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vvcarpio Apr 20, 2012 3:30 PM

Salesian Park in Goshen, NY
The Salesian Park in Goshen was first owned by a couple in 1791 and was then passed on to descendants. One descendant, Mary Ellen Haight, and her husband are laid to rest in a mausoleum on the property.

The property was sold and re-sold numerous times mostly out of financial difficulties. In 1925, when the Haight mansion had fallen into disrepair, the Salesian Fathers bought the estate and turned it into a resident school for boys. For decades the school operated but enrollment eventually declined and in 1985 the school closed for good. In 1998, the Village of Goshen bought the property. Nearly ten years later, in 2007, it was opened to the public as the Salesian Park.

The Salesian Park has had a varied history. But what stands out in its history is the story of 9-year old boy who in 1964 fell to his death from the school’s roof. It was deemed an accident at the time, but the case was re-opened in 2003 because the distance from the ground on which the boy fell to the wall of the school building suggested that the boy was pushed from the roof. The case remains unsolved today.

Since then, it is said that the boy haunts the school grounds and numerous trespassers, mostly teens in search of an otherworldly encounter, have been caught by police.

#1) Salesian Park grounds, back.

#2) Water tower with viewing station built by one previous owner.

#3) I'm not sure what the significance of this building is, I'll have to go back to find out, but the Haight Mausoleum is visible in the distance to the left.

#4) Haight Mausoleum.

#5) Salesian School grounds.

#6) Man-made pond created to teach Salesian students to swim. I
t was around 8am Sunday morning when I started taking pictures, initially from the water tower. After shooting the exterior of the school I went to this lake and while setting up my tripod to take this shot I felt someone approach me on my left. I looked but there was no one there.

The feeling I had was similar to when a stranger like a security or cop would approach me while shooting in the streets of New York City. That is, I am cool on the outside but inside my guard is instantly up. That was all. I've taken numerous pictures of supposedly haunted places in the area in the past but I have never experienced anything like this.

Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.

paniolo Apr 21, 2012 4:04 AM

Spooky history lesson, great shots and pp.

WCKSer Apr 21, 2012 11:38 AM

Just looking at these pictures, I wouldn't doubt this park is haunted. Anyway, good pictures as always!

banksy Apr 22, 2012 6:39 PM

Another great series of shots vv. I enjoy your narrative from places you visit and share.

vvcarpio Apr 23, 2012 8:11 AM

Thank you, paniolo, WCKSer, banksy. There are several attractions in the Hudson Valley area of New York that were former residences of the wealthy -- the Vanderbilt Mansion, Rockefeller Mansion, Grey Towers in PA, and Boscobel to name some. But I suppose just as there were those who successfully built their wealth during the early pioneering days of America, there are those who over the years have fallen into hardship, foreclosure, and disrepair, the Haight Mansion now Salesian Park in Goshen being one of them.

#7) Gate on Craigville Road.

#8) Gate to the Haight Cemetery.

#9) Houses on Main Street.

#10) I read that there are several memorials in the park but so far have only seen one. So I was surprised when I found this memorial outside the perimeter fence in the woods. Water tower, furnace, ruins, mausoleum, abandoned school, and now this -- a hidden memorial. Salesian Park is also a place for exciting discoveries. I shot from behind the fence so I couldn't come close to read the inscriptions.

#11) I still don’t know the significance of this building -- it looks like it's in active use so it could be the park office -- but it's one of few well-architected homes in the area that I can knock myself out taking pictures of without disturbing any occupants inside, so I did several times.

#12) I went back to the brick structure and saw an inscription on the front door which reads: “In memory of Benjamin Merwin Haight, C/F Pilot R.C.A.F., died 19 March1943”

Steven R Apr 25, 2012 4:28 PM


Originally Posted by banksy (Post 1297307)
Another great series of shots vv. I enjoy your narrative from places you visit and share.

That is also my impression of these shots. Well done.:)

vvcarpio Apr 26, 2012 10:15 AM

Thank you, Steven.

I went back two nights ago this time to take pictures of the Salesian Cemetery with its own gate on Craigville Road in back of the Salesian School, where many of the school's superiors and teachers are buried.

When I arrived I saw people at the foot of the water tower and noticed that the water tower's roof -- dilapidated as it was -- was gone. I approached and a woman told me there were strong winds the previous night and the roof was probably weakened so it came crashing down just hours ago. It wrecked a portion of the chainlink perimeter fence around the water tower.

#13) Water tower's roof now gone.

#14) It’s a shame that a telling feature of the village’s historic landmark had been lost. If you look closely at this picture you might notice an angry face in the clouds -- malevolent, even -- as if surveying the damage it caused and making sure that the decapitation was complete.

#15) Oddly, the Salesian Cemetery that I came back for isn't one of the spookier features of Salesian Park.

#16) On the other hand -- literally on the other end of the park -- the Haight Cemetery gate on the park's Sarah Wells Trail side looks like it's straight out of a haunted-horror movie set.

#17) Approach to Haight Mausoleum from Sarah Wells Trail. (Sarah Wells was one of the original inhabitants of what became Orange County in New York State.)

#18) I just found out (by googling for this reply) that the spot by the pond where I felt a presence on (pic #6) was actually a crypt. At the time I was there, I thought it was just a storage room -- indeed, according to one website it was turned into a storage for pond chemicals by the Salesian Fathers -- and so was reluctant to take a picture of it. But I did anyway. I was standing behind my tripod facing the pond with the crypt/storage a little to my left behind me when I felt the male presence approach.

EDIT: My wife just called me to say the Water Tower (aka, Watchtower) was demolished. Details here:

smac May 5, 2012 2:45 PM

Excellent work as per usual. I really enjoy viewing your unique HDR landscapes. You have the post processing down cold. I am going to have learn more about the HDR process. It seems so limitless in potential.

Thanks for the inspiring work.


vvcarpio May 11, 2012 8:57 AM

Thank you, Steve. Oftentimes, I only notice later that I got the sky a little less bright than it should because I didn't want to lose cloud detail while post-processing. I think there's a trade-off somewhere, a sweet-spot maybe, where it's OK to lose a little cloud detail in exchange for the sky's natural brightness. I'm continually working on my HDR to find that sweet spot. But I think every pic is different. So the sweet spot may be a moving target.

I'm glad you liked my pics.

#19) The tower was torn down the day after I took photos. This may be the last photo of it with the roof still on.

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