Hauntings 5 – Ghosts of St. Paul’s Chapel
Okay, let me be clear here, if I wasn’t already. I am a skeptic. I wouldn’t believe in ghosts at all if I hadn’t seen them with my own two, admittedly bad, eyes. But, to borrow a phrase. “I see dead people.”
Over the American holiday of Thanksgiving (lets be clear, I am American and I love me some Thanksgiving, that was for YOUR BENEFIT, Britons!), I have had the opportunity to visit New York City with family. I crossed a few things off my bucket list, like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live, taking the NY subway, and most importantly, visiting the site of the Twin Towers. Before you get worried that I’m going to get divisive, I am not. One thing we can all agree on is that the attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC on 9/11/01 were an awful thing with a significant and unnecessary loss of life. The world stood by the United States in our grief, something for which at least I will forever be grateful. I mourned for France in recent weeks and Mali. I am not a pacifist by nature, but as an armchair historian, scholar, and closet anthropologist, I can at least understand what the motivation there was, though I cannot and will not justify their actions. Evil can certainly be reasonable, but never justified.
Allow me to step off my soap box and continue.
When the planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and eventually the towers fell, there was a great deal of destruction. Buildings, homes and businesses alike, were badly damaged even blocks away. But situated directly across the street from the Twin Towers is a small chapel. Completed in 1766, it was, at the time, the tallest building in NYC.
George Washington worshiped there on the day of his inauguration (I included a photo of his pew), and attended services there somewhat regularly. But more than that, on 9/11 the chapel became a place of rest for thousands of volunteers who were helping to sift through the wreckage over the next 8 months.
Every picture I took in the place captured a ghost of some kind. Most are residual hauntings as emotions where high after 9/11 and I am willing to believe MOST of the spirits I saw there are still alive today, but not ALL. George Washington himself stands in the box containing his pew. We didn’t speak but he gave me a look of such gravity that I cannot come close to interpreting it’s meaning, though I have a hunch…. The day we visited was the same day some men invaded a planned parenthood facility in Chicago. You can read more on that in the news.
Out back, there is a little cemetery. Most of the stones are so worn down that you cannot make out what was written on them. This is largely due to the simple fact that the cemetery has been there since the chapel was built. If you look in the picture included with this article, you might catch a glimpse of the ghosts who are eyeing the mad horde of tourists. These ghosts had no interest in me beyond being slightly annoyed by my proximity, just as they were slightly annoyed by the proximity of everyone nearby. These were true hauntings, to be sure, and not every grave represented a ghost. In the picture I included, you can make out about 5, maybe 6. Three down in front, one off to the far left, and for sure one near the very back. POSSIBLY two, but I think that might be a living person. Hard to say.
If you go across the street, there are hundreds more. But that is a tale for another time.