State’s Urban Legends: New York

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic spooky tale set in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Sleepy Hollow today has been all but swallowed up by New York City so there are no more Headless Horsemen riding about throwing flaming pumpkins at people.

But the Empire State still has some pretty good legends to scare up with.

The Mole People of New York City

There are many reasons not to wander off the station platforms of the New York City subway system. That electrified third rail being the primary one. The frequent passing of a speeding train a close second.

A New York Mole Person?

Still photo from the movie, The Mole People.

But legend says that the tunnels are home to some unfriendly residents, ones you won’t want to encounter. The Mole People (no not the ones in that bad 1950s movie starring John Agar), were driven underground, so says the legends, and today call the tunnels home.

The reasons why are not known for certain, but they are down there. And they have been down there so long they actually see better the darker it gets.

Oh, they also eat human flesh and don’t seem to have much use for… well, just about everyone else outside of potential main course material. So stay above ground and take in the sights.

The Montauk Project

The Montauk Project was a government-run project in the 1980s. If you are a fan of Stranger Things, this legend might sound very familiar to you.

Based on the southeastern part of Long Island, the project delved into all sorts of strange experiments. Time warps to Mars, portals to other dimensions, experimentation on kids, developing psychic spies, genetic experiments and some other forms of good old-fashioned Cold War-style pyche warfare.

Your tax dollars at work.


Kids heading off to summer camp heard all about the story of Cropsey. A one-handed man, his other hand was a hook, who stalked children. Depending on which version of the legend you heard over the campfire, his hunting ground was a summer camp or a hospital of some type. Any child off alone that encounter him was his next murder victim.

It was all good scary fun. Then a documentary came out. The producers have made the case the Cropsey was in fact, Andre Rand, who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering children.

Have fun at camp this year, kids!


About the author

Richard Paolinelli