For some people October marks the beginning of the unofficial Holiday season. Yup, Halloween isn’t just for the kiddies on a quest for a sugar high, or even millennials searching for the most outrageous, yet obscure costume so they can get high fives along the busy streets of Manhattan. This time of year can send chills down your spine- literally and figuratively. From pumpkin spice lattes, to hay rides and seances, Halloween isn’t just an excuse to dress seductively and beg for candy…
To truly get into the spirit, prepare to sight see the spookiest city spots around all month long!
Just in time for Halloween, NewYork.com has researched and rounded up the top five most haunted apartment buildings in NYC. Below are the history and dark secrets of these buildings that could never quite shake some of their departed residents.
Top Five Most Haunted Apartment Buildings in NYC
#5 The Dakota
One of NYC’s most famous buildings is also one of its most haunted. This historic building located on the corner of Central Park West and 72nd Street dates back to 1880. Remnants of the era started in the 1960s, when construction workers witnessed an apparition of a man’s body with a young boy’s face, and still remain as today’s residents claim to have seen a little girl, dressed in period clothing, greeting them with a smile and a wave. The Dakota is most notorious for being the murder site of Beetles’ icon John Lennon. Yet, his spirit lives on at the Dakota—Yoko Ono even reported to have seen John’s ghost playing the piano at their apartment.
#4 14 West 10th Street
Nicknamed “The House of Death”, this West Village townhouse was once a murder scene and supposedly inhabited by 22 ghosts. In 1937, the house was converted into apartments and multiple residents experienced hauntings and sightings of a lady in white, a young child, and a gray cat. In 1987, former New York criminal defense attorney Joel Steinberg killed his daughter in his apartment. Literary legend Mark Twain, who lived there from 1900-1901, is the most notable spirit haunting the halls of his former apartment.
#3 123 On The Park
Some patients never left the building at 123 On The Park, which was formerly the Caledonian Hospital from 1910 to 2003. Lining Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the hospital sat empty for a few years before turning into a luxury rental building in 2014. Since then, residents reported strange voices and sounds of mysterious footsteps in the building and three doorman fled the building since its opening. The remaining doorman reported to the New York Post that the building “is a messed-up place to work because it’s haunted” and it has since earned the reputation of being haunted by “anti gentrification ghosts.”
#2 The Octagon
Formerly known as New York Lunatic Asylum —with a disturbing reputation of patient and staff neglect—it’s no surprise that the asylum’s ghosts grudgingly linger this Roosevelt Island rental building. Built in 1834, the complex was emptied by the 1950s and was ruined by the early 2000s until a developer converted the building to apartments in 2006. Residents report unexplainable incidents and paranormal activity. Even pets will refuse to walk up the stairs of the building.
#1 320 Washington Avenue
Home to the spirits of women young and old, this brick building went from the 1851 Graham Home for Old Ladies to a prostitution house in the 1960s, known as the Bull Shippers Hotel. By the 1980s, the building shut down for overwhelming reports of drugs and prostitution and sat empty for 15 years. Today a luxury condo, it still can’t shake its reputation as Clinton Hill’s very own haunted house.