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Jay Johnson, like Lecturer Smith couldn’t make up his  mind where he should settle down in the Adirondack Mountains. For fifty years Jay wandered around.

He tried haunting an old lumber mill in Malone; however, that wasn’t very unique. Several loggers who had died while attempting to bring lumber to market had already been haunting that particular place.


Then he tried Fort Jackson but once again it was over-occupied by soldiers who, like Jay Johnson himself, had died in the War of 1812. It was 1814 when Fort Jackson was founded on the St. Regis River. The haunting competition was too much for Jay. He moved deeper into the forest and came upon a few homes on Ragged Lake where he stayed until 1850.

When the local fishermen heard that Jay Johnson was fishing they all stayed in their cabins; with their doors locked.

The fishing was good – – – and he had a lot of solitude – – – so he really had no reason to leave.


Jay was the only ghost there and was very successful at practicing the haunting arts. It took him thirty six years to realize that he no longer had much of an effect on the local residents. They simply accepted his ghost and all the noises he made.

And Jay noticed that the trout streams were getting a little crowded.


Jay had heard about a fellow Bostonian who had moved to the Adirondacks. His name was John Brown. In addition to raising sheep John Brown was a bit of a firebrand. Brown decided he would start an uprising of slaves in the southern states.

John Brown was hung by the neck until dead.


So Jay Johnson and John Brown have become good friends and now love to scare the tourists. They haunt Brown’s old estate in North Elba. That is John Brown’s house at the top of this missive.

They like to sing together. Their favorite is “John Brown’s Body Lays a-Moldering in the Grave.”



Of course they don’t sing it as nicely as those folks do. John sings bass, Jay sings tenor.

That was in 1859. As you can surmise from the song and old photos, over 600,000  soldiers died between 1861 and 1865 during the US Civil War. John Brown and Jay Johnson have a lot of soul mates spread out over several states; some as far west as Kansas.

Those soldiers also have haunting rights.

Most of them didn’t leave this earth in a peaceful manner.