The legend of Mary's Grave actually consists of a strange inbreeding of many different Long Island legends. There are actually a good number of supposed Mary's Graves throughout the island, though it seems the original tale may have originated out of the Mount Misery area. Another popular Mary's Grave story comes from Head of the Harbor. Some of the legends are similar and they seem to run through a common chain of events. Basically Mary dies some untimely death and haunts the place she dies or her tombstone either looking for revenge or to protect others from her fate.
Find out more about the Chandler estate in issue #1 and Mount Misery in issue #2 of Long Island Oddities the magazine. Click here.
One of the more popular versions entails coming through the cemetery at night and shining a flashlight on her tombstone. Some say you will see her face as you shine the light over the headstone.
Another story claims that there is an angelic statue at her grave and she sometimes comes out of the statue or you will see the statue cry. She is said to protect other young girls.
The Head of the Harbor story tells of a girl who was either abused by her father or wasn't aloud to date a particular boy. She extracted her vengeance on her family and finally on herself by hanging herself from a tree in the backyard. There is supposedly a little stone house that was built for Mary. The stories of the stone house range from it being the place where Mary's father abused her to it being a place where she killed small animals. Next the gate to her family's house is the gate to the backyard where Mary met her demise. The body was supposedly buried in an area field and is a source of supernatural occurrences.
Yet another Mary's grave story is that Mary was a tenant at the Chandler Estate, AKA Satan's Trails, and died a horrific untimely death. Having felt badly for Mary, Mrs. Chandler had her buried in the cemetery near the boarding house.
Other tales are somewhat more ominous. One legend says she was raped, beaten, and killed and that she will hunt down men who come onto her territory. Others do not give a reason for her vengeance but have the basic outline of, "Don't cross Mary".
If you expand the legend of "Mary's Grave" to include all the local legends surrounding where "Mary" died and open it up from just graveyards you will come across more variations of horrendous deaths and supposed haunting. There is one particular story told to us by someone concerning the Stony Brook area. We were actually taken to a site where Mary was supposed to have been repeatedly beaten by her father. On one side of the road is a small stone sheds of some sort and the actual place she is said to have taken her life is behind is supposed to be in the back of one of the nearby houses that has two entrance gates, a newer one and an old decrepit one. PLEASE KEEP in mind that though there is an old gate and a stone shack, these are just legends. So don't go there to bother the neighbors or trespass on their property. For this reason we will not give out the exact location of this site.
There is another Mary's Grave story that has been somewhat substantiated in Mount Sinai on the grounds of the old Chandler Estate. There has been some documentation supporting that there was a Mary who lived there for a while and that she suddenly disappeared, though the lights in her apartment would come on every once and a while and the landlord reported hearing noises in the room. There was actually a sign on one of the doors that said, "Mary's Room". The building is now demolished and the landlord is deceased so further research is difficult. We have been informed that there was a Mary residing there who was a former Kings Park patient that disappeared unexpectedly. Mrs. Chandler was concerned because she saw no sign of Mary or the rent. Upon inspecting the apartment one day she saw signs it was still lived in and that night the lights were on. Mrs. Chandler, having been sure the lights was off from her previous inspection grew even more concerned and even frightened.