The Munsee nation lived along the lower river Mahicannitick, which today is called the Hudson. This was the tribe that sold Manhattan to Dutchman Peter Minuit for $24. They were a peaceful, trusting tribe, cousins of the Lenni-Lanape who dwelled along the Delaware River.

The Munsee set their wigwams on the Mahicannitick’s eastern shores. The breath-taking rock cliffs that line sections of this fierce river are quite sensational. Hidden amongst the many boulders is Spook Rock, the site where the Munsee worshipped the “spirit force” that inhabits all of nature (according to the Munsee): the mighty river, forests, flowers, the crops, all plants, the wind, rain, and sea, the stars, moon, and of course the sun.

The Munsee inhabited this idyllic land for more than 10,000 years. There were likely many sacrifices performed at Spook Rock in worship of the spirit force. But legend has it that Spook Rock became haunted when a beautiful Indian maiden fell in love with a warrior from an opposing nation. They were both killed for their forbidden love. Their remains are apparently buried beneath Spook Rock. Another Romeo and Juliet tale, the age old conflict that dates back centuries, probably millenniums.  Ever since these Munsee days, there are more legends and myths that have evolved. All that’s known for sure though, is that to this day, ghosts are constantly spotted in the area of Spook Rock and eerie noises can be heard at night.

 

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