Home >The Devils Tower of Alpine, NJ - Unexplained Mysteries
In the exclusive, sleepy little town of Alpine, New Jersey there is a devilish local landmark known as the Devil's Tower. The estate known as "Rio Vista" was constructed in the 1900s, and, the tower (built later as a centerpiece) was erected sometime around World War I. The owner of Rio Vista (Manuel Rionda) built the tower for his wife, so that she could view New York City across the Hudson River.
Local legend (or urban myth) tells us that Manuel’s wife decided to climb to the top of the tower one evening. The legend continues on to tell us that from the top of the tower, Mrs. Rionda observed her husband with another woman; and, she was so devastated and afraid the town’s people would talk about her being scorned, she jumped to her death.
After the death of Manuel's wife, it is reported that strange events started to occur in the tower. Manuel was afraid that his wife had come back from the dead to get her revenge, so Rionda ordered the work on the tower to stop, and, ordered the closure of an underground tunnel on the property. However, rumors tell us that eerie occurrences continued to take place inside the tower, and soon, locals began talking about what was going on at the property and it quickly became known as the "Devil’s Tower."
After Manuel Rionda's death in 1943, the local residents tried to have the tower demolished, but, after several workers fell to their death, the town stopped the demolition attempt. From there the rumors grew fast and more and more outrageous - with stories ranging from satanic rituals held inside the tower to animal slayings to a ghost that's said to have risen from the dead. (The ghost is rumored to be Rionda's wife.)
Legend holds that if you go to the tower at night and drive your car backwards around the tower three times, you will see the ghost of Manuel’s wife. And, if you walk backwards around the structure three times, legend has it that you will not see Manuel Rionda's wife, but something more sinister - the devil himself.
The tower itself is still claim to a variety of paranormal activity. Noises can be heard from inside of the chamber, and strange perfume smells come and go. If you listen closely you can still hear the wife screaming in agony as she finds out her husband is cheating. You can also hear the sound of construction workers falling to their death.
It's said that after her death eerie things became everyday occurrences at the Tower. Manny stopped work on the Tower - after all, there wasn't any more Harriet to impress - and closed the underground tunnel that led to it, fearing that his wife had returned from the dead for revenge. But the locals claim the spookiness continues.
Passer-bys have reported that it feels like someone has taken control of their car while near the Tower, resulting in many accidents around the vicinity of the tower and even a death.
Yet another account states that the Tower was used as a temple for devil worship early in the 1900's. Supposedly after many unspecified horrific events plagued the town, the locals murdered and burned the satanists in their Gothic stone digs. But they were a tad late - the Beelzebub posse had already managed to conjure up a few spooks to haunt the Tower. It became a popular destination for partying teens in the ’70s and kids who had been inside reported encountering gusts of icy wind on calm nights, and claimed that you can see shadows in the windows of the tower.
It's most enduring urban legend is that if you drive around the Tower three times backwards (or maybe six, depends on who's telling the tale), stop and turn off your headlights, the ghost of Harriet (or her misty form) is supposed to appear. If you walk around it backwards the same number of times, Old Scratch himself is supposed to appear. Toss a coin...
A place of that repute isn't very well tolerated in the posh 'burbs, but it's alleged that all attempts to raze the Tower have resulted in the inexplicable deaths of several of the workmen. So it still stands, even though it's now sealed up as tight as Fort Knox to keep out the hoi-polloi, party boys, and graffiti artists.
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