Still waiting for whaling ships to come in?
by Cheryl Hall
Having found no public parking in downtown Sag Harbor on a busy Saturday in July, my husband and I settled for parallel parking along Howard Street, which is about 4 blocks south from town-center.
After locking the car, we strolled up Main Street toward town, aiming to find a table for two at any restaurant with an opening. We were on the block between Garden and Spring Streets when something caught my eye in a side bay window of a rustic home on Main Street.
In that window I glanced up to see the seated profile of a very tiny young woman dressed in Victorian clothing (a perfectly tailored, high-collared, lacy shirt; her hair pulled back in a bun) daintily holding a teacup to her lips.
Though it was movement that initially drew my eye to the window, I noticed that this woman was sitting absolutely erect and unmoving, so much so that I began thinking she was a very clever work of statuary posed especially in that window for passers-by such as myself.
I continued walking, but before the architecture of the house's porch and front rooms could swallow her up, I kept my eye on her, waiting to see if she might move. She didn't. She remained absolutely still during my entire passing of her, which maybe lasted about 2 minutes.
"Who holds a teacup to their lips that long?" I asked myself. Nobody does, I decided, chalking her up to being sculpture. Yet as I walked away I felt something chilling about her. The window she sat in had been brightly lit by the evening sun, yet she was extremely dark grey and shadowy with no visible details in her hair, face or clothing.
No matter how hard I had squinted at her, all I could see was the clear outline of her yet I could perceive that she was three dimensional. Whatever material the artists had used to construct her, I was curious to find out, and all throughout dinner I couldn't help but look forward to the stroll back to the car to inspect this intriguing work of art further.
But when we reached the house again, the window was empty. I was sure I had seen a ghost.
Editor’s Note: Sag Harbor was one of Long Island’s busiest whaling ports. In its heyday there must have been many a captain lost and widow waiting. Today this haunted Long Island town is rich with paranormal possibilities. Ghost sightings are common here and after the sun goes down there’s no telling what you might see… -Bill