Haunted New York
by Laura Kusnyer, 10/26/2010
Green-Wood Cemetery. Photo: Phil Kline
New Yorkers aren't shy when it comes to talking about their run-ins with the afterlife in the City. Many locals claim ghosts haunt NYC's old buildings and parks—some more quietly than others. New York City has, of course, landmark cemeteries (like Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery), hidden resting places (like the little-known plot behind the Bowery Hotel) and unique burial grounds (like the boat graveyard in Staten Island). There's also no shortage of celebrity ghosts in New York: John Lennon is said to haunt the Dakota, where he was murdered, and poet Dylan Thomas and Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious' girlfriend, are rumored to be spending the afterlife at the Chelsea Hotel, where both met their demise. While some of these accounts may be apocryphal, New Yorkers report plenty of firsthand encounters with poltergeists. The (allegedly) paranormal activity ranges from ominous incidents, like doors slamming for no apparent reason at a New York University dorm, to the downright weird: Dorothy Parker terrifying small children at the Algonquin Hotel. The City's colorful cast of apparitions even includes Aaron Burr and his daughter, adding a measure of historical cachet to the experience of getting spooked in NYC.