Ghosts of the Titanic

 On April 12, 1912 the Royal Mail Ship Titanic made her ill-fated maiden voyage across the Atlantic, destined for New York. New York City never saw Titanic, but the city still harbors a fair share of its memories – and of its ghosts. Inspired by the uncanny and ghostly tales associated with the Ship of Dreams, Ghosts of the Titanic will take participants from Cooper Union to Pier 54 in Chelsea as we explore the more mysterious and inexplicable aspects of one of the eeriest maritime disasters in history. You’ll walk in the shadow of Titanic on this one hour and forty-five-minute walking tour, and discover the incredible connections between the ill-fated vessel and numerous New York City locations, including Astor Place, Grace Church, the High Line, and more as we blend tales of Titanic with New York City history and plenty of ghostly maritime lore. We’ll show you an unassuming West Village hotel whose chic facade hides the sad tales of those who were billeted there in April 1912, after coming ashore on the Carpathia, the ship that rescued survivors of the Titanic. The surviving crew waited at the Jane Street hotel for news of their shipmates; some say they never left, and still rattle around the corridors waiting for news that never comes. You’ll find out which survivor held a seance after the ship went down — and made contact with her departed husband. And you’ll marvel — and shiver — at the strange confluence of inexplicable coincidences and eerie events connected to the ill fated ocean liner, from ghostly artifacts and apparitions that haunt us to...

The Most Romantic Ghosts in New York City

When you think about it, most ghost stories also have elements of romance in them, don’t they? Common ghost origin-stories tend to run one of three ways — a murder or misdeed has been committed, an unjust, sudden or premature death occurred, or the old standby: they died of a broken heart. Since New York City abounds with ghost stories, it makes sense that we’d have a lot of love stories here, too. And so in the spirit of Saint Valentine, who was very romantically beaten with clubs and beheaded on February 14th, we present here a short list of some of the most romantic ghosts in New York City. Many people are familiar with Gertrude Tredwell, the famous spinster ghost of the Merchant’s House Museum. Born in 1840 to a wealthy merchant family on East 4th Street, Gertrude grew up and fell in love with a very dreamy doctor named Luis Walton. Walton, though, was a Catholic and Gertrude’s strict Episcopalian daddy forbade the marriage. She never loved again. Gertrude pined away on East 4th Street until she died 1933. She still wistfully haunts her old home, which is now a museum. We’ll talk about Gertrude and Luis in more detail on our special Valentine’s Day edition of The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour. Harry Houdini and his wife Bess also fall into the category of romantic ghosts. Before Harry died, the two of them agreed on a secret phrase that one of them would transmit to the other after death through a medium, thus proving that spirit contact between loved ones was indeed possible. Sweet, no? We...

Take a Ghost Tour this Valentine’s Day

Nothing goes better together than love and death. (Except maybe love and White Castle.) And what could be more romantic than a stroll on a winter’s eve, just you and your loved one and a small group of twenty or so other people, as you listen to bone-chilling ghost stories and enthralling true tales of NYC’s dark and gory past? This Saturday, February 20th, join us for a special Valentine’s Day edition of The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour, led by Boroughs of the Dead founder and sucker for all things romantic, Andrea Janes [**Please note: the original date of Saturday, February 13th has been changed due to a National Weather Service Advisory of extreme cold for the New York City area throughout the entire weekend.** The tour will now be held on Saturday, February 20th at 7:00p.m. All ticketed customers have been informed of the change and automatically rebooked to the new date. Please visit our Calendar page to purchase tickets to the February 20th tour.] Our tours have been dubbed “an awesome, non-cliched date idea” and without a hint of self-promotion we can say we most heartily agree. On this tour you’ll hear thrilling tales of ill-fated and tragic romances, from brokenhearted spinster ghosts to the passionate love of a 17th century Dutchman for his favorite pear tree. We’ll try to answer the age-old question of whether love can persist beyond the grave as we decode the ethereal messages of a departed magician to his beloved wife, and explore one of the 19th century’s great — and, yes, bizarre — love triangles as we visit the site of a literary...

Bleak December Sale! Weird Tales of the West Village

“Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor….” This Friday, December 11th, join us for “Weird Tales of the West Village,” a Poe-inspired walking tour! And, in honor of Poe’s perennial penury, we’re offering $5 off each ticket with the discount code POE15. CLICK HERE to buy tickets! There’s something inherently uncanny about the West Village, a place where W 12th Street intersects with W 4th Street, and Waverly Place intersects with … Waverly Place. Explore the ghostly, uncanny, and weird side of the city on this tour that highlights the works of the great horror writer Edgar Allan Poe. Find out where he wrote his dark tales, edited late drafts of The Raven, and where he lived and worked in the West Village. Throughout the tour, you’ll also hear true tales of premature burial, walled-up remains, stolen corpses, real-life occultists, local ghosts, and more! Forgotten histories and urban lore abound on this haunting, mysterious, and wonderfully weird stroll through one of the most charmingly strange places in the city. This tour is led by an accomplished author of Victorian-inspired gaslamp fantasy, who weaves a tale like no other guide in the city. For anyone interested in the unknown, the occult, and the weird side of history, this tour is a must. Tickets are normally $20 in advance, $25 at the door but you can save $5 per ticket with the code POE15. CLICK HERE for our calendar of upcoming events and to purchase...

Ghosts, Christmas and New York City

This is the first in a series of holiday themed posts celebrating our annual Christmas tours. We’ll be presenting three holiday themed ghost tours, Ghosts of Christmas Past, this December. To buy tickets to these events, click here! We in New York City are lucky enough to have had some jolly old Dutch forefathers, who brought the holiday with them. When the British took over the colony in the 1660s, their children envied the Dutch boys and girls who got presents every December 6th and begged their parents to follow suit. Then in 1823 Clement Clark Moore wrote the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (otherwise known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”) at his Chelsea estate. Finally, in the 1860s, German immigrant and cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized the image of Santa as a jolly fat man in the pages of magazines like Puck and Harper’s Illustrated Weekly.   What about Christmas trees? You can also thank NYC’s German immigrants for that. Did you know that in 1848 so many Germans settled in the east side of the city that it was called Kliene Deutscheland? It’s true! And they brought many of their traditions, including the Christmas tree, wtih them. However, it was an illustration of Queen Victoria and family enjoying their Christmas tree reprinted in Godey’s Ladies Book in the 1850s that really started the tree trend here in America. Residents of Kliene Deutscheland would have recognized Prince Albert, though: he was from the German House of Hanover. So New Yorkers benefit from many traditions, be they Dutch or English or German. One New Yorker who was especially...

Guest post from Leanna Renee Heiber: 14 West 10th Street

The following guest post comes courtesy of Leanna Renee Heiber, actress, playwright, and award-winning bestselling author of multiple Historical Fantasy series for adults and teens, including the Strangely Beautiful saga, the Magic Most Foul saga and the forthcoming Eterna Files saga from Tor/Forge. Most of her books are set in Victorian New York and all of her work deals with the supernatural, paranormal, Gothic and fantastical. The newest member of the Boroughs of the Dead team, Leanna loves talking about New York City’s ghosts, magic and wonderment as much as she loves writing about them. She will be leading a brand-new signature tour, The Magic and Mysticism of Central Park, as well our Weird West Village and Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost tours. In this post, Leanna shares her insights into one of the stops on these tours — the notoriously haunted 14 West 10th Street.   The Eerie Synchronicity of 14 W 10th St. 14 West 10th Street is one of New York City’s most haunted buildings, and it has been since before Mark Twain and his wife lived there for a year. Ghost stories have always haunted this address, a location seemingly distressed down to its very foundations. Twain only lived at the building briefly, but his ghost has been seen there, stating that he had something to settle. Psychic and actress Jan Bryant Bartell wrote a book, Spindrift, accounting that there were well over twenty deaths attributed to the building and the effect it had on residents since its construction in the 1850s. One was the abuse of a child that led to her death, other accounts...
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