I say we need wild places, places of mystery–like Dead Man’s Cave. Places that kick the imagination into gear. But I haven’t been back to Dead Man’s Cave in a very long time; I think it might have vanished into the morning mist, like Brigadoon.
I don’t know if this is a proper ghost story, or what. But it’s certainly a strange story. Let me quote from Legends of Long Beach Island by David Seibold and Charles Adams III (copyright by the authors, 1985), page 16. Short but sweet:
“Our storyteller… has more. His father swears he once saw a red-roofed, white-building village propped on the horizon a short distance from Holgate [on the southern tip of Long Beach Island, NJ]. Out fishing, he looked to the east, out to sea, and unmistakeably saw the buildings–terra cotta roofs, almost Spanish in style. He knows well it couldn’t have really been there. He blinked and rubbed his eyes, but it wouldn’t go away.”
Now there’s nothing between Holgate, NJ, and Portugal but mile after mile of the Atlantic Ocean. If we believe the witness was telling the truth–and why shouldn’t we?–then how do we explain what he saw? Does Brigadoon have a sea-going counterpart? Or was this the ghost of Atlantis? Or some as-yet unexplained natural phenomenon?