by Andrew K. Arnett

After our excursion to the West Hills Nature Preserve, Sophie and I returned to our motel room. We felt that our initial expedition was fruitful. We had ventured much deeper into Mount Misery than I had initially thought possible. We had in fact, scaled its summit.

Our paranormal investigations, with the EVP, yielded results as well. What to make of these results, however, were a different matter. Was it pure gibberish, or did we in fact make contact with spirits or even, ultra-terrestrials, out there in the forest?

What intrigued me most though, was our random discovery of a clearing in the forest made of asphalt and concrete. We were well aware of the legend of the the ghost of the Lady in White said to have been the spirit of a former inmate of a mental asylum built sometime in the 1700s on Mount Misery.

The site was chosen in part due to its remoteness, as its patients, who suffered from all manner of psychological disturbances, were regularly tortured and abused. The cries of anguish and screams heard in neighboring scattered homesteads apparently inspired the area to be named Mount Misery. After 10 years of operation, the inmates began to rebel. The patient named Mary had had enough. She proceeded to burn the place down, killing herself and everyone in it.

Mount Misery, L.I. (2020). Photo by Andrew Arnett

Was this foundation then the site of that same notorious asylum, often sought by ghost hunters? Sophie and I immediately dismissed the notion. That asylum was said to have been built in the 1700s, but the foundation we had found was of concrete, and the stone steps leading up to nowhere, with its metal handrail, was not of that century. Indeed, the ruins we were standing on were of something more modern, made during the 20th century.

This did however, bring to mind the findings of a paranormal investigator, known by his nom de plume, The UFO Guy, who’s research found that the U.S. government had constructed a military hospital on the grounds of the West Hills Nature Preserve during World War ll. These claims were intriguing and worthy of taking a closer look.

In his book Weird True Stories, Bizarre Encounters and Strange Places, The UFO Guy talks to a number of people from the Mount Misery area who recalled the existence of a military hospital located there. The purpose of the hospital was for rehabilitating seriously injured soldiers but all said the hospital closed in 1945.

A few people however, related that the hospital re-opened in 1947, the facility then rumored to be utilized for the purpose of a covert military operation pursuing mind control technology. One man related a truly bizarre story dating back to the late 1940s.

The man said that, as a military officer then stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he one day became suddenly ill. He experienced strong hallucinations and his condition worsened rapidly. He was then transported to Mount Misery for treatment. However, he remembers little of his time spent at Mount Misery, claiming, “It was like being in a constant dream state. I never felt fully awake. I was constantly fatigued… tired. They kept giving me medicine.”

The book goes on to describe the man’s ordeal, stating:

He was kept there for 5 months, then in one 24-hour period, he suddenly recovered. Restricted to just one small set of rooms in the facility, he never saw more than five people. They were dressed like doctors and nurses, but had no insignia or military identification. When he was taken out of the hospital through a back service porch, he saw a sign that read “Area 5.”

– Weird True Stories, Bizarre Encounters and Strange Places

After his treatment at Mount Misery, the solider was returned to Fort Bragg, wherein he began to make inquiries. An associate of his, who was an intelligence officer, told him that Area 5 was designated for Psychological Warfare experimentation and that it would be wise to not ask any more questions about it.

Mount Misery, L.I., (2020). Photo by Andrew Arnett

Years later, after the officer retired, he returned to Long Island to revisit the hospital. He found the building was closed down and sealed off. He asked local residents if they knew anything concerning the facility. Some claimed of hearing about the old military hospital, while others said they could see lights and hear eerie nosies and voices coming from the area at night.

So what can we make of these testimonials? Are they just made up stories or is there any truth in them? Either way, it is an intriguing document, and with allegations made of secret military projects and mind control programs, brings to mind similar allegations made about the Montauk Project, which took place not far away, on the eastern end of Long Island. Was there a connection?

It would take some time to research the materials further and see if any of it could be verified. Other researchers have noted that the hospital in question closed down in the 1970s and add that during a UFO flap at Mount Misery in the 1980s, the military closed off access roads to the area and built concrete bunkers for some unspecified purpose.

All of this blends into a backdrop of high strangeness that has plagued the area since time immemorial. These include sightings of UFOs, Men in Black, cattle mutilations, black helicopters, a winged Mothman-like cryptid with fierce glowing red eyes and even a roaming beast referred to by locals as the Hell Hound.

There was a lot to digest for sure but Sophie and I, having spent the day hiking through the woods at Mount Misery, were famished and tired. We needed to get some food and rest pronto. But our job was far from over. After dinner we would have to prepare for our return to Mount Misery. Our plan was to go back that night, and conduct another EVP session whilst the clock strikes midnight. This, according to legend, was when some of the alleged high strangeness became most active in the area. We were not looking forward to that.