Like many towns, Montague, NY has their very own local legend. This one involves a young woman who died in a fatal car accident. Anna Joan Machowski was born on February 2, 1917. Her life wasn't exactly a fairytale but little did she know, her death would be the fuel of legend and rumors for years to come. At the age of 24, she married a man named Alfred and gave birth to four children. Her marriage wasn't always the happiest and she often drowned her sorrows in alcohol.
On June 14th, 1954, she and friend, Jan Winiarski, jumped in to Jan's 1949 Studebaker truck and drove to Barnes Corners to purchase wine. With Anna at the wheel, they sped along Sears Pond Road. She raced towards a curve. An onlooker watched in fear they wouldn't make it and he would be right. The truck went off the road and flipped several times until coming to a rest upright on its wheels. The witness raced to the scene. When he arrived, he found Anna's body lying next to the wrecked truck, her head completely severed six inches from her body. Jan walked away from the crash bruised and in total shock.
Shortly after the accident, reports began to surface about a female ghost seen walking along Sears Pond Road. The legend grew and by 1960, Anna was being referred as "Tug Hill Annie". As with any legend, facts become buried among piles of rumors. Apparitions have been seen along State Route 177 and often associated with Anna despite the fact that the physical description doesn't match her and that State Route 177 is miles away from the crash site. One local paranormal investigation group decided to put the legend to rest once and for all.
Northern Paranormal Society led by David J. and Kimberly A. Andalora investigated the crash site in Autumn 2008. They expected to find nothing but their investigations have turned up pictures with mysterious mist, personal accounts of strange lights/sounds and EVPs. With the help of medium Danyelle Barrett of Amsterdam, they performed a "crossing over" ceremony on Sept. 20th after the first investigation. The Andaloras feel their mission was successful. Anna is now resting in peace on the other side. Their second investigation was performed on Oct. 3rd, 2009. They reported no personal accounts, EVPs, or abnormalities in photos.
Personally, I don't think this absolutely proves Anna, if she is or was haunting Sears Pond Road, has crossed over. Some ghost hunters can investigate a haunted location and pick up nothing on their equipment while others at the same location discover tons of evidence. Is it possible the ceremony worked and she indeed moved on? Of course but the answer will only be revealed in time.