FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Do ghosts exist? A presentation at the Franklin Lakes Public Library Tuesday, Oct. 13 hinted at the possibility.
L'Aura Hladik Hoffman, founder of the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society, spoke about her experiences with hauntings in the area. Four spots are in New Jersey.
Hoffman first highlighted the former Charlie Brown's restaurant in Hackettstown.
Originally known as the Clarendon House, the building used to serve as a hotel and brothel. The stories say either a child drowned in a bath tub or that someone committed suicide there, leading to restless spirits.
It left management there hearing strange noises.
"You can't have a haunting without the sound of disembodied footsteps," Hoffman told nearly two dozen people on Oct. 13.
A hotel in Belvidere also experienced some unusual activity, Hoffman continued. The hotel used to reside near a courthouse where criminals were executed. The rope used in hangings was then cut up in the hotel basement and sold as souvenirs.
Hoffman played an audio recording of her visit to Belvidere. While there she asked a question of the spirits.
Though she did not hear it at the time, the audio recording captured the sound of a young girl sighing, which indicated paranormal activity, according to Hoffman.
Hoffman also covered The Hermitage house in Ho-Ho-Kus and the Burlington County Prison, each with their unexplained moments.
The New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society has about 800 members. Hoffman has "ghost hunted" since 1993 and published two books on the subject.
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