A city as historic and as large as ours is bound to have it’s fair share of urban legends and spooky stories. From the alligators in the sewers to ghost ships in the sewers, NYC has an interesting story around every corner. Here are some of our favorite urban legends, did we miss one? Let us know in the comments.
1. Ghosts haunt the dormitory halls of Fordham University in the Bronx.
Wondering about the ghostly pedigree of this campus? Keating Hall and Finlay Hall were constructed over a morgue and parts of “The Exorcist” were filmed on the campus. Residents of Finlay have allegedly been woken by invisible, cold hands grabbing their throats and a ghostly blond-haired girl plagues the showers.
2. Staten Island’s Cropsey Maniac snatches children from the streets.
In Many ways the Cropsey Maniac was the prototypical boogeyman. He was the fodder of campfire stories, an escaped mental patient, had a hook for a hand, wielded a bloody ax etc. That all changed in the late 80s when children in Staten Island really started going missing…
3. The ghost ship of Henry Hudson’s Halve Maen (later anglicized to Half Moon) can be seen floating down the Hudson River.
Reports of a spooky ship floating on the river has been seen at dusk on foggy days. People say the ship serves as a warning: Don’t go out on the water that day.
4. The restaurant, One If By Land, Two If By Sea, is haunted by mischievous spirits.
The building is the former carriage house of Alexander Hamilton and his daughter Theodosia. The pair are believed to still haunt the building, responsible for flickering the restaurant’s lights and even stealing earrings from ladies at the bar.
5. On winter nights, the spirits of the Victorian-era Van der Voort sisters, can be seen ice-skating on Wollman Rink in Central Park
Wow, this is a tragic and ghostly tale worthy of Guillermo del Toro… The only problem with this tale is the first Central Park skating rink was constructed in the 1940s… a little after the 1800’s.
6. When the sun goes down, all the city’s gargoyles come to life
Sorry to be the one to have to break this to you, this isn’t the original Ghostbusters, or the Gargoyles TV show… the only thing to come to life at night around here are the alligators in the sewers!
7. The Yankees uniforms are pinstriped because Babe Ruth wanted to look slimmer
This isn’t true, the Yankees wore stripes way before Babe Ruth played for them! The Yankees started wearing pinstriped uniforms in 1912, according to the Feb. 27, 1912 edition of the New York Times.
8. There is a colony of man-eating alligators living in the city sewers
According to legend, someone dumped a pet alligator into the city’s sewer system and the animal started a colony of underground reptiles. This simply can’t be true… our sewers are already full of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
9. Throwing a penny off of the Empire State Building can kill someone
This one is interesting, but ultimately untrue. Air resistance wouldn’t allow for a tiny penny to travel at a lethal speed. The most this would do is give someone a nasty shock.
10. The treasure of the famous pirate Captain William Kidd is buried on Liberty Island
Two soldiers named Gibbs and Carpenter who were stationed on Liberty Island (then Bedloe Island), once decided to try and find the treasure. One night the entire fort was awakened by a scream. While the men were digging they found a wooden box and before they could open it a demon, with black skin, horns and wings appeared. The treasure has never been seen since.