We will be discussing and signing copies of our book Long Island Oddities at the following dates and locations:
10/23/13 7PM Carle Place, Barnes and Noble
10/24/13 7PM Bay Shore, Barnes and Noble
10/30/13 7PM Lake Grove, Barnes and Noble
Nestled quietly on North Country Road in the historic town of Stony Brook sits a small yet elegant restaurant with a haunted past. The Stony Brook Country House Restaurant has been the home of an otherworldly resident for hundreds of years. To this day she continues to make her presence known to diners, visitors, and employees.
Built as a farmhouse, the building was turned into a stage coach stop in the 1800’s. It would later become the restaurant we see today. From what we have gathered, a young woman named Annette Williamson was living on the property during the Revolution. All stories agree that she was hung from the second story rafters though they differ on how the event came about. Perhaps poor Annette still stays on, overseeing the property even after her death.
William Sidney Mount, America’s foremost painter of African American daily life was known to have séances in the house. Some also say that a rather unpleasant spirit from the nearby Carriage House Museum comes to visit. Many have had experiences here, and the restaurant is perhaps more famous for its haunting than its cuisine. We decided it was high time to go and see for ourselves.
Our group arrived in the parking lot to find a beautiful yet quaint white building. Inside it was decorated beautifully in candlelight. We were ushered into a large yet private room all to ourselves. Coincidentally, the room they sat us in is directly below the one in which Annette was hung. The ceiling was removed so that we could see straight up into the room above us in between the beams.
We were very eager to hear some tales from the staff, and our waiter Edward was happy to oblige. The first story he told us concerned the men’s room. During the holidays some patrons complained that there was a lady in the men’s room playing with the children. His own personal experience happened right at our table. In the center of the table is a mirror centerpiece with candles on it. While taking flowers off of that table, in the mirror, he saw a shadow pass overhead in the second story room. Another waiter actually claims to have seen a female figure.
In between bringing plates to our table, he stopped briefly to tell us stories. Our waiter once heard his name being called from the same room we were in when no one was around. The radio changes stations quite often. Lights will flicker and their brightness will go up and down. We witnessed this a few times ourselves and according to Ed, electricians have been consulted with no explanation or conclusion as to why this happens. He also has seen streams of light out of the corner of his eye as if someone was moving a flashlight bean quickly across the walls. At night the staff would put new candles on the tables, but find then halfway burnt down by morning. The nightly candle changing stopped for fear of an overnight fire.
There is a room upstairs which is rumored to have been the slave’s quarters. It is connected by a small door with a window pane in it. The door has not been opened in a 6 years because one of the wait staff received a very bad shock when trying to open the door. It turned his arm red all the way up to his shoulder. Again electricians were unable to find any explanation.
Behind my seat there was a door covered by a thick heavy curtain. On the other side of the curtain was a stereo system. Just as our waiter, Ed, was telling us about the curtain, we saw it move as if a breeze were playing along the fabric. This happened several times throughout our meal. While running our hands along the curtain we could feel no discernable breeze.
Even though we did not come home with definite proof of Annette’s existence, the night was extremely enjoyable. Between the elegant décor, delicious food, and enthralling conversation, we could not have had more fun. With so many personal stories and experiences being shared it is hard to doubt that there might be something more to the Country House restaurant. Whether haunted or not it is certainly a place worth a visit and a meal.