Suicide Tower

Suicide Tower, Watchung Reservation

In the southeast corner of the Watchung Reservation, there’s a big water tower (on trail maps as “WT”) colloquially known as “Suicide Tower.”

Only one documented suicide has been committed there, back in 1975. Gregg Sanders, a local high school student, killed his parents (the descriptions “axing to death” and “sliced and diced” have been used) and then jumped to his own death here. (Back in those days, the tower featured a spiral staircase and an observation deck. They’ve since been removed.)

Rumor has it that the double murder-suicide may have been linked to Satanist Rituals also rumored to take place in the park back then. That’s totally unconfirmed, though.

Nowadays, it’s just a cool place for rust to aggregate, and for kids to practice their graffiti. (For all you graffiti-tagging aficionados out there, the only tag I could discern was “swag,” which— is that even a tag? I thought it was just slang. But I am no expert on these things.) There’s also a cell tower immediately adjacent to the water tower. In fact, a Verizon guy was hanging out in his truck just off-camera when I took this photo. We exchanged hellos.

 

Sources:

Anonymous. (2001). “Watchung Suicide Tower Tales.” Weird N.J. http://www.weirdnj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=129&Itemid=28#29.

Balogh, D. (2008). “Watchung Reservation.” Dan & Laura’s Photo Web Album. http://www.danbalogh.com/watch.html.

The Lostinjersey Blog. (2009). “Watchung Reservation.” http://lostinjersey.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/watchung-reservation/. {Comments here also used.}

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8 Comments to “Suicide Tower”

  1. My 5 min, of fame on national T/V answering questions about Gregg who lived down the street from me, i saw the clean-up crew coming out of the house with white buckets of red material in them, ???? LMAO

  2. A hidden room in the Sanders house with Nazi material all over the place !!!!!!!!!!

  3. Shame that it’s known as the “Suicide Tower”. Lots of us who grew up right around there, knew the (green at that time) tower as a great place to go, climb up the long winding spiral stairs, counting them as we went, hang out on the top, sun-bathing, and just generally chillin’ at the “top” of our world. Good memories there for me.

  4. What street did the Sanders live on?

  5. Also a place of fond memories of my childhood. My dad would take us there for a climb and the view.

  6. My Dad used to take me up there too. He and his friends would wear goat masks, draw a pentagram with pigs blood, then we would all dance around without any clothes on. Oh how I miss those days.

  7. I remember, before the water tower there was a wooden look out tower. I guess it was a tower to look for fires. One of my friends had an expensive 10 speed bicycle that was stolen and thrown of the green water tower. I used to camp out in the reservation, fortunately we never ran into any witches.
    I also remember the greg Sanders murder suicide, i was 14 at the time.
    Their is a place in the reservation called the thirteen bumps. They story is that 13 sister witches murdered some children and were caught. they then hung or burned them. Many many years later a road was built through the spot where they were executed and 13 bumps appeared in the road. since then the road has been ripped up and repaved more then once. Every time the road is repaved the bumps reappear.
    And don’t forget about the NIKE missile silo in the Watchung Reservation and the missile command center was where the Governor Livingston High School now stands.

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