The thrills and chills that a Halloween haunted house deliver can only get you so far. Look instead to these four reportedly haunted Manhattan bars where you can pair your alcoholic spirits with those of the otherworldly ilk. All of the establishments are set in historical buildings, and give a whole new meaning to the term "neighborhood haunts." Cheers (and fears)!
The present-day Ear Inn once served stints as a sailor's bar, and as a speakeasy during Prohibition, as well as a brothel, boarding house, and smuggler's den (in the upstairs apartment).
Ghosts have been reported on the premises, including the most prominent resident specter, named Mickey – he's said to be a sailor who has been waiting in perpetuity for his ship to come in, and whiles away the time lighting fireplaces, draining cell-phone batteries, and goosing waitresses and female patrons. 326 Spring St., between Greenwich & Washington Streets.; earinn.com
White Horse Tavern
Dating back to 1880, the White Horse Tavern touts a long history of swilling patrons, from longshoremen to 20th-century writers and artists (including Kerouac and the Beat poets, along with poet Dylan Thomas – Thomas died here in 1952 after reportedly downing 18 whiskey shots).
In fact, the bar's proven so popular that one famous phantom patron has preferred to never leave. Dylan Thomas is said to return to spook staffers on occasion, lingering around the area of his favorite table (where his picture now hangs). 567 Hudson St., at W. 11th St.; www.whitehorsetavern1880.com
The Campbell Apartment
This swanky Grand Central Terminal cocktail bar was once the '20s-era office and salon of tycoon John W. Campbell (president and chairman of Credit Clearing House). In fact, the space is so lovely, that, understandably, Mr. Campbell – who passed away in 1957 – may not have wanted to move on.
Staff and customers have reported a slate of spooky experiences here, like doors that close and taps that move all on their own, mysterious gusts of cold air, and even sightings of a well-dressed pair of apparitions sharing drinks. 15 Vanderbilt Ave., between 42nd & 43rd Sts.; www.hospitalityholdings.com
This onetime dock workers' saloon, dating back to 1868, is one of the oldest continually operating bars in NYC. Apart from hosting a slew of sailors and longshoreman, the bar once set the stage for a Prohibition-era speakeasy, too.
Along the way, it's said to have acquired a few patrons and visitors that refused to leave, including a Confederate soldier who was killed in a bar brawl here and a 19th-century Irish immigrant girl who reportedly died from typhoid fever on the premises. 626 11th Ave., at W. 46th St.; www.thelandmarktavern.org