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Haunted New York City -- Haunted Places In New York City

Updated on June 25, 2011

Ghosts Of New York City

No matter what time of day you visit New York, the city is alive. Walk through midtown at 2 a.m. and you're bound to see at least a few people stumble out of a bar -- even on a Sunday morning. Take a midnight subway home and it's surprisingly packed with passengers. That said, it's hard to believe that amidst the hustle and bustle of Manhattan that any dead would dare call this noisy, energetic place home.

But they do.

It's in New York's quieter corners that spirits lurk -- in graveyards, in old, historic buildings, in parks that by daylight seem peaceful and undisturbed. So when you're wandering by an old church or restaurant and feel a chill run down your spine, you're not imagining things; turns out, Manhattan is way more populated than many would imagine, as there really is a haunted New York City!

For most, New York truly is the city that never sleeps. But for some, it's a place where they never rest in peace. Here are some haunted places in New York City.


Ghosts Of Washington Square Park

The Dakota Building

New York's Most Haunted Spots

As with most places, New York has a long history of folklore and urban legends (literally, in this case). Most of us who've grown up here have heard stories of ghostly sightings in these locales. I've personally never seen any ghosts in these places, but I've certainly heard the stories! That said, I like to keep an open mind and show respect for the dead.

1. The Empire State Building (350 5th Avenue): New York's tallest building is majestic and offers the best view in Manhattan. However, it's also been the site of several suicides. Many onlookers have reported seeing the spirits of people who've jumped to their deaths ... and supposedly, if you listen carefully at midnight, you can hear their screams as you walk past the sky scraper.

2. Washington Square Park (West 4th St. and MacDougal): Visit the park during the day and you'll see young couples making out, families enjoying time together and students taking a study break. At night, however, this park -- which was the site of hangings during the American Revolution and home to 15,000 graves (the bodies are still buried there) -- becomes a ghostly playground. Many have seen bodies hanging from the trees where they were originally sentenced to death, as well as spirits wandering around the grounds.

3. The Dakota (Central Park West and 72nd St.): This upscale building was used to film the horror classic, Rosemary's Baby -- which makes it scary to begin with. Add to that the fact that John Lennon was shot here, as well as the reports that two ghosts wander the halls, and this apartment complex becomes a positively frightening place to visit. I can't say that I ever experienced anything supernatural here, but I have gotten a somber "feeling" when in The Dakota's presence.

4. The Algonquin Hotel (59 W. 44th St.): This old hotel still has wood paneling, narrow passageways and is allegedly home to the ghosts of the many writers who convened here, including Dorothy Parker, Robert Sherwood and George S. Kaufman. A couple of years ago, I attended -- appropriately enough -- a writers convention at the hotel. No spirits were seen, at least by me, but there was a definite energy in the air and you could feel the hotel's literary history coming alive.

5. Bridge Cafe (279 Water St): Established in 1794, this one-time speakeasy is NYC's oldest tavern, and was once the haunt (pun intended) of pirates ... some of whom have supposedly stuck around. So watch out who ye talk to, matey. Aaaarrrrr!

6. The Belasco Theatre (11 W. 44th St.): This theater is one of Manhattan's oldest and is said to still be watched over by the late, great David Belasco. Happily, though, his ghost is thought to be a friendly one who encourages the actors. Still, many performers have been spooked by hearing strange footsteps or when spying a ghostly figure in the establishment.

7. The House of Death (14 W. 10th St.): 22 people have died in this brownstone, which was also once home to Mark Twain ... and all are said to haunt the place. So if you're planning to be in the neighborhood, better brush up on Tom Sawyer beforehand!

8. New Amsterdam Theatre (214 W. 42nd St.): It's only appropriate that the theatrical capital of the world would have several haunted theaters. This one is said to be home to the ghost of a chorus girl named Olive Thomas, who committed suicide. Theater workers and actors have reported seeing her backstage during the afterhours -- wearing her green showgirl costume.

Ghosts In New York


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    • profile image

      Uncle Sam 7 years ago

      Nice article. Makes you think.. not for long tho

    • pennyhowington profile image

      pennyhowington 8 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Good article!

    • profile image

      keira7 8 years ago

      Just finish reading. I will love to visit your contry one day. Thank you for another nice hub. Take care.