A Brief History: Located at 279 Water Street in Manhattan, The Bridge Café was built in 1794 and hails itself as “The Oldest Drinking Establishment in New York,” according to its official website. The building was not always The Bridge Café, the property was at one time or another a Hungarian restaurant, seafood restaurant, a packing store, a pirate bar, and even a brothel. The bar was even immortalized in the film Gangs of New York in the scenes that took place in a wild drinking establishment where pickling jars filled with body parts lined the shelves. This was homage to one of the café’s former incarnations where a 6-foot English woman named Gallus Mag would escort rowdy patrons out of her bar with their ears between her teeth. Those offenders who were unfortunate enough to incur the full brunt of her wrath found their severed ears in pickling jars for posterity.
Haunted History: Ms. Gallus Mag still reportedly haunts the building today. In addition to the former barhop frequenting from beyond the grave, other claims of paranormal persisting from The Bridge Café include the feeling of being watched, smelling phantom scents of perfume or lavender, hearing footsteps on the floors above you when no one is there, and seeing shadows move across the room.