Right across from the Holy Cross Church on Cortlandt Street in Sleepy Hollow, police erected barricades overnight to control a crowd of people that had gathered to see something sacred in the tree bark.
Sunday evening, a Sleepy Hollow resident suddenly noticed a pattern resembling in the Virgin Mary in about a three-inch indent in the tree bark of a young tree above eye level. The supposed Virgin is best viewed by early morning light, as one man shared his photo of the tree bark compared to a picture of the Virgin on a seven-day candle, and the resemblance is more apparent.
The pilgrims are coming. One woman, who said her sister called her after seeing the tree on Channel 12 last night, drove here from Stony Point in Rockland County. Juliette Bosquet is a nurse who works the night shift at Columbia Hospital and she wasn't going to sleep until she got here to find the tree. Bosquet said she had no idea where the tree was and she asked all around the villages until she found her way here to the corner of Chestnut and Cortlandt.
Here, there are many prayer candles on the dirt square surrounding the tree and folks are gathering to talk and take photos. Some seem to be just hanging out, almost guarding their new sacred spot.
"It means a lot to me," Bosquet said. "This gives me a lot of hope. I'm from Haiti. You know what my country's about. With all the things going on in Haiti, I should be the first one to believe."
"This really is true," Bosquet said. "If you really look at it, you can see the face."