As Halloween creeps in this October, start your celebrations early with these thirteen haunted house ghost stories that will haunt you until the spooky day is here. These locations may appear seemingly normal, but peel back the layers and read the chilling tales behind each place.
The Campbell Apartment – 15 Vanderbilt Avenue, Grand Central Station, Manhattan
Sipping spirits with spirits? This elegant bar, once used for the first episode of Gossip Girl, was originally the private office of business tycoon John Campbell. However, after his death, and following its run as a jail, the Campbell apartment has gone through its fair share of hauntings. Guests have described older couples dressed in 1920’s clothing sipping cocktails on the mezzanine, servers have felt unexplained hands resting on their backs, and there was one instance of a woman entering the restroom and never coming out. When the locksmith arrived at the scene (after a long line had formed), they found an empty room and a lock that was locked from the inside.
Image of The Campbell Bar via Facebook.
Litchfield Villa – 95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn
The Litchfield Villa mansion located at Prospect Park West has a long, spooky history filled with ghosts and demonic possession. A widow and close friend of Edwin Clark Litchfield, a businessman who purchased the land in 1852, once arranged a seance in the will to communicate with her son who was killed in the Civil War. Days after, reports of sightings of demons that resembled gargoyles on the mansion’s top floors began to emerge. These demons were described by their glowing green eyes and luminescent red tongues. There continues to be sightings of these ghastly creatures to this day.
Copcutt Mansion – 239 Nepperhan Ave, Yonkers
In 1907, Mr. Frederic Hughes, a New York detective, won a prize for his account of a ghost-like man that approached him while floating through a pair of massive rosewood sliding doors. This man reportedly made his walking cane disappear into thin air and shouted: “This place is Cursed! The Trees will die! Now that’s a haughty haunt!” Hughes’ piece, ‘The Ghost of Copcutt Mansion’, which was placed in the Charlotte Observer, has kept this building’s legacy as a haunted mansion alive.
The Dakota – West 72nd Street, Manhattan
At the site of John Lennon’s assassination and the setting for the classic horror film, Rosemary’s Baby, this beautiful, historic, Upper West Side apartment building The Dakota, has gained a haunting reputation. Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, reported seeing the ghost of the former Beatles singer drift through the building’s premises and even playing the piano in the lobby. Several workers and residents have reported seeing a ghost of a little girl and an adult with the face of a young boy.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea – 17 Barrow St, Manhattan
Before the restaurant, One if By Land, Two If By Sea, was a popular destination for delicious American cuisine in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, it was a carriage house. The 1767 landmark is said to be haunted by its owner, Aaron Burr, the third VP of the U.S, and his daughter, Theodosia. In 1813, Theodoisa boarded a ship with plans to visit her father in NYC, but she was never heard from again. Theodosia’s disappearance haunted her father until his death, 23 years later. Visitors and staff have claimed to see plates flying, glassware breaking, picture frames tilting and falling, lights flickering, and machines turning on themselves, all without any apparent cause. Theodosia is also said to steal women’s earrings while walking around the dining hall.
McCarren Park Pool – 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn
McCarren Park Pool, a public pool located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is said to be haunted by a girl who drowned in the pool in the late 1930s, soon after the pool was opened to the public. Guests and staff have reported the sight of her ghost roaming the pool grounds at night, crying out for help. The pool was closed in the 80s due to disrepair but reopened again in 2012.
Arthur’s Tavern – 237 Washington St, Hoboken, New Jersey
Arthur’s Tavern, a classic homestyle cooking restaurant in Hoboken, has reportedly been haunted by three ghosts. Employees have witnessed lights flickering, doors opening by themselves, whispers, and even someone’s hair being pulled. These findings were verified by a parapsychologist who visited the site and found evidence that the upstairs ladies’ room was indeed haunted.
Villa Paul Restaurant – 162 W Montauk Hwy, Hampton Bays
The building that is now known as the Villa Paul Restaurant in the Hampton Bays used to be a log cabin in 1804. It was formerly owned by a New York Supreme Court justice and his wife, Cora. According to old tales, Cora removed headstones from the Daines Cemetery located next to the cabin when she was trying to sell the house, but the bodies remained in their graves. Cora must have disrupted the wrong grave, because to this day, guests of the restaurant hear the ghosts’ footsteps and see lights flickering.
Merchant House Museum – 29 E 4th St, Manhattan
Even after 80+ years as a museum, the Merchant House still looks exactly the same as when the Tredwell family, a wealthy merchant family of New York, lived there for 100 years, but legend has it that 93 year-old Gertrude Tredwell never left. The youngest of the Tredwell’s eight children, Gertrude, was born in an upstairs bedroom of Merchant House. Gertrude was the last member of the family to occupy the house, and now is believed to be keeping an eye on the house. Reports by staff and visitors of strange and unexplainable events are said to have been happening since her death in her house including doors opening and closing, smells of gas lamps, and music from the piano in the dead of night.
Mill Hill Windmill – 42 Main St, East Hampton
Beatrice Clafin, the young daughter of a wealthy estate owner, haunts the Mill Hill Windmill that once was her own playhouse on her father’s estate. One day while playing in the windmill, Beatrice fell down the steps, broke her neck, and died. Rumor has it that the spirit of the girl is trapped inside the windmill, and it has been reported that people passing by have seen the little girl’s face lurking through the window.
The Brass Rail – 135 Washington St, Hoboken
What was supposed to be a joyful and celebratory day in 1904, ended up haunting The Brass Rail restaurant forever. Legends say that during a wedding at this restaurant, the bride fell down the spiral staircase and died. Her groom killed himself soon after in the room next door. Not only do the ghosts of the bride and groom appear late at night at the restaurant, but their wedding guests sometimes appear too. There have also been chilling reports of mysterious phone calls with no one on the other line, spooky voices, misplaced or missing objects, and things randomly falling on the ground around the restaurant.
The Church of St. Barnabas – 15 N Broadway, Irvington
Former occupants of The Church of St. Barnabas are reportedly still haunting the premises and current residents. There have been numerous encounters with faces that chillingly resemble the 19th century photos of former denizens. In the year 2000, a group of men doing construction on the church claim to have encountered the ghost of William McVickar, the church’s first pastor. It is safe to say that these workers weren’t itching to work at this spooky site again.
White Horse Tavern – 567 Hudson St, Manhattan
On November 3rd, 1953, famous poet Dylan Thomas continued his routine as a regular at the White Horse Tavern and drank heavily, despite him feeling particularly sick that night. His death followed a few nights later and since then his spirit has haunted visitors within the West Village bar. He’s been unexplainably seen at his favorite table pouring and drinking mysterious beers.