As Halloween is right around the corner, we here at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation would like to satisfy your cravings for hauntings as you go out and wander the Village for candy. Preserving the Village not only means maintaining the old buildings and historic landscapes, but sometimes also the domiciles of the dearly departed. We have put together a list of some of the most haunted historic places in the Village that will hopefully facilitate both engagement with the neighborhood’s history and encounters with the otherworldly. History buffs beware, you’re in for a scare…
Merchant’s House Museum
Probably the most well-known haunted spot on our list, the Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 E. 4th Street and still houses the ghoulish presence of the Tredwells, who had inhabited the house for nearly 100 years. According to their website:
“Gertrude Tredwell, in particular, is thought to be watching over her family home. Born in an upstairs bedroom in 1840, the youngest of the Tredwells’ eight children, Gertrude never married and lived her entire life here until she died, at the age of 93, in 1933. She was the last member of the family to occupy the house.”
The museum offers candlelight ghost tours through the house from January through June, as well as in October in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
White Horse Tavern
Located in the West Village and billed as the “2nd oldest continuously run tavern in New York City,” it is no surprise that the White Horse Tavern would have its fair share of phantom patrons. This Hudson Street haunt has over the years been a favorite spot for many famous musicians, poets, and other creatives who have lived in Greenwich Village. It is rumored that the ghost of Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas lurks there; according to the History Channel, “…In 1953, he collapsed after drinking 17 whiskeys at the White Horse Inn on Hudson Street in New York City and died at age 39.” Some people claim to still see Dylan’s apparition sitting at his regular corner table scribbling away with a drink at the ready.
Located on 47 Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette, the building that houses the restaurant Il Buco was a one-time home for author Edgar Allan Poe. Poe, who lived on the second floor, was even a patron at the bar below. The restaurant’s 200-year old wine cellar, which now serves as a private dining room, is even rumored to have been the inspiration for Poe’s story “The Cask of Amontillado.” Poe’s ghost is rumored to still haunt this location and wait staff are not surprised to open sealed bottles of wine only to find them half emptied by the author’s apparition.
St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery
On 10th Street, steps away from the GVSHP office, St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery was once part of the property owned by Peter Stuyvesant and also serves as his final resting place. Stuyvesant was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland before it was ceded to the British and renamed New York. His farm property was located on what is now St. Mark’s Church and parts of the Bowery. According to residents, Stuyvesant’s ghost still haunts the area and can sometimes be seen and heard meandering around the Bowery, tapping his wooden cane and peg leg on the sidewalk.