Photo of the Week: The Governor’s House, Staten Island, NY

Due to Hurricane Sandy, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus here at The Occult Section, and posting when we can. Our Photo of the Week feature was put on hold as well, but we return this week, with a photo of The Governor’s House, which sits on the grounds of Snug Harbor. Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage to Snug harbor and all of Staten Island, so if you’d like to donate, please click here to help.

The Governor’s House sits on the grounds of Sailor’s Snug Harbor, located on the North Shore of Staten Island in New York City. Founded in 1801 by Captain Robert Randall, Snug Harbor was built as an institution to care for “aged, decrepit and worn-out” seamen. It opened in 1833 and was the first home for retired merchant seamen in the history of the United States. Snug Harbor was treated as a self-contained community and was overseen by a governor. Captain Thomas Melville, a retired sea captain and brother of Moby-Dick author Herman Melville, was governor of Snug Harbor from 1867 to 1884. The facility officially closed as a home for sailors in the 1960s and it was declared a landmark in 1965, opening to the public 10 years later. It is estimated that thousands of sailors died on the grounds of Snug Harbor in its over 130-year history.

The Governor’s House as we know it today is not where the actual governors lived, however. The home for the governors was torn down years ago, and what is known today as the Governor’s House was probably where a member of the governor’s staff lived, most likely his treasurer.

Many employees and former residents of Snug Harbor have reported strange activity across the grounds. The Governor’s House is used primarily for film shoots now, but up until fairly recently a number several different security guards lived in the attic, which was converted into an apartment, equipped with a full kitchen and bathroom, as well as a large bedroom and living area.

Multiple people have reported seeing a “Lady in White” in the northern attic window as well as moving around in the immediate area outside of the house. Those who have lived in the Governor’s House attic will not divulge too much of their experiences. Some have had no issue living there, and others have stayed only very briefly.

When we investigated the Governor’s House back in 2009, we were surprised by the amount of activity we encountered. We had never really experienced anything like it before. Feelings of being watched, members of the team being touched, seeing shadow people, hearing voices, and capturing some of the best EVPs we’d ever heard were just some of the more apparent forms of paranormal activity that we encountered in the building. You can read our Case Study for a more detailed account of what we experienced.

The Governor's House, Snug Harbor, Staten Island, New York

All photos in our Photo of the Week feature are taken by New York Paranormal Society team member Laura Pennace, who is a New York City wedding photographer specializing in city hall and courthouse weddings, as well as engagement and proposal shoots. You can see more of Laura’s work at Pennace Photography (

7 comments on “Photo of the Week: The Governor’s House, Staten Island, NY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.