It's a well known fact that non-living entities adore the Christmas season and tend to ramp up their haunting during the holidays. There's a lot of speculation as to why this is. Did Dickens’ classic tale fold its way into the zeitgeist of the supernatural community? Is it a holdover from the worship of the ever living/ever dead Celtic vegetation gods? Or perhaps it's related to the solstice from which the myths of those ancient gods sprang?
Whatever the case, nowhere more embodies the curious relationship between ghosts and Christmas than the Abacus Hotel, the most “Christmas-haunted” building in America. Located on State Street in the old Dutch colonial town of Grick’s Hook, New York, the Abacus was built in 1896, and was instantly overrun with an alarming array of specters, spooks, and goblins.
During the Christmas season, there are seven active ghosts in the hotel:
1. The Moss Maiden: The upper floor of the Abacus’s tower is home to this ghost, named after her green flowing gown. The Maiden paces past the western windows on moonlit nights, awaiting the return of her fiance, a ferryman who drowned on Christmas Eve.
2. Angie from Yonkers: Newspaper research has revealed that Angie was a flapper who broke her neck after a night out at the local speakeasy. She generally lurks about the hallway of room 302, and will sometimes ask patrons if they know what time the bus for Yonkers leaves.
3. The Lamenting Cuckold: This sad-eyed spirit is often observed standing at the foot of the bed in room 204. He smokes a pipe, and whispers, “this is where my dreams were undone. Oh, my poor, foolish wife. Woe. Oh, helpless, horrible woe.”
4. The Quantum Ghost: In 1927, during a lecture in the Abacus’s drawing room, the renowned physicist Edward Shoenbach conducted a thought experiment in which he attempted to prove that certain subatomic particles are imbued with personalities, that is to say, they have souls. Shoenbach hoped to show that by their very nature quantum particles change states when they are observed, so if we view a living soul-infused wave function, it automatically becomes a dead particle, and vice versa. Other scientists considered Shoenbach’s gedankenexperiment to be boozy drivel, but nevertheless, it is said if you practice “seeing but not looking” in the Abacus drawing room, you can witness the fluttering subatomic ghost that the professor willed into nominal quantum existence.
5. Ian Fleming: It is uncertain why the spirit of the famous novelist lurks in the second floor taproom of the Abacus, as he had no known association with the hotel in life.
6. Mr. Sheffield: Some say the second owner of the Abacus slipped on a patch of black ice while trying to dance the Chesterfield, other say his wife smashed his head in with a brick. It was all very hush hush at the time.
7. The Beatnik. A pale, shaggy haired specter haunts the third floor tower during the holidays, reciting poetry of dubious merit. His most overheard line of verse is “her breast was and is a quiver, like Cagney’s lips in White Heat.”