Friday, October 12, 2012

Haunted New York City

As any good child of the 80’s can tell you, NYC has been long-synonymous with ghostly visitors from the Underworld and beyond. Whether you are making the pilgrimage to the Ghostbusters’ firehouse headquarters (Hook and Ladder 8 - 14 North Moore Street, Manhattan) or exploring the real-life spiritual haunt of the Morris-Jumel Mansion (65 Jumel Terrace, New York, NY), this city abounds in specter spotting potential.  

New York boasts many tranquil green spaces in which natives and visitors alike relax and de-stress. However, perhaps they would not breathe so easily if they knew these parks are also hotbeds for paranormal activity. Many of these are actually former cemeteries, complete with those originally entombed. Washington Square Park, for example, is a former place of burial for the poor, and many claim it is ghost central for New York City. Another example, Greenwood Cemetery, was designed to serve as a park for the living. It is certainly not an abnormal sight to see those of flesh and blood strolling among the gravestones.

Other potential ghost sighting venues include those places where natural (or unnatural) deaths occurred but the deceased were never properly buried. Some professional ghost hunters claim that the only way these sites can be properly ridden of disgruntled souls, is by vastly altering the scene or solving the crime in question. For instance, once McGurk’s Suicide Hall at 295 Bowery was torn down, the ghosts stopped haunting there.

Alcohol has been attributed to many, many deaths in this modern age and the same rings just as true for the past. Thus, any place where those of today or yesteryear imbibed or enjoyed, could be a potential haunt. Bars, inns, taverns, and other drinking establishments all have their fair share of ghost stories – just ask any employee of the Fraunces Tavern (54 Pearl Street, Downtown Manhattan).

Places of travel are also notorious for their ghostly apparitions. Grand Central Station certainly has its share of ghosts. Some even claim that locomotion attracts ghosts. In recent times, people have reported giving rides to passengers who have disappeared into thin air. Other such attractors allegedly include staircases and elevators.

As fall turns the air crisp and Halloween approaches, peoples’ minds are once again drawn to ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and all manner of things that go bump in the night. If you too are eager to prove you “ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” drop into one of these famous haunts to try to bust some for yourself. Or even better yet - explore New York City’s most haunted neighborhood with your very own guide to the Underworld of the Financial District, courtesy of Wall Street Walks!