Have you ever been on the outside of an inside joke or catch line?
We all have at some point or another . Perhaps it’s a punch line, or
a phrase like…“So this guy walks into a bar with a monkey…”! Or
maybe  its, “don’t go into the woods behind Fox Hollow road….”!
Or even “don’t forget what we talked about…”! to the outside
listener these are doors that block their entrance into a section of
conversation. To those on the inside, that was the intention. We
tend to be angry about the things we don’t know that inside people
do. As if it is critical knowledge we deserve and can even resent
the ones who are in on it. These inside jokes, conversations, or
tid-bits of wisdom represent the knowledge we lack. I have
learned the hard way that sometimes you just don’t want to know what the secret is, you think that you do until you find
out and then…”I DID NOT NEED TO KNOW THAT”. Sometimes, however the block is worth breaking through. Here
are two, I found it worth to break through.

The Morristown, Mendham, Chester, New Jersey corridors have a lot of “inside” knowledge spots. I grew up in
Morristown, N.J., in quiet neighborhood called “Wheatchief Farms” on Sunderland Dr., and we had several of the
“inside” stories that the older kids would tell. When our house was built all through planting the yard we found musket
balls, arrow heads and old buttons. Tons of cool stuff, as time went on the other kids that were my age all hung around
together but we were always just quite shy of the “big kids”, the ones who told us that there had been a huge fight
between the Indians and the early Americans on this land and that they had even found bones. “BONES” …”COOL”
…we definitely, bought every line. Of course this was not true, the area was simply inhabited by the two peoples at
separate and equal times peacefully, and where our neighborhood was now built were woods suitable for hunting,
shooting practice and for the occasional gathering in one of the many clearings. It was also a staging point for the
revolutionary army, because it was so neatly secluded. Myth busted.

For years the big kids told us the orchard that separated our neighborhood from the big mansion on the hill behind us
was “haunted”, and we would be wise to stay out of there. We would walk by at night and hear all sorts of things
creaks, moans and noises, enough to keep our skinny little butts out of that orchard. In 1978 I was 12 and my best
friend and I were telling one of the new kids to our neighborhood about the orchard we had feared for years. He piped
up and said the we were acting like a couple of wimps, so we waited til night and took him up there, he backed down
and the legend grew. Fall came and Halloween grew near, and this same kid bet my best friend and I all his candy we
would not walk through the orchard and ring the bell at the mansion. With a bag of candy as a motivator we headed
out. The whole while we shook, shivered and quaked, but somehow we made it and rang the bell, the orchard was not
haunted at all, it was simply overgrown. To our surprise a nun answered the door, she explained that since no other
kids ever came up to the nunnery and they always hoped that some would, they had candy and lots of it. We walked
away that night with 3 handfuls of candy each. So we made a pact “those are the most haunted woods in the world”
and for the next 3 years we got whole bags of candy and glasses of apple cider because we would brave the
“haunted” orchard and go to the big mansion on the hill.

It was 1985 and my best friend (yes, the same one) and I heard another tale “don’t go to the end of Fox Hollow road.”
We thought “we’ve heard this before, and look how awesome the last time worked out” I began to ask around about
what was there and I was told “the Hooker Man”, local legend was that a mail train used to run the tracks back at the
end of the road and connected many of the small towns along the way. One night when the mail worker reached out to
hang the mail bag on the hook, it pierced his arm and he was pulled from the train and he died hanging on the hook. He
was supposed to have turned the lantern on the side of the caboose from red facing the driver to green to let the driver
know he had completed his task, and to this day the green and red light still shines through the darkness where that
hook once stood. I’m getting the chills right now recounting this story.

We went back there one night and sure enough, we saw the lights, first red then green . It is important to know that this
is in the middle of the woods, the closest stop light was 3 miles away and there were no houses or old shacks or
anything along this stretch of tracks, also the lights swung forward and back and there was nothing along side of the
tracks that could have caused it. We ran, and went home. A month later we talked some of our friends into coming
there with us. Again we saw the lights, and this time we heard him moaning and wailing. One of the kids that went back
there with us that night “lost it” and has never been right since. He swore for days that he still heard the moans, and
dreamt of the accident for years. We were cured from ever going back there again! Sure enough though, we went back
a hundred times or more, sometimes we saw the lights, sometimes we heard the moans., but every time it was a new
adventure. I’m sure the legend lives on and that teens still go to see the lights, if I still lived there I’d probably now have
the courage to walk down the tracks and investigate. I did walk the tracks during the day several times as a teen and
never found anything. I know the “HOOKER MAN” is real, I have seen the lights heard the cries and could find nothing
to explain them away. Now as I look back that was one of the reasons I founded this group, the other a much more
active haunting I witnessed in college is a tale for another time.” So this guy walks up to house pretending to carry two
bags of groceries…”
Monroe COUNTY PARANORMAL investigations
if you believe in the hereafter you know what we're here after
On The "Inside"
By: Rob Pistilli
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