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 Amityville Legend of Mary's Grave

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PostSubject: Amityville Legend of Mary's Grave   Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:49 pm

A True Story of the Horrible Death to a Relative of Amityville's John Ketcham

Amityville: The Legend of Mary Ketcham

Among the people of western Suffolk County, from Amityville to Bayport there is the legend of Mary Ketcham. Mary was related to the famous Ketcham family of Amityville, whom the famous witch John Ketcham was a member. Mary’s family had people that were both witches and witch hunters. The branch she belonged to migrated from the Salem area to Suffolk County, NY in the 1600s.

I first came across Mary in math class. She was an extremely beautiful girl, very tall with blond hair that betrayed her Puritan roots. Although she was just about the most beautiful girl in school, she was not part of any of the popular girl’s clans. Mary was very mature for her age so she spent her time with older kids, and a group of criminal kids called the “Heads.” Her maturity and beauty would be her curse.

Mary’s sister was considered by the village to be a religious fanatic. She was a lot like what people might expect a descendent from the Puritans might be like. Especially striking was her crazy eyes. According to rumor she once attempted suicide. Mary’s older sister would spend much of her time drawing religious pictures. In some ways she was like the mad mother in the movie “Carrie.” She made quite a contrast to her sexy, sinning sister.

The village she lived in was settled by a witch hunting family that came to Long Island from Salem. They were the Edwards, who were related to the Ketchams going way back. The name of the village is Sayville, named after Salem Village in Massachusetts now known for the witchcraft affair. Salem Village, not to be confused with Salem Town, changed its name to Danvers to disassociate itself with the past. Sayville is a contraction of Salem Village. Salem=Say, Village=Ville, Say + Ville = Sayville.

To the casual observer Sayville is a paradise. Located on Long Island’s south shore, it is located on the beautiful Great South Bay. It was a classic American small village, surrounded by woods and farms, an adorable “Main St. USA” downtown, and residential neighborhoods full of Victorian homes. The Chamber of Commerce compares it to “Mayberry.”

The deeper reality is quite different from the appearance on the surface. Nothing more than an illusion of Paradise. The fact Sayville High School has an annual football game with Amityville might be a hint that something is strange.

One of the kids that Mary grew up was a hideously deformed creature nicknamed, “Speedy.” He had somewhat of the physical appearance of small malformed Frankenstein and was tormented on a daily basis by the other youths of the village. The kids would use him as a punching bag and practice punching him as hard as possible. They would normally hit in the bone so as to make it more painful. Speedy was the teenage assistant of the kindly Mr. Cromarty at his local racetrack. He belonged to a group of kids known as the “Vandals.” Since he was Mr. Cromarty’s assistant he would often be at his house in nearby Amityville.

Speedy had the hots for Mary, just like the other boys. However, unlike others he was a deformed outcast that lived in the shadows. He was so much unlike Mary. No one realized just how much alike they will become.

Sayville is divided between the so-called right side of the railroad tracks and the wrong side. Mary lived on the wrong side in an area her mother called the “Sayville Slums.” It was in this neighborhood that Mary came into contact with the criminal element of the village.

Since Mary was tall and mature beyond her years she ran with an older crowd. Some of them belonged to the local dominant motorcycle gang in Suffolk County at the time. One of them thought that Mary looked hot. She soon became his girl. Often they would be by the Normandy Inn north of the village.

This gang makes their money through prostitution and selling methamphetamines. Her new boyfriend used her for profit. He took her out of her home and put her to work in a massage parlor when should of instead of been in high school. She did more than just massages. The deal was they would split the money.

After a while Mary would keep more of the money from the truckers than the biker boyfriend thought that she should keep. He grew very angry. An evil voice inside him said that he must punish her, and punish her hard.

She was lured to a shack early one evening. By the time she realized what her boyfriend would do it was too late. Mary was strapped down to her chair. What horror that would happen to her would be worse than her most frightening nightmare. What the evil voice told him to do could only be described as being a foretaste of the deepest pit of hell.

Mary was frightened because she knew something bad was going to happen. The boyfriend was a smoker and he lit up a cigarette. After a few puffs to get it hot, he put it straight into her skin. This was repeated over and over again until her body was covered with burns. Then he bought out the pliers. He opened the pliers and brought it towards her mouth. The pliers were wrapped around a tooth and he started to pull. The pliers were twisted back and forth while she was screaming in agony. After that tooth was out, he spent much of the night pulling out all of her teeth, one by one. Minutes felt like hours.

At the wee hours of the morning she became what no one ever expected: She became a perfect match for Speedy. A repulsive creature so horrible that no one could bear to cast their eyes on her. Speedy’s wish that they would be compatible finally became true. But it was not to last long.

By morning she was dead. She was put in a sleeping bag and then wrapped in chains.

Early one morning there was an old black fisherman in a swamp. He put his pole down and he felt something down there. It was Mary’s hideously decomposed, mangled body.

Epilogue: The Grave and Legend

Mary’s Grave is located in the Union Cemetery in Sayville, off Main St. overlooking the swamp. Her death was fodder for the newspapers so her horrible death was well known. On her grave overlooking the swamp were flowers from well wishers.

So one of the kids that was part of the gang that Cromarty’s teen assistant belonged to came up with an idea to dare another one to rob the dead. Mary in particular. So the kids went to the cemetery to commit grave robbing. The student that dared then went home and gave the flowers stolen from the dead to his mother. It was the only thing he ever gave her.

Because of the publicity and horror of Mary’s death, her peers thought it was all very frightening. So a tradition started where students would dare others to go to her grave at midnight.

Over the years many legends and stories began to arise about her. Locals say that it was the evil spirit of an Indian chief that possessed the killer. Many claim late night sightings of a girl with no eyes. What is undisputed is both her memory and her horror still haunts the village to this day.


Legend Background

The “Mary Legend” is common is communities in western Suffolk County. Each community has a different variation. What they all have in common is a beautiful girl that ends up with the wrong boyfriend that ends up brutally killing her. As years go by it is slowly changed by rumors that are influenced by various real events. The story, “Amityville: The Legend of Mary Ketcham” is about one real event that strongly influenced a local Mary story. Everything in the above story is true, though names have been altered to protect the innocent.

The local legend is different from the story written her. The legend is an amalgam that was shaped over the years. This story is about one of several events that shaped the legends.

The Title

The story is called, “Amityville: The Legend of Mary Ketcham” for a reason. Although most of the story takes place outside Amityville, all of it is either in Amityville or nearby. Sayville is Amityville’s sister city and is located down the bay. It set up a lot like Amityville: On the same by, on Sunrise Hwy to the north, has creepy old Victorian homes in the south, the same original “South Road” cut through both of them, and even the same Railroad line cuts through the middle.

Much of the action in the Amityville Horror book did not take place in Amityville, but surrounding communities.

The real name of the girl in the story was not named “Mary Ketcham.” Although she is related to Ketchams, her last name is different. “Mary” was picked for the first name because in the local legend the girl is known as “Mary,” as in neighboring villages.


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