Boroughs of the Dead is a woman-owned, locally and independently operated business.

Bringing the Dead to Life

Our specialty is storytelling; we love crafting tours, shaping our historical research into narratives and weaving them into the geography of our walks. We delight in unearthing and sharing the city’s dark and forgotten stories, and all of our guides are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Because of our emphasis on storytelling and history, both believers and skeptics alike will feel welcome on our ghost tours. And while we absolutely love a good ghost story, we know that human horrors can often be as frightening as any haunting, so our tours encompass a range from mostly ghostly to more historic.

We’ve been called one of “the world’s top ten ghost tours” by the Today Show. Check out our press and media mentions.

Walking tours sharing New York city’s dark and forgotten stories, and all of our guides are enthusiastic and knowledgeable

Haunting Histories and Legends of Astoria,” a 2-hour stroll that visits some lesser-known historical sites and glorious Victorian mansions of Old Astoria Village, and reveals these unsettling tales of the neighborhood’s grim and ghostly past.

lower manhattan walking tours, macabre history and ghosts


Our company’s name is a tribute to the borough with the most cemeteries. It comes from the nickname for the borough of Queens, which is called the “Borough of the Dead” because of its surfeit of cemeteries. Fun fact: Harry Houdini is buried out there!

Another fun fact? In 2013 our founder wrote a book of short stories also called Boroughs of the Dead.

What is a “borough”? New York City is divided into five boroughs, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens. Did you know that Roosevelt Island is in the borough of Manhattan? We run a tour there, too.

As for the “Macabre History Tours” part of it… why did we choose the word macabre? We just liked the way it sounded! It’s ghostly, sibilant, and euphonious, and we think Edgar Allan Poe would approve.


Though we deal with ghosts, haunting, and death, our tours aren’t scary or sensationalized …

Our tours are deeply researched and strongly history-based. Our emphasis on strange-but-true stories and history means that there is no active ghost-hunting aspect to any of these tours. We don’t wear costumes or give tours in character. While there are plenty of good tours featuring capes and lanterns, that’s just not our particular preference.

The goal of our tours isn’t to produce a momentary sensation of fear but rather to communicate deeply unsettling stories that will stay with you long after the tour is done. We approach every story we tell with nuance and respect, balancing context with humor when appropriate. While we definitely make our tours fun, we never exploit pain or tragedy for entertainment.

We keep our group sizes small. Normally our groups average about 15 people, with slightly higher numbers in October. We hope to see you among them soon!

new york city walking tours, discover history, hauntings, ghost stories.

new york city walking tours, discover history, hauntings, ghost stories.


We exclusively employ licensed guides, ensuring transparency and authenticity (check our licenses here). Unlike others, we avoid costumes and character play; we’re real people with real names, visible online. Prioritizing quality over quantity, we conduct tours once or twice a week (more in October) to enrich our lives
with family, community, and personal pursuits. Our commitment to excellence extends to small group sizes, maintaining an intimate ratio of ten to twenty people per guide.


We’re NYC’s top-rated ghost tour company, surpassing others in TripAdvisor reviews and rankings. Praised by press and featured on the Today Show’s “world’s top ten ghost tours” our meticulously researched tours delve into the macabre, mystical, and mysterious histories of New York City. While we relish a good ghost story, we believe real history is often more chilling. Our specialized focus on dark, macabre, and unusual tours reflects our genuine excitement and fascination. We don’t
fake it; our passion for the eerie and extraordinary is what drives us.

Locals Love Us

New Yorkers love our tours. We have a loyal customer base of smart, curious locals who want to know more about their own city, and who have a bent toward the dark, arcane, occult, and macabre. Locals make up 80% – 85%
of our clientele and one third of our customers have taken more than one
of our tours. And for a bunch of people
who think about death a lot, we’re
pretty friendly. We think it’s probably because we love what we do. We hope you will, too.