Boroughs of the Dead



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Boroughs of the Dead is a unique tour company devoted to strange, dark and unusual walking tours of New York City. All of our tours are run by emerging and established horror and speculative fiction writers, bringing a high caliber of research and unparalleled storytelling to each and every tour. Please visit our Tours page to book your tickets now.


All New Tours For Fall 2014

From Brooklyn to Broadway to Central Park, we’re offering all new tours for Fall 2014. Stroll through Haunted Brooklyn Heights, discover the ghostly tales of Broadway and Hell’s Kitchen, and experience the Magic and Mysticism of Central Park. Visit our Tours calendar to book now.

“Absolutely phenomenal. This is no stale, rehearsed walk.”


Perfect for horror fans and anyone who likes their history weird and uncanny. These tours contain elements of the paranormal.

  • The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

    Meeting Point: In front of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, 131 East 10th Street (Tour ends in the West Village, near Washington Square Park). This tour is approximately 2 hours in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • Haunted-House-in-NYCAll killer, no filler. This 2-hour tour presents the very best true ghost stories from the East Village and Greenwich Village. All ghost stories on this carefully researched route have been painstakingly hand-picked by your veteran tour guide to bring you only the scariest, strangest, and most consistently verified ghost stories in New York City. Recommended for those who want only the best and are willing to walk for it.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door


  • The Weird West Village: From Poe to Lovecraft

    Meeting Point: New meeting point as of July 2014: Sullivan and W 3rd St., north east corner. This tour is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • 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. On this tour you’ll wander the labyrinthine streets of the West Village and find out where Edgar Allan Poe wrote his dark tales and where H.P. Lovecraft found inspiration for his stories, hear tales of ghosts, poets, occultists, dissolute patriots, 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. For anyone interested in the unknown, the occult, and the weird side of history, this tour is a must.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door


  • Forgotten Dark Histories of Lower Manhattan

    Meeting Point: 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004, in front of the National Museum of the American Indian (Tour ends by City Hall) This tour is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes minutes in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • Sugar HouseYou’ll learn all about the ghastly, weird, often uncanny, and shockingly dark history of Lower Manhattan as this macabre walking tour wends its way through the oldest parts of New York City. See haunted taverns and gloomy graveyards. Hear surprisingly horrific stories of colonial and early New York, with a few ghostly tales mixed in for good measure. The perfect tour for history lovers and fans of the paranormal and all things creepy and strange.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door



  • Ghosts of the Titanic

    Presented every year in April
    Meeting Point: Astor Place, in front of the cube sculpture (the “Alamo”). Take the 6 train to Astor Place or the N/R trains to 8th St. NYU. This tour is approximately 1hr 45minutes minutes in duration and 1.3 miles in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • TitanicSmithsonian34460_copy_crop-150x150Join us as we seek out the lost spirits of the Titanic. Let us lead you from Greenwich Village to the Hudson River as we tell tales of spectral sailors, waterfront gangsters, pirates, murderers, poets, and other lost souls. We’ll show you where survivors of the Titanic were brought ashore in that cold April of 1912, and share macabre, sorrowful tales of the watery deep as we remember the Titanic’s tragic and glorious story, and how it is uniquely connected to New York City.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door



Nothing paranormal here… just dark, violent, bloody, morbid, and macabre true histories of New York City.

  • Green-Wood Cemetery: Off the Map

    Meeting Point: Green-Wood Cemetery main gates. 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232 Subway: R to 25th St. This tour is approximately 1 hr 45 minutes minutes in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather or cemetery closure. Note: this tour requires somewhat strenuous, hilly walking.

  • tickets_3Explore the sights of Green-Wood that aren’t listed on the map! See the hidden gems and strange secrets of New York’s foremost Victorian cemetery. With a focus on the scandalous and lesser-known inhabitants of Green-Wood, on this tour you’ll see the final resting places of femmes fatales, revolutionaries, gangsters, artists and murderers.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door


  • Murder, Scandal, and Vice

    Meeting Point: South end of City Hall Park, by the fountain. This tour is approximately 1 hr 45 minutes minutes in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • hooking1Life in 19th Century New York was filled with murder, corruption, and vice of all flavors. This 90-minute walking tour examines some of old Gotham’s most brutal and infamous crimes, some still unsolved, all set against the backdrop of a bustling city that seethed with scandal. From the lowlifes of the Five Points to the tragic women of McGurk’s Suicide Hall, we’ll explore the shadiest, tawdriest, and most notorious stories of 19th century New York.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door


  • Poe’s Greenwich Village

    Meeting Point: 85 W 3rd St. between Thompson and Sullivan This tour is approximately 90 minutes in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • PoeThis 90-minute literary and historical walking tour steps into the life of Edgar Allan Poe’s Greenwich Village of the 1840s. Visit the site of three of his former homes, trace a path into the past to gaslight-era Washington Square Park, learn of his contemporary rivals and admirers, and see where he wrote some of his most famous works. You will discover the places that inspired Poefind out where he read “The Raven” for the first time in public, and learn of the scandals and triumphs he experienced while living there. Interweaving some of his most famous tales with Greenwich Village’s macabre secret histories, this tour is guaranteed to delight fans of Poe’s literary grotesques.

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door


  • Ghosts of Christmas Past

    Presented every year in December
    Meeting Point: In front of Sr. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, East 10th Street and 2nd Avenue. This tour is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration and one mile in length. Runs rain or shine, except in cases of severely inclement weather.

  • nast-santa-claus-1861This annual holiday tour presents the very best true ghost stories from the East Village and Greenwich Village, with a special seasonal focus on Christmas ghosts. Discover why the Victorians loved to tell ghost stories at Christmas. Hear some incredible, entertaining, and downright creepy true tales of ghosts and hauntings, from an expert storyteller. Discover the amazing connection between Santa Claus and New York City. Learn where Charles Dickens read A Christmas Carol in 1867 and how Washington Irving saved Christmas. See some of NYC’s genuinely haunted homes, including the 1832 Merchant’s House Museum, called the most haunted house in the city by the New York Times, and the host of their very own series of ghostly Victorian Christmas events, including performances of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (show not included in tour ticket price). Hear the very best true ghost stories from the East Village and Greenwich Village, all with a delightful Christmas twist!

    $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $15 for Merchant’s House Museum Members


What is a “Borough of the Dead?”

Every borough in New York City has its own special nickname. Queens is the called the Borough of the Dead because so much of its surface area is given over to cemeteries. But Queens isn’t the only borough with dark secrets, hidden histories, ghost stories, and corpses. One can look at the entire city as a place where the dead outnumber the living, where uncanny tales cannot be explained, and where things go bump all night long… these are the Boroughs of the Dead…

Who are your guides?

All of our tours are run by emerging and established horror and speculative fiction writers.

Janes Author Photo_smallFounder and owner Andrea Janes is the author of BOROUGHS OF THE DEAD: New York City Ghost Stories, the book that inspired this company. The book is a work of fiction, but in the course of her research, she discovered the city was a wealth of ghostly, gory stories, and decided she wanted to share them with the world. Andrea is also the author of the YA novel GLAMOUR, and several short horror stories.

Tour guide Leanna Renee Heiber is an 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.

Tour guide Lauren Ann Butler is a writer, actress, and theatre enthusiast. She has spent a majority of her life studying the paranormal and has discovered her love of theatre has become entwined: in her current incarnation as a Broadway usher, she has found herself experiencing a few ghostly friends. She loves to share her personal experiences with the paranormal, and looks forward to doing so as a Boroughs of the Dead guide.

Which tour do you recommend?

If you like true-crime or you’re a history buff, you might like my historical true-crime tours: Murder, Scandal, and Vice: Crime and Corruption in 19th Century New York and Green-Wood Cemetery: Off the Map. Both of these tours pass by the tombs and tales of “the good and the great,” and focus instead on the poor, the notorious, and the scandalous. If you have a literary bent or are a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, I can recommend Edgar Allan Poe’s Greenwich Village, a walk through the poet’s main stomping grounds in the 1840s. (Hint: pair it with a visit to the Poe cottage in the Bronx, which is only about 30 minutes away on the D train.)

If you do believe in spooks, I can recommend The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour. Each stop has been carefully selected based on my two years’ experience leading tours in the West Village and Greenwich Village. I’ve taken the highlights from all those ghost walks and melded them into one top-notch two hour ghost tour. Finally, Dark Histories of Lower Manhattan wends its way through Lower Manhattan — one of the oldest and most haunted areas in the city — and features a lot of history along with its ghost stories.

Ghosts of the Titanic remains ever popular, though I only offer it once a year, on April 14th and/or 15th. If you just can’t wait til then, I do offer private tours of my Titanic walk, or any of my ghost walks. Feel free to blend and customize routes as well. I’m always happy to craft a specialized ghost walk based on your favorite themes, eras, and interests.

Are These Tours Suitable for Children?

Boroughs of the Dead ghost tours and true crime tours cover topics that are “dark” and may be potentially disturbing in nature. Potential topics may include death, including  the death of children and animals; general violence; gang violence; riots; slavery; prostitution; murder; piracy and illegal/criminal activities; drugs, alcohol and illicit substances; rape; abortion; war; torture; dismemberment; insanity; disease; discussions of the afterlife and spirit world; and grave-robbing. Worse, they contain positively lethal amounts of history. Children under 12 will likely be bored, scared, or both bored and scared. Nobody wants that. Just think of these tours like a PG-13 movie and use your judgment before buying tickets.


How Much “Walking” Does This Walking Tour Have Anyway?

If you are elderly, injured, or have trouble walking, bear in mind that most of these tours entail about 1.2 miles of walking in a 90-minute period. Only take on what you can handle. The Green-Wood Cemetery Tour is not recommended for those who have trouble on steep or hilly areas, and is not recommended for anyone with a stroller.

How Do I Buy Tickets?

Simply go to the Calendar of public tours, select the date and time of the tour you want, and click to register and purchase tickets.

Do I Have To Buy in Advance? Can’t I just Show Up?

Advance purchase will guarantee your spot on the tour. This is important to ensure you are not disappointed in the event you arrive to a tour that is already at capacity. We cap tours at 20 guests maximum, to ensure a quality experience for everybody. Also, if fewer than four people sign up for a tour, it may not run. If you don’t register, I’ll never know you wanted to take my tour. How lonely and sad would that be?

What Are Your Cancellation and Refund Policies?

Tours are only canceled in the case of extreme weather conditions or severe tour guide illness. Light rain or passing showers is not considered extreme. Hurricanes, blizzards, Nor’easters, hail, life-threatening lightning, and extremely heavy, prolonged rains are considered “extreme” weather. Weather-related updates will be posted on our Twitter and Facebook pages if it looks ominous outside. You can also call me on the day of the tour for an update. If a tour is listed as running, you will not be issued a refund or rain check if you are a no-show, unless you call or email me to arrange a refund or rain check prior to the tour start time.

If you cancel within 24 hours of the tour, you will receive a full refund or a rain check (subject to availability). If you cancel on the day of the tour, you will receive a 50% refund, or you may take a rain check to use on a future tour (subject to availability). No refunds will be given in cases of extreme lateness (more than 20 minutes after start time) or no-shows.

In the event that a tour is canceled due to weather or tour guide illness, you are invited to take any other tour at your convenience (subject to availability). You may also get a full refund if that is what you prefer.

Tours will also be canceled if fewer than four people register in advance. In this case, you will be guaranteed a spot on a future tour, or a full refund.

Do You Offer Private, Group, or Customized Tours?

Yes. Feel free to blend and customize routes as well. I’m always happy to craft a specialized ghost walk based on your favorite themes, eras, and interests.

What If I Have A Suggestion for a Ghost Tour?

Email me! I’d love to hear it!

If you have any other questions, please call or email me and I will be happy to answer them!

“Entertaining, informative and a loads of funWe will definitely take another one of her tours.”

Featured in


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Featured in Rue Morgue Magazine (Dark Empire, May 2014)

Featured in Literary Manhattan (January 2014)

Click here for a downloadable PDF of our Press Kit.


  • Custom Tours

    Boroughs of the Dead tours are ideal for private, corporate, school, and group events. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling ghost tour to reward your team for a job well done, a historical tour of 19th century murders for the true-crime buff in the family, or a dark histories tour of Lower Manhattan to impress the out of town visitor who wants something truly out of the ordinary on their trip to New York, we can craft and blend the perfect private tour for you and your group. Contact us to book your private tour today!

  • Recommended for schools

    We recommend Edgar Allan Poe’s Greenwich Village, which combines scholarly rigor and meticulous biographical research with a passionate appreciation of Poe’s work to create an educational and fascinating look at Poe’s life and times in 1840s Greenwich Village. The only tour in New York City to focus exclusively on Poe’s time in the city and contextualize it within the overall history of New York, this tour allows students to envision Poe working, writing, and living in 19th century Gotham, while illuminating how his time here informed his poems and short stories.

These tours “capture one’s imagination and breathe vivid color into histories long forgotten by most.”




“Like the best of the pulps, the narratives are creepy, darkly comical and elegantly composed, with lovingly detailed descriptions of place and an ample whiff of lurid decay.” – FANGORIAWritten by tour guide Andrea Janes, BOROUGHS OF THE DEAD is a collection of ten ghostly stories that range from the waning days of the 18th Century to the present time, mixing in a bit of historical fact, a hearty measure of local color, and plenty of honest-to-goodness creepiness.

Partly inspired by true events and partly figments of the author’s evil imagination, these terrifying fictions take their inspiration from Gotham’s darkest histories.

Imbued with the chilling undertone that inhabits all of New York’s five boroughs,BOROUGHS OF THE DEAD is an entertaining, varied and infectious take on things that go bump in the New York City nights.

Stories include:

  • Newtown Creek, a budding teen-aged comic book writer’s nightmares have lethal consequences.

  • The General Slocum, a supernatural explanation of what really happened in 1904 when an excursion boat caught fire and sank in the East River, killing over 1,000 passengers.

  • The End, an author’s surefire method for insuring a permanent place on the bestseller list.

 And more…




Boroughs of the Dead Featured in Rue Morgue Magazine

Check out the May issue of Rue Morgue Magazine, which features Boroughs of the Dead in a thrilling round up of NYC’s darkest tourism destinations. Peter Gutierrez‘s “Dark Empire” lists Boroughs of the Dead alongside Green-Wood Cemetery, Atlas Obscura, Morbid Anatomy, and others — some pretty amazing and impressive company. Appropriately enough, the tour Gutierrez […]

Paranormal Investigation at the Merchant’s House Museum

On Saturday, April 26th, 2014, I attended my first ever paranormal investigation, at the Merchant’s House, an 1832 red-brick row house on East Fourth Street that was home to a prosperous merchant family for almost 100 years. It is one of the city’s most most fascinating historic houses, and is widely reputed to be haunted. […]

Titanic First Person Accounts: Lawrence Beesley

Some of the most compelling Titanic first-person accounts come from Lawrence Beesley’s The Loss of the SS Titanic. Second class passenger Beesley was a scientist and author, and he’s one of those rare people who seem equally gifted in both fields. He writes crystalline clear prose that is devastating without being histrionic: “Imagine a ship […]

Medical London: A Self-Guided Walking Tour

Designed by the good people at Strange Attractor, and published by the Wellcome Collection and Trust, Medical London: City of Diseases, City of Cures, is a portmanteau: part map, part history, part walking-tour guide, stuffed with beautifully illustrated full-color prints of such points of interest as Bedlam Insane Asylum and Thomas Crapper’s water-closet manufactory. This […]

“By far my favorite ghost tour.”

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Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12:00 noon to 7:00pm EST. Phone messages and email are always monitored, but please allow us a few extra hours to get back to you on days when the office is closed.

For tickets, private tour bookings, and media inquiries, email or call 646-932-0680.

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Customer Testimonials

I am an avid history buff and love NY history. Andrea did not disappoint. She knows her history. More importantly, she knows how to capture one’s imagination and breathe vivid color into histories long forgotten by most.

I arranged a private 90-minute “Murder, Scandal and Vice” tour with Boroughs of the Dead and it was absolutely phenomenal. This is no stale, rehearsed walk; Andrea Janes is a true NYC history buff and her passion for the subject shines through every story that she weaves along the tour.

Our guide Andrea was wonderful. She is very articulate, educated and entertaining. The tour lasted about 90 minutes and it left me wanting more. I would highly recommend any of the Boroughs of the Dead Walking Tours given by her.

My family and I are native New Yorkers and we decided to take this ghost tour for fun. It was the Ghost Tour in Greenwich Village and it was great. It was entertaining, informative and a loads of funWe will definitely take another one of her tours.