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Photograph: Courtesy Green-Wood Cemetery

The 5 best New York tours of cemeteries

Learn about the oldest nonliving residents of New York City with these ghostly tours

By Anni Irish

Nothing gets us more excited for Halloween than temporarily leaving the land of the living for a walk among the tombstones. Not to be morbid, but New York City is absolutely filled with dead people. Almost every park, including Central Park, Washington Square Park and Union Square Park, contains thousands of most likely extremely unrestful souls. Get your sixth sense tingling just in time for the spine-chilling day with these spooky New York cemetery tours.

RECOMMENDED: Find more NYC tours and walks

Woodlawn Cemetery
Photograph: Courtesy Woodlawn Conservancy

Ghouls, Goblins and Ghost Trains: A Ride to Woodlawn Cemetery

Things to do Walks and tours

If the traditional Halloween thing isn't your deal, check out this unique twilight tour of Woodlawn Cemetery, where you're encouraged to pack a picnic dinner. Be on the lookout for the graves of world-renowned jazz artist Miles Davis and the queen of salsa, Celia Cruz.

Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

Things to do Walks and tours

After two hours, you'll seriously reconsider the streets you walk on ever day…’cause many of them used to be graveyards. (You can't un-know that.) As you perambulate, learn what contemporary ghost hunters have to say about their creepy discoveries and where paranormal activity has (allegedly) occurred in lower Manhattan.


Cemetery Walk and Ghost Stories in Double Parlors

Things to do Walks and tours

Are you afraid of the dark? If you just nodded to yourself, this is the tour for you. Walk around the Bronx's spooky Bartow-Pell estate and cemetery by candlelight. If being in close proximity to gravestones at night isn't scary enough for you, the ghost stories at the end will be. City Island Theater Group puts on a staged reading at 7pm; space is limited, so email in advance to reserve your spot.

A Spirited Stroll Through Green-Wood Cemetery

4 out of 5 stars
Things to do Walks and tours Greenwood

Get in the Halloween groove while wandering through Green-Wood Cemetery with historian Jeff Richman. He'll teach you about New York events like the 1876 Brooklyn Theater Fire, which resulted in 103 people being buried in Green-Wood. You'll also see famous grave sites, like artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's. Get extra eerie with a look at the cemetery's signature catacombs.

Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur

The Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Harlem

Calling all history buffs! The Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum has one of the prettiest settings in the city. Located along the Hudson River, it's the perfect spot to check out fall foliage, learn about NYC history and have a Halloween experience different from the rest. Check out the graves of many prominent politicians, soldiers and socialites from the 17th through 19th centuries.


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