New York is a city with a rich and vibrant history. Attracting visitors from across the globe, it is a wonderland of shimmering glass skyscrapers and world-renowned monuments, but not everything about it is bright, shining, and beautiful. There is also a dark side to New York’s past—one that has fascinated ghost hunters for decades. Filled with gruesome tales of murder and betrayal, it is reputed to be incredibly haunted, with some places more plagued by spirits than others. For those with an interest in the occult, these spots are like magnets, attracting paranormal tourists from around the world. Here are three of the most frightening for intrepid adventurers to visit.
The Morris-Jumel Mansion
Life after death is something many of us believe in. Religious or not, the thought of our lost loved ones waiting in a world beyond ours is immensely comforting, and a lot of people take great consolation in visiting a medium or clairvoyant. So popular is the practice that there are websites that offer a free psychic chat, allowing easy and instant communion with those who are gone. However, not all spirits are a source of comfort, as exemplified by the ghosts said to haunt the Morris-Jumel Mansion. For those who aren’t afraid to venture from the beaten track, this sprawling old house is located in the northern part of Manhattan. Reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the city, it has featured on a number of television shows, including Ghost Adventures, Haunted USA, and The Holzer Files. While long ago turned into a museum, the mansion’s echoing corridors are far from empty, even after dark, but who exactly is it that haunts them? You can find out by taking part in a flashlight tour, which will give you the chance to experience this spooky setting and its long-dead inhabitants for yourself. Beware, however: visiting at night is not for the faint of heart!
Merchant’s House Museum
Another location that has cashed in on its paranormal happenings is Merchant’s House Museum in Manhattan. Built in the 19th century, this grand townhouse is located in an exclusive neighborhood on East 4th Street. The former abode of hardware merchant Seabury Tredwell, the museum is said to still be inhabited by members of the family who first called it home. One of these is Seabury’s daughter, Gertrude, who was born and died in the house. Passing away peacefully at the age of 93, it’s said that her ghost remains in residence to this day, causing a series of strange occurrences, from odd sounds and smells to sightings of a spectral figure in the upstairs bedroom, landing, and staircase. The house, which became a museum three years after Gertrude’s death in 1933, is now a designated National Historic Landmark, but no move has been made to expel its phantasmal inhabitants—instead, the proprietors have cashed in on their presence, offering ghost tours on the third Friday of each month.
The Historic Old Bermuda Inn
Located on Staten Island, the Historic Old Bermuda Inn also deserves a place on this list. Still functioning as a bed and breakfast to this day, paranormal tourists can choose to stay here year-round, although the less foolhardy may prefer to pop in for brunch and leave before night falls. Legend has it that the ghost which haunts the hotel is that of Martha Mesereau. Lady of the house from the time of its construction in 1832, she is reputed to have died of a broken heart following the death of her husband during the American Civil War. While Martha was buried centuries ago, her spirit does not rest easy, continuing to haunt the inn where she once lived. She’s reputed to be restless and often active, making loud bumps and bangs in the night and causing a chandelier to be continually illuminated, even in the midst of a power cut. Even stranger, a portrait of Martha once mysteriously and inexplicably caught fire, with the singe marks still visible to this very day! So the next time you visit New York City, can you prove you've got the guts to hit up one of these spooky spots?