We all know that one kid who got really into Jack the Ripper factoids in junior high, was obsessed with Sweeney Todd, and did seances a la Gaby Hoffmann in (the 1995 cult classic) Now and Then. Maybe that kid was you (and may or may not have been me). In honor of Halloween, feed your inner history buff and your paranormal geek at the same time with one (or several) of these spooky local history tours.
Ghost Hunts at the Kreischer Mansion: Explore the Kreischer family home, rumored to be one of the most haunted places in New York. One of the Kreischer heirs committed suicide after a tragic fire destroyed the family’s factory, and his surviving brother repeatedly attempted to contact him via seance. In 2005, the house was the site of a grisly mob murder. Reports of apparitions, disembodied voices, and slamming doors abound. Tours run October 20 & 21 and November 3 and 4. If you’re too scared to go yourself, check out our video here.
Candlelight Ghost Tours at Merchant’s House Museum: Seven members of the Tredwell family died in the Merchant’s House Museum, which was built in 1832 and is now a National Historic Landmark. Numerous ghost sightings have been reported over the years, and for the next two weekends the museum will host candlelight ghost tours of the house, including the spooky 4th floor servants’ quarters. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. If you can’t make a tour but still want to indulge a macabre Victorian fetish, you can still explore the museum’s current exhibition on 19th century funeral traditions, “Truly We Live in a Dying World:” A 19th Century Home in Mourning, which runs now through October 30th. The exhibition is included in general admission.
50-minute candlelight tours run October 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th, every half hour from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and major holidays // The Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th St. // Tickets to the Candlelight Ghost Tour, $40 ; General admission to the museum is $15 for adults, $10 for students
Green-Wood Cemetery: Murder & Mayhem, Scandal & Spiritualism tour with Boroughs of the Dead: Traipse around the Victorian graves of Green-Wood Cemetery and hear about the lives, loves, and losses of its storied “inhabitants” with a creepy historic tour from Boroughs of the Dead. The 2-hour walking tour promises insight into the “femmes fatales, revolutionaries, spiritualists, gangsters, artists and murderers” buried there. The walk covers one mile and meets rain or shine at the cemetery’s main gates.