WHO WE ARE
We are a boutique-sized business, locally and independently owned and operated. Boroughs of the Dead is proud to be a woman-owned business.
We hire and support artists, writers, historians, and museum educators, like-minded in our mission and goals of sharing the strange, dark, and unusual stories of our city with both locals and visitors. Many of our guides are writers either by profession or passion. We know how to tell ghost and horror stories, as both fans and authors of weird and gothic fiction. (What is “weird fiction”? Think horror but not necessarily always supernatural; think uncanny, unusual, a little bit outside the realm of the real.)
We only ever use licensed guides. (You can check our licenses here.) We believe in transparency and authenticity. We don’t wear costumes or give tours in character. We are real people, with real names; you can find us online and discover all the many exciting things we do.
We believe in quality over quantity. We run tours one or twice per week (more often in October) to give us time to spend with our friends, families, communities, and the creative and professional endeavors that enrich our lives in this city and ultimately make us better tour guides. And we keep group sizes small – about ten to twenty people per guide is our rule of thumb.
Doing things our way has led us to become NYC’s best reviewed ghost tour company, with more Trip Advisor reviews and higher rankings than any other specialized ghost tour operator in the city. We’ve been lauded by numerous press outlets, and have been called one of “the world’s top ten ghost tours” by the Today Show.
At the same time, we go well beyond the generic ghost tour to offer in-depth, meticulously researched tours that encompass the macabre, mystical, and mysterious histories of New York City. While we absolutely love a good ghost story, we find that history is often far more frightening than anything supernatural, and that human horrors are just as disturbing as any haunting, so our tours contain a fairly even mix of both.
We are highly specialized. We only offer dark, macabre, fantastic, frightening, and unusual tours of our town because these things are genuinely exciting and fascinating to us. We don’t fake it and wouldn’t want to. That’s not what drives us. Here’s what does:
WHAT DRIVES US
Edgar Allan Poe sums it all up for us: “We should pass over all biographies of ‘the good and the great,’ while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows.” (Marginalia) Discovering and sharing these footnotes of history – the weird, shadowy corners of New York’s huge, bright narrative, the overlooked and forgotten stories – this is what drives us.
That, and telling a really, really good ghost story.
HOW OUR TOURS ARE DIFFERENT
Our tours are impeccably researched immersive excursions led by expert storytellers. They’ve been called dark, literary, unique, morbid, macabre and intelligent.
We don’t aim for forced or phony fear. (We do enjoy alliteration.) The goal of our tours isn’t to produce a momentary sensation of fright but rather to communicate deeply unsettling stories that will stay with you long after the tour is done.
We do have a sense of humor. Morbid humor is perfectly fine by us. It is better to be intentionally than unintentionally hilarious.
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.