New York City is known for many things: the bright lights of Broadway, fine cuisine and corner vendors, glamour and excitement. Yet for those interested in the paranormal and unexplained, the Big Apple may very well be renamed the Big Haunt.
A growing interest in the paranormal and unexplained draws visitors to the City, year after year, to explore the less than touristy parts of the five boroughs. Celebrity spooks and historical specters are the stars of these underworld tours, and you never know when some will stop by to say hello, or “Boo!”
Once you’ve seen the popular sights the city has to offer, why not take a trip down the eerie side of the City many call home…years after they have departed? If you’re in the mood for a frightfully fun stay in New York, and can’t wait until the Halloween, the city is not without yearlong otherworldly charm.
Here are just a few frightfully fun spots to explore:
Merchant’s House Museum: This is a must-see for any ghost chaser, where else but the one place called the “most haunted house in Manhattan?” Certain times of the year, the Merchant’s House Museum presents ghost tours and lectures on various topics, including the art of dying. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of any of the curious spirits known to wander the property, perhaps one of Seabury Tredwell, who died in the very house in 1865. Call ahead to find out when the Museum offers an authentic recreation of his passing and funeral.
Hotel Chelsea: The Chelsea Hotel is long known as a one-time residence for widely-known literary and pop culture icons. William S. Burroughs, Donald Sutherland, and Bob Dylan once hung their hats here, and rocker Sid Vicious reportedly killed his girlfriend Nancy in their room.
Whether Nancy haunts the Chelsea remains to be confirmed, but it is said that the ghost of Dylan Thomas haunts the famous hotel. Of course, he died after drinking too many spirits at the White Horse Tavern and was taken to the Chelsea after collapsing outside the pub. It is believed he haunts the White Horse, too, so maybe he’s pulling double duty?
New Amsterdam Theater: Did you hear the one, too, about the Ziegfield Follies showgirl who haunts this popular venue? Many have claimed to see Olive Thomas strutting the stage in her beaded costume, no doubt looking to take one last bow.
Radio City Music Hall: If the Rockettes are kicking extra high some nights, it could be from fright! The ghost of Roxy Rothafel is said to haunt the theatre he built.
The Algonquin Hotel: Known for the eclectic group of wits and writers of the earliest 20th century who gathered often as the Vicious Circle, this hotel is also home to permanent guests. It is said some of the Circle have continued their stay at their favorite Round Table and elsewhere in the hotel. Could it be the tart-tongued Dorothy Parker, the hilariously mute Harpo Marx, or maybe Alexander Woollcott? If you hear a horn blow from nowhere, that may narrow it down.
The Dakota: This stylish Manhattan apartment building is believed to be haunted by the ghost of John Lennon, who was fatally shot near the entrance.
Hotels and theatres, pop stars and fallen stars, New York City is home to millions. How many are living as opposed to the living dead is difficult to say, but for those with a fascination for the paranormal half the fun is finding out.