Raynham Hall is a twenty-room house museum that transports
you back into the life and times of the Townsends, one of the founding
families of the Town of Oyster Bay on Long Island, New York.
Unfolding history from the American Revolution in the 1770s through Oyster
Bay's affluent Victorian period in the 1870s, Raynham Hall was accredited by
the American Association of Museums in 1991. It is the only house museum on
Long Island to earn this high honor. Further, Raynham Hall Museum was recently honored by the State of New York as a
Revolutionary War Heritage Trail site. This designation recognizes the
unique contribution of the Townsend family to the cause of American
The Museum is open to the public year-round for visits, tours, educational
programs and research. Come see for yourself how Long Islanders from
centuries past lived, learned, worked and played. Experience first-hand more
than 200 years of American history, including such historic items as George
Washington's August 1777 letter to New York Governor Clinton.
This original home of the Townsend family, it quartered British troops during the war
as was the law in the American colonies. One day a British Major, John Andre,
was overheard discussing a bribe to convince Benedict Arnold to surrender
his troops. Townsend's daughter notified General George Washington and the plot was foiled.
John Andre was known to frequent the house often before this and it is
claimed that he may still pay occasional visits.
According to an article on the former Haunted Long
Island website, there was a sighting of Andre outside a bedroom window.
There may also be another ghost. Another British officer often staying at
the house also quartered a lover there. It is said that her bedroom where
she stayed is always cold. It does not mention which of the upstairs rooms
she held but there was one room in particular I found rather chilling. The
museum curators set up period mannequins there to illustrate scenes of daily
There may also be a more pleasant spirit residing at Raynham Hall. Many
visitors and museum employees tell tales of the smell of apple and cinnamon
in the kitchen. Some say if you smell it, the lady in the kitchen welcomes
you. Strangely when we arrived to do our investigation of Raynham we smelled
it too but I found some potpourri in the kitchen that smelled just like
apple pie. At first we thought maybe there was no apple and cinnamon
apparition but when speaking to one of the tour guides, she said she
encountered the smell far from the kitchen near the servants stairway. When
she called her supervisor he told her not to worry as she had been welcomed.
It seems to be accepted as a real haunted house by many sources. We were
unable to find anything conclusive on our tour. Someone caught an orb but it
looked like it could have been dust from a curtain blowing in the breeze.
Another strange thing was this trap door looking panel in the floor on the
second floor. The break on the wood you see in the photo on the right
continues around in a square hole big enough for a person. There appears to
be an outlet inset into the floor but this is obviously an addition. We are
unsure if this "trap door" is original or not.
This location is not to be confused the the Raynham Hall in England, home to
the famous Brown Lady photograph.
EVPs have been
taken upstairs in Mary's room and the parent's room. Many orbs and other
stranger images have been taken in the children's nursery room.
A dense orb in an upstairs room.
An orb in the upstairs nursery room.
LIPI Lead Investigator Michael Cardinuto during a recent investigation at Raynham Hall.