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Photograph: David RosenzweigOne if by Land, Two if by Sea

The most haunted restaurants and bars in NYC

Celebrate spooky season in style at these frightful local establishments.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
&
Time Out contributors
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Whether you believe that ghosts travel among us, or apparitions are the product of exhaustion, tricks of light or too many scary movies before bedtime, NYC has a handful of haunts to gin up your hackles and send your spine a-tingling this Halloween. Fortunately, a few of them also sell food and drinks to fortify your soul and provide a little liquid courage before you stalk back out into the even spookier real life night.  

White Horse Tavern
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

More than a few restaurants and bars have staked a claim as New York’s original this or that, but The White Horse Tavern humbly asserts its status as the city’s second oldest tavern. All we know is that it’s pretty old, and that the writer Dylan Thomas perished right around this time of year in 1953 at the age of 39 after imbibing a few too many at this storied location. It’s said that his spirit might still haunt the place, rattling glasses and perhaps imbuing your very own manuscript with a bit of his signature style–and motivation to make it to a 40 under 40 list before it's too lateee . . .

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Village
  • price 4 of 4

Romance, have you heard of it? Seems like maybe not if you were Aaron Burr in 1794, who purchased the building at this very address before famously killing local newspaper founder and Broadway star Alexander Hamilton just a decade later. Today, the ghost of politics past might just linger in the candlelit dinner destination, messing with the electricity and snatching jewelry. Would we come back to menace a space we once called home centuries after departing this mortal coil simply because our even longer-dead rival got more famous than us? Yes. Does Burr? Maybe! Who knows! 

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  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Another one of the “oldest operating drinking establishments in New York City,” The Ear Inn’s name alone carries a certain disembodied charm. It may also be infused with the literal disembodied, otherwise known as spirits. Sidle up to the bar to find out for yourself, and don’t forget to order an extra drink for the erstwhile, and possibly otherworldly, guest known as Mickey, who’s rumored to remain, propositioning patrons just trying to catch a buzz. Rude! 

The Round Table Restaurant at the Algonquin Hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Midtown West

Aspiring literatis might be keen to imagine themselves around the Algonquin Round Table, but, if those would-be geniuses knew that the same clique also became known as The Vicious Circle, they might not be so excited to join. And this group of pre-Twitter frendsies were likely to have been even more biting than anything seen on social media, including the famed dame Dorothy Parker, whose portrait purportedly popped off a wall during a renovation. 

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