A Brief History: Located at 59 West 44th Street and Constructed in 1902 by architect Goldwin Starrett of the famed architectural firm Starrett & Van Vleck, The Algonquin Hotel situated in the heart of New York City’s theater district set the standard for elegance and sophistication during the Vaudeville era. The hotel would later become host to the Algonquin Round Table consisting of writers, publicists, actors, directors, critics and other assorted who’s who of the literature and entertainment world. At its core “The Vicious Circle” otherwise known as Franklin Pierce Adams, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Heywood Broun, Ruth Hale, Marc Connelly, George S. Kaufman, Robert E. Sherwood, Harold Ross, John Peter Toohey and Alexander Woollcott would meet almost daily from 1919 – 1929 to exchange ideas, politics and influence one another. As the Roaring Twenties gave way to the Great Depression the circle disbanded, but their legacy and some would say their presence have left an indelible mark on the hotel.
Haunted History: Guests have reportedly seen specters of former members in the hotel lobby and main dining room. Further stories revolve around a recent renovation of attic space on the 13th floor. On the night of completion there were claims of unusual noises coming from the attic culminating in a picture of Dorothy Parker falling from the wall and shattering at around 3am.
A Brief History: The Belasco Theatre is one of New York City’s oldest theatres, opened by David Belasco in October of 1907, and is located at 111 West 44th Street. In 1931, David Belasco died. He lived in an apartment at the top floor of the theatre and it is said that he still haunts this theatre till this day, although others maintain his ghost left after the play Oh Calcutta!, known for its nude scenes, was performed there in 1971.
Haunted History: There have been claims that the ghost will interact with actors and give handshakes to some of them, with some actors reporting to have seen him in a private box on opening nights and during rehearsals. Many people have reported hearing footsteps in the theatre late at night after everyone left the building as well as hearing Belasco’s private elevator running, even though it has been disconnected for years.
Poltergeist activity has been reported, with furniture and belongings being tossed in dressing rooms after poor performances. Claims also include seeing a lady in blue who is either David Belasco’s girlfriend, or a chorus girl from the theaters early years. There have been numerous reports of seeing her in the theatre.
Located at the Southern end of Staten Island the
now 226 acre park (originally 932 acres) was originally known as The Manor
of Bentley. In 1676 British Navy Captain Christopher Billop was given this
piece of land. By 1680 Capt. Billop had built the above shown 2-floor stone
house called The Conference House. Additions to the house continued through
During the American Revolution, Colonel
Christopher Billop (Capt. Billop's great-gandson) lived in the house. On
September 11, 1776 (2 months after the signing of the Declaration of
Independence) the Conference House was host to an attempted peace
negotiation between the American colonies and the British. Benjamin
Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge met with British Lord Admiral
Richard Howe to try to negotiate a peace that would give the colonies
independence from England but keep strong relations (at the time the British
controlled all of New York City, Long Island and Staten Island). Although
Howe himself wanted a peace his orders would not allow for any agreement
that recognized the independence of the colonies. The Admiral made it very
clear the British had no intention of entertaining the idea of independent
colonies and that the revolution leaders would be severely punished after
the British crushed the revolution. Benjamin Franklin and company made a
hasty departure from the house after the first day of talks. The result was
the 7 year American Revolutionary War.
Colonel Billop himself was a very forceful and
unforgiving man, given to frequent fits of rage. During the war Colonel
Billop was frequently kidnapped and held for ransom by the colonists.
Colonel Billop became convinced someone in his house was informing the
revolution of when he was in the house. Legend has it that one evening
Colonel Billop saw a servent girl place a lamp in an upper floor window.
Colonel Billop took this to be a signal to the revolution that he was home
and proceed to accuse the girl of being a spy. He chased her through the
upper floor to the downward stairs. It is not clear whether the Colonel
pushed the girl down the stairs trying to kill her or she fell to her death
trying to get away from Billop.
It is said her ghost and the ghost of British
Redcoats who died in the house during the war still haunt the building
today. Although the building is said to be very active the Conference House
Association that manages the site refuses to allow paranormal investigations
of the facility.
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.
A Brief History: Carnegie hall begins in the spring of 1887 aboard a ship traveling from New York to London. Newlyweds Andrew Carnegie (a powerful industrialist) and Louise Whitefield were on their way to Scotland to celebrate their honeymoon in the grooms Native Scotland. While onboard the ship, the couple ended up befriending the 25 year old Walter Damrosch, who was at the time the conductor and musical director of the Symphony Society of New York and the Oratorio Society of New York. Carnegie and his wife decided to invite Damrosch to their estate in Scotland. It was here that Damrosch shared his vision with Carnegie for a New Concert Hall in New York City. Carnegie expressed a great interest in the idea and decided to commit a portion of his great wealth to the new project. Thus, the idea of Carnegie hall was born.
Upon returning from his honeymoon, Carnegie set the plan in motion and worked with Damrosch to establish the Music Hall Company of New York. The Musical Hall was constructed on a parcel of land between 56th and 57th street by chief architect William Burnet Tuthill. The design of the music hall featured a rectangular six-story structure, housing three performance spaces: the Main Hall (renamed Isaac Stern Auditorium / Ronald O. Perelman Stage in 2006), seating 2,800; the Recital Hall located below the Main Hall, seating 1,200 (now the location of the 600-seat Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall); and, adjacent to the Main Hall, the 250-seat Chamber Music Hall (now Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall). Above the Chamber Music Hall were assembly rooms which, according to the program from the Main Hall’s Opening Night would be “suitable for lectures, readings, and receptions, as well
as chapter and lodge rooms for secret organizations. "
As the cornerstone of Carnegie Hall was laid in place on May 19th 1890, Carnegie stated “It is built to stand for ages, and during these ages it is probable that this Hall will intertwine itself with the history of our country.” Ringing true to his beliefs, the Musical Hall was soon visited and used by some of the country's most prominent political figures and intellectuals. From Woodrow Wilson to Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington, the new musical hall hosted a countless number of important figures of the day. It wasn't until 1894 that the Musical Hall was renamed Carnegie Hall in an attempt to bring in more business (at the same time in Europe a music hall often referred to vaudevilles). The Carnegie family owned the hall until 1925, when they sold it to developer Robert E. Simon. By the 1950's the music business had changed dramatically, and Simon's son was forced to sell. The New York Philharmonic could not purchase Carnegie Hall at the time because plans were already made to move to Lincoln Center. When a buyer could not be found, Simon sold it to a real estate developer who planned to demolish it and construct a business skyscraper on the site. The Hall was saved by action of the New York State Legislature, which allowed the city to purchase Carnegie Hall on May, 1960. Since then, a non-profit corporation has been responsible for managing Carnegie Hall. Isaac Stern was the first President of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, and remained so for many years. Today, Carnegie hall remains a National historic landmark in New York City, having hosted over 50,000 events since its opening night inception on May 5th, 1891.
Haunted History: Carnegie Hall is quite vague on it’s haunted history. Personal research through multiple resource outlets have not turned up any evidence or rumors of paranormal activity having occurred. One death is known to have occurred on stage in Carnegie hall in April 1951, but no activity has been documented as a result. Times Magazine reported the musicians death "In the clanging chords of the opening, he was in brilliant form. A few minutes later, he seemed to be bending close to the piano, listening. Then his left hand fell from the piano, his head almost touched the keys. A second later he rolled off the stool on the floor. It was a cerebral hemorrhage. Doctors were called to the stage, but Simon Barere was beyond aid; within ten minutes he was dead." With this said, it is hard to conclude any evidence of the paranormal taking place within the walls of Carnegie Hall. Though with such a rich history behind it, one can see how the possibility exists.
A Brief History: Once rumored to be the tallest building in New York City, The Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street, was built by Philip Hubert of Hubert, Pirsson & Company in 1894. From its construction the Chelsea Hotel stood out amongst its neighbors, at a proud twelve stories with a red brick exterior and ornate iron balconies, its interior was just as impressive with a grand staircase extending up the twelve floors. The building was originally intended to be a cooperative apartment for artists but with the economic stresses of the era and the changing neighborhood, the Chelsea was completely bankrupted shortly after it opened. The building would reopen its doors in 1905 as a hotel under the management of Knott Hotels and resident manager A.R. Walty and again went bankrupt in 1939. After it came under the ownership of Julius Krauss, Joseph Gross and David Bard the hotel thrived and developed a reputation as an artistic haven for members of the literary, film and musical industry. Such notable guests include William S. Burroughs, Leonard Cohen, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gore Vidal, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Stanley Kubrick, Eddie Izzard, Jane Fonda, Grateful Dead, Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and Madonna. It has also served as the subject, muse and backdrop for many books, songs and films and has become a fixture in the New York City art scene. Pop artist Andy Warhol used the hotel as the center of his film “Chelsea Girls” (1965). However in addition to the who’s who of artistic elite that have passed through the Chelsea’s doors tragedy struck on October 12, 1978 when Nancy Spungen (girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious) was found stabbed to death in her hotel bathroom. Although details of the murder are vague, Sid Vicious was arrested for second degree murder. There have been several theories around what happened the predominant two being that
Sid and Nancy had a suicide pact and after stabbing Nancy, Sid then passed out or during a heated argument things became volatile and Sid stabbed Nancy whether on purpose or in self-defense. Both Sid and Nancy had a long history of drug abuse and prior to the murder had been in a drug fueled fog for days, which accounted for Sid’s inability to remember what had happened. There have also been speculations that it wasn’t Sid who killed Nancy, but instead a stranger/visitor to one of the guests who wandered into their room. Others have thought it was someone they knew who intended to steal their drugs and that Nancy fought them off and was stabbed in the altercation. Whatever the truth we will probably never know, Sid Vicious died on February 1, 1979 of a heroin overdose. Since then the hotel has had a relatively quiet history. In 2013 the hotel was bought by Ed Scheetz.
Haunted History: There have been a wide variety of claims attached to the Chelsea Hotel from cold and hot spots, gushes of wind in rooms with all windows and doors closed, personal items being moved, the sounds of doors, drawers and windows opening when none have been touched, the sounds of loud footsteps outside of guests rooms and shadow figures. Some have said they have seen the apparition of a woman who is believed to be Nancy Spungen, there have also been claims of a male apparition who is believed to be the spirit of poet Dylan Thomas. During a visit to the legendary hotel, one guest had a particular unsettling experience. While resting in her room, a young woman heard what sounded like footsteps outside her room door. At first the footsteps were faint and hardly worth a thought, attributing the sound to a hotel guest walking in the hallway the young lady continued to unpack. After some time the incessant sound of pacing started to concern the woman and she peeked outside her door to see who was causing the racket. Startled she found the hallways completely empty. She closed the door and again heard the footsteps but louder, annoyed she flung the door open and saw no one in the hallway. Rattled she called her friend who was staying in a room down the hall and explained what had happened. The friend in total disbelief dismissed the story and after a visit to the room explained someone was probably bored in their room and thought it would be funny to joke around. Convinced her friend was right the woman returned to her room to freshen up for the evening. During her shower the water would witch from ice cold to scalding and then back to warm. After several minutes of ice cold water the woman stepped out into a bathroom steamed and usually warm. Sufficiently irritated, she dressed and went to her friend’s room to inquire if she too had trouble showering. Still doubtful her friend shrugged her shoulders and blamed faulty plumbing. The next morning the woman awoke to find her keys, cell phone and wallet gone. Having put it on the nightstand she was a little baffled how they ended up across the room in her bag. As she packed up her things she felt very cold. Checking all the windows to make sure they were closed she continued to feel a deep chill in her bones. A sharp gust of wind that seemed to come out of nowhere cut right through her and instantly she felt overwhelming sense of nausea followed by feeling faint. She called her friend who no curious to see what was going on came to the room he two ladies packed the remaining items and left. Upon leaving the room the woman felt perfectly fine with no symptoms of chills, nausea or feeling faint. The woman a non-believer of anything to do with the paranormal could not deny her experience was anything ordinary and has never gone back to the hotel.
A Brief History: Opening it's doors in 1926, Chumley's historic speakeasy sits at 86 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village NY. Chumley's was frequented by many artists, activists and literary masters such as: William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, Norman Mailer, Edna St. Vincent Millay, J.D. Salinger, cartoonist C.D. Batchelor to name a few. Purchasing the property in the 1920's, Lee Chumley turned what was formerly a blacksmith shop, into a prohibition era speakeasy complete with multiple exits, secret passages, a trick staircase, trapdoors and a bookcase that doubles as a hidden door. Chumley's never had a sign out front, it was said that if you could not find your way in then you did not belong there. When prohibition agents were raiding, the police would call and tell the owners to send everyone out the back door which led to 86 Bedford Street (during prohibition the front entrance was 58 Barrow Street), rumor has it that the expression “to 86” something (to stop serving someone or to get rid of something) was coined here. Dating back to the 1830's, the building itself is rumored to have been a safe haven for escaped slaves during pre-civil war times.
Lee Chumley ran the speakeasy from 1922 until his death from a heart attack in 1935 leaving the bar to his wife Henrietta. Henrietta ran Chumley's until she died in her sleep at her favorite table in front of the fireplace in 1960. Coincidentally, both Henrietta and Lee Chumley passed away at the former speakeasy. According to claims Henrietta would sit at her favorite table drinking Manhattans all night until passing out. The former speakeasy closed it's doors after a partial building collapse in 2007. The bar has since been renovated but unfortunately has yet to reopen.
Haunted History: With it's long history, including the murder of a writer over a chess game in 1960, it should come as no surprise that there have been a number of witness reports involving paranormal activity at Chumley's. The current owner even goes as far as to keep a log of all the supernatural occurrences. Some believe that the former proprietress, Henrietta Chumley, still shows her presence by knocking bottles off the shelves and sitting at her favorite table, the same table where she had passed away. It is said that the jukebox would play even though it is unplugged and the songs that come on will seem to sync or coincide with current conversations or current holidays. The owner states this could be attributed to the 12 firefighters and former employees of Chumley's who were killed on 9/11/2001.
A Brief History: Formerly known as the James Brown House, the Federal styled, two and a half story building on 326 Spring Street became one of the earliest designated historical landmarks by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1969. Built sometime at the turn of the 18th century, James Brown an African-American and Revolutionary War Veteran bought the building in 1817 and turned it into a lucrative tobacco shop. It has been rumored that Brown was one of the Revolutionary soldiers depicted in Emanuel Leutze’s iconic “Washington Crossing the Delaware” painting. After Brown’s death and due to the store’s close location to the waterfront, at the time (before urban development) it stood only feet away from the Hudson River it became a tavern servicing local sailors in the area. In 1890, Thomas Cook took proprietorship installing a brewery. When Prohibition was passed in 1919, the tavern was converted into a speakeasy known as The Green Door with its proud motto “Known Coast to Coast”. The upstairs floors were converted into a boarding house and sometimes brothel. Sailors would frequent the establishment for a warm place to rest their head, some hearty beer to fill their bellies and a friendly smile to brighten their spirits. When Prohibition ended, the Green Door re-opened and stayed the local watering-hole until 1977. At this time it was purchased by a group of artists who in keeping with the restrictions on historic landmarks, altered the name from ‘bar’ to ‘ear’ after their magazine, EAR, produced upstairs thus giving its current name the Ear Inn.
Haunted History: Visitors to the bar say they have seen ghosts that are said to date back to the boarding house days. One ghost in particular that seems to make a reoccurring appearance is that of Mickey, a sailor staying at the boarding house waiting for his ship to come in and who met a tragic end when he was struck by a car outside the Ear Inn. According to owner Martin Sheridan, Mickey is a bit of a beverage burglar stealing patron’s drinks and amusing himself as they accuse friends and fellow bar goers in search of their missing drinks. He also has a fondness for the female staff and clientele, playfully goosing them.
Brief History: The Empire State building was built in 1931 and was the world's tallest building until 1972 when the World Trade Center was built. Designed in the style of Art Deco the Empire State building stands at 102 Stories. Opening during the great depression many of the office spaces that it held was left empty and it was not near the port authority, Grand Central or Penn Station leaving it in a less than desirable area. The Building was not considered to be profitable until 1950 and was then sold in 1951 to Roger Stevens for $51 Million. In 1945 a B-25 bomber crashed into the building killing 14 people. In 1986 the structure was established as a national landmark, and in September 11, 2001 when the world trade Center was destroyed, the Empire State building again became the tallest building in New York.
Haunted History: Over the course of the history of
this building it is documented that there were 14 suicides that were attempted from the observation deck from as early as the construction of the building. The first suicide was when an employee was laid off while working on the Building and jumped. In 1947 the Observatory Terrace got a fence put in when 5 people committed suicide during a three-week span. One story that is told is of a woman that stands on the observatory deck that is dressed in cloths from the 1940's, A person who claimed to see this said the spirit said she lost her husband during the war (WWII) and jumped off the building. Spirits from the suicides are said to haunt the Observation deck and have been seen jumping from the building.
Brief History: Gay Street in Manhattan, with one of the most photographed street signs in New York City, is a small bent path linking Waverly Place to Christopher Street in the West Village, and is no stranger to speakeasies and scandals.
Wouter Van Twiller owned the land back in the Dutch days. Van Twiller reportedly had his own brewery. Later, a morgue allegedly stood here during ownership by Sir Peter Warren.
During the early 1800s, when Christopher Street was still called Skinner Road, Waverly place was growing in popularity due to it being the northern boarder of
Washington Square (built in 1826). Filled with Greek Revival Style homes and home to some of the cities wealthiest families in the 1820s. Gay street,
officially got this name in 1833. It was built as a row of stables for the families living on Waverly and nearby. As the cities population grew some of the stables became low income
housing for some servants working for the wealthy in the neighborhood.
After the 1830s the street was widened and became a home to a lot of artists and
musicians. Later on, Gay Street also became a natural location for speakeasies during the 20s. Some of the famous people that lived on the block were Mayor Jimmy Walker and his girlfriend Betty Compton, the Creator of Howdy Doody, Frank Parris and Author Ruth McKenney. Mayor Jimmy Walker owned 12 Gay Street ,where he had his girlfriend stay and Frank Parris reportedly built his famous puppet in the basement of the building. There is still a puppet theater in the basement. Author Ruth Mckenney best known for the book “My sister Eileen”. Unfortunately Ruth’s sister Eileen and her husband, writer Nathaniel West died in a car accident just days before My sister Eileen was to open as a stage production.
Haunted History: Gay Street has some haunted history in the streets as well as 12 Gay Street, reportedly haunted by an entity seen in a cloak known as the Gay Street Phantom. There have been sensations of unseen beings and footsteps on the stairs at night. A man with a top hat and dress clothes has appeared at the door and evaporated into thin air. Sightings of spirits possibly from the old morgue has been seen in the puppet theater. Residents have seen a shadowy figure down the halls and stairs.
Brief History: Grand Central Terminal is located at 42nd St. and Park
Avenue in Manhattan New York. It originally opened in 1871 as the Grand
Central Depot by Cornellius Vanderbilt. A tragic train collision, which
killed 17 people and injured 38 occurred January 8, 1902. At this time,
steam locomotives were becoming obsolete and the public was demanding
electric train service. A new terminal was opened on February 2, 1913, and
many new skyscrapers were built over the old tracks. It thrived as the
busiest rail terminal in the country and at times, housed art galleries, a
newsreel theater, and a museum. By the late 1960's rail travel had declined
and the real estate market in the area was booming. The building was nearly
demolished, but was saved by a landmark law passed on August 2, 1967.
In 1994, it was purchased by the MTA and a huge restoration project brought
back the original 1913 appearance of the terminal. It now includes many
shops, restaurants, and ever-changing exhibits. A new tunneling project
expected to be completed in 2016 will link the Long Island Rail Road to
Grand Central relieving some of the congestion into Penn Station.
Haunted History: On the dining concourse is the Whispering Gallery. The low arches of the entryway cause an acoustic phenomenon that makes a whisper sound like a shout on the other end of the archway. Also far beneath the terminal is a labyrinth of secret tunnels, steam pipes, and storage areas. Somewhere there is an old train platform with a secret staircase that led directly to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It is said that FDR used these stairs to avoid the press while getting from his train to his room. Occasional fires and steam leaks in the tunnels have some believing Grand Central is cursed, but it remains a mystery.
Brief History: The Jefferson market library is located at 425 Avenue and Sixth Avenue. The building has a Victorian gothic look and was built in 1833. It was designed by an architect known as Frederick Clarke Withers. This glorious building was erected to be a fire lookout tower. The building was named after Thomas Jefferson. It was turned into the third judicial district court house, which was in operation from 1874 to 1877. In 1927 the building was used only for women trials. In 1945 Jefferson Market discontinued having court sessions. The building was then used by various agencies including the police department. In 1959 the city decided to demolish the building because it had been abandoned for some time. People protested this idea and it was decided that the building would be restored and turned into a library. To this day the building remains a library.
Haunted History: This building has more to it than meets the eye. This building has ties with the paranormal. One paranormal investigator has said she has seen a woman in a dress smiling and waving at her from the building so she smiled and waved back. When she tried to get her mother’s attention to try to show her the lady had disappeared. A week later a similar event happened. Soon after her mother took her across the street to the library and asked the librarian, “please tell my daughter that there is no one up there”. The woman told them that people have reported seeing figures in the balcony, when no one was up there.
Brief History: The Landmark Tavern is one of New York City’s oldest historic bars. It was originally built in 1868 by Patrick Henry Carley. When the Tavern first opened it sat on what was the Hudson River waterfront. The Tavern was designed to have the second and third floors act as a home for their children. The third floor was later turned into a speakeasy during the prohibition. Throughout its life the Tavern had seen many gangsters, actors and people such as Hell’s Kitchen resident George Raft. The tavern became a favorite spot for the Westies, an Irish gang, during the 1980s. The Tavern closed down in 2004 but was restored and reopened by Michael Young and Donnchadh O’Sullivan. The original mahogany bar that was carved from one single tree still remains in the Tavern as well as the original tin ceilings and tile floor. The Tavern has appeared on the sitcom “Spin City”.
Haunted History: The Landmark Tavern is said to be haunted by at least three spirits. It is said that one of the spirits is the ghost of a young Irish girl who came to America to escape the Irish Famine, only to die from typhoid fever on the third floor. The other spirit is said to be that of a Confederate Civil War Veteran who, in a drunken brawl, was mortally stabbed. The Veteran managed to make it to the second floor only to die in a bathtub that is still located in the Tavern. It is reported that he is the more active one out of the spirits found at the Landmark Tavern. The third spirit is said to be the spirit of George Raft, who in life visited the Tavern frequently.
Brief History: The Majestic Theater, located at 245 West 44th Street in Manhattan, was opened on March 28, 1927. It was constructed as part of an entertainment complex, which included other theaters such as the Royale, and the Theatre Masque, renamed the John Golden. The purpose of having a complex of theaters was to be able to move shows to more appropriate venues based on ticket sales, depending on the size of the venue. They were built by the Chanin Brothers, but they commissioned architect Herbert Krapp to design the Majestic Theater, as well as the other buildings included in the complex.
Krapp was commissioned to create a different kind of theater experience, a talent he was known for. In constructing the Majestic, he created one of the first theatres with stadium seating, which was a rare attribute in theaters at the time.
The Majestic Theater was purchased by the Shubert brothers amidst the Great Depression, and is currently still owned by the Shubert Organization. The theater (interior and exterior) are both New York City landmarks. Some of the most notable shows that have played at the Majestic Theater include: The Wiz, Grease, 42nd Street, and Phantom of the Opera, which is currently still being performed.
Haunted History: The Majestic Theater also holds its claims to some paranormal activity. There have been claims of an apparition of a man walking across the stage and just disappear. Guests have also claimed of having a cold chill come over them and then just disappear. So next time your in the area, check out the Majestic Theater, and maybe you will have an unusual experience happen to you.
A Brief History: Located at 129 Spring Street, the Manhattan Bistro was built in 1817, on top of the Manhattan Well. The Manhattan Well was the final resting place for Elma Sands. The story goes, on December 22, 1799, Elma set out with Levi Weeks for a nighttime sleigh ride. She expected Levi to propose, as the two had been dating for several months. Late that night, there were reports of screaming and yelling coming from the area of the Well. A week later, there were boys playing near the well and found a hand-warming muff, and Elma’s body was found. She had been badly beaten and thrown into the well. Levi Weeks was the only suspect in Elma’s murder. Weeks hired Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and Brockholst Livingston as his legal team. On March 31, 1800 weeks was tried for murder, which turns out to be the first murder case documented by a stenographer in America. The attorney’s led the jury to believe that Elma was a harlot and a drug user, when she previously had a clean reputation. When Levi Weeks was acquitted, Elma’s cousin (Catherine Rings) stood and pointed to Alexander Hamilton and stated “If thee dies a natural death, I shall think there is no justice in heaven!” Years later, Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton, his life continuing on a downward spiral. The judge was reported missing without a trace years later, and Livingston held a less than lucrative career.
Haunted History: Male Employees feel like they are being watched when they are by themselves. There have been reports of glasses and wine bottles being thrown across the room. Employees have claimed that they were locked in the wine cellar when no one else is around. People claim to have seen a woman, possible Elma Sands, in 18th century clothing walking around dripping wet.
A Brief History: The Merchants House Museum located at 29 East 4th Street New York, New York was built by Joseph Brewster in 1832. Seabury Tredwell purchased the home three years later and remained in the family for almost one hundred years. Lillie Nichols, niece of Gertrude (youngest member of the Tredwell family who died in the home in 1936), was prepared to sell the home and everything inside to auction when her cousin George Chapman arranged to purchase the home. In 1936 the home was opened to the public as a museum.
Due to the historic value of the home he turned it over to a non-profit organization that he had established to operate it. He personally provided most of the museums support. He had died in 1959 and the museum was getting close to being beyond repair and was getting too old to keep up with. In 1966 it was designated as a national landmark.
In 1968 serious water damage caused extensive structural repair. An architect Joseph Roberto fell in love with the home and spent the next nine years repairing it using original materials and keeping the original design. The museum was reopened in 1979. It is one of only 114 historical houses recognized by the City of New York. In 1999, the house joined the historical house trust of New York ensuing its preservation for generations to come.
Haunted History: Supposedly haunted by Gertrude. She had lived her entire life there. She was born in1840 in an upstairs bedroom and died there at 93 in 1933 and was the last member to occupy the home before it turning to a museum. There have been reports since the thirties of seeing, hearing and smelling things that weren’t there. A restoration worker claimed to have seen a small elderly woman in a light colored dress in the hallway then she vanished before his eyes. There have also been reports of children playing outside and being noisy and having an elderly woman run out of the home yelling and waving her arms at them. She is sometimes seen as a young woman in the main staircase and the front bedroom where she passed away. There have also been reports of every year when they set up the master bedroom to its original in 1832 unusual activity is witnessed.
A brief History: Located on 214 West 42nd Street. The New Amsterdam Theatre was built by Klaw and Erlanger in 1903. When the theatre was built, it could seat 1,800 guests,
making it the largest theatre of its time.
The first play the New Amsterdam theatre held was
A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare in November of 1903. In the 1980s the theatre was shut down do to problems with the main supporting beam. In 1993 the Walt Disney Corporation agreed to restore the theatre costing $34 million dollars for the restoration project. The project took 4 years to complete and reopened in 1997.
Today the theater remains open and still holds some of the world’s greatest plays.
Haunted History: The ghost of a Ziegfeld
Follies chorus girl named Olive Thomas killed herself by overdosing on
syphilis medication from her alcoholic husband is said to still haunt the
theater. Her ghost had been seen in one of the dressing rooms and on stage,
wearing her green beaded Follies dress, a sash, and a beaded headpiece. She
has also been spotted carrying around a blue glass bottle, which is said to
contain the syphilis pills that killed her. Usually her ghost has been
spotted after the audiences have left, however when the theatre places
objects, and plays music from her time, she usually makes her presence
A Brief History: Located in midtown Manhattan at 209 West 42nd St, The New Victory Theatre is the oldest surviving theatre since its original construction in 1899-1900. After being built though the work of Oscar Hammerstein I, the building has been owned by only a handful of owners and changed names multiple times. Prior to its current incarnation as a children’s performing arts theater, the New Victory Theater had a seedy history after it operated as a movie house, pornography joint, and burlesque house at different times. Notably, the location is where Broadway’s first striptease and movie houses were operated. Famous owners, actors and employees included Oscar Hammerstein, Bill Minksy, Lionel Barrymore, and Rose Lee.
Haunted History: People have reported seeing a girl in a white gown on the balcony appear and disappear in the blink of an eye.
A Brief History: Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral is located at 263 Mulberry St New York, NY 10012. The Dioceses of NY was created. 1809 the Catholic community convinced the bishop to build the Cathedral of New York under the name of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick. The original structure was built in 1809 but on the night of October 6, 1866, old historic St. Patrick’s on Mulberry Street was destroyed by fire; the Cathedral was rebuilt within the four original walls that remained and dedicated on Saint Patrick’s Day 1868. The cornerstone was laid in 1875, on October 22 to November 30th 1878, which was the "Fair," that the people had to raise money to open St Patrick's Cathedral. On 1879 the church finally was open to the public. St Patrick's Cathedral was "created to affirm the ascendance of religious freedom and tolerance." When the Cathedral first opened, Archbishop Hughes Mission Statement was: “for the glory of Almighty God, for the honor of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, for the exaltation of Holy Mother Church, for the dignity of our ancient and glorious Catholic name, to erect a Cathedral in the City of New York that may be worthy of our increasing numbers, intelligence, and wealth as a religious community, and at all events, worthy as a public architectural monument, of the present and prospective crowns of this metropolis of the American continent. In 1979 The Cathedral celebrated 100 years in service. In 2008 Pope Benedict XVI became the first Pope to celebrate a mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Haunted History: People say that the ghost of runaway slave and hairdresser, Pierre Toussaint haunts Saint Patrick's Cathedral. There is a legend that " Bishop Dubois still can not leave his parish and is seen regularity in the church. His body is buried at the entranceway of Old St. Patrick’s. According to The Bowery Boys, St Patrick's Cathedral has a tale about an apparition of a Haitian hairdresser that roams in the crypt.
A Brief History: Located in midtown Manhattan at 1564 Broadway, The Palace Theater first opened its doors on March 24th, 1913. Considered to be the world's most famous and premier performance theatre from its opening until the 1930's, to "Play the Palace" was a popular phrase created by entertainers that represented The Palace Theater's immense importance and popularity. Currently used as a performance theatre like its original incarnation, the venue has seen many transformations and been used in different fashions; e.g. movie house, vaudeville shows and musical concert. Many famous people have performed at The Palace Theatre like Sandra Bernhardt, Harry Houdini, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Buddy Hackett, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Better Midler, Shirley MacLaine, Diana Ross and Harry Belafonte.
Haunted History: The Palace Theater has a unique haunted history and more than 100 different ghosts seen by former patrons, performers and ex-employees. Various paranormal activity has been reported in multiple locations: a ghost of a little girl near on the balcony, a cellist ghost with a white-gown in the orchestra pit, an apparition of a little boy near the mezzanine, and even the ghost of Judy Garland near a private door used by the performer. Also, piano keys are heard and seen playing without someone there and the smell of burning cigarettes at the spot where a former manager purportedly committed suicide. Legend also has it that there is an "omen" ghost here. The omen ghost is one of an acrobat that used to perform at the Palace Theater. The legend states that the acrobat broke his neck while performing and died instantly. If you are in the Palace Theater and you see the ghost of the acrobat then you will soon come to your death.
A Brief History: The Plaza Hotel located at 768 5th Avenue Manhattan NY, first opened in 1890 and contained 400 rooms. It was demolished 15 years later to be replaced by an 18-story Plaza Hotel on October 1st 1907. It contained 805 rooms, 500 bathrooms, 10 elevators and a two-story ballroom. The Plaza was sold in 1943 to Conrad Hilton. In 1953 Hilton sold the Plaza to A.M. Sonnabend. The Plaza was bought by Donald Trump in 1988. Trump was reported to say, “This isn’t just a building, it’s the ultimate work of art – it’s the Mona Lisa. I’m in love with it.” Trump sold the Plaza in 1995. The Plaza was visited by Ada Louise Huxtable, who in 1971 said “New York’s most celebrated symbol of cosmopolitan and turn-of-the-century splendor, inside and out.” Other famous people to visit the Plaza include: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles and Elizabeth Taylor. The Plaza was also home to movies such as “Home Alone 2” and “Crocodile Dundee”. The Plaza has also seen some darker days. In July 1906 watchman Michael Butler was clubbed on the head and apparently fell to his death from the 8th floor.
Haunted History: Hotel guest claim that there is a ghost there who likes to tamper with the locks on the door either locking you out of your room, and on some occasions locking you out of your room. There have also been claims of guests waking up in the middle of the night to either an extreme cold room or hot room. They claim that when they look at the thermostat box, that the temperature is either turned all the way up or all the way down. There have also been claims of guests hearing conversations in the hallways when no one is around.
A Brief History: Radio City Music Hall is located 1260 6th Avenue in Manhattan, NY on the corner of 6th Avenue and 50th Street. It was developed by John D. Rockefeller JR, in 1929, after the stock market crashed. John D Rockefeller JR, developed The Radio City Music Hall, along with Rockefeller Center on land leased by Columbia University. Also involved in developing the Radio City Music Hall were Samuel Roxy Rothafel and RCA Chairman, David Sarnoff. The Radio City Music hall was designed by architect, Edward Durell Stone and interior Designer, Donald Deskey. The theater's stage was designed and built by Peter Clark in 1932. John D Rockefeller, JR originally planned to make a new metropolitan opera house but his plans changed after the stock market crashed. He decided to make it a "palace for the people", a theater where the general population could afford to go to.
The Radio City Music Hall obtained its name from their original tenants, The Radio Corporation of America. The Radio City Music Hall had its opening debut on December 27th, 1932 featuring high class variety shows which were not a success due to their programs being very lengthy.
In 1933, The Radio City Music Hall began showing movies, which included a stage show. On January 11th, 1933, Frank Capra's "The Bitter Tea General Yen" was the first movie stage show to open at Radio City Music Hall. This combination of movies and stage shows went on up until 1979. In 1978, The Radio City Music Hall was declared a NYC landmark. In 1979, the Radio City Music Hall ceased showing movies regularly since Radio City Music Hall showed mainly G movies, which became less common. In 1979 Radio City Music Hall was closed for six months for renovations and reopened in 1980. In 1933, The Radio City Music Hall began a holiday tradition with the Rockettes and The Christmas Spectacular, which continues to run today for eight weeks during the holiday season. In 1994, the
Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes began traveling to various US cities to put on the show.
Famous people that have been seen at Radio Music Hall include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Billy Crystal, Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Sting, 98 degrees.
Haunted History: The ghost of Samuel Roxy Rothafel has been seen on opening nights accompanied by a glamorous female companion.
A Brief History: Located in the West Village on 17 Barrow Street, One If By Land, Two If By Sea is known for its grand décor, romantic atmosphere, famous beef Wellington and intriguing history. Built in 1767 as a carriage house it was later purchased by promising politician Aaron Burr in 1794, who would later become the Country’s third Vice President. Burr left New York abruptly in 1804 to evade murder charges brought against him after his duel with Alexander Hamilton. Following Burr’s departure the carriage house exchanged hands several times; it was rumored to have become a pub and bordello during the 1830’s. It finally became the restaurant we know today in 1910 when it was bought and renovated. It has been widely speculated that the restaurant took its name from a line in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride”.
Haunted History: With such an illustrious history there have been many stories about haunting activities in the carriage house turned restaurant. Patrons have witnessed dishes moving on their own and chairs being pulled from under them. Stories that the ghost of Burr’s daughter Theodosia Burr Alston, who vanished off the coast of the Carolina’s in a shipwreck en route to visit her father, have said she is known for removing the earrings of female patrons.
A Brief History: Located at 209 Broadway Street in Manhattan, St. Paul’s Chapel was founded in 1766; it the size of a small city block and holds approx. 1000 people. It’s the oldest building still in use and it remains today as Manhattans only pre-revolutionary church (part parish to
It sits adjacent to the World Trade Center. George
Washington used St. Paul’s Chapel as a regular house of worship for two
years including a service from the Chaplain to Congress, Rev. Dr. Provost,
on his inauguration day. They still have George Washington’s pew preserved.
It held the funeral for president James Monroe in 1831 and is the final
resting place for Gen Richard Montgomery, who was the first officer to die
in the Revolutionary War battle of Quebec.
St. Paul’s Chapel survived the great fire of
1776 and the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in September of
2001. It served as a shelter for 14,000 volunteers and victims of the 9/11
attacks free of charge providing food, clothing, shelter and counseling.
Haunted History: It is said that British actor George Frederick haunts the Chapel and the grounds. George Frederick had sold his head to science to relieve him of his debt to pay off his medical bills. George now lays buried here in St. Paul’s Chapel headless. Years later it is said that his skull was supposedly used in a production of Hamlet.
Since its closing in the late 1960's and again in
the mid-1980's, the St. Augustine Monastery on Staten Island, NY as it was
originally named, has become a hot topic of interest for both paranormal
investigators and urban exploration.
The monastery was once used as a school house
before being converted into a spiritual retreat in its later decades.
Activity reported from those who have entered the abandoned building range
from hearing moaning echoes and loud noises as well as extreme temperature
drops, all closely associated with the paranormal.
The urban legends which have come to surround this
decaying landmark remain closely related and share similar aspects in their
telling. Agreed upon by most of the monastery enthusiasts is the fact that
the structure, though only rising a few stories from the ground, in fact
continues for many levels beneath the surface where horrible atrocities were
believed to have taken place. Some say that there was a great fire back when
the building served as a school house, trapping a number of children
underground in the lower levels,. However there is no sign of fire damage
nor city record of such an event.
Additionally, it is said that in the time where
the monastery was used for spiritual recluse, there was a monk who was
driven insane and would drag his fellow spiritualists down into the basement
to torture them and eventually murdered them. The exact number of
underground levels is not known for certain, though it has been rumored to
descend for 20 or so sublevels.
First hand accounts of the structure in its modern
standing state that the main basement level is flooded, leaving no
possibility for further exploration.
Trinity Church Burial Ground is one of the oldest in
New York City. People have reported hearing laughter near one of the
tombstones in the cemetery late at night. No one is sure which tombstone
the laughter actually comes from.
A Brief History: Few cemeteries in Manhattan hold the same prominence as the historic Trinity Church Cemetery located on 74 Trinity Place, a mere stone’s throw away from Wall Street. Constructed alongside Trinity Church in 1697 it’s broken and faded smooth tombstones are not simply a part of New York’s history but an integral piece in the story of our nation. On its grounds rest a myriad of Revolutionary War heroes and a few of our Founding Fathers, most famously Alexander Hamilton (who if you forgot your history you can find on a $10 bill).
Haunted History: The cemetery is a favorite stop on NYC and downtown haunted tours. There has been no concrete evidence to prove whether Trinity Church Cemetery is in fact haunted but many people have reported seeing shadowy figures and eerie specters at night. These activities seems to increase in frequency around the time of Burr-Hamilton duel leading many to speculate that the ghosts of Alexander Hamilton and/or Aaron Burr may still be disputing or perhaps searching for resolution long after their deaths.
West 4th Street and MacDougal
A Brief History: Washington Square Park was named after our first President George Washington, who was the Commander in Chief, of the Continental Army, during the Revolutionary War 1776 – 1781. In 1789 George Washington was inaugurated as President of the United States in New York City.
In the 1700s the park was actually a marshland, which was located by the Indian Village Sapokinkan, which means “tobacco field”. The Indians turned the marshland into farmland and used the land to live off of. The city purchased the land in 1797, and turned it into a potter’s field, which was mainly for poor people who couldn’t afford a proper tombstone. The potter’s field was also used for people that had past away from yellow fever. There are over 20,000 people buried at this very site. The potter’s field was also used as an execution spot were they had gallows there for public executions. In 1827 the land was finally turned into a park. Samuel F.B. Morse showed the first public demonstration of the telegraph here in 1835. In 1890 the marble arch was built by Stanford White.
Today the park is now used by many people who play different table games such as chess, bocce ball, and many types of people enjoy the park on a daily basis such as local residents, students, chess players, tourists, and usually everyday you may catch a street performance by many different individuals.
Haunted History: There have been many claims of people feeling a cold breeze go right through them on a hot summer day. There have also been claims of seeing people in period clothing and just disappear. Some people also claim to hear sounds of gasping for air while sitting in the park late at night.
A Brief History: Located at 14 West 10th Street no would ever think looking at this unassuming Greek Revival styled brownstone in Greenwich Village; once occupied by writer Mark Twain that it could have such a nickname as the “House of Death”. Built in 1856 it became the home of Mark Twain from 1900 – 1901. After Mark Twain’s short residency the brownstone had a rather quiet history until 1974, when writer Jan Bryant Bartell used it as the subject of her book: “Spindrift: Spray From a Psychic Sea”. Already somewhat of a local legend due to the book, it became the scene of a grisly crime when attorney Joel Steinberg made headlines nationwide for the abuse and death of his adopted daughter Jessica Steinberg, age 6 in 1987 further cementing its macabre reputation.
Haunted History: Much of the buildings haunted history comes from Jan Bryant Bartell’s book. The former actress turned psychic turned writer chronicled her paranormal experiences over the course of her 12 years residency. According to her book, the brownstone was inhabited by 22 spirits, of former tenants who died, some mysteriously, while living there. The book goes on to say that the spirit of an old man with white hair, possibly Mark Twain is known to haunt the stairwell. She also heard many unexplained noises while living there. The house is under private ownership now and reports of hauntings have dwindled to urban legends.
A Brief History: The USS Intrepid, originally a CV-11 Aircraft Carrier, was built by Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia beginning December 1, 1941 just six days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Commissioned August 16, 1943, the USS Intrepid was first tasked with joining the Pacific Fleet where she participated in the Navy’s lofty island hopping campaign. Starting out in the Marshall Islands, the ship took part in raids from the 29th of January through the 2nd of February 1944 destroying all 83 Japanese aircraft stationed on the islands as well as providing support for ground forces landing on the shores. From there the USS Intrepid made her way towards the Japanese base on Truk in the center of Micronesia. In two days of almost continuous bombardment she sank two Japanese destroyers and 200,000 tons of merchant shipping, thus demonstrating Truk’s vulnerabilities greatly curtailing its usefulness as a base for the Japanese. The USS Intrepid; however, did not come out of these battles unscathed as she was the victim of an aerial torpedo that killed five crew members and forced her to return to US for repairs to flooded compartments and a jammed rudder. After the repairs were made, the USS Intrepid made her way back into the fray in The Palaus Island chain. Here she also took part in strikes against Japanese airfield bases in the Philippines, Formosa, and Okinawa. In the midst of aiding ground forces deal with heavily entrenched Japanese soldiers in the marshes and swamps of these island chains, she had her part in the downing of numerous enemy aircraft and successfully sinking four carriers and a destroyer. Again throughout the ordeal of pushing the mighty Center Fleet back to mainland Japan the Intrepid was not without its casualties as she was the victim of four kamikaze attacks that killed a total of twenty-nine crewmembers and injuring over twenty others. After World War II the USS Intrepid went under a modernization and operated with the 6th fleet in the Mediterranean mostly policing for submarines between 1955 and 1962. She then served as the recovery ship for the Mercury VII space capsule May 24, 1962 and the Gemini III space capsule March 23, 1965. Decommissioned in 1974 after three combat cruises with the Pacific Fleet of Vietnam, she was brought into Philadelphia for the country’s bicentennial celebration. From there the USS Intrepid was brought to her final resting place in New York City in July of 1982 where she opens to the public as the Intrepid Sea-Air Museum.
Haunted History: There have been reports of people claiming to feel cold spots and seeing an apparition on the lower decks of the USS Intrepid. People have also claimed to see balls of white light form and then disappear on the outer deck of the ship.
A Brief History: The White Horse Tavern is located at 567 Hudson Street at West 11th Street. The Tavern was built in 1880. Since 1950 the White Horse Tavern has been known for New York’s poets to go and hang out there. One of the known poets that hung out at the tavern was Dylan Thomas.
Thomas was known to go to the tavern quite often. In 1953 he decided to try and beat his record of 18 shots of whiskey. When he finished with his shots of whiskey, he stumbled outside and collapsed on the sidewalk. Soon after that he was taken to the Chelsea Hotel, were he slipped into a coma. The next morning he was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he passed away.
Haunted History: It is said that there have
been many encounters with the ghost of Dylan Thomas. People claim that they
have seen him sitting at his favorite corner table, and then just disappear.
There have also been reports of seeing Dylan Thomas outside the White Horse
Tavern walking around.
A brief History: The Wollman Rink is located in the Southern part of Central park. It was built in 1949 with funds donated by Kate Wollman. The ice skating rink is open to the public from October to April. During the spring and summer there were many venues hosted on the rink platform such as many different types music festivals. In 1980 the rink was no longer used for music festivals. At this present time when not in use for ice skating the rink is used for the Victorian Gardens Amusement Park. Today the rink is operated by the Trump Organization and Rink Management Services. The rink is known today as the Trump Wollman Rink.
Haunted History: It is said that if you are walking passed the rink at night sometimes you will see two young girls skating figure 8's on the rink and just suddenly disappear. There have been many reports of people seeing this activity.
A brief History: The Ye Waverly Inn is located at 16 Bank Street and Waverly Place. The Inn was built in 1844, and purchased by two Israeli restaurant owners named Hanna and Sarid Drory. Since 1844 there have been some modern changes to the Inn, such as air conditioning, heating, and numerous new owners of the Inn. Today the Inn is known as the Ye Waverly Inn & Garden. The Inn is still open to the public for good dining and good times.
Haunted History: In the 1920s the New York Times published an article about the ghosts of Ye Waverly Inn setting fires inside the restaurant. Today employees and guests claim to see shadowy figures walking around inside and outside of the Inn.
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