Spookiest Places in NYC
October 20, 2018
New York has a long and storied history as one of the world’s greatest cities, and with it, a wealth of ghost stories and scary tales. No matter which of the Manhattan apartments you call home, there’s likely a building or two nearby that longtime residents swear is haunted, or, at the very least, has some sordid past that would suggest it might be.
We’re talking about creepy narratives that date back to the 1700s, and even earlier in some cases, so if you’re ready to be informed about what wild events and horrifying secrets the buildings of the island hold, we suggest you keep reading. Today, we’re going to take you to some of the “bone-chillingest” places in New York.
Tracking Down the City’s Scariest
It might take a fair bit of detective work to dig into where the cities most spooky and haunted locations are, but thankfully, Curbed has already done plenty of legwork in that area, compiling a list of 21 hair-raising areas around New York. While we can’t go too deep into all of them, we can cover a few highlights that we found particularly compelling, and point you in their directions if you’d like to take a look.
If you guessed this building was in Chelsea, you’d be correct. What you might not have been able to discern from the title, however, is the fact that Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious allegedly murdered his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, there in October of 1978. She was found in the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room, dead from a single stab wound to her abdomen. Since the murder, there have been numerous theories on what really happened — that she was murdered in cold blood by her musician boyfriend, that she was killed by a vengeful drug dealer — but the mystery has never been solved.
12 Gay Street
What could be scary about Gay Street, you might wonder? It’s a beautiful section of the city and a veritable photographer’s paradise to boot. Well, how about the Ghost of Gay Street, described as a young man with sparkling eyes, wearing a evening clothes and a dapper cape, haunting the address? If a well-dressed phantom isn’t enough to terrify you, though, how about the fact that this location was once a notorious speakeasy called The Pirate’s Den, and also served as a home for corrupt Mayor Jimmy Walker’s mistress, Betty Compton?
Merchant’s House Museum
Formerly known as Old Merchant's House and as the Seabury Tredwell House, this spot on East 4th Street serves as one of the finest surviving pieces of architecture from its time. It’s a National Historic Landmark and holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. What could this, the pride of 1800s New York City, be hiding?
How about a bevy of ghosts, ready to and willing to haunt those who step foot on the property? Legend has it that Gertrude Treadwell, the youngest of the eight Treadwell siblings who once called this place home, still walks the halls. She never married, and lived her entire life at the home, until her eventual death in 1933 (at the age of 93!). That’s plenty of memories and plenty of time to build the type of connection that would tie someone to a place — even in death.
Washington Square Park
Chances are you’ve taken a pleasant stroll through Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The nearly 10-acre expanse is one of the most well-known throughout the city, and place of bustling activity. Residents and tourists flock here because it’s so beautiful, to cash in on a photo opportunity or simply to relax amongst the sights, but not all know what lies beneath the grounds.
You see, Washington Square Park is also the site of a mass burial ground. During outbreaks of Yellow Fever during the late 1700s and early 1800s, bodies were buried here, and only uncovered after the area was turned into a park during the 1820s.
St. Marks Church In The Bowery
Some people find churches to be inherently creepy, though, others find them quite inspiring, so that in itself isn’t enough to make St. Marks Church in the East Village, the second oldest church in New York, one of its spookiest places.
No, what makes St. Marks so spooky is the story of the peg-legged Dutchman. They say he still haunts the premises to this day, harassing the faithful by interrupting services, singing hymns at the top of his ghostly lungs (in Dutch!), and making as much noise as possible so as to be the biggest undead nuisance on the East Coast.
The Manhattan Well
Much like churches, there’s a deep-seated fear some people have of wells. “What if I fall in?” is probably one of the most asked questions when standing around one, so it might not surprise you to hear that the Manhattan Well on Spring Street has claimed a victim of its own. In the Winter of 1800, they say, a young lady was found dead in the well, and her alleged murderer (following a spectacle of a trial) was acquitted.
All of Manhattan knows the name of the infamous “Boss” Tweed, one of the most insanely corrupt politicians of 19th Century New York. It seems that long after his death, the Ghost of “Boss” is still hanging around at the courthouse where he was sentenced. Perhaps he’s still raging against what he undoubtedly thought was an unfair trial?
The Manhattan Apartments Hold Their Own Secrets
As with most buildings, apartments in New York have their own hidden histories that you wouldn’t guess at first glance. One thing that’s not a secret, though, is how luxurious living in communities like The Cole can be. With superbly spacious residences and top-tier building amenities like these, it’s no wonder this is considered the pinnacle of apartment experiences in Manhattan. Be sure to learn more about what The Cole can offer you, and how you can make this sterling lifestyle your very own today.