Take a look at the dark stories of terrifying hauntings in these ten New York City Buildings, who is haunting them, and why. Don’t believe in ghosts? Maybe this post will change your mind.
Tis’ the season to be spooked. Forget the cheap thrills provided by horror movies or fairground haunted houses. These places are the REAL reason NYC is the city that never sleeps:
1. St. Paul’s Chapel
Haunted by: George Frederick Cooke
Thanks to an extravagant lifestyle and rampant alcoholism, famed British actor George Frederick Cooke ran up a mountain of debt. To placate his debtors he donated his head to science upon his death in 1812. His corpse can be seen roaming the cemetery grounds in search of his missing skull.
2. White Horse Tavern
Haunted by: Dylan Thomas
We all like a drink or two right? Well, not like the poet Dylan Thomas. After breaking his record with 18 whiskey shots in the White Horse Tavern, Thomas collapsed outside and was escorted to the Chelsea Hotel where he fell into a coma. He was pronounced dead the next morning at St. Vincent’s hospital. Thomas can still be seen at his favorite tavern to this day.
3. Billop House (aka Conference House)
Haunted by: Female servant of Colonel Bishop.
During the Revolutionary War, Colonel Bishop accused a servant girl of being an American spy for placing a candle in a window. He chased the poor woman around the house causing the her to fall to her death. To this day, it’s unknown if Bishop pushed her in rage, or she fell. Although her spirit can still be felt around the house, the association that runs the land refuses to allow for a paranormal investigation.
4. Hotel Chelsea
Haunted By: Sid Vicious, Nancy Spungen, and Dylan Thomas.
The Chelsea has been seen many infamous celebrity deaths, specifically Dylan Thomas (see no. 2) and Sid Vicious’ girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Spungen was found dead in the room she shared with the Sex Pistols bassist, Sid Vicious. He was arrested for her murder but overdosed on heroin before he could stand trial. The lovers still haunt the floors of the hotel.
Thomas, when not at the White Horse Tavern, appears near room 206, the place he died in 1953. It’s a busy afterlife for him.
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5. Morris-Jumel Mansion
Haunted by: Eliza Jumel
Manhattan’s oldest home is said to be haunted by five ghosts, but the most active is the spirit of Eliza Jumel. After her husband died in 1832, she became romantically involved with Aaron Burr, the man that killed Alexander Hamilton. In 1964 a group of schoolchildren toured the home and saw her ghost in a violet dress, telling them all to “shut up.”
6. The House of Death
Haunted by: 22 different ghosts, including Mark Twain.
The House of Death is said to be inhabited by 22 different spirits, including that of Mark Twain. Actress/psychic Jan Bryant Bartell claimed that, during the time she lived in the building, several tenants suffered gruesome deaths. One of the most upsetting is that of Jessica Steinberg, a 6-year-old girl who was beaten to death by her own father.
7. Belasco Theatre
Haunted by: David Belasco and “the Blue Lady”
Until his death in 1931, owner David Belasco lived in an apartment above the theater with a woman only referred to as “the Blue Lady.” Belasco and the Blue Lady have been seen onstage during performances, in the audience, and in the elevator.
8. One If by Land, Two If by Sea
Haunted by: Alexander and Theodosia Hamilton
This restaurant was once the carriage house of Alexander Hamilton and his daughter Theodosia, and their spirits still haunt the house. Staff members and diners alike have reported weird occurrences; lights flickering, patrons being shoved by spirits, and the earrings of women sitting at the bar repeatedly disappearing.
9. New Amsterdam Theater
Haunted by: Olive Thomas
While in Paris on September 10, 1920, actress Olive Thomas died after ingesting a lethal dose of mercury bichloride pills that were prescribed to her husband. Her ghost crossed the Atlantic to the New Amsterdam, where she once acted. Thomas’ spirit wanders backstage and through the halls of the theater where she has been seen by workers and security guards clutching a blue bottle of pills.
10. Manhattan Bistro
Haunted by: Gulielma Elmore Sands
Now permanently closed, this SoHo bistro had a storied history of horror tracing back to 1799. Gulielma Elmore Sands ran away from her boarding home to elope with her lover, Levi Weeks. She was found dead the next day in the Manhattan Well, now in the basement of the old bistro.
Speculations arose as to whether her lover murdered his would-be bride to hide a pregnancy. Sands’ still spirit roams the eatery almost begging people to uncover the truth.
Featured image source [Wikimedia Commons]