GhostHere is your Sign

Six arrested at New Jersey’s old Essex hospital ‘hunting for ghosts’

A mother and her teenage son were among six people arrested early today “hunting for ghosts” amid the abandoned cluster of century-old brick wards at the former Essex County Hospital Center, officials said.

“There are no ghosts, goblins or boogie men at the old hospital complex,” Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said after his officers and Cedar Grove police made the arrests.

The patrols came upon two empty vehicles parked on Upland Way on the sprawling campus, whose brick structures are being demolished to make way for a 90-acre passive park.

As they combed the dark grounds shortly after 1 a.m., they spotted a trespasser, dressed entirely in black, running through the adjacent woods, officials said. In minutes, four men and two women — all from Hudson County — were arrested.

The six said they were ghost-hunting, officials said.

“That’s what they told the officers,” Fontoura said. “People find weird ways to get kicks. … I hope people will come to their senses. The only thing you’re going to find is a uniformed cop, and that’s not a ghost.”

The suspects were identified as David Cerezo, 39, of Weehawken; Jose Marti, 25, of Union City; Michael Lyngholm, 18; Antoniett Degirolamo, 39, her son, Brian Degirolamo, 18; and his friend, Gina Ambrosio, 18, all of Secaucus, officials said.

They were charged with defiant trespass, criminal trespass and obstruction of the administration of law and issued summons to appear in municipal court in Cedar Grove.

Today, Armando said trespassers, who will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, can get injured in the darkened buildings and even fall through a floor.

In early 2007, Essex County moved the last of the patients out of the sprawling, 16-building complex in Cedar Grove to a new $83 million hospital less than a mile away.The locale had been the scene of episodes of “The Sopranos” and, shortly after the closing, the filming of the movie “Choke,” a tale of a con artist son who supports his hospitalized mother by going to restaurants and pretending to choke on the food, getting sympathetic patrons who “save” him to send him money.

Many of the curious are confusing the hospital’s old administration and ward buildings with the sanitarium popularized in Weird New Jersey, officials said. That imposing building, demolished years ago, was further up the hill in Caldwell.

Source: New Jersey On-Line

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