Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ghost walking: Halloween tours in New York City

Above: 782 Eighth Avenue, the caption reads: "House in which Miss Sigel was killed." Who is that person standing right next to the handwriting?

According to Shorpy (where you can find the full-sized picture), Miss Sigel "was found in 1909 bound in a trunk in her lover Leon Ling's fourth-floor apartment at 782 Eighth Avenue in New York, next to the Chinese restaurant where he was a waiter."

Sometimes called the Chinatown Trunk murder (although nowhere near actual Chinatown), the crime remains technically unsolved, although Ling disappeared from New York soon after discovery of the naked, noose-wearing corpse.

You won't find any ghosts of Miss Sigel there today; there's a distinctly unfrightening fire station at that address today. However if you're looking for a creepy way to celebrate New York City history this Halloween, here's a few suggestions:

New York Society for Ethical Culture candlelight tour
A landmark by flickering light, actors in costume and lots of candy! The New York Society for Ethical Culture hosts a weekend of family-oriented Halloween offerings this weekend, including a ghost tour of its famous Upper West Side building

Friday, October 30, 2009, 7pm – 10pm; Saturday, October 31, 2009, 6pm – 11pm
Visit their website for more info

Halloween at Green-Wood Cemetery
Brooklyn's most lavish home of the dead offers up its annual tour this weekend. Although it's a day tour -- helpfully lessening the creep factor -- it promises "tales of murder, mayhem, spirits, and ghosts .... with Green-Wood Historian Jeff Richman."
Saturday, October 31, and Sunday, November 1, 1pm
Meeting Point: Inside the main entrance at 25th Street at 5th Avenue
Go to Green-wood's website for tickets

If you're a braver soul, however, you might try:

Woodlawn Cemetery's nighttime tour
From their website: "Spend an evening in the cemetery learning the legends of Woodlawn. This perennial favorite takes you to the sculpture of “the Bride,” the graves of notorious figures and the monuments that share the tales of tragic events. Flashlights required!" Try both Woodlawn and Green-wood and spook yourself out -- and all your friends, when you tell them you've been to two cemeteries in one weekend.

Oct 29, 30, 31st; Nov 1 6 pm
Meet at Jerome Avenue Gate
Find more details here

The Bronck’s River & Oostdorp
Go back to the early days of early Bronx history with this Municipal Art Society tour of Bronx River and historic Westchester Square. Oostdorp was an old Dutch settlement that became the town of Westchester, which kindly gave its name to the entire county. A great walk on a fall day, although the only scares may be some of the redevelopment.

Saturday, October 31, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Meet at Whitlock and Westchester avenues (overlooking the Bronx River). $10 MAS members. Pay at tour. Or visit Municipal Art Society tour page

Spooks at Belvedere Castle
More for kids I think, but I'm sure they would kill you for just catching a glimpse of Central Park's most fairy-tale feature, now decorated for the season.

Friday, October 30, 4-8 p.m.
More info at the Central Park Conservancy

Prospect Park: Halloween Haunted Walk
Ghosts of Revolutionary War soldiers, suicide victims and more may greet you at this free daytime stroll around Lookout Hill. BONUS: there's a carnival afterwards. Braver souls can gallop over to Lefferts House for some ghost stories.

Saturday, October 31, 2009, Noon to 3pm
Begin at Prospect Park Southwest and 16th Street

Mayhem at the Merchant's House
They've been doing up Halloween all month. On the day itself, they have daytime tours with refreshments. At night -- this ghost stories with Anthony Bellov who will read from 19th-century horror classics in a parlor all done up as an creepy funeral decor.

Saturday, October 31
Tours: Noon to 5 p.m.
Ghost Stories: 7pm and 9pm
Visit their website for more info

We mentioned the Merchant's House as the topic of one of our ghost stories from our show Haunted Tales of New York. If you'd like to take a listen, the link is below, as well as links to our two prior ghost-story podcasts. Happy Halloween!

Haunted Tales of New York

Spooky Stories of New York

Ghost Stories of New York

1 comment:

  1. I know you get this a lot, but your variations on spooky/scary tales/stories are my favorites.

    Gourds are very scary.

    Thanks for putting out another one, and for the great Halloween list!