A Brief History: Patriots Park rests on the border of the infamous Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown New York on U.S. Route 9. In 1780, British Officer John Andre rode through Sleepy Hollow to escape through American lines with the aid of Benedict Arnold. He rode in plain clothes under the alias John Anderson, utilizing a passport provided to him by Arnold. He carried plans handwritten by Benedict Arnold with details pertaining to the defenses at West Point. While in the area now known as Patriots Park, Andre encountered three American militiamen, John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, and David Williams, who found Arnold’s plans stashed in Andre’s sock. Andre made an attempt to bribe the American’s to no avail. Andre was turned over to the Continental Army in North Castle where he was detained and convicted of espionage. General George Washington gave the orders to have Officer John Andre hanged for his crimes the same year.
In 1853, and obelisk was erected to commemorate the capture of John Andre at the site. In 1880, on the 100th anniversary of the capture, the monument was expanded, drawing a crowd of over 70,000 people. The park underwent a major restoration in 1949, and today the four-acre park is home to many community events as well as a seasonal farmer’s market that runs from May to October.
Haunted History: Many people believe that Patriots Park is haunted by none other than Major John Andre himself. Some people say that he is still riding around the park at night, while others have reported seeing him roaming the park, reciting a poem that he wrote which was published on the day that he was captured.
Andre isn’t the only specter said to rummage around the park; Samuel Youngs is also rumored to frequent the area. Youngs was a former schoolteacher who is rumored to have been the model for Ichabod Crane in Washington Irving’s famous novel.