NY Podiatrist Recommended Walking Tour: Haunted Westchester
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, October 28th, 2016
Few cities in America are as infamous as Buckout Road in Westchester County. Stories of flesh-eating albinos, witches hanged and burnt at the stake, and a ghostly woman in white persist in local legends. It’s so eerie, in fact, that a local from the area made a movie about it, starring Danny Glover and Diana Ross’s son, Evan, in post-production as of September 2016. This creepy street is located near the Silver Lake Preserve, just 10 minutes northeast of our White Plains podiatry office on Mitchell Place. Today’s NY podiatrist recommended walking tour takes you through Haunted Westchester as you’ve never seen it before.
A Murderer On Our Street
NY Daily News reporters began their tour at a narrow stretch of road where an ominous headstone stands alone in a walled-off section of the hillside. The tombstone is for John F. Buckhout and his wife, Charlotte Cowan. Although these two particular Buckhouts have no enduring stories, a relative named Mary Buckhout is said to have hung herself in these woods and continually haunts the area as a “woman in white.”
The most infamous Buckhout, however, is Isaac V. Buckhout, who lies in infamy in nearby Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. He was convicted of murdering his wife, Ann Louise, and her accused lover, Alfred Randall. Isaac was hanged on February 16th, 1872. According to the White Plains Patch, Isaac and Ann Louise eloped against her father’s will. They hadn’t even been married three months when he began accusing her of cheating with everyone from his brother to her own nephew.
Even creepier, serial killer Albert Fish (the inspiration for Hannibal Lecter) is said to have lived on Buckout Road for a time.
“X” Marks The Spot Of Witchcraft
For decades, people have told the story of three women accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in the 1600’s. Allegedly, three X’s were painted on the ground for years, and travelers were told to avoid driving over the X’s or their engine would die, leaving them to the inescapable terror of the spirits haunting the grounds. The location of the site is where Hall Avenue turns into Buckout Road, although the hill has been leveled, and the X’s were paved over a few years back.
The Flesh-Eating Albinos
Until 2009, a modest red farmhouse marked the spot where you could be attacked by flesh-eating albinos if you stopped the car, flashed the lights, and honked the horn (in a very “Bloody Mary” sort of way). In one of the tales, high school kids mercilessly taunted the albino children living at the house by honking their horns and banging on their door. The troublemakers were given the ultimate scare one night when one of the teens opened the mailbox to put an M-80 in, only to find the decapitated head of a child roll out! When the house burned down, the remaining barns and the old slaughterhouse were also demolished.
Another popular story is that of a French vagrant named Jules Bourgalay, also known as Leatherman because of his habit of wearing leather. In 1862, he walked 365 miles from Connecticut to New York. He was rumored to live in Pop’s Cave on Buckout Road—a spot with a neat history as a munitions stockpile site during the Revolutionary War. Though he was “just a hobo,” his sudden appearance wandering the local Buckout woods frightened people. Coroner reports said this mysterious “Leatherman” died at age 50-55 after cancer ate away his mouth and jaw. People say his money is still buried somewhere in the cave.
The most recent creepy Buckout Road story dates back to the 1970’s. A vandal started a barn fire that injured horses and killed a cow. The Baldwin who lived there was remembered as a mentally ill man who talked to himself and cursed children. His body was found by a local high school student—splayed out in a cross shape, with the eyes plucked out, just off the front porch. Upon his death, lots of “weird geometric” drawings were found in the house— but no furniture! Vandals hit the house again in 1982, burning the original farmhouse to the ground. City council members have transformed the estate into a community garden where residents can grow crops and learn about nature.
Ghost Walks Are Good For Your Health!
More about these stories can be found on this website. It’s kind of a bummer that most of the cool places on Buckout Road have fallen into disrepair and been demolished, leaving essentially no remnants of the road’s infamous history. Yet, nearly everyone traveling down this road agrees there is an undeniably creepy vibe to the road, which you can tour on foot… if you dare.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.