The Curious Ghost of Conservatory Garden

Conservatory Garden on Central Park’s upper east side is home to four separate gardens, two magnificent fountains, and one ghost.

Anyone who frequents the gardens has heard the stories of a strange spirit who roams the pathways around Vanderbilt Gate, stopping to tell frightened onlookers random facts about a variety of subjects.

The first reported sighting of the ghost happened in June 1989.

Local resident Anna Beylaw was sitting on a bench in the north garden when what she described as a “glowing, floating, man” appeared before her, pointed a bony finger at her and said “Did you know stewardesses is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand?” But before a confused upper west side resident could reply, the ghost vanished.

Over the years other park goers visiting Conservatory Garden have encountered this bizarre phantom with a taste for trivia:

In 1993 a man walking his dog around the South Garden said a ghost hovered above him shouting “A crocodile can’t stick out his tongue!”

A local artist painting a portrait of the Burnett Fountain in 1997 claims an apparition materialized behind her and moaned “Scotland has the most redheads.”

In 2003, student Arthur Levinson was studying near the Garden Center was startled by a hovering specter who repeatedly moaned “The electric chair was invented by a dentist!”  Coincidentally, Levinson was a student at NYU College of Dentistry. He changed his major to orthopedic medicine the following semester.

The last documented sighting of this curious ghost was in the summer of 2008.

Central Park Conservatory volunteer Dee Ferguson was weeding the flowerbeds near Vanderbilt Gate when the ghost suddenly materialized and bellowed “Dandelions are a good source of vitamin D!”

“Actually, dandelions are a source of vitamins A and C, not D,” Ferguson replied. “They’re also provide iron, calcium, and potassium.”

“Really?” the ghost said. “Are you sure?”

“Very sure.” Mrs. Ferguson replied confidently.

“Huh,” the murmured. “Iron and calcium. That’s… interesting.”

And without another word, the mysterious spirit faded away.


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