Ghosts and Goblins

September 29, 2016

With Halloween only a few weeks away, I thought I would give you an early trick or treat fright to get you in the mood for October golf. I have never been one to believe in ghosts, but there is something about a dark night in a cemetery or a haunted house that many people seem to enjoy. From now through Halloween, there will be a buffet of ghost stories on TV, not counting the usual scary shows on the SCI FI channel that run daily year round, but I want to tell you four ghost stories of golfing legend.

Golf Ghost Story  1

Strange sightings have been reported on the Galloping Hill Golf Course located in Kenilworth, New Jersey, especially at night. Several people claim they have seen a headless horseman ride across the course in full battle gear, brandishing his sword.

It is believed that this “ghost” might be a Hessian soldier who fought and died during a battle of the Revolutionary War. Ghost Hunter Dennis Hauk believes he may be the inspiration for the headless horseman in Washington Irving’s tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Golf Ghost Story 2

It is said that if you see a (Bodach-Glas) or “dark grey man” either standing near the Old Swilcan Bridge on the 18th fairway, or riding a horse on the Old Course at St. Andrews, it will foretell your impending death.

In 1861, a few days before Halloween, the Earl of Eglinton suddenly stopped in the middle of his round at St. Andrews and proclaimed to his playing partners that he had seen the “grey man” no less than three times, riding across three separate fairways. “I can play no longer; there is the Bodach-Glas.

I have seen it for the third time; something fearful is going to befall me,” he exclaimed.  Later that night, while attending a dinner party, he suddenly dropped dead in the presence of friends. Did he become the new “grey man”?

Golf Ghost Story 3  

At Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, it seems that ghosts are a part of the natural landscape. At Trails West Golf Course on the grounds, there have been reports of sightings of the ghost of Catherine Sutter, who was traveling west in the 1880s when her children and husband disappeared. Sutter later died, and legend has it that she still wanders the grounds, looking for her lost family.

Golf Ghost Story 4

Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., site of the 2016 PGA Championship, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a murdered man who is, effectively, the namesake of the club. According to, “Baltus Roll farmed the land on which the club now sits, in the shadow of the Baltusrol (First) mountain, which is really just a big hill.  His family had immigrated to the United States and had maintained the farm with oxen over the years, leading some in the area to believe the Roll family was wealthy.

Convinced of this, two men, identified as Peter B. Davis and Lycidias Baldwin, went to Roll’s home on the Baltusrol Mountain on Feb. 22, 1831, to try to get him to share the location of his fortune. Roll, 62 at the time, was tied up by the criminals and beaten after refusing to cooperate. His wife escaped, but when she returned with help, the men had left and Roll was dead in an icy pool of water.”

According to legend, many golfers have seen his ghost walking the grounds and fairways of his old farm, seeking justice and trying to find his family.

Ghost Story 5 

Meet the “White Witch of Rose Hall,” a ghost located on the course at The Ritz-Carlton White Witch Golf Course, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Annie Palmer practiced voodoo on the 6,000 acre estate in the early 1800s and was killed by her slaves during a rebellion in 1830. She was found murdered in her bed and to this day haunts the bedroom, stairway and grounds of the Great House known as Rose Hall (if you stay in that room on a golf getaway, don’t forget to ask for a GHOST discount).

19th Hole Season Ends:

This is my last column for the 2016 season and it seems like only yesterday, I started writing for the Beach Paper in May of 2012. Where did the years go?

I would like to thank Jen Ellingsworth, my editor, for artistic freedom in selecting my weekly topics which I hope interest you the reader. I would also like to thank Dennis Forney, owner, for the continuing opportunity to write for the Beach Paper, copy editor Bob Yesbek (the Rehoboth Foodie) and all the layout staff for their artistic skills.

If you missed a week of The 19th hole, this season, search the archives here at  Also please visit my fine art web page,, where over 9,800 visitors have enjoyed my images, since 2011.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter