The Hudson Valley haunting at Blithewood Mansion on the grounds of Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson has intrigued many people. It is said to involve a haunted statue, which is a unique haunting indeed.

The property on which Bard College stands was once home to several estates during the 19th century, one of which was known as Blithewood. In 1853, John and Margaret Bard purchased the property and renamed it Annandale. Later on, in 1860, St. Stephen’s College was established on 18 acres of this property. The college was eventually renamed Bard College in 1930 to honor its founder.

Despite the seemingly peaceful history of the property, the story of the haunted statue began with the arrival of Captain Andrew C. Zabriskie. He was a wealthy salesman who purchased the Blithewood estate in 1900. He built an opulent Georgian-style summer estate on the land, complete with an English garden. Legend has it that the Captain commissioned the sculpting of four statues to represent each of his beloved daughters. The statues would be placed in the estate’s garden, adding to its beauty and grandeur.

However, one of Zabriskie’s daughters met a tragic end. She fell to her death from the window of his New York City apartment, and it was never determined whether it was an accident, intentional, or a result of foul play. Since her untimely death, one of the four Blithewood Mansion statues has been missing from the estate. According to Hudson Valley haunting lore, the departed daughter roams the grounds at night in the form of the missing statue.

Despite this eerie Hudson Valley haunting legend, Blithewood was eventually given to Bard College in 1951 and became part of the Levy Economics Institute. It is said that the school received the spectral statue with the property. Today, three statues remain in the garden, and an empty platform sits where the fourth statue once stood, leaving visitors to wonder about the missing statue and its mysterious legend.

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