Pollepel Island, commonly known as Bannerman Island, sits in the middle of the Hudson River, south of Albany. Bannerman Island is a neglected, rarely visited location, which is graced with the remnants of what once was a replica Scottish Castle.

When New York State was first being colonized by the Dutch, Pollepel Island was reported to be haunted, and neither the Dutch nor the Native Americans in the region wanted to visit this island that was viewed as the land of spirits and goblins. Pollepel Island became a refuge for those fleeing from pursuers, simply because of the reputation the land had. Many people still believe that these spirits and goblins continue to haunt this island.

In 1901, Frank Bannerman, who gave the island his name, began building his famous castle on the island. Bannerman had made his fortune selling military surplus and munitions, and by the late 1800s, he had accumulated so many weapons that New York City requested he find someplace else to store them. After building the replica castle, Bannerman went on to build three different arsenals. He also was an avid collector of military artifacts, which decorated his elaborate home.

One of the ghost stories that surround the island stems from Frank Bannerman himself. The island at one time was surrounded by a breakwater created by sinking old, retired tugboats. The captain of one such boat begged Bannerman to not sink the boat in his presence. Bannerman didn't listen, and the captain was forced to watch his beloved boat sink beneath the water, and swore revenge against Bannerman. It is said that you can hear the bell of that long sunken tugboat, signaling that its captain is fulfilling his promise of revenge.

In 1967 the Island was sold to New York State, who sold everything of value in the house. They then opened the house for tours, before a fire in 1969 destroyed most of the building, leaving a ruin behind. Bannerman Island is no longer accessible, due to safety concerns. Prior to the fire, not all of the munitions were cleared out of the castle, and it is unknown where those munitions ended up on the property. Efforts are being made to renovate the castle, but until that point, the ruins pose too much of a risk for visitors.

Bannerman Island Travel Channel
Bannerman Island Travel Channel

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