As if it wasn’t enough that we New Yorkers have to cram three to a studio apartment in order to afford to live here. Now we have to share our space with ghosts. The city is overrun.
So, with Halloween arriving tomorrow, check out spooky NYC.
*THE MERCHANT’S HOUSE MUSEUM, 29 E. Fourth St., between the Bowery/Lafayette St.
“We had a concert given by staff members in 2005,” says Eva Ulz, the house’s education and communications manager. “During the show, the players felt strange pokings and changes of temperature. After, one of the audience members came up and asked who was that little old woman sitting behind the band was?”
The old woman in question had been sitting in one of the house’s period chairs that are not allowed to be used and — even spookier — the witness’ description matched Gertrude to a tee.
“I was giving a tour a few years ago, and I was in the kitchen, and I had the door closed and I was leaning against it,” Ulz says. “I began to feel pressure from the door. Sometimes I get a draft, so I pushed it closed again. It happened again. I pushed it closed. A few minutes later, I was knocked over when the door opened with such force.”
*CAMPBELL APARTMENT, 15 Vanderbilt Ave., at 43rd Street
A line quickly formed outside the loo. Restless bargoers waited for her to emerge. And waited. And waited.
Finally, management was summoned. They were unable to open the door, so they called a locksmith. The locksmith arrived and quickly disabled the lock, which had been latched from the inside. The door was opened, and inside the small bathroom was . . . nothing.
It was empty. No sign of the woman whom multiple witnesses had seen go inside.
New York City: Where even the undead have trouble finding adequate public restrooms.
Campbell Apartment owner Mark Grossich and some of his staff suspect the woman might have indeed been a ghost. Her bathroom trick was only the latest in a series of events that have been plaguing the lounge with more frequency during the past year. An older couple in 1920s clothing has been spotted having drinks on the balcony. Wait staff have felt shoves, only to turn around and find no one there. A manager closing alone heard someone distantly calling his name.
*SNUG HARBOR CULTURAL CENTER & BOTANICAL GARDEN, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
The woman’s ghost has supposedly been spotted over the years, and residents have reported other strange happenings, such as church bells ringing unexpectedly, doors slamming suddenly and hearing phantom footsteps.
Berry and the “Ghost Hunters” team recently investigated — one of two jobs in New York City for the series — and witnessed a number of spooky occurrences. They heard a woman’s voice speaking to them, possibly in Spanish, and captured something resembling a figure on a thermal-imaging camera.
*THE ANSONIA, 2109 Broadway, at 73rd Street
The Upper West Side’s Ansonia, built in 1904, has been the site of many hauntings. A resident reports that her dog walker once awoke in the middle of the night to find a hazy female figure standing over her. She also says one of the elevators is haunted.
Apparitions have often been spotted in the basement, as well. A current doorman says he once saw a shadowy figure down there, and a blogger named Maurice Valentine claims to have seen a ghostly man in period garb appear before him in the stockroom of the North Face store in the building.
“Our downstairs is haunted,” says Mickey Nelson, manager of the American Apparel store in the Ansonia. “People see dark shadows, and we always hear noises. It’s like a humming, but not a humming from pipes. It’s a weird, creepy hum.”
*MANHATTAN BISTRO, 129 Spring St., at Greene Street
In 1800, a young woman named Juliana Elmore Sands disappeared, later turning up dead at the bottom of a well. (The stone structure still stands in the restaurant’s basement.) It wasn’t long before the well became associated with mysterious goings-on. Witnesses claim to have seen fireballs or heard screams emanating from it. A popular 19th-century pastime was to gather round the well with friends to watch for ghosts.
Current owner Maria DaGrossa-Hanna says neighbors claim to have heard groans and rattling chains in the alley behind the restaurant. Her sister recently snapped a shot of the restaurant’s facade (see cover) that seemed to show a woman’s face looking out into the street. In 2000, DaGrossa-Hanna says wine bottles began flying off a shelf and crashing to the floor. “The way they did it, they didn’t just fall off the shelf, they flew,” she says.
*THE HOUSE OF DEATH, 14 W. TENth St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues
Shortly after arriving in 1957, Bartell’s dog died, followed quickly to the grave by — she claims — numerous other residents, either by suicide or other odd folly. In 1987, the building was the scene of more bad juju when Joel Steinberg killed his 6-year-old adopted daughter inside.
*FRIARS CLUB, 57 E. 55th St.
“They say that the ghost of [vaudeville performer] Al Kelly is there,” Berry says. “I think that he might be. It seemed like something was playing with us.”
In 1966, Kelly died of a heart attack in the famous club’s dining room, and over the years, members have reported doors opening and closing and hearing strange sounds.
The “Ghost Hunters” team heard unexplained knocks on the door and Berry used an electromagnetic-field meter to conduct a “conversation” with a ghost he thinks might be Kelly.
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