5 Most Haunted Places in New York City

New York is one of the oldest cities in America, having been 400 years since the it was founded.  Having buildings that date back to the 1700’s and 1800’s has brought not only a timeline full of famous events and infamous character but also quite a bit of superstition and myth. Many of these stories center around the buildings and the people that used to reside there and in some cases still do. Below are five of the most haunted places in New York City, many of which you can visit if you are interested in making this Halloween a historic one!

Jefferson Market Library

History of the building:

Built originally to serve as a fire tower lookout in 1833, this building was expanded to serve as a courthouse in 1877. It was also the location for New York City’s first night court due to its central location in the city’s entertainment district at the time. This also caused it to expand its use yet again as a woman’s prison as many of the defendants being prosecuted at the night court were prostitutes. It was also home to New York’s most infamous court case in which Harry Kendall Thaw was acquitted of the murder of world renowned architect Sanford White by reason of insanity.

Who haunts this place:

While no specific ghost haunts this particular location, people have seen figures at night up in the top of the bell tower that is closed year round to the public. This location has also been home to female apparitions, which are known to roam the small park that used to be the location of the female only prison.

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The House of Death

History of the building:

Located in the West Village, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in all of New York City, this particular building was constructed during the late 1850’s.  The physical address of 14 West 10th street places it on a tree lined block where one would never know had a building nicknamed the House of Death.  Its most famous resident was that of Mark Twain who called this place home during the early 1900’s. The building name comes both from the ghosts that haunt this building and also from the tragedy that occurred here in 1989 where prominent attorney Joel Steinberg killed his adopted daughter by beating her to death.

Who haunts this place:

The house is known to be haunted by no less than 22 different spirits and apparitions ranging from young children, old ladies, and even a cat. Yet the most famous ghost comes in the form of Samuel Clemmons, known mostly as Mark Twain, who roams the bottom floors and basement of this building dressed head to toe in a white suit.

 

Morris Jumel Mansion

History of the building:

Morris Jumel is currently the oldest home on the island of Manhattan and was once the residence to famous New York resident Aaron Burr as well as other lesser well known historic figures. The house was built in 1765 and is most well known for being the temporary headquarters for George Washington after his army’s defeat at the Battle of Brooklyn.

Who haunts this place:

The most famous ghost (there are several who are known to haunt the mansion) at the Morris Jumel Mansion is that of Eliza Jumel who was the wife of Aaron Burr, who himself is most famous for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Her haunting of the mansion is said to be because of the mysterious death of her first husband of which she was rumored to have murdered.

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The Dakota

History of the building:

Built in 1884, this building stands as a New York City landmark and is one of the most sought after residences in all of Manhattan. The building is most known as the location that famed musician John Lennon, who was a resident, was shot and killed while exiting. The Dakota was also where the horror movie “Rosemarie’s Baby” was filmed due to its creepy gothic architecture style.

Who haunts this place:

While the ghost of John Lennon has been known to appear to residents of the building, he is not this locations most famous ghosts. This distinction falls to the ghosts of two young children who have been seen as far back as at least the 1960’s. The children seem to be dressed in clothing that resembles that of the era of when the building was constructed, so the rumor is that they were once residents of the building.

 

White Horse Tavern

History of the building:

Opened as a bar in 1880, this drinking hole was known as a longshoreman’s bar until the 1960’s when famous writers began to call this place home. Famous regulars to this drinking pub included Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jim Morrison. Yet its most famous patron was that of Dylan Thomas who often drank heavily at this location and was the bar that he drank at before his death. He famously said of the bar shortly before his death, “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies. I think that’s the record!”.

Who haunts this place:

While not the prevailing cause of his parting, the rumor that Dylan Thomas drank himself to death at the White Horse is well known and often believed. This has not stopped his ghost from continuing to haunt his favorite watering hole even after his passing. His ghost is said to move things around in the bar as well as having been seen drinking at his favorite table before quickly disappearing. The bar helps keep his legacy alive and well by keeping a massive portrait hanging in the middle of the bar.

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Have any ghost inspired stories of New York?  Write them in the comments below!