The grave of Whack me Jug, with bonus graveyard orbs

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My experience in the NJ Palisades

Manuel Rionda’s Stone Tower: A large medieval looking tower which was part of an estate that stretched to the edge of the Palisades Cliffs

Old Bridge: In the woods of Creskill is a large stone bridge, which may be a part of the old Camp Merritt. A bit of research and a few emails from readers suggests this bridge is more likely a relic from the Rionda estate…..

There are tunnels and underground chambers in various places thruout the Palisades.

Hitler’s Rock Profile: A 160 ft tall profile of Hitler appeared on the cliffs of the Palisades during WWII

Complete history of the Palisades: A detailed summary of the history of the Palisades.

The Palisades is one of the first areas the Dutch settled when the colonized America. This cemetery (known as Undercliff Cemetery) is almost all that remains of the “Undercliff” families, a group of hardworking men & women who fished, quarried and eeked out an existence here in the early 19th century. The cemetery has 17 graves, 5 of which have headstones legible enough to read. One of the grave belongs to Julia Bloomer, whose family was so influential that the local beach was known as Bloomers Beach. Also buried here is Jimmy Cunningham, AKA Whack me Jug. When the quarrying outraged enough people that there was an effort made to preserve the park, there were only 2 families still living down by the water: the Van Wagoners & the Crums. They eventually sold out, and all that remains now is this cemetery. Apparently the cemetery was much larger at one point but many of the graves can no longer be found, perhaps under the the waters of the Hudson or covered with weeds and grasses.




The graves that can be read reveal the following names.

Bloomer, Julia (Smith), d. Jan 5,1837, age: 21y 11m 26d, w/o Theophilus H. Bloomer, d/o Rev. John & Sarah Smith
Van Wagener, Jane, d. Jun 16, 1817, age: 6m
Van Wagener, Susan, d. Jan 11, 1811, w/o Charles Van Wagener
Van Wagoner, Peter, no dates
Woodhams, Samuel, no dates, age: 77y

Above information comes courtesy of Richard Hrazanek.

This would be another boring tale of me exploring an old cemetery if it weren’t for what happened when I got home. When I reviewed the pictures I had taken I found… this. Nothing unusual occurred while I was in the cemetery. Is this lens flare? I don’t know. Whatever it is, it appears to be moving. The light came thru dimly thru the heavy tree cover and over the cliff top, and it didn’t occur in any other picture. I believe in ghosts; I disbelieve most ghost stories; I’m not freaked, but I am perplexed. What do you think?


11 responses to this post.

  1. I am a descendent of the Crum family. Very cool!


  2. […] In an old cemetery in the Palisades is the grave of a fellow named “Whack me Jug” […]


    • does any one know why the guy was named “Whack Me Jug” ?!


      • Posted by lostinjersey on March 29, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        allegedly he was drunk and always had a jug of whiskey/moonshine/whatever and he would take a whack at it frequently.

        What I’m saying is that the man drank quite a lot.


  3. Posted by Drew on October 10, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Orbs are 99.9% explainable, whether it be dust, bugs or glare. I am sorry to burst your bubble but that is not an entity.


  4. Posted by christine s on June 7, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    WE SAW THOSE ORBS AT PALISADES ALONG THE PAVED TRAIL!!! My boyfriend and I went down the road into the park that leads to the fort less palisades park picnic area… it was the middle of the night and very dark. We were on our bikes…. we came to almost the picnic area and it got very black and we were pretty scared because it literally (from 150 feet away or so) looked pitch, pure black… anyway right before we got up the guts to go through we saw the EXACT SAME ORBS. We saw a first two set that looked like eyes so we assumed it was an animal.. but then it jolted like a firefly to the left and up more quickly (therefore ruling out a deer or something).. and then once more only there was only one to the left even more (almost into the forested area on the left side where there is cliff like things). I described it to my boyfriend once we got up the guts to trudge on to the picnic area and go through where we encountered them. He said they looked nothing like fireflies. Then I said “yeah they were red glowing with yellow-white”.. and then I googled and found your blog with the photo. That’s what we saw!!! How weird. I believe in spirits ever since my father passed but I can’t believe your camera picked it up. It was SO quick when we saw so that explains why you didn’t notice it (the entire scenario happened in approx 4 secs for us).

    Where is this cemetery? I wonder if its near where we were and we didn’t even know…


  5. Posted by AmberRae on July 17, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    thats not a ghost… it looks like you had dust or something on your lens during that shot.


  6. Posted by Mary on March 18, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    WHACK ME JUG GRAVEYARD: I do believe you have a bone fide ghost siting there. BUT – did you also notice that in the top left corner of the photo there is a small child? I know from experience that THOSE can often be scarier than ghosts! Noiser too.


  7. Posted by Beth on March 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    did you notice the little boy in the picture of the cemetary with the “ghost” ? was he with you ? or was this too an unexplained presence ?


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