Snug Harbor – Staten Island, NY – 2/19/11

The Governor’s House

Governor-House (1)The Governor’s House sits on the grounds of Sailor’s Snug Harbor, located on the North Shore of Staten Island. Founded in 1801 by Captain Robert Randall, it was built as an institution to care for “aged, decrepit and worn-out” seamen. It opened in 1833 and was the first home for retired merchant seamen in the history of the United States. Snug Harbor was treated as a self-contained community and was overseen by a governor. Captain Thomas Melville, a retired sea captain and brother of Moby-Dick author Herman Melville, was governor of Snug Harbor from 1867 to 1884. The facility officially closed as a home for sailors in the 1960s and it was declared a landmark in 1965, opening to the public 10 years later. It is estimated that thousands of sailors died on the grounds of Snug Harbor in its over 130 year history.

The Governor’s House as we know it today is not where the actual governors lived, however. The actual home for the governors was torn down years ago, and what is known today as the Governor’s House was probably where a member of the governor’s staff lived, most likely his treasurer. Rumors of a “woman in white” haunting the Governor’s House and the surrounding grounds have persisted for years.

The Investigation

This was a joint investigation by the three in-house paranormal teams at Snug Harbor: SCARED!SIPS and the New York Paranormal Society. The Governor’s House is a huge building, with three floors and a basement, and it is minimally furnished, leaving lots of room to investigate. The teams agreed to do more of an “old school” investigation, using only what we could carry (basic audio recorders and a few cameras) rather than setting up cameras throughout the entire house. Each team took a floor to investigate, and floors were rotated throughout the night so that each team would get a chance on every floor. EVP sessions were conducted in a staggered manner so as not to interfere with the other groups’ investigations.

The Findings

There were a few personal experiences throughout the night, but unfortunately cameras were not running when they occurred. The first experience happened to Jason of NYPS. When we first came into the building and were setting up equipment and discussing a how to approach the investigation, Jason entered the bathroom on the third floor and heard what sounded like a man talking. At this point, Brian was the only other male in the building, and was not speaking at the time. Again, as this was prior to the official investigation, no cameras or recorders were set up yet and so no evidence of this encounter was recorded.

A second anomaly that was experienced was a strange K-II reading. the EMF meteres had been pretty nominal all evening. At one point, once the conversation was allowed to drift from ghost hunting to other more mundane conversation, the meter starting registering pretty high. Again, the video camera was turned off during this part of the investigation, as it was towards the end of the night and the battery was dying.


While we have had some very interesting results at the Governor’s House in the past, this investigation really yielded nothing of note. A personal experience and unusual K-II readings are interesting, but there is no way of knowing if they were paranormal or not. We will be returning to the Governor’s House in the near future for further research.

Click below to see a video summary of this investigation.