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The Chateau at Coindre Hall–
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Haunted Place: Chateau at Coindre Hall

Address:

Chateau at Coindre Hall
101 Browns Road,
Huntington, Long Island , New York

Location:

Chateau at Coindre Hall can be found on the 33 acre Coindre Hall County Park, that overlooks the Huntington Bay, and Long Island Sound.

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Description:

Sitting on a 32 acre piece of property, now known as Coindre Hall Park, The Chateau at Coindre Hall is a 40 room, 30,000-square-foot mansion built in the style of a French Medieval castle, modeled after a chateau in southern France. To complement the French medieval architecture, builders added "red-clay, tile-hipped roofs, prominent circular towers with conical grooves and elongated decorative brick chimneys. "

Taking a peek inside, the visitor can see that the first floor was created for entertainment, offering plenty of room for social activities in beautifully designed rooms that still have the original artistic endeavors ordered by the original owners.

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History:

This French Renaissance style mansion, originally called West Neck Farm, was the dream home of wealthy pharmaceutical entrepreneur, George McKesson Brown and his wife, Pearl, built in 1912 on their 135 acre estate that is close to Lloyd Harbor. The view is a fantastic one, that offers a panoramic view across Huntington Harbor and Huntington Bay to Long Island Sound and the southern coast of Connecticut. Thirty-five acres of this estate ran along the ocean front.

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Being an esteemed member of Long Island High Society, George Brown wanted to build a home that was unique, showy and meant to stand forever. It took six years to finish, but truly reflected the Browns' wealth, prestige and especially both of their interests. George and his wife Pearl enjoyed their new mansion when they were not working at their pharmaceutical business in New York City. They enjoyed entertaining friends and groups at their chateau, that was built for parties and social events.

During World War I, West Neck Farm became their year round residence. While they had no children of their own, they raised their niece here as their own after her parents died on the sinking of the Titanic. What a wonderful place to grow up!

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Their huge mansion also had servants' quarters, an in-door swimming pool, a large garage complex for his auto collection, a farm house, an ice house, a stable and a gate house as well as many other buildings.

As George Brown was a member of two yacht clubs, and the New York Horticultural Society, his estate included a boat house for his yachts, with an underground tunnel that led to his boats because George didn't want to walk down the immense lawn when it was cold. His large estate acreage had plenty of room for the Browns to putter around gardens, enjoying growing things.

During the Roaring Twenties, like many well-to-do people and upscale hotels, George Brown probably bought alcohol on the black market along with his Long Island friends through a contact with bootleggers associated with the mob. Alcohol was brought up from the boat house to the main mansion through the underground tunnel.

In 1929, the market crash was the beginning of the end of George and Pearl's wealthy life-style. They managed keep their estate intact until 1932, when income and real estate taxes did more financial damage. The Browns decided to consolidate their remaining assets. As George and Pearl still had the West Neck Farm Mansion and its land, they began to sell off portions of the huge property, which helped them survive financially.

In 1939, the Browns sold the West Neck Farm Mansion and the northeast 34 acres it sat on to the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, while moving themselves into the superintendent's Gatehouse home, just down the road.

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart renamed West Neck Farm Mansion to Coindre Hall after their Order's founder, Father Andre' Coindre. They made some revisions and opened up a boarding school for boys. Though George and Pearl were probably sad about having to sell, perhaps they found some comfort that boys would be educated in their former estate home.

The Brothers of the Sacred Heart School for Boys was in business for 30 years before closing in 1971. They sold this property to Suffolk County for $900,000. Suffolk County soon discovered how expensive it was to keep and maintain this property, and sold the Gate House to a church. The servant's quarters and the stable were sold to other people as well.

After residents failed to get an arts center established here, Suffolk County went looking with high hopes for a tenant who would be so in love with this property, that they would be willing to pay the bills for maintenance, upkeep and restoration, along with contributing to the Suffolk County coffers a nice big rental check.

Eagle Hill School tried to make a go of it, but didn't come through with all the requirements demanded in their lease because the cost of having just a school here was expensive. It wound up closing in 1985, after a short time.

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As no one else was interested in committing to all these demands made by Suffolk County, which included rebuilding the buildings, renovating and restoring the mansion and paying 10,000 dollars a month, Coindre Hall became neglected and empty for a few years, with no Suffolk County budget money allotted for its upkeep. However, Suffolk County officials managed to finagle the upkeep of the grounds and put in protections against vandals.

Finally, Coindre Hall was dedicated into a County Historical Trust. It was added to the Register of Historical Places in 1985. It was rescued with the forming of the Alliance for the Preservation of Coindre Hall Park in 1991, with the goals of preserving, protecting, and restoring this property. Funds were raised to repair, restore and maintain this unique mansion.

At first, it opened as a museum. Today it is rented out as a popular, high-end events center, The Chateau at Coindre Hall, while its grounds are a County Park, enjoyed by many! Apparently, spirit people also have been appreciating it as well.

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History of Manifestations:

Not much has been reported about the spirits that have been experienced here. while no one knows who these spirits are, listed below are some possible theories as to why these spirits are drawn to this structure.

Restoring and renovating a structure can activate spirits who were attached to it.

(Pittock Mansion * Geiser Grand Hotel * The Moore House Museum * Adam Thoroughgood House)

Spirits who were former guests of the Browns may visit to relive their good memories they had at the Browns' social events, especially now that the chateau has been restored to its former glory.

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People who had to leave a favorite structure because of circumstances of life or their own behavior, sometimes like to stay or visit this favorite structure after they pass into the spirit world, especially if events that are happening in their old place are so appealing that they have to observe the fun.

(Frick Mansion * Cary House Hotel * Hartford Twain Mansion * Loveland Castle * Berkeley Plantation)

George and Pearl must of been disappointed and distressed about having to sell their beloved land and chateau, West Neck Farm. Now their home is called Chateau at Coindre Hall that holds very expensive social events;weddings, receptions and other social affairs for their kind of people!

Many spirits of people who have passed chose to visit or stay at places in this world that inspired them, gave them good times and memories, especially if their lives were cut short because of a variety of reasons.

(Wabasha Caves * Crystal Ballroom * The Biltmore Hotel * Flanders Hotel * Kahler Grand Hotel * Brumder Mansion)

Working for the mob has long been proven to be a risky occupation. Going up against or displeasing the Mafia can end one's stay in this world.

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Manifestations:

Spirit of Entity of a male dressed in 1930s' attire, thought to be a gangster or bootlegger.

This fella is seen walking around the chateau and grounds, enjoying the beauty of the place while going about his business, especially on the day or night of an event. He must have enjoyed his job here, and continues to do so.

Other spirit people who are also dressed in 1930s clothes.

Some may be reliving the fine parties that George and Pearl held for their friends.

Possibly the entities of George and Pearl - dressed in their finest 1930s' clothes.

May like to visit and remember their great times.

Get their chuckles and entertainment watching people celebrate special social events in style once again in their forever home.

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Paranormal Findings:

Staff and guests have had experiences seeing these apparitions.

I couldn't find any hard evidence caught to back up these personal experiences. I doubt anyone has been allowed in to investigate, unless it was done as a private investigation to try to find out who was staying or visiting here from the spirit world.

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Still Haunted?

Perhaps so. No hard evidence has been shared, though people have reported seeing these apparitions for a long time now.

The spirit people who love this Chateau at Coindre Hall are a well-behaved group, and just enjoy watching the living and remembering their own memories. Perhaps they show themselves to be polite when visiting or attending an affair.

The entity of the bootlegger/mobster, while enjoying the sights of the restored mansion, is letting the living know that he is doing his job, and delivering liquid refreshment of an alcoholic nature. While he might have had a nasty end, he makes himself feel better and gets some peace being of service to perhaps his favorite clients.

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Sources Include:

nytimes.com
hufsd.edu
lihauntedhouses.com
city-data.com
liparanormalinvestigators.com

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Photos © Tom Carr

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