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Haunted Houses in NYC

Sally Painter
Morris-Jumel Mansion

New York City has a wealth of haunted houses. Several are now museums and embrace their haunted status by offering ghost tours and paranormal investigations.

Kreischer Mansion

This well-known New York four-storied mansion on Staten Island is considered one of the most haunted houses in New York City. It was the home of Edward Kreischer, his wife, and their seven children, circa 1885. Kreischer had financial problems and killed himself. After his death, the family brick factory burned down. The mansion has been featured in several TV shows, such as Gotham, Bones, and Boardwalk Empire. It has also garnered many paranormal investigators' attention.

Some ghostly claims include:

  • Gangster McKelvey: McKelvey was murdered outside the house by fellow gangsters, his body dismembered and burned in the house furnace. A roaming apparition is said to be McKelvey.
  • Wailing woman: The woman is believed to be Edward Kreischer's wife.
  • Murdered German cook: One story suggests a cook was murdered in the kitchen, and people claim to hear his spirit banging pots and pans.
  • Scratching sounds: The sounds in closets are believed to be spirits of children locked inside for punishment.

Private events and some public events are held. Individuals can email for booking information.

Merchant's House Museum

Dubbed Manhattan's most haunted house, the former Seabury Tredwell home became a New York City owned museum in the 1930s. Many believe the spirits of the Tredwell family still reside in the home.

Some reported paranormal activities include:

  • Visitors claim to see the youngest Tredwell daughter, Gertrude, who died at the age of 93. Her apparition is seen the staircase landing, in the front bedroom, and near the front door.
  • Visitors have heard a piano playing when no one was playing it.
  • Disembodied voices and phantom footsteps have been reported.
  • Objects have moved on their own.

Check for other tours and events throughout the year.

The House of Death, 14 West 10th

Another claim to the most haunted house in New York is a brownstone known as The House of Death. This house is said to be the scene of 22 deaths since it was built in the 1850s. The house was eventually redesigned for 10 apartments. Resident Mark Twain even admitted to experiencing supernatural events.

Gruesome events include a murder-suicide and six-year-old Lisa Steinberg (1987), who was beat to death by her adopted father.

  • Witnesses claim seeing a little girl apparition.
  • White suit wearing Mark Twain is seen on the staircase with one witness claiming they spoke with the renowned novelist.
  • The ghost of a cat roams the floors.
  • The faint apparition of a woman dressed in white has been reported.
  • Frightened, actress Jan Bryant Bartell and her husband moved out. Bartell wrote about cold spots, strange smells, shadow people, furniture moving on its own, and various sounds such as breaking glass.

The brownstone is private residences and not open to the public.

Morris-Jumel Mansion

Touted as the oldest house in Manhattan, Morris-Jumel Mansion (presently a museum) is believed haunted by five resident ghosts. George Washington and other historical notables spent time when it was headquarters for both American Colonists during American Revolution and later British military. The most active ghost is believed to be Eliza Jumel, wife of Aaron Burr.

  • In 1964, Eliza appeared to a touring group of school kids and told them to shut up.
  • Strange reports of the grandfather clock talking have been made.
  • A Hessian soldier is seen walking through walls.
  • Disembodied voices and phantom footsteps are reported.
  • Objects move on their own.

Tours and Events

Organized paranormal investigations are hosted by the museum.

Lesser Known Haunted Houses

Other haunted homes overshadowed by more popular ones include:

  • The Billop House (Conference House): Host to the Peace Conference during the Revolutionary War where American Patriots and British Loyals met. The ghost of a servant that resident Colonel bishop caught spying and killed is seen.
  • The Bailey Mansion, home to James Bailey's (Barnum & Bailey) located on the corner of 150th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem was converted into a funeral home. It was rumored to be haunted and abandoned for some time before being restored for a private residence.
  • Gustav A. Mayer house on Staten Island is known as "The Grey Gardens of Staten Island" and said to be haunted by the spirits of Mayer's two reclusive daughters. Photo shoots within the grounds are popular. The property has been on and off the market, but its ghostly reputation is off-putting to potential buyers.

Many Haunted Houses

New York City historical residences have abundant reports of ghostly activity. Some claim entire blocks of the city are haunted.

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Haunted Houses in NYC