top of page

What Do You Want Pilgrim?

New York, USA
June 2000

This is an experience my grandmother had when she was a young woman back in the early 1930s.

When I was a child my grandmother often told me about the time she saw ghosts back when she was a young woman. At the time she lived in the area of 99th street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This is the area that is now near the Verazzano Narrows bridge at the mouth of New York Harbor. I grew up in that area and live there now. This is her story:

One night she was sitting at the mirror in her bedroom with her back to the open doorway. She was fixing her hair and makeup in preparation for a party. She was brushing her hair when her gaze happened to drift from her reflection to the reflection of the open door behind her. There in the door stood a man and a woman dressed in what my grandmother described as "pilgrim" clothes. (In America we are all familiar with this costume from our school history lessons). The "pilgrims" were a religious sect, Puritan Separatists from the Church of England, they wore black, had big buckles on their shoes, white bonnets and big starched white collars in the style of the 17th century. She told me that they were completely motionless and stood there staring at her.

Wondering if perhaps the party she was to attend might be a costume party and not thinking these two people were ghosts she confronted them saying, "Who are you? What do you want?" Once she said this they began to gradually grow transparent and within about 30 seconds they disappeared completely.

For the longest time I did not really believe this story but, I have subsequently discovered two things which corroborate my grandmother's story.

Firstly, Brooklyn [a Dutch Name] was settled in the 17th century by the Dutch. English puritans settled Massachusetts. However, when I was older and studying American History at the University I discovered that the puritans had adopted the dress of the Dutch, the same people that settled in Brooklyn. My grandmother saw Dutch ghosts dressed in Dutch style clothes that she only knew as "pilgrim" garb.

Secondly, I was in a book store recently and found a book on New York City's haunts. It contains an account room a woman who now lives in a home in that same exact area of Brooklyn. This woman claimed she would hear a man and a woman speaking in various parts of her home. The words sounded like German but,she later discovered that they were speaking Dutch.

Could they be the same spirits my Grandmother saw in the same place? I would like to hear from anybody who has heard about similar hauntings in Brooklyn.

New York, USA
00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page