Friday, December 26, 2014

Central Park’s Skating Sisters

In the 19th century two sisters, Janet and Rosetta Van Der Voort lived with their overprotective wealthy father in New York City.

Their father rarely let his daughters leave their home unaccompanied. The one exception to this was when they went ice-skating during the winter months at the 59th Street Pond located in the southeastern section of Central Park.

This “one freedom” was allowed only because it was near their Central Park South home.

The sisters being kept much of the time in isolation became very close to each other. As young ladies they spurned all their potential suitors.

They died within months of each other, both spinsters, in 1880.

After the sisters’ deaths, during the First World War, witnesses started to report a strange sight near the 59th Street Pond. *

During both the summer and winter months people stated they saw the Van Der Voort sisters skating side by side at this pond.

Both are seen wearing old-fashioned dresses, one red and one purple, both with bustles.

Most odd is the fact their feet do not touch the ground. Their silver skates are seen gliding above the ice doing a series of endless figure eights.

Legend states these sisters appear most often when there are “overprotective” parents visiting the pond.

An Unusual Date

One witness that reported this unusual sight was a young man who took his date to this pond to skate.

He spotted the sisters laughing and skating. They obviously were enjoying themselves.

He wondered at their strange dress. He looked to see if there were any “movie cameras” around--there weren’t any.

He noticed the two women’s feet didn’t touch the ice and that he could see the figures of the other skaters through one sister’s body.

He gasped when he realized they were ghosts.

He saw them skating right toward him and his date. He felt they would surely collide but instead the two figures skated right through them.

He and his girlfriend fell down on the ice. He then felt something ice-cold moving through his body.

He looked over at where the sisters were standing watching, they were laughing at him and his date.

The two then just disappeared.

This couple saw the sisters in the late afternoon but more often than not they are seen after sundown.

*  In another version of this legend the sisters are seen skating in another section of Central Park.

Spooky New York, Retold by S.E. Scholosser

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