Top 5 NYC Haunted Houses

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With Halloween right around the corner, thrill-seekers everywhere are on the hunt for their next scare. If they’re dedicated enough, they’ll pack their bags and head for the city that never sleeps. Steeped in 400 years of history, New York has no shortage of haunted houses to explore. So, if you’re feeling brave come October 31st, grab a flashlight and some friends to check out these five hair-raising homes:

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1. The Morris–Jumel Mansion

65 Jumel Terrace, New York, New York

Built in 1765 as a summer villa for Roger Morris, the Morris–Jumel Mansion is the oldest house in all of Manhattan. After serving as military headquarters for both sides of the Revolutionary War, the mansion was bought by Stephen Jumel in 1810 for his wife, Eliza. Twenty years later, Stephen fell out of a carriage onto a pitchfork, and though the injuries were said to be treatable, he was found dead the next morning. Many blamed Eliza, who sent doctors away the night of Stephen’s death and perhaps allowed him to bleed to death. Eliza lived to the age of 90 in the Morris–Jumel Mansion, and it is said her ghost remains there to this day, shushing the people who dare to visit.

2. The House of Death

14 W. 10th St., New York, New York

Haunted by as many as 22 spirits, this seemingly quaint Greenwich Village brownstone is the perfect destination for fans of the paranormal. The House of Death’s most famous ghost, Mark Twain, was a resident there for nearly a year at the turn of the 20th century. He reported many strange encounters with spirits while living in the home. Other notable ghosts include six-year-old Lisa Steinberg, who died in 1987 at the hand of former criminal defense attorney Joel Steinberg, and a woman in a long, flowing, white gown.

3. The Merchant’s House

29 E 4th St, New York, NY

While the previous homes on our list have tried to negate their spooky reputations, The Merchant’s House openly celebrates its history. Home to the Tredwell family for nearly a century, this house continues to host a handful of its long-dead residents. The youngest Tredwall child, Gertrude, died in an upstairs bedroom in 1933. She was the last member to occupy the house, and to this day, it is said she can be heard walking across the upstairs floorboards late at night. The Merchant’s House Museum hosts candlelight ghost tours, and is available to rent for private parties, wedding ceremonies and receptions, and other events.

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4. The Billop House

7455 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY\

The site of failed peace talks between the Americans and the British during the Revolutionary War, The Billop House, also known as The Conference House, is a must see for history buffs and haunted house lovers alike. The master of the house in the 18th century, Colonel Billop, was said to have suffered from a very short temper that lead to many violent outbursts. On one occasion, he accused his servant of being a spy. When she denied the claim, he chased her through the house and eventually pushed her down the stairs. She died of a broken neck, and Billop was never tried for her murder. 223 years later, their spirits remain in the house and many say you can hear the servant girl’s screams to this day.

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5. The Dakota

1 W 72nd St, New York, NY

This Upper West Side apartment building of the rich and famous steals the last spot on our list of haunted homes. Well-known for its ties to the movie Rosemary’s Baby, The Dakota is said to be haunted by the ghost of John Lennon. Not only was it Lennon’s last home, it was also the building in front of which he was shot to death. Yoko Ono, who lived in The Dakota for 20 years, claims to have communicated with Lennon’s spirit. The legendary Beatles musician told Ono while he was alive that he saw a crying lady ghost roaming the halls. After his death, Ono said she found Lennon sitting at his piano, and he told her, “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.”

Owen M. McCafferty II