Haunted Houses of Old New York: Four historical tales of ghosts and ghouls who never left home

PODCAST Welcome to the unlucky 13th Annual Bowery Boys ghost stories podcast, where history combines with folklore for a bone-chilling listening experience.

In this year’s Halloween-themed special, Greg and Tom take you into some truly haunted private residences from throughout New York City history. These rowhouses, brownstones and mansion all have one thing in common — stories of restless spirits who refuse to leave.

— Near Madison Square Park, an eccentric writer posts a classified ad, hoping to rent out an attic room to a prospective subletter. Unfortunately the room already an occupant — a greenish ghost with a troubling Civil War history.

— The Conference House in Staten Island played an interesting role in the Revolutionary War, and some residents from that period may still wander its ancient hallways.

— On the Upper East Side, a lavish penthouse ballroom may be permanently vexed with the ghost of a testy spirit named Mrs. Spencer. Can a legendary funny lady and a Vodou priestess manage to keep the ghoul under control?

And for the first time in Bowery Boys ghost-stories history, Greg and Tom record a segment of the show — from within an actual haunted house. Merchant’s House docent Carl Raymond joins them for a close look at the life of Gertrude Tredwell and the rooms where she lived and died — and may, to this very day, haunt.

LISTEN NOW — HAUNTED HOUSES OF OLD NEW YORK

To get this week’s episode, simply download or stream it for FREE from iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or other podcasting services. You can also get it straight from our satellite site.

Or listen to it straight from here:


A very special thanks to Carl Raymond, docent at the Merchant’s House Museum, for guiding us through the museum as they prepare for their October programming. You can find out more about the Merchant’s House by visiting their website. Book a candlelight ghost tour and check out their exhibition “Death, Mourning, and the Hereafter in Mid-19th Century New York.”

Thursday, October 17 – Saturday, October 19
Wednesday, October 23 – Saturday, October 26
Monday, October 28 – Wednesday, October 30

60-minute tours begin on the half hour, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
ALL tours include 4th Floor Servants’ Quarters!

And for more from Carl Raymond, check out his two tours with Bowery Boys WalksEdith Wharton’s New York and Glamour, Greed, Money and Murder in 19th Century NoHo


Captain Hassoldt Davis, occupant of the haunted house on Fifth Avenue near Madison Square Garden.

From Meyer Berger’s 1953 column about the ‘green ghost’:

The house of the green ghost.

The Conference House in 1965, looking much the same as it did 250 years before.

Museum of the City of New York
Tom Meyers
Tom Meyers
Tom Meyers
Tom Meyers
Tom Meyers

The former mansion of the Drexel family at 1 East 62nd Street, later the home of Ernest Hemingway and Joan Rivers.

Greg Young

Rivers and her dog repeatedly experienced ghostly phenomena from her refurbished French-inspired ballroom.

The Merchant’s House, circa 1950, in an illustration by Josephine Barry.

Museum of the City of New York

The Merchant’s House at night, taken last week.

Greg Young
Greg Young
Greg Young
Greg Young
Greg Young
Greg Young
Julia Press
Julia Press
Julia Press
Julia Press

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