These New York buildings have a reputation for housing unwanted tenants – those of the deceased variety. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, take note of these infamous sites of paranormal activity and consider stopping by to take a look. You just might have a ghost sighting of your own!
The Morris-Jumel Mansion
Roger Morris Park
65 Jumel Terrace btwn 160th Street and 162nd Street
New York, NY 10032
This Harlem Heights house has seen its fair share of tragedy since French businessman Stephen Jumel bought it in 1810. When he died twenty years later, rumors had it that his wife, Eliza had buried him alive, according to Atlas Obscura. Soon after, Eliza remarried the controversial politician, Aaron Burr. Three years later, the two of them divorced. That very same day, Burr died, and the house claimed its second victim. Reportedly, Eliza soon fell into dementia and wandered the house, haunted by the ghosts of her dead husbands. In recent years, there have been numerous ghost sightings of an elderly woman in a tattered dress, thought to be Eliza, as well as her two husbands.
Image: New Amsterdam Theatre
The Amsterdam Theatre
214 W 42nd Street btwn 7th Avenue & 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
This theater was once home to vaudeville shoes, classic theatre, and the Ziegfeld Follies. It was the last show that produced the theater’s most famous ghost: Olive Thomas, a Ziegfeld Girl who committed suicide in 1920. According to Playbill, Thomas is seen so often that the theatre staff placed a photo of her at every entrance. Employees blow kisses at the photo to greet the ghost, which supposedly improves her mood. Ushers and security guards constantly feel her touch, and audience members have reported interacting with her.
The Chelsea Hotel
222 West 23rd Street btwn Seventh and Eighth Avenues
New York, NY 10011
The Chelsea, a beloved gathering place for artists throughout the twentieth century, is said to be haunted by ghosts of former residents, including poet Dylan Thomas, who drank himself to death there, and Nancy Spungen, girlfriend to Sid Vicious.
On Season 2 of Celebrity Ghost Stories, actor Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos recalls his own Chelsea Hotel ghost sighting back when he lived there in the ’70s. A neighbor asked if he’d met “Mary,” who Imperioli assumed was an eccentric hotel resident. Days later, Imperioli saw a woman clad in black, sitting in his hallway and sobbing hysterically. When he asked her what was wrong, the light fixture popped and she disappeared. He later learned that Mary was the wife of a wealthy man who died on the Titanic while she was staying at the hotel. Her ghost has haunted it ever since. Days later, a thoroughly spooked Imperioli moved out.
Image: Public Domain Pictures
1 W 72nd Street close to Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
In 1980, John Lennon was murdered on the sidewalk outside this infamous New York building. Since that tragedy, the musical legend’s ghost has had an active career haunting the apartment building, as documented by Blumhouse. Most notably, he appeared to his wife, Yoko Ono, sitting at his piano and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.” Interestingly enough, Lennon had his own paranormal encounters there before his death, sighting a crying woman rumored to be the former building manager, and a young blonde girl in a taffeta dress known for announcing, “It’s my birthday” to onlookers.
New York, NY 10012
Image: MCNY’s Digital Collection
1564 Broadway btwn 46th Street & 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
Back in the days of Vaudeville, this theater was a congregating point for jugglers, dancers, and comedians from all over the world. Nearly a century later, the ghosts of those same performers continue to entertain the Palace theater staff. According to Playbill, over 100 ghosts are rumored to haunt the Palace, including actress Judy Garland, “a sad little girl who looks down from the balcony,” and “a white-gowned cellist who plays in the pit.” One particularly active ghost is the acrobat Louis Borsalino, whom stagehands have reportedly seen walking tight-rope, swinging from the rafters, and screaming.