If you want to have a ghostly experience in a home that predates the Revolutionary war by nearly 100 years, the haunted houses of NYC are waiting for you. Many of the homes were built in the mid-1600s and withstood the Revolutionary War and beyond. Protected, restored, and operating as museums, the houses also have resident ghosts that haven't let time deter or discourage their presence.
The four-story Kreischer Mansion is a well-known Staten Island home that is one of the most haunted houses in New York. 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's 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.
The spirit of gangster McKelvey roams the mansion. Fellow gangsters murdered him outside the house, dismembered his body, and burned him in the furnace. The spirits of little children scratch their ghostly fingernails on the closet walls. The apparition of Edward Kreischer's wife wails and cries, perhaps still mourning the death of her husband and the loss of the family business. A German cook was murdered in the kitchen and he bangs pots and pans to let his presence be known. Today, Kreischer Mansion is rented as an event venue for concerts, events, and Halloween haunted tours and hayrides. 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 and are responsible for most of the paranormal activities. The apparition of the youngest Tredwell daughter, Gertrude, who died at the age of 93, wanders about the mansion. She appears on the staircase landing, in the front bedroom, and near the front door. There are many paranormal activities that indicate both residual and intelligent hauntings, such as phantom piano music, disembodied voices, phantom footsteps, and objects that move on their own.
Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum
Touted as the oldest house in Manhattan, the Morris-Jumel Mansion (presently a museum) is haunted by five resident ghosts. George Washington and other historical notables spent time there when it was headquarters for both American Colonists during American Revolution and later the British military. The most active ghost is Eliza Jumel, the wife of Aaron Burr. In 1964, Eliza appeared to a touring group of school kids and told them to shut up. A Hessian soldier walks through walls. Disembodied voices and phantom footsteps are consistent activities. Objects move on their own and the strangest paranormal occurrences is the talking grandfather clock. The museum hosts public paranormal investigations.
British Loyalist Captain Christopher Billopp built the Conference House museum, also known as Billopp House, in 1680. The manor was the location of the 1776 peace conference between the British Crown and the American Colonists to find a resolution to the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Franklin and other founding fathers were in attendance. The conference ended after three hours with no resolution reached.
Later, Billopp discovered one of his servants spying for the Colonists and threw her down the staircase. She died from a broken neck. The phantom sounds of a woman screaming followed by the sound of someone tumbling down the staircase leaves little doubt it's the residual energy of the female spy's death. A disembodied man's shouts interrupt the night. However, her spirit and that of Billop haunt the house. Both manifest as full-bodied apparitions and move about the house. There are many other ghosts roaming about the house, including British soldiers.
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage was built in 1812, but it wasn't until 1844 that Edgar and his wife Virginia, who was ill with tuberculosis, moved into the home along with her mother, Maria Clem. Today, the five-room house is a museum. It's the house where Poe wrote. Annabel Lee and other works. The cottage is haunted by various spirits, but the spirits of Edgar and Virginia don't seem to have stayed on after death. However, an elderly woman moves about the small house, could she be Maria? The staff and visitors are often touched by invisible hands. Cold spots, sudden cold breezes, and disembodied voices are some of the paranormal happenings. These are often accompanied by phantom footsteps and bumping sounds.
The Bowne House (circa 1661) is the oldest building in Queens and one of the oldest buildings in New York City. Quaker John Bowne, who was persecuted for his religious beliefs, built the house. Two centuries later, the house was part of the Underground Railroad.
There are several ghosts residing in the house turned museum. The staff sees apparitions of women in Quaker attire wandering the garden. If anyone approaches or calls out to them, they vanish. The mischievous pranks of the spirit of a small boy keep staffers on their toes. You can visit the garden and ground of the house while it is under restoration. The restored house is open, but you must call to make an appointment to visit or ask about the scheduled tours.
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum was the home of Thomas Pell, who purchased the land in 1654 from the Siwanoy people. After the Revolutionary War, the land was divided. Today, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation owns it, and it's a member of the Historic House Trust. Multiple ghosts haunt the Bartow-Pell Mansion.
The unidentified spirit of a lonely child wanders the third floor and manifests in front of staff and visitors. Several spirits occupy the attic. Their pacing footsteps contradict the empty room when staffers investigate the source of the sounds. At times, the phantom sound of music echoes in the house. An angel appears in the parlor, identified as such by the intense serenity that overpowers eyewitnesses.
Haunted Houses in NYC
The haunted houses in New York City are swarming with ghostly activity. You can visit these and other haunted places in the city to witness the spirits for yourself.