RED BANK’S A GHOST TOWN FRIDAY NIGHTS

billnormyleShroud of tourin’: Lantern and staff in hand, Red Bank Ghost Tours guide Bill Normyle leads his group through the streets of downtown.

By TOM CHESEK

The packed and popular public house on Monmouth Street hosts an apparently eternal tenant by the name of Mrs. Patterson. The dark waters of the Navesink have reportedly seen the nocturnal navigations of Captain Cooper and his spectral sloop. The business blocks of West Front Street are said to be home to pet-shop poltergeists, murderous maids and the occasional caught-on-camera “orb.” Even the local surf and skate emporium can boast its own free-spirit at unrest.

The way Tabitha Bradley tells it and sells it, the sidewalks, storefronts and second-story suites of Red Bank’s downtown represent a whole other city that never sleeps, nor rests in peace. From Lenape tribespeople to Revolution-era figures and Civil War infantrymen, the denizens of “Dead Bank” jostle for attention with the Friday night throngs of barhoppers, theatergoers, park-hanging teens, emergency vehicles and Escalades.

Every Friday from August through Halloweekend, Bradley’s team of experienced spirit guides from Jersey Shore Ghost Tours shines a LED lamplight on some largely forgotten fragments of local lore. With multiple tours departing from 8:30p in front of  The Dublin House (where an upstairs room is kept dark and quiet, as to Mrs. Patterson’s preference), the sepulchral safaris are a way to gain an altogether different perspective on some familiar scenery, an activity with which “you’ll have a good time and even learn something without realizing it,” she says.

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