Captain William Kidd contributed his services to the building of the original Trinity Church by providing a winch to lift the stones to build the church steeple when the church was built around 1700. He was one of most active parishioners of Trinity Church. He was a privateer licensed to raid enemy ships in wartime but he seemed to have raided even English ships. He was tried and hanged in England.
Captain Kidd’s ghost has been seen at Trinity Church Yard in search of the grave he should have been buried in. He is also reported to be the guardian of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. It is framed by walls of the old Fort Wood at Liberty Island. Pirates used to be hanged at nearby Gibbet Island which is known as Ellis Island today.
Sgt. Gibbs and Private Carpenter were assigned to the fort in 1825. He and a companion sought to find the buried treasure of Captain Kidd. They found the treasure box but before they could open it up. The ghost of the dead pirate rose from its grave next to the treasure chest to cause them to faint.
Both swore to have seen a demonic figure rise from the soil, breathe sulfuric fumes, and glide along the ground in a menacing fashion. Both swore it was the specter of dead irate, disturbed their digging and hell-bent on protecting the treasure.