The Oldest Island House

Now the island is settled, the Native Americans have mysteriously disappeared, and the colonial farmers begin to set up their crops, their homes, their barns, et cetera…  Beach Haven is at the southern tip of the island near the mass burial site of the Native Americans, and all of Beach Haven was owned by a wealthy man his wife and their seven children who built a beautiful house in the center of their property.  The white colonial home had four floors, a cellar, a porch swing for the family to sit on and watch the sunset every night, a couple balconies so they could see the waves crash from the top of the house, and even a pool in the backyard for them to cool down when the days got hot. And around the house they planted corn and tomatoes, wheat, erected a beautiful barn to house hay for their livestock. There was a chicken coop, a pen full of pigs, an open field for their horses, and a wooden silo. Years passed, and the father would pass down his farm plantation to his oldest son and then his son after him. And the island became more populated… more people flocked to the shore to spend time with their family. But water and erosion and unruly weather slowly made their crop less valuable than it once was so slowly they halted their agricultural practices, but their house still stands on the island and is older than the other houses and bigger than the other houses. The house stands between two streets: Liberty and Iroquois Avenue. The lot is huge but it always seems like no one is there. The shrubs and trees and weeds have overgrown and spill out onto the street into the lots of the neighbors homes, marring the image of this beautiful White House to somebody passing by. Sometimes when the moon is full and the night is quiet you can hear the porch swing creaking back-and-forth in the wind, reminiscent of the days of the man and his wife and their seven children lived there. 

N has spent his summers in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, New Jersey since he was born. The tiny town was established in the late 19th century and holds incredibly rich and often, dark history in the original structures that still stand. Many Victorian buildings still exist, which gives the beach town a unique flair. A popular pastime of teenagers on the island is to bike ride at night to the various, rumored-to-be-haunted locations and scare each other. Thus, the telling of ghost stories is prevalent in the childhoods of the children who grew up on the island. This house is arguably the most historical monument on the island, and since no one is ever seen there and there is never any car in the driveway, despite its hulking size, it is the most prevalent ghost story on the island. Many of N’s friends have tried to sneak onto the property, but no one has ever made it past the driveway.

Again, it is funny to me to see the creepy, ghost story twist added to the tales from this island. This house cannot simply be an old, abandoned house with rich history. It must be haunted and creepy, with a creaky porch swing being ridden by its many ghosts.