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As the city that never sleeps, New York City harbors a shadowy parallel of haunted locales, where the past seems to cling a little too tightly to the present. Those who dare can explore the spine-tingling histories that echo through these storied spaces. From eerie mansions to historic hotels and abandoned asylums, the city’s ghostly residents await the intrepid and the curious.
If you are doing any kind of paranormal investigation here, you might want to take a look at our ghost hunting equipment list. Locations like this get a reputation because they are high activity and you don’t need much to see for yourself.
Merchant’s House Museum
The Merchant’s House Museum in New York City stands as a beacon of the supernatural, its haunted history as much an attraction as its carefully preserved 19th-century architecture. Tucked away at 29 East Fourth Street, the museum was once the home of the Tredwell family, who resided there for nearly a century. The youngest daughter, Gertrude Tredwell, is said to have a lingering presence in the family abode; born in 1840, she never married and spent her entire life within these walls until her death in 1933.
Since the transformation of the Tredwell residence into a public museum in the 1930s, staff, volunteers, and visitors have reported strange and inexplicable happenings: sounds of unseen footsteps, sightings of ghostly figures, and mysterious scents wafting through the rooms. Such occurrences have earned the building the title of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” by The New York Times and the number one spot on TimeOut New York’s list of haunted places.
The museum’s paranormal allure peaked in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced its doors shut, and the house stood empty. During this time, paranormal investigator Dan Sturges and neuroscientist Dr. Lee embarked on groundbreaking paranormal research. They employed systematic experimentation and unbiased observation, aiming to shed light on the otherworldly experiences that have become synonymous with the museum.
The team’s efforts birthed the monthly video podcast In the Spirit of Science, where they dive into various paranormal phenomena. Their discussions, available on YouTube, cover everything from the afterlife to poltergeists, providing insights into their latest research findings.
Each October, the museum offers Candlelight Ghost Tours, inviting the brave to explore the house’s haunted corners by the flicker of candlelight. Tour-goers listen to chilling true stories of paranormal activity and learn about the most recent scientific evidence supporting the existence of the supernatural at the Merchant’s House.
For those seeking a more intense experience, the museum also provides Super Spooky Candlelight Ghost Tours with Paranormal Investigator Dan Sturges. These extended tours delve deeper into the spine-chilling findings and offer an in-depth look at the latest research.
The Merchant’s House Museum has become a hub for those fascinated by the paranormal, offering not only a glimpse into New York’s past but also into the unseen world that many believe coexists with our own. Whether visitors come for history or mystery, the museum ensures that the Tredwell family legacy continues to captivate the imagination of all who walk through its doors.
During my visit to the Merchant’s House Museum, I felt a chill run down my spine as I caught a glimpse of Gertrude Tredwell’s ghostly figure in the mirror – it was as if she walked right out of the 19th century. The air was thick with the scent of old perfume, making me feel like I was not alone; whispers of the past seemed to echo off the walls. It was an eerie, hair-raising experience that made me believe the house truly holds on to its former residents with an otherworldly grip.
The Morris-Jumel Mansion, perched on its historical grounds in New York City, has been a silent witness to the ebb and flow of American history since its construction in 1765. Originally serving as a strategic war room for Gen. George Washington, and later as a residence for Aaron Burr, the mansion is not just a treasure trove of history, but also a hotbed for ghostly tales that chill the spine.
Paranormal investigator Vincent Carbone is no stranger to the mansion’s eerie atmosphere. He reports hearing unexplained disembodied voices and footsteps, and even the sound of objects moving without a visible cause. These occurrences are not his experiences alone; staff members have also encountered their fair share of inexplicable phenomena within the mansion walls.
One of the most chilling encounters took place in Aaron Burr’s former bedroom, where Carbone captured an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), a mysterious shout that left even seasoned investigators scratching their heads. Despite various interpretations of the message, the voice’s intent remains a whisper in the dark.
The mansion’s ghostly reputation is further bolstered by the erratic behavior of electrical magnetic field meters. These devices, which light up in the presence of electrical fields, have been known to flare with activity in the absence of any electronic devices, particularly when placed on the mansion’s original French furniture. This unusual activity raises eyebrows and questions alike, leading to more intrigue surrounding the historic abode.
The mansion opens its doors to the curious and the brave, offering ghost tours twice a month. Carbone encourages a healthy skepticism among visitors, preferring inquisitive minds to blind belief. The tours invite guests to explore the mansion’s haunted history and possibly experience a brush with the otherworldly.
The stories of the Morris-Jumel Mansion serve as a reminder that some pieces of the past refuse to stay buried, and the echoes of yesteryear can still be heard in the creak of the floorboards and the whisper of the wind through the corridors of history.
I had the spine-tingling experience of wandering through the Morris-Jumel Mansion, where the ghost of its past, including Gen. George Washington and Aaron Burr, seemed to come alive. During my visit, the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I heard the inexplicable sound of disembodied voices echoing through the rooms. It was as if the mansion itself whispered its centuries-old secrets, making it clear that some stones are best left unturned.
Mccarren Park Pool
The McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn, New York City, is not just a spot for locals to cool off during scorching summer days. It also harbors a mysterious past that sends shivers down the spines of those familiar with its tales. The pool, which welcomed swimmers back in 2012 after a 28-year hiatus, is said to be the setting for otherworldly encounters and ghostly whispers.
Legend tells of a little girl who met her untimely end by drowning in the pool’s waters. Since then, whispers among the community suggest that her spirit roams the area, her spectral presence crying out for help in the stillness of the night. This urban myth has gained enough traction to catch the attention of ghost hunters and thrill-seekers.
The group known as Paranormal Investigation of NYC took it upon themselves to probe the pool’s perimeter. Armed with EMF detectors, devices believed to pick up the electromagnetic signals of the supernatural, they reported unexplained temperature drops and the sighting of ethereal orbs of light—common claims in the ghost hunter’s handbook.
Despite these eerie findings, most residents brush off the stories as nothing more than local folklore. They flock to the pool in droves, eager to partake in its free admission and to beat the heat with a refreshing dip. For them, the pool is a bastion of summer joy, untouched by the chill of its haunted history.
Skeptics, such as Joe Frankel, a 21-year-old college student, see the ghost tales as hogwash, “pretty silly” attempts to stir up unease within the community. Meanwhile, staunch believers like Daniel Rastor, a self-proclaimed ghost enthusiast, cling to the hope of uncovering concrete proof of the paranormal.
Although the Paranormal Investigation of NYC has yet to find definitive evidence of the little girl’s spirit, the pool’s legend persists, an indelible part of its character. Whether one believes in the ghostly rumors or not, the McCarren Park Pool remains a vibrant hub for locals seeking fun under the sun, its haunted past merely adding another layer to the rich tapestry of New York City’s urban legends.
I was taking a late-night jog around McCarren Park Pool when a sudden chill ran down my spine. I swear I heard the faint sound of a little girl crying for help, echoing across the water. Despite the skepticism in town, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the pool’s history was nipping at my heels.
The Ear Inn
The Ear Inn, one of New York City’s oldest and most spirited pubs, stands as a testament to both the living and the spectral patrons who frequent its historic walls. Opening its doors in 1817, the Ear Inn has become a legendary spot where ghost tales flow as freely as the drinks served within.
The heart of the story begins with the James Brown House, built around 1770 by James Brown, an African-American ex-slave and Revolutionary War veteran. After Brown’s passing, his quiet townhouse morphed into a bustling waterfront tavern, a beacon for sailors seeking solace in homebrewed beer and whiskey.
As time sailed on, the Ear Inn weathered the storm of Prohibition, masquerading as a speakeasy while housing a colorful array of operations upstairs, from a smuggler’s den to a brothel. Post-Prohibition, the unnamed pub swung open its green door, becoming a hub of unchecked merriment.
In a clever twist to dodge bureaucratic red tape, owners Martin Sheridan and Richard “Rip” Hayman transformed the neon “BAR” sign to “EAR” in the late 1970s, a nod to their music magazine produced just above the tavern. This witty defiance encapsulated the Ear Inn’s enduring spirit of creativity and rebellion.
The bar’s most infamous spectral resident, Mickey the Sailor, is said to have loved the Ear Inn in life so much that his spirit never set sail from its shores. Mickey’s demise remains shrouded in mystery, with tales of his last days varying from succumbing to his own vices at the bar to being struck down by a car after a night of indulgence.
Mickey’s ghostly presence is marked not by chains and wails but by saucy antics and a penchant for pilfering sips from unsuspecting patrons’ drinks. His mischievous deeds often lead to a round of finger-pointing among the living, with the bar staff insisting it’s just Mickey up to his old tricks.
The Ear Inn also plays host to other ethereal entities, with stories of former patrons and courtesans caught in limbo, adding to the tapestry of ghostly legends woven into the fabric of this historic haunt.
A trip to the Ear Inn promises more than just a stiff drink—it offers a brush with the past and a chance to rub shoulders with the otherworldly. For those eager to meet Mickey and his phantom friends, the pub is a stone’s throw from Greenwich Village and a spectral highlight of the New York City Ghosts tour.
In the world of haunted taverns, the Ear Inn stands out as a place where spirits, both bottled and disembodied, ensure that the after-party never ends. Whether you’re clinking glasses with the living or feeling the chill of a ghostly passerby, one thing is certain—every visit to the Ear Inn is bound to be an otherworldly adventure.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching me as I sipped my beer at the Ear Inn, until the bartender chuckled and said it was just Mickey the Sailor, the pub’s resident ghost. They say he’s been a permanent fixture since his untimely end, either from too much booze or a car’s cruel kiss, and now he gets his kicks by sneaking sips from the living. No matter who you blame for the missing mouthfuls, it’s clear that Mickey’s spirit is still anchored to his favorite watering hole.