7 Most Haunted Sites in New York City

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It’s that time of year again, Gothamites!

While we’ve already uncovered the many urban legends of this town and with Halloween just around the corner, one can’t help but wonder the many dark tales, hidden secrets, and spirits that this city poses.

Whether it is Washington Square Park’s Indian burial ground or the dark spirits roaming the halls of The Chelsea Hotel; there’s no denying that chilling history can be found everywhere. So, if you think you ain’t afraid of no ghost, take a peek at our list of haunted places found here in the greatest, yet surprisingly most scary, city in the world.

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1. The House of Death

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[via boroughsofthedead.com]
The House of Death’s name speaks for itself–and rightfully so. Located at 14 West 10th Street , this Greenwich Village brownstone was built during the late 1850s , and is supposedly haunted by 22 of its former residents, as their spirits remain trapped within the walls.


The House of Death has seen a number of suicides and gruesome murders over the years, including the 1987 murder of six-year-old Jessica Steinberg, who was beaten to death by her own father. It is also said that the house is home to notable ghost-residents, including Mark Twain, who resided there in 1900.

2. North Brother Island

[via urbanomnibus.net]
This abandoned island was uninhabited until around 1860, when Riverside Hospital was built there to house smallpox victims. Eventually, it served hundreds of people with other quarantinable diseases, including typhus and scarlet fever.

However, in the 1960′s, the island was left completely abandoned. All the tools from the hospital facility, books, and even an old theater with all of its chairs still sit untouched, revealing an extremely spooky and unsettling place.

Today, North Brother Island serves as a wildlife refuge for herons, and is virtually inaccessible to the public, as there is nowhere to dock a boat or to walk safely throughout the island. Go if you dare.

 3. Washington Square Park

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[via blog.strayboots.com]

Tucked away in the heart of Greenwich Village , Washington Square Park’s, frightening history remains unknown to many. Today you’ll find mostly NYU students, dog walkers, street performers, and a few shady drug dealers roaming square. However, truth be told that over 20,000 bodies rest underground at this very moment.

Built in 1826– WSP rests on top of an American Indian Burial Ground for victims who fell to the yellow fever epidemic. Before the 1800s, the cemetery was mainly used for the poor who couldn’t afford a proper tombstone. Today the land is an ominous tone for what is very hip place to hang out in the city.


Legend also has it that the park once served as a gallows and execution ground throughout the 19th Century. Over the years, bones have often been found buried under the park during times of reconstruction–yikes!

4. The Chelsea Hotel

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When it was built and opened in the 1880′s, the “Hotel Chelsea” was the most famous building in NYC, as, although this may be difficult to believe today, reigning at twelve stories tall, it was the tallest building in Manhattan. Its renown led many famous guests to stay at the hotel, but despite its celebrity, it was often plagued by financial problems, and constantly changed ownership as a result, giving way to an unstable and spooky history.

Many of the hotel’s famous guests were also plagued by their own demons, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Sid Vicious. Today, Hotel Chelsea stands unoccupied, but remains one of NYC’s greatest hauntings.

5. The Manhattan Murder Well

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[via ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com]

What is known today as trendy Spring Street in Soho was once known as Lispenard’s Meadow, which contained a well where the body of young Gulielma Elmore Sands was found two weeks after she left her Greenwich Street boarding home to elope with her lover, Levi Weeks, who was also a boarder. Weeks was charged with her murder–the first fully documented trial by a court stenographer in American history.


Today, the ominous well still stands in what is now the basement of the restaurant Manhattan Bistro, and the angry ghost of Sands is rumored to still haunt it.

6. The Morris-Jumel Mansion

[via commons.wikimedia.org]

This four-story mansion looks like something you would see everywhere in the south, but is a very rare find in NYC. The Morris-Jumel Mansion was built in 1765, by Roger Morris, but used as a headquarters by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. It is said to have been haunted by five ghosts over the years, that include a servant girl and a Revolutionary War solider.

Today, four ghosts still haunt the mansion, and there is even a group of now-adults, who, as elementary school students in 1964, spotted who is believed to be the ghost of Madam Jumel. If you want to try to spot one of the ghosts, the mansion now serves the public as a museum and is open during the day for guided tours.

7. Saint Marks’ Church in-the-Bowery

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[via tumblr]

This East Village church has a fascinating, and haunting, history. It was built in 1799 on top of the church of Peter Stuyvesant–the peg-legged director-general of then New Amsterdam. Even though his church no longer exists, it is said Peter refuses to leave, and has haunted the site for years.

Reports of actually seeing his apparition, to hearing him ring the bell of the church, are all prevalent. Along with Peter, other ghosts are said to roam the burial vaults beneath the church, making it one of NYC’s most mysterious and haunted sites to visit.

This article was written by a regular Big Appled contributor, Sarah Pietryka.

If you liked this article, check out 17 Reasons to Love Halloween in NYC.

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