There are countless urban legends associated with Long Island, but none more pervasive nor frightening as the place called Mary’s Grave. Every 1970s kid has heard the gruesome stories from friends and siblings, and many a brave teenager has even paid a visit to Mary’s supposed final resting place … wherever that might be.
The story of Mary’s Grave is not a simple one. In fact, about the only thing that locals are able to agree upon is her name. There are at least seven towns scattered around Long Island where Mary is claimed to reside. The three most popular locations are Head of the Harbor, Mt. Sinai or Mt. Misery/Sweet Hollow Road in West Hills. That hasn’t stopped towns as far as Amityville, St. James Harbor and Sayville from also claiming Mary as their own.
No less complex is the subject of Mary herself. Some say she was a mental patient. Others say she was an abused little girl, or a witch who was hanged, even a vengeful ex-lover. Suffice to say, Mary didn’t have a pleasant life. It seems she also has a troublesome habit of stalking anyone who dare visit her grave(s), or so the legends say.
Some claim she jumps out of the thick forest that lines Sweet Hollow Road, right in front of your car and thereby causing you to crash. Mary also likes to tinker with cars, making their lights flash or their engines knock, or just stop working completely. Another variation states that if you flash your headlights (or a flashlight) three times, Mary appears, purportedly as a “lady dressed in white.” Near Head of the Harbor, there is supposedly a statue of Mary that appears to cry. It seems this legendary female apparition haunts just about every eerie shack, deserted road, and patch of thick woods on the island.
If you read this hoping for a definitive answer as to where Mary’s Grave is located, I can’t help. Every cemetery on Long Island has the name “Mary” on a few old tombstones. In that regard, she isn’t hard to “find”. Considering the wide variety of established legends, it’s impossible to guess which is the real one, if there ever was such a thing.
Besides, it never really was about Mary anyway, was it? It was about being young and adventurous, about packing as many people into a vehicle as we could stuff, and finding a great way to scare our friends half to death. That’s all, just harmless teenage fun.
Either that, or Mary is real.
Surely some of you have adventures to share about a visit with friends to Mary’s Grave? We hope you will take a moment to share them in our comments section below, so we can all reminisce about poor Mary and her wicked ways.