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The top ten haunted places in New York City

Don’t be surprised if you run into the ghosts of Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain near these haunted places. Okay, fine, be very surprised.

Photograph: Donald Yip

Ear Inn

Photograph: Hal Hirshorn
Merchant's House Museum
Photograph: American Bookmen

Edgar Allan Poe

Photograph: David Rosenzweig

St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

Who you gonna call? Just in time for Halloween, we’ve found the most haunted places in Gotham, from a functioning, allegedly apparition-filled bar to the grisly-sounding Manhattan Murder Well. For more spooks, check out our list of the 100 greatest horror movies ever.

RECOMMENDED: All Halloween NYC coverage

1. Merchant's House Museum

The Tredwell family moved into this then-newish Noho town house in 1835—and some say they never left. It became a museum in 1936, three years after final occupant Gertrude Tredwell died at 93, and visitors have reported seeing and feeling poor Gerty and her seven siblings’ presence ever since.

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2. House of Death

This brownstone residence’s nickname is well earned, as it’s been the setting for a host of mysterious passings. In the book Spindrift: Spray from a Psychic Sea, Jan Bryant Bartell discusses her experience living there, noting that she ran into the spirit of former resident Mark Twain one night in her living room. What’d the novelist tell her? “My name is Clemens, and I has a problem here I gotta settle.” Oh, Twain, hilarious as ever.

3. One if by Land, Two if by Sea

The spook of founding father and successful duelist Aaron Burr is said to frequent this swanky West Village eatery. Many believe the former Vice President is the source of the paranormal activity—flickering lights, missing items—in the restaurant, which is located in what was once his carriage house.

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West Village

4. 85 West 3rd Street

In 1845 and ’46, this location (now an NYU building) was the home of Edgar Allan Poe, who penned parts of his opus “The Raven” there. Only a single banister apparently remains from the original layout, and some have reported spotting Poe near it.

5. The Ear Inn

Legend has it that this Irish tavern, housed in a nearly 200-year-old building, is haunted by a sailor named Mickey. (The seaman was apparently hit by a car and died outside the bar in the 1960s.) He’s said to make his presence known by lighting the fireplace.

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6. Billop House

In the late 1700s, British loyalist Christopher Billop, then the owner of this 1680 stone homestead, allegedly killed a female servant suspected of spying for the Patriots. Both victim and murderer are said to haunt the premises, along with the apparitions of patrolling redcoats. 718-984-6046, conferencehouse.org

7. Washington Square Park

This famed cultural hot spot was built over a mass burial ground, where as many as 20,000 bodies, including
victims of the 19th-century yellow-fever epidemic, resided. And if Poltergeist taught us anything, it’s that you do
not develop on top of the dead.

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Greenwich Village

8. St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

Locals claim that this place of worship is a hotbed for ghosts, including that of Peter Stuyvesant, whose remains are buried in the churchyard. (He probably wants to make sure you haven’t forgotten about him since your second-grade unit on New Amsterdam ended.)

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East Village

9. Hotel Chelsea

This artists’ hangout is well-known for providing lodging to rock stars and cultural celebrities over the years. And according to believers, a few residents (like Sid Vicious’s girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, who was found stabbed in the couple’s bathroom, and Dylan Thomas, who died at nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital) may have never checked out. Closed for renovations.

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10. Manhattan Murder Well

In 1799, the slain body of Gulielma Elmore Sands was discovered in a well just north of Spring Street. (Her suitor, Levi Weeks, was suspected of the crime but acquitted.) Rumor has it that the well remains intact in the basement of this downtown building, the only remnant of the grisly act—other than, perhaps, Sands’s ghost.