A Brief History: The King Zog Estate aka Knollwood Estate was built between 1906 and 1920. This large 60-room mansion designed by Hiss and Weeks sits on 260 acres of land that encompasses the Westbrook Farms, now known as Muttontown Preserve. This Gold Coast Mansion was originally built for Charles Hudson, a steel tycoon and a huge Wall Street stockbroker. King Ahmet Muhtar Bej Zogolli aka King Zog of Albania purchased the Knollwood Estate for $102,800 from Charles Hudson in 1951. It was rumored that he purchased the estate with a bucket of jewels such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, taken from the Albanian people. Rumor has it that the remainder of the jewels was stored in the estate as well as hidden on the grounds of the estate.
King Zog ruled Albania originally President and than became King from 1925 to 1939. When Italian forces invaded Albania, Zog and his family was forced to flee from Albania. During this time there was 55 assassination attempts on him and Zog was the only modern leader who would fire back at his assailant on the assassination attempt in Vienna during 1931. During the next decade he would flee from country to country, and in 1951 he would send his servants and his family to Long Island NY to live in his knew Estate that he had purchased. Even though King Zog never lived in the Knollwood Estate his family did.
In 1955 The Knollwood Estate was sold to Lansdell Christie, which sat vacant for 4 years. In 1959 Christie had the run down Knollwood Estate demolished. Now many decades later the estate sits in ruins and is now part of 550-acre Muttontown Preserve, in Nassau County. The park is open daily and a short walk from Muttontown Road; you can still see the ruins that once was an extraordinary estate.
Haunted History: The grounds of the estate hold many tales of paranormal activity. One of the stories is that there are satanic rituals performed by the fountain of the estate, attracting negative spirits to haunt the woods. There have also been reports of seeing shadow people roam around these woods at night. In 2001 a full skeleton of a 5’3” woman was found in a fetal position near the ruins of the old estate. It is said that you can hear screams of a woman while walking down the trails through the woods. So next time your in the area, check out the old ruins of the estate and you may just get a little more than just creepy old ruins in the woods.