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Mysterious Stories

The owls are not what they seem: It appears the clock in Herald Square may not be a portal for the Illuminati after all

Pic courtesy Brecthbug/Flickr Bummer. I so wanted the spectacular owl-infested Herald Square clock, once perched atop the offices of the New York Herald across the street, to be a secret meeting portal for the Illuminati. I facetiously brought up the theory in our December podcast on the history of Herald Square.  Upon the door of… Read More

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Brooklyn History Mysterious Stories

A Brooklyn ghost story: A famous actress, a rowdy tavern, Cobble Hill’s ‘ghost-haunted spot’ and a fool named Boerum

Above: While this is the old Brooklyn Schermerhorn house, it’s of a similar type to one that Ms. Melmoth may have owned, quickly becoming a tavern after her death. Less than two hundred years ago, in the area approximate to the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens today, there was a very, very rowdy tavern. It was… Read More

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Mysteries and Magicians of New York: Whimsical spirits, scary legends, strange magic and the original ghost busters

A session with a ouija board, a haunting illustration from a piece of 1901 sheet music ‘There’s A Charm About The Old Love Still’. (NYPL) PODCAST Our sixth annual ghost story podcast takes a little twist this time around. Oh sure, we have two of New York’s most FAMOUS horror stories in our first part,… Read More

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Mysterious Stories

The ghouls return: The Bowery Boys ghost story podcasts

It’s our favorite time of year — time for the annual Bowery Boys New York ghost stories podcast! The new show — featuring four more frightening tales — will be available this Friday. Catch up on the tradition by listening in to our last five ghost story shows. You can listen at the links below,… Read More

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Mysterious Stories

Notes from the Podcast (#130) Haunted Histories of NYC

We had a terrific time recording this year’s ghost-story show — Haunted Histories of New York. Here’s some extra details about our four subjects that were left out of this week’s show. (By the way, if you wouldn’t mind, please vote for us in this year’s 2011 Podcast Awards. We’re in the Best Travel Podcast… Read More

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Haunted Histories of New York: What horrors lie beneath the foundations of the city’s treasured landmarks?

Most Holy Trinity in Bushwick, Brooklyn, shrouded in shadow, a place where the ghosts of former clergy are alleged to lurk the halls and other spirits may torment the nearby school. PODCAST What mischievous phantoms and malevolent spirits haunt the streets of New York City today? In our fifth annual podcast of local ghost stories,… Read More

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Mysterious Stories

Podcast Rewind: Spooky Stories of New York

Above: the Algonquin Hotel, home to those bawdy rakes of the Round Table during the 1920s. You may find yourself meeting one of them even today. A special illustrated version of our ghost-story podcast, Spooky Stories of New York (Episode #65). is now available on our NYC History Archive feed. Just hit play and images… Read More

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Mysterious Stories

The Plastic Faces of Ben Cooper, Brooklyn King of Masks

Kids these days! With their fancy selection of Halloween costumes, with ornate detailing and comfort, with their diversity and realism. For thrifty parents in the 1970s and 80s, the decision to costume their children usually led to the rows of Ben Cooper Halloween smocks and plastic body garb, topped with a mask (held to the… Read More

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Mysterious Stories

I Sit On Your Grave: New York’s Hidden Burial Plots

Here’s a chilling thought for the Halloween season: if you’re visiting one of New York’s many amazing parks and squares, most likely you’re standing on land that was formerly used as a cemetery or potter’s field. And in some cases they even left the bodies behind! If you’re fluent in your New York history, you… Read More

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Supernatural Stories of New York: spooky seances, violent Jazz Age ghosts and an island of despair

PODCAST It’s our fourth annual Halloween history special, and we’ve got four bloodcurdling stories for the season. The first three are spooky ghost tales — a haunted boardinghouse on 14th street with violent, vain spirits; a short history of New York’s seance craze and a man tormented by the spirit of a dead painter; and… Read More

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

PODCAST: Spooky Stories of New York

The Algonquin Hotel: the hippest haunt for the dead writer set By popular demand, we return to the creepier tales of New York City history, ghost tales and stories of murder and mayhem, all of them at some point involving great American icons — Alexander Hamilton, P.T. Barnum, Dorothy Parker and Mark Twain. Listen to… Read More

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

PODCAST: Ghost Stories of New York

From the podcast: David Belasco and some his feminine daliances. Belasco is still believed to haunt his theater on 44th St. A city this size certainly has its share of ghosts, and the Bowery Boys spend the spooky season with some of the most famous — a suicide showgirl, a grumpy landowner, a womanizing theater… Read More