews-increase-revenue-but-polarize-student-body/
  • http://www.thennowmovielocations.com/2013/08/the-exorcist.html
  • americanhauntingsink.com/was-the-exorcist-cursed
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bermingham_(priest)
  • https://jimcofer.com/2007/06/22/about-the-exorcist/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exorcist_(film)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_O%27Malley_(Jesuit)
  • https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/01/13/lunch-between-jesuit-and-william-peter-blatty-led-role-exorcist
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_O%27Malley_(Jesuit)
  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/16/rev-william-omalley-the-exorcist-accused-sexual-abuse/2031071001/
  • https://www.newyorkupstate.com/rochester/2019/08/the-exorcist-priest-accused-of-sexually-abusing-rochester-student.html

Don’t miss past episodes:

In the 1690s, a Transylvania-born mystic, occultist, musician, and writer named Johannes Kelpius led a group of 40 Rosicrucian monks to colonial Philadelphia to wait for the end of the world.

Though Kelpius and his group of highly-educated mystics were disappointed when the day of revelation didn’t come, they made the best of their new home, building an observatory, a botanical garden, and an orchard. They also wrote poetry, composed music, and studied alchemy, divination, and conjuring.

Records show that they experienced a number of paranormal events, including the sighting or a ghostly figure at the edge of the woods during a celebration around a bonfire, blue flames emerging from a fresh grave, and more. There are also stories of Kelpius’ followers performing astral projection, and Kelpius himself possessed a magical stone that he guarded fiercely, but which has since vanished.

Highlights include:
• A ghost who appeared at a bonfire-lit celebration
• Blue flames emerging from a fresh grave
• A cave full of serpents
• Astral projection into a London coffeehouse
• The philosopher’s stone?

Follow the podcast on instagram @buriedsecretspodcast

E-mail the podcast at buriedsecretspodcast@gmail.com

Pictures of Johannes Kelpius

Cave of Johannes Kelpius

Cave of Kelpius. Image credit: Steven L. Johnson – Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenljohnson/7996580601/

Johannes Kelpius

Painting of Johannes Kelpius by Christopher Witt – The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, http://www.hsp.org

Sources consulted RE: Johannes Kelpius

Articles

Websites

  • http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/Johannes_Kelpius
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Kelpius
  • https://www.ushistory.org/oddities/kelpius.htm
  • https://hymnary.org/person/Kelpius_John
  • http://dictionnaire.sensagent.leparisien.fr/johannes+kelpius/en-en/
  • https://vugradhistory.wordpress.com/tag/kelpius/
  • https://www.montgomerynews.com/roxreview/news/diving-into-the-cave-of-kelpius/article_73e2b896-c5ad-588e-b749-99dd8b6a7739.html
  • https://infogalactic.com/info/Wissahickon_Creek
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Transylvania_(1570%E2%80%931711)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transylvania
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietism
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_B%C3%B6hme
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Jacob_Zimmermann
  • https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Pennsylvania_Pilgrim
  • http://kelpius.org/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/share-your-kelpius-stone-of-wisdom-stories/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/heinrich-bernhard-koster-and-irenia/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/june-15-2013-kelpius-society-hosts-summer
  • solstice-program-at-philadelphia-museum-of-art/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/193/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/46/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/request-for-research-and-information/
  • https://hiddencityphila.org/2011/11/doomsday-cult-on-the-wissahickon/
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cave-of-kelpius
  • https://denamerlino.com/the-hermit-of-the-wissahickon/
  • https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%203%3A7-13&version=NIV
  • https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%203%3A7-13&version=NABRE
  • http://www.oddthingsiveseen.com/2007/08/cave-of-kelpius.html
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cave-of-kelpius
  • https://www.phillyvoice.com/did-wissahickon-hermit-have-fabled-philosophers-stone/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_house
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John%27s_Eve
  • https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-americas/cave-kelipus-place-where-ardent-believers-waited-second-coming-007048
  • https://www.ushistory.org/oddities/kelpius.htm
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/request-for-research-and-information/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/46/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/193/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/june-15-2013-kelpius-society-hosts-summer-solstice-program-at-philadelphia-museum-of-art/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/heinrich-bernhard-koster-and-irenia/
  • https://kelpiusblog.wordpress.com/
  • http://kelpius.org/aboutus.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Transylvania_(1570%E2%80%931711)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia
  • https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Pennsylvania_Pilgrim
  • Map: http://www.phillyh2o.org/backpages/Maps/FairmountPk_1871_FHS.jpg

Don’t miss past episodes: