East Village Halloween: A Neighborhood Ghost Walk

Want to learn about “Peter Stuyvesant and His Ghostly Friends of the East Village”? Register here for the walking tour, which will be conducted daily from Oct. 28 through Oct. 30. If you’re too spooked to make it out, turn the lights up before watching Carly Okyle’s audio slideshow featuring the tour’s creator, CUNY professor Dr. Phil Schoenberg. Then read about the haunted highlights below.

St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery
Here’s how the story goes: While the church was empty and its doors locked, Peter Stuyvesant’s ghost rang its bells in 1965, almost three hundred years after he was buried in the church’s mausoleum. On the bell hung a cut rope, too short for anyone to reach. The rest of the rope was found lying across Stuyvesant’s monument.

McSorley’s Old Ale House
Whiskey and gin aren’t the only spirits at this watering hole. Some claim to see ghosts in old army uniforms, belonging to young soldiers who never returned to claim the wishbones they hung on the bar’s chandeliers before they shipped out. Others have witnessed three youngsters playing together in the back room – likely the spirits of three McSorley children who all died in the 1930s, before the age of 10. Finally, people have reported seeing a cat at the window that is possessed by the ghost of Erich Weiss, better known as Harry Houdini. In life and in death, it seems this bar was his favorite haunt.

Astor Place Subway Station
August Belmont, whose name adorns the racetrack upstate, was largely responsible for funding New York’s subway system in 1904. He had his own private subway car with a fully stocked bar and plush seats called the Mineola. Legend says it still stops at Astor Place. Be careful not to get on by mistake! Late at night, commuters who go down into the Astor Place station can hear workers building the original IRT line.

Merchant House Museum
This landmark is haunted by the daughters of Seabury Tredwell, among others. Gertrude Tredwell, who survived all of her other family members, lived in the house until her death in 1932. Her phantom refuses to leave, even today, and rumor has it she can be seen gliding along the upstairs corridor or heard playing the piano, which has been broken for years. Gertrude’s sister Sarah was said to be driven mad after servants killed and buried her illegitimate child on her father’s orders. To this day, the spirit of Sarah Tredwell can be heard screaming, “Can’t you hear my baby crying?  You must help me find my baby!”

Il Buco’s Wine Cellar
Noted poet Edgar Allan Poe lived above Il Buco, which was a tavern at the time, for less than a year. This worked well, since Poe was an alcoholic. The tavern’s wine cellar is said to have inspired Poe’s work “The Cask Of Amontillado,” which is what the space is called today. Sometimes, a staff member at Il Buco goes down to the wine cellar and pulls out a sealed bottle, only to find it empty. Perhaps Poe is still inhabiting his old home, enjoying an unlimited supply.

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