December 02, 2009

Lost Spirits of the Matinecocks

Their 'spirits are still here'

Filmmaker is haunted by Matinecock history

By Leigh Remizowski
MaryEa, a 24-year-old St. John's University graduate, is half Matinecock and half Italian.

He became interested in documenting Matinecock history when his grandfather told him that their ancestors' spirits still haunt the businesses near the intersection of Northern Blvd. and Little Neck Parkway.

"Every native who still lives in the area believes spirits are still here," MaryEa said.

The ghosts have been sighted all over Little Neck, he said. Some employees at a bank are afraid to go into the basement because of banging on the vault. And dishes at a now-closed China shop used to fall off their shelves, MaryEa said.

James Barron, MaryEa's grandfather, said he often feels spirits walking through his home.

MaryEa's documentary, "The Lost Spirits," debuted at the Big Apple Film Festival this fall and was screened this month at the Queens International Film Festival. It chronicles the Matinecocks and their struggles after being pushed off their land in 1931, when the city began widening Northern Blvd.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Things That Go Bump in the Night and Native Documentaries and News.

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