What "scary" memories do you have from childhood that
relate to the Newark scene? We tend to deny that anything "bad"
existed in the Newark of decades gone by, but all children have
fears of certain things. Some scary things for me were: walking
down Rose Terrace past Woodland Cemetery on Halloween night; harmless
drunks sleeping on the sidewalk and rag pickers -- I had to walk
past them on my way home from the Hayes St. branch of the library
and shook in my shoes doing so; the bully who lived on 14th Ave.
near Hayes St. who would beat you up if you chose to go in his direction
instead of going past the drunks; being sent to the principal's
office. What scary memories do any of you have?
I lived in Newark from 1942-1953. I was 11 when we left, and I never
found anything scary. I would take my cousin to Olympic Park, by
bus, walk through and play in West Side Park, and really was not
afraid of doing either. Perhaps the scary stuff happened after I
left Newark. In my short 11 years, I found it to be a great place.
My mom and I even walked, at night, to Springfield Avenue to go
to the movies.
Do any of you remember the really big twisty trunk trees in Branch
Brook Park? Does anyone know the correct name of the tree?
My scary memory: My sister and I would climb up high in those trees
and look down as people walked by. We laughed and sang songs and
just had fun. I always feared that one of us would fall out of the
tree or someone would call the police and we would be told to climb
down, and then be arrested. We really enjoyed climbing. I guess
it was fun and scary too!
Besides every teacher I ever had ,it was the dreaded "cellar"
with those eerie very scary coal bins....
Caroline...The only memories of Newark that were scary to me were
those warning sirens that went off on Saturdays after the last War
(WWII) When I was a kid, they were loud and scary.
Hello! Boy Tommy O...did you bring up a very scary memory! The air
aid sirens and pulling down your shades...was so scary! If you didn't
do as you were told...a warden would come to your house and possibly
arrest you. My dad was very stubborn and
wouldn't turn off the radio...you could see the light from the back
of the radio. The warden came to our house and almost arrested my
dad. You could hear the planes and people being afraid...it was
a very unsettling feeling. Do you remember when food was rationed?
I do...although I was quite young...some memories do not go away.
I remember when the war was over...and I remember when President
And yes Caroline, I remember seeing the drunks in the doorway of
the stores by us. The Cemetery scene was another scary thing...but
while it was scary...it also was thrilling too! Thanks to for reminding
me about what we felt in the years gone by!
Thank you for your scary memories.
CT--Our cellar was scary too. I had to go down there to get kerosene.
The front part of the cellar had been my great grandfather's bakery
(turn of the century era) unused for many decades. It had lots of
old equipment and was always pitch black--very spooky.
Mary--Your neighborhood experiences in 1957-1963 feel like a time
warp to me back to how my neighborhood was in the mid 1940's. I
lived on Camden St. (extension of 2nd St. for you North Newarkers)
just in from Springfield Ave. It was getting pretty grim there in
Tommy "O"--I remember the sirens but they didn't seem
scary. Maybe that's because I have no memories of the war except
for a vague one about V-J Day.
Mary Ellen--Ditto as above about vague memories. I never heard about
having to pull the shades down and a warden coming around. I was
too young to have known anything about food rationing. Did you live
near Springfield Ave.? I never saw drunks anywhere else but there
probably were other places they hung out.
Hi Caroline...I must be a tad older then you are. I think we all
had our neighborhood drunks. Good guys but sad too. I use to live
next door to a tavern that wouldn't let you get drunk...if you did...you
were thrown out. Then they would go across the street to finish
up the job. Woman too...I think, unless you lives in the country...most
of us have stories about them. Poor souls!
Jeanette Van Skike:
Does anyone remember the white lady in Branch Brook Park? I lived
in Forest Hills near the railroad tracks. There were a few hobos
who would come to the door looking for food.
John V. Fardella:
Caroline, I couldn't find Jeanette on Newark talk, but she mentioned
the "white lady from branch brook park. I remember the story.
She was killed there on her wedding night and comes back every year
to appear at the dangerous curve. I've seen her a few times. Have
I remember the White Lady of Branch Brook Park. Kids used to put
on sheets to scare people. When you came around the corner, you
saw the tree painted white. Didn't she die on her wedding night,
and her dogs were with her too.