In celebration of the spookiest day of the year, we’d like to share with you some of our favorite New York City ghost stories and urban legends. Grab yourself a pumpkin latte and enjoy a little scare!
The House of Death
“This beautiful townhouse on quiet West 10th has been called the most haunted building in New York, with as many as twenty-two ghosts calling it home, earning 14 West 10th Street the sobriquet ‘The House of Death.’ Mark Twain lived here from 1900 to 1901 and claimed that he himself had experienced supernatural incidents. Throughout the twentieth century, 14 West 10th was the site of several gruesome incidents, including a murder-suicide and the beating death of six-year-old Lisa Steinberg at the hands of her adopted father, prominent attorney Joel Steinberg, in 1987. The specter of Twain himself—white suit and all—has been seen ascending the staircase.”
The Mole People of the NYC Subway
“Imagine discovering another world existed beneath your feet; a vast society functioning in the darkness, hidden from view. Well, beneath the mean streets of NYC, that might just be the case. For decades now, legends of secretive mole people manipulating the city’s ancient subway lines have been whispered. And there’s more than a grain of truth to them. It’s widely-known that many of New York’s homeless have found a niche for themselves underground. In 2000, the film Dark Days chronicled the lives of a group living in the Freedom Tunnel. But the urban legends of mole people go way beyond tiny collectives. According to a 1993 book on the subject, NYC’s underground dwellers have fashioned entire societies: with teachers, nurses and even elected officials. The idea of a subterranean society mirroring our own is a weirdly unnerving one, and legends of the strange and violent mole people continue to abound to this day.”
The White Horse Tavern
“This 135-year-old Financial District bar was poet Dylan Thomas’s preferred drinking spot during his stint in New York in 1952 and 1953, and he even ended up boozing himself into an ultimately fatal coma there in November of the latter year. The bar’s since served as a favorite watering hole for fellow writers, but it’s said Thomas’s ghost still hangs out at his favorite table, where bartenders say beer and shot glasses randomly appear from time to time.”