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Haunted Houses of New York City

Updated on August 27, 2016

Morris-Jumel Mansion

The Morris-Jumel Mansion is a Southern-style mansion with four floors, a balcony and a basement. It was built by British Colonel Roger Morris before 1776. Colonel Morris died in 1794.

After the Revolutionary War it changed ownership several times, even becoming a tavern. In 1810 a French wine merchant, Stephen Jumel and his wife, who was American, bought the fixer-upper and 35 acres surrounding it.

There have been at least five ghosts here, mostly appearing on the balcony and the second and third floors.

On January 19, 1964 a group of children arrived for a tour of the mansion. It had not yet opened and as they waited they saw a woman on the balcony above. The kids had become restless and the woman shushed them. She was dressed in a flimsy, purple gown and after shushing them she turned and walked straight through the closed balcony doors. It is believed it was Madam Jumel herself.

Visitors have claimed to have felt an angry presence suspected to be Madam Jumel’s first husband. They have also sensed Aaron Burr, United States Vice-President.

The servant quarters were on the top floor and an apparition of a young servant girl in distress has been seen there. In life, she had become romantically involved with a family member and ended up jumping out a window to her death.

A school teacher who was so excited to see the house from top to bottom ran up the stairs just in time to see a Revolutionary War soldier step out of a painting. She fainted from her fright. On another occasion a different teacher said she saw him too. A third teacher, on another school trip, also saw the soldier. She suffered from heart problems and had a massive heart attack and died.

Stephen Jumel haunted the mansion as well but is gone now thanks to two “rescue seances” performed by Hans Holzer and a medium, Ethel Myers. Jumel was angry because he had been murdered by his wife. He had been severely injured in a pitchfork accident and his wife had removed his bandages, causing him to bleed to death. The seance allowed him to vent his anger and he was finally able to move on. He was never seen or felt again.

In 1961, the Morris-Jumel Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark. It was declared a New York City Landmark, the exterior in 1967 and the interior in 1975. It is now a historic museum.

Kreischer Mansion

Kreischer Mansion is a historic home built about 1885. There were two identical buildings erected by a brick manufacturer, Edward Balthaser Kreischer for his two sons, Charles and Edward, but Charles’ house burned down a few decades later. The elder Mr. Kreischer committed suicide on June 8, 1894 after an argument with his brother.

In May of 2005, five members of the Mafia lured one of their own to the Kreischer Mansion property for the purpose of killing him. It was harder than they thought it would be. At first they tried to strangle him to death. That failed so they stabbed him. When that didn’t work they finally dragged him to a pond and drowned him. Afterwards, they used hacksaws to dismember his body and then got rid of it in the mansion’s furnace.

There are several different ghosts supposedly hanging out at the mansion. A wailing woman can be heard at various times. The theory is that it is Edward’s wife. She never got over his suicide. There was a German cook murdered in the kitchen and she still roams around banging on the pots and pans. Some people claim to hear what sounds like children trying to scratch their way out of closets.

The Kreischer Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

James Brown House

The James Brown House was built in the early 1800s and is a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. James was an African-American veteran of the Revolutionary War. Its style is called Federal Architecture and it is one of the few examples still existing in New York City.

This building is the former home of a Revolutionary War veteran. It is famous because of the various taverns to occupy the ground floor. There is an impish spirit that harasses the customers and is believed to be Mickey, a sailor who was accidentally killed in front of the establishment.

The building is now home to The Ear Inn and other ghosts besides Mickey. Some are sailors who died at sea and came back to the James Brown House afterwards. Others are drunkards and prostitutes.

The Gay Street Phantom

This charming house in the West Village is on one of the crookedest and shortest streets in the city. The house was used as a speakeasy during Prohibition. It was also the home of Mayor Jimmy Walker’s mistress, Betty Compton, during his tenure from 1926 to 1932. The creator of Howdy Doody, E. Roger Muir, also lived here.

There are several ghosts here but the one seen on a regular basis is dressed in an opera cloak and known as “The Gay Street Phantom.”

Source

The Haunted Penthouse

Technically The Haunted Penthouse isn’t actually a haunted house. It’s an apartment, but this one was just too good to pass up.

In 1922, Albert Champion, inventor of the spark plug, married Edna Crawford, a young showgirl. Not long after their marriage she started an affair with Charles Brazelle, a young Frenchman. Five years later Champion was murdered in a Paris hotel. It was believed Brazelle beat him to death, but it was never proven. Edna and Charles said Albert died of natural causes, then they took all his money and ran. They went to New York City where they bought the penthouse at 57 West 57th Street.

It didn’t take Edna long to realize she had made a horrible, fatal mistake. Brazelle had a terrible temper and was overly jealous. He kept Edna a prisoner in the apartment and in the end he beat her to death with the telephone. But Charles got his in the end because Edna’s bodyguard threw him out the window.

The penthouse stayed empty for several years until it was rented by recently married Carlton Alsop. He was a film and radio producer and close friends with actress Judy Garland. His wife, Sylvia, was also an actress. He liked the apartment because it had terraces that provided outdoor space for his four Great Danes.

The dogs would stare at the windows and whine once it was dark. The couple said they heard high-heeled footsteps during the night and would hear what sounded like a couple arguing though there was no way they could hear sounds from other apartments. Mrs. Alsop didn’t even make it a year before her nerves gave out. She packed her bags and left.

Mr. Alsop didn’t last much longer. First, all four of his dogs had mental breakdowns. He followed suit not long after and had himself committed to a mental institution. After his release he moved to the West Coast and died July 22, 1979 in Pasadena, California. 57 W. 57th Street is now an office building.

Haunted Houses of NYC

show route and directions
A markerMorris-Jumel Mansion -
65 Jumel Terrace, New York, NY 10032, USA
get directions

B markerKreischer Mansion -
4500 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10309, USA
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C markerJames Brown House -
326 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA
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D markerThe Phantom of Gay Street -
12 Gay St, New York, NY 10014, USA
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E markerThe Haunted Penthouse -
57 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019, USA
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