(as told by S. E. Schlosser)
Once in old New Amsterdam, there was a brave trumpeter named Anthony Van Corlaer who would blow his trumpet when Peter Stuyvesant wanted to call the people together.
One night, Peter received word that the English were going to attack New Amsterdam. He sent Anthony to warn the Dutch colonists along the Hudson and to call the people to fight. A storm was brewing. When Anthony reached the tip of Manhattan Island, there was no ferry to take him across the tide water creek which connects the Harlem and Hudson Rivers at the tip of Manhattan Island. Anthony called out for the ferryman, but there was no answer. Conscious of his important mission, Anthony decided he would swim across that creek in spite of the devil (in spuyt den duyvil).
Well, the Devil heard Anthony calling for the ferryman, and when Anthony was well into the middle of the creek, the Devil caught him by the leg. Anthony pulled out his trumpet and blew a terrific blast, louder than the wind. It startled the Devil so much that he let go of Anthony’s leg. But Anthony did not have strength enough after his fight with the Devil to swim the creek, and so he drowned.
For many years after this, folks living at the northern tip of Manhattan claimed they could hear Anthony’s trumpet blowing louder than the wind on nights when it stormed. And the creek where Anthony met his fate was called Spuyten Duyvil.
find all this info and more by reading Spooky New York by S.E. Schlosser