The Haunted Matron's House
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The Haunted Matron’s House

On this episode, I talk about a weird experience we had at the Matron’s House at Sailor’s Snug Harbor on Staten Island. Snug Harbor was originally built at the request of Robert Randall, heir to a shipping fortune. His will specified that his estate be used to build a facility for “aged, decrepit, and worn-out sailors.” It was a retirement home of sorts for men who had spent their life on the seas, and had no other means of making a living once they retired.

The grounds eventually grew to 50 buildings and over 900 residents. Legend has it that one building, the Matron’s House, housed Snug Harbor’s women workers. The women did the cooking, laundry, and other chores for the retired sailors. The story goes that the woman in charge, the Matron, had an illegitimate son with one of the sailors. When he was born, she kept him hidden in the house, chained up in the basement. Allegedly, as a young teen, the boy escaped, and brutally killed his mother – the Matron. The men of the facility – a small, self-contained town in its own right, now – allegedly then captured the boy and executed him, hanging him from a tree behind the Matron’s house.

Haunted History

While we have never been able to find any historical evidence that any part of this story is true, rumors have persisted for years that the building (and many other buildings in the Snug Harbor complex) are haunted. Today, Snug Harbor is a sprawling cultural center on the north shore of Staten Island, housing museums, performing arts centers, and botanical gardens. But for some, there may still  be residents lurking there.

This week I show a video clip of one of our paranormal investigations, where we capture what sounds like footsteps. What do you think we captured in the Matron’s House? Do ghosts haunt Snug Harbor? Or is there a more rational explanation? Email me at:

Check out the video below, or find us on your favorite podcast platforms!

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