Sightings of ghosts have been reported in New York City for hundreds of years. These famous locations in New York City are purported to be haunted, and while you might not see a ghost yourself, some of the stories that explain the hauntings are just as scary.
The cemetery of New York City's oldest Roman Catholic church is reputed to be haunted by Pierre Toussaint, a slave who became a hairdresser in the early 19th century. The ghost of Bishop Dubois, who is buried below the entrance to the cathedral, has been reported seen frequently in the church.
Many guests at the Algonquin Hotel have claimed to spot members of The Round Table, a group of writers that met at the Algonquin for lunch daily after World War I. Members of The Round Table, who called themselves the Vicious Circle, included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Franklin Pierce, Robert Sherwood, Harpo Marx, Alexander Woollcott, Harold Ross, George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, and Edna Ferber.
The ghost of Aaron Burr, vice president of the United States, famous for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, is reported to haunt this restaurant located in what was once his carriage house. Many visitors and restaurant employees have said they observed flying dishes and chairs being pulled out from under patrons. Burr's daughter, Theodosia Burr Alston, who vanished off the coast of North Carolina en route to visit her father in New York, is also rumored to haunt the carriage house. Female patrons at the bar are rumored to have had their earrings removed by Theodosia.
Dylan Thomas died in New York City after consuming 18 shots of whiskey at the White Horse Tavern in November 1953. His ghost is believed to appear from time to time and rotate his favorite corner table, as Thomas did when he patronized the bar.
Various sightings have been reported of suicide victims who jumped from the Empire State Building's observatory.
In the 1960s, the ghost of a young boy/young man was reported seen by a couple of construction workers at The Dakota. A girl dressed in turn-of-the-century clothing was reported seen by painters working at the building several years later. John Lennon, who was murdered outside the Dakota in 1980, is also rumored to haunt the area around the undertaker's gate. To add to the eeriness, the building was also the setting for Roman Polanski's 1968 movie "Rosemary's Baby."
Numerous accounts of haunting at one of New York City's oldest theaters include sightings of the building's builder and namesake, David Belasco, who lived in an apartment at the top of the theater before his death in 1931. His ghost is reported to interact with actors, offering kudos and handshakes, and many have reported hearing footsteps and the disconnected elevator running. Sightings of the Blue Lady, possibly Belasco's companion, have been reported numerous times.
This classic brownstone at 14 West 10th St. near Fifth Avenue was built in the 19th century and is reported to be haunted by the 22 people who have died in the house, as well as Mark Twain. Twain, who lived there from 1900 to 1901, is rumored to haunt the stairwell of the house. In addition, attorney Joel Steinberg lived in the house in 1987 when he was accused and later convicted of beating his 6-year-old adopted daughter, Jessica Steinberg, to death.
Built in 1765 as a summer home for British Col. Roger Morris and his wife, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest remaining house in Manhattan. Several ghosts are reputed to haunt the mansion: Eliza Jumel, the former mistress of the mansion, has been reportedly seen wandering the house in a purple dress, rapping on walls and windows, the ghost of a young servant girl who committed suicide by jumping out a window has been reported in the mansion's servants' quarters, and sightings of a soldier from the American Revolution, whose picture hangs on a wall in the mansion, have also been reported.
This re-opened West Village speakeasy is claimed to be visited by former bar mistress and owner, Henrietta Chumley, who came to drink a Manhattan. The former owner reportedly made her presence known by messing with the restaurant's jukebox. There's a new restaurant on the site of the original place, which has been torn down to make way for the new building. It has the same name, same door, and remembrances of writers who used to drink at the original Chumley's.
Sightings of the ghost of Olive Thomas, a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl who killed herself by overdosing on her alcoholic, womanizing husband's syphilis medication, have been reported on stage and in one of the dressing rooms of the theater. She wears her green beaded Follies dress, her beaded headpiece, and her sash and holds a blue glass bottle that is supposed to have contained the pills that killed her. Typically, she only appears after audiences have left, per reported sightings.
This SoHo building at 129 Spring Street, formerly the Manhattan Bistro and now the COS Spring Street store, is claimed to be haunted by a young woman, Gulielma Elmore Sands, who was murdered in December 1799 and dropped in a well in what was then Lispenard's Meadow, which is now in the building's basement on Spring Street. Sands' alleged murderer, Levi Weeks, was never convicted despite strong evidence. Reported evidence of the ghost's presence includes ashtrays knocked off tables, plates being broken on the floor, and bottles flying off shelves.