Bob DeStefani and his family lived at the Eastern Terminus of the Motor Parkway in Lake Ronkonkoma. In the second part of this series, Bob provides an "insider's look" a a strange encounter in the Petit Trianon.
The Ghost of Petit Trianon
By Bob DeStefani
All stories in old spooky structures wouldn’t be complete without a seeing a ghost. So here we go.
It was a rainy day and my cousin Tony Ferrara and I decided to explore the Petit Trianon as we did so many times before. The first thing we did was look for the “mandatory” stick for protection from whatever we may encounter during our exploration.
I don’t know how we got split up but Tony was making his way through the dinning room door and I was making my entrance into the north wing reading room. I shouldered the heavy door, it took all my strength to get it to move, once inside I started toward the small room with the service bar and dumbwaiter.
I would have to make a left and go through the service bar room to get into the dinning room where my cousin was making his entry.
As I approached the room, I now could see the service bar. What I saw was a man in a tuxedo sitting at the service bar. I stopped and stared, I was frozen in mid step, he was facing away from me, he slowly turned around. He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity and with his white gloves and walking stick in one hand and a drink in the other he raised his glass to me, as a sort of in a toast. He said nothing, didn’t make a sound and he didn’t have a face, he slowly slid off the stool and slowly started toward me.
When I finally got over my initial shock and my feet moving back toward the door I came in, it was closing and I remember thinking “ don’t close. I would never be able to pull it open from the inside. Well I managed to get my hands on the door edge before it closed and pulled as hard as I could. It opened enough to squeeze out. I guess the rush of adrenalin helped. I didn’t want to look behind me because I had a feeling the man with no face would be right there.
I ran out on the terrace only to see my cousin Tony flying out of the dinning room door and running faster than I ever saw him run. Well we both didn’t stop running until we reached the waters edge and ran along the beach. My first question to him was “why are you running”? I wanted to know what he saw that caused him to leave. He saw the same man in a tuxedo that I saw only from a different angle. My cousin Tony and I could not see each other as we had made our entrance form two different locations, but we both saw the same thing.
We told my brother, he was older and bigger than I was, and a few other guys and we made our way back inside. This time armed with sticks and a flashlight. The room with the service bar was empty. The stool the man was sitting on and the bar top had an inch of dust on it. The dust was not disturbed. Explainable? Maybe it was a drifter, then again maybe not, at least not in a top hat and tails.
I still have a vivid recollection of that experience, once was enough.