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Ghost Tours and Haunted Houses of NYC

Updated: October 2, 2023

We know where all the ghosts of New York live. Let us introduce you to them on one of our New York Ghost Tours!

Join us for a stroll to haunted sites and learn about some of NYC's historic figures who met with tragic endings.

Hear dark stories about lost opportunities, political intrigue, death, disease, and murder. Come prepared to be spooked!


Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

Join Free Tours by Foot as we visit historic haunts, communicate with the dead, and walk the streets with the tortured spirits of the past.

This tour travels through the haunted streets of Greenwich Village and Chelsea. It is NOT for the faint of heart.

Stand above the hidden tomb of 20,000 yellow fever victims and a glimpse of a turn-of-the-century revolution set on an endless loop.

Hear tales of modern tragedy and murder, and trace the steps of our famous forefathers who tend to linger past their expiration date.

Highlights of this tour include stops and tales surrounding the following:

  • Washington Square Park (pictured above)
  • Haunted NYU
  • Mark Twain’s “House of Horror”
  • Residence of Mayor Jimmy Walker
  • Chumley’s
  • Aaron Burr's Haunted Carriage House
  • And much more!

Who knows, maybe your own encounter with the ghouls of Greenwich Village tour will become one of our stories….


Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should visit our Groups Page.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1.5 miles (2k)

When: @7pm on Saturdays (mid-March through Thanksgiving weekend). View Our Full Calendar

Where: The tour meets at the Northwest entrance to Washington Square Park at the corner of Washington Square North and Washington Square West (map). Look for your guide with an orange flag!

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.


East Village Ghost Tour

The ghosts of Greenwich Village are too numerous and interesting to meet in just one evening! 

Due to popular demand, we are offering a new tour, "Ghosts of the East Village," as a companion tour to one of our biggest crowd-pleasers "Ghosts of Greenwich Village" tour.

Our tour starts at the arch at Washington Square Park -- what some say is the most haunted place in New York City.

The tour wraps at St. Mark's in the Bowery at Second Avenue and 10th Street.

An actual photo of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911. Image Source: Wikimedia under public domain (image is more than 95 yrs old).
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Building ablaze

Haunted sites we visit include:

  • West 3rd St. firehouse, haunted by the firefighter who committed suicide in the 1930s and now home to a famous newscaster.
  • Poe House, New York University's "re-interpretation" of the house where Poe lived in 1844.
  • The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place. Now the Brown Building and part of the NYU campus, this historic building was the site of the infamous 1911 fire that killed 145 workers, most of them young immigrant women whose spirits still haunt the building.
  • Merchant's House Museum, a living museum haunted by the spirits of Gertrude Tredwell and her very dysfunctional family. Gertrude may have been the inspiration for Catherine Sloper in Henry James' "The Heiress."
  • McSorley's Old Ale House, which claims to be the oldest operating bar in NYC (circa 1854). Mc Sorley's patrons included Abraham Lincoln, John Lennon, Teddy Roosevelt and Boss Tweed. One of its favorite customers -- magician Harry Houdini, who died on Halloween 1926 -- still haunts the bar accompanied by the famous McSorley cats, who were depicted in John Sloan's paintings.
  • St. Mark's in the Bowery, haunted by the spirit of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch lieutenant governor of New Amsterdam, who has roamed his farmland property since his death in 1672.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should visit our Groups Page.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1.5 miles (2k)

When: @7pm on Fridays (mid-March through Thanksgiving weekend). View Our Full Calendar

Where: The tour meets at the Northwest entrance to Washington Square Park at the corner of Washington Square North and Washington Square West (map). Look for your guide with an orange flag!

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.


Ghosts on Broadway

For some performers, the show must go on… even after death!

The Ghosts on Broadway Tour, led by a veteran New York City talent agent and local guide, will introduce you to these notorious theater legends who appear after the lights go dim.

You’ll hear about the Broadway impresario who haunts the theater that bears his name.

His apparition shows up on opening nights to congratulate the cast or “pinch” the leading ladies’ bottom!

Jazz age parties are heard almost nightly from his long abandoned apartment over his theater.

There’s also the beautiful, flirtatious chorus girl who died tragically young. Was it murder or suicide? She appears only in the early morning -- and only to men.

Most Broadway tours focus on current shows and performers. Our tour looks at some of the “longest-running” performances on the Great White Way! 

Ghosts on Broaday Tour

Come join us as we meet some of the most famous New York ghosts!

Among the theaters and sites included on this tour:

  • The Palace, a 1913 vaudeville theater that is rumored to be haunted by over 100 ghosts, including Judy Garland.
  • The New Amsterdam Theater, once home to the “Ziegfeld Follies,” where the cast & crew routinely say goodnight to the ghost of the bewitching chorus girl.
  • The Belasco Theater, in which references to the theater's famous ghost are ad-libbed in its current production.
  • The Lyceum, the 1903 oldest-operating theater where an acclaimed choreographer & Tony Award-winning director recently made his presence known to folks in the theater's latest production.
  • Learn the curious superstitions by which theater folks live and die!

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should visit our Groups Page.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1.5 miles (2k)

When: @7:30pm on Mondays (mid-March through Thanksgiving). View Our Full Calendar

Where: The tour meets on Shubert Alley between W 44th & W 45th Streets (map).

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.


Dark Side of the High Line

The skeletal remains of the High Line Park’s elevated tracks set the perfect scene for a spooky evening.

The streets around and below this unique urban park have a dark side.

See the site where survivors of the Titanic came ashore after the tragedy at sea.

Learn about the child ghosts who haunt the street below the High Line, once known as Death Avenue.

Keep an eye out for a ghostly ship floating down the Hudson River.

Is it the long-forgotten crew of Henry Hudson’s Half-Moon warning sailors not to go to sea?

Or is it Captain Kidd protecting the treasure he buried on Liberty Island?

Venture at your own risk through the Dark Side of the High Line.

Sites and stories covered on this tour include:

  • The Lost Souls of the Titanic
  • The Manhattan Project’s secret uranium compound
  • Death Avenue
  • The Curse of Ezekial Marcus
  • London Terrace Apartments
  • The Chelsea Hotel
  • The Tragedy of Seth Low Hascamp
  • The West Side Cowboys

**This tour is suitable for most young children.

Tour information

Note: Currently available only as a small group paid private tour (weekdays only). View our calendar.

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 5 or more should visit our Groups page.

Where: Jackson Square Park, W.13th Street and 8th Avenue (map). Look for your guide with the Free Tours by Foot logo.  The tour ends near the intersection of the High Line and 23rd Street (map).

Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours. Approximately 1 mile in length.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.

Try our regular name-your-own-price tour of the High Line. No ghosts allowed!


OTHER GHOST TOURS

From creepy catacombs and cemeteries to haunted mansions and gangster gruesome hit sites, these tours will thrill and chill you to the bone.


Catacombs by Candlelight

Step inside the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Little Italy and visit parts of the church grounds that are normally off-limits to the public.

With your tea lights in hand, visit the 200-year-old catacombs of the basilica, a labyrinth of vaults belonging to notable figures in New York and American History. 

See the crypts of prominent 19th-century figures like Thomas T. Eckert, a Civil War general and close personal friend of President Abraham Lincoln. Listen to tales of long-forgotten secrets that lie within. 

Then visit the cathedral’s two walled cemeteries where Catholic bishops rest in peace along with prominent Catholic New York families like the Delmonicos.

Tour Information

  • Days offered: Mondays - Sundays
  • Hours: 10:30 am, 11:15 am, 12:00 pm, 12:45 pm, 2:00 pm, 2:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:15 pm
  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • Ticket price: Adults $37 | Children/Seniors/Military (with ID) $32
  • Free cancellation up to 2 hours in advance for a full refund.

More information and tickets.


Gangsters and Ghosts Walking Tour

Gangsters don’t always have a happy demise. New York City was (and still is) a hotbed of gangsters, mobsters, and the notorious mafia’s Five Families.

This two-hour tour visits some of the city’s famous neighborhoods that were vice districts during the 1920s and 30s, like Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, and Five Points.

See where gangsters John Gotti and Lucky Luciano used to do their dastardly deeds. Visit Chinatown's "Blood Alley," haunted houses of the West Village, and the sites of mafia hits.

Tour information

  • Days offered: Daily
  • Hours: 11 am, 3 pm, 8 pm
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Adult (Age 18-64) $35 | Senior (Age 65-99) $33
  • Youth (Age 7-17) $25 | Children age 6 and younger are free
  • Ticket price: Adults $37 | Children/Seniors/Military (with ID) $32

More information and tickets.


Morris-Jumel Mansion Candlelight Ghost Tour

Take an after-dark tour by candlelight of Manhattan’s oldest house that’s also possibly haunted. 

Hear spooky tales of the spirits who may still live here. Ghost hunters say there are signs of paranormal activity. Come see for yourself.

  • Dates: Saturday, October 7 | Friday, October 20 | Friday, October 27
  • Time: 6:30 pm -7:45 pm
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Ticket Price: $35 per person (age 13+ only)
  • Tickets must be purchased in advance

More information and tickets.


Merchant’s House Museum Ghost Tours

Two spooky tours are offered by this museum housed in a nearly 200-year-old building.

The Tredwell family lived in this house for nearly 100 years. Some say they never left.

In the 1930s the house became a museum. Since then visitors and staff report hearing doors slamming on their own and floorboards creaking under invisible steps. 

Some believe that the Merchant’s House Museum is the most haunted mansion in Manhattan.

Find out the truth on one of these two tours.

Candlelight Ghost Tours

The Tredwell family lived at 29 East 4th Street for nearly 100 years. In that time, at least eight people died in the house.

Reports of inexplicable occurrences have been widespread since Gertrude, the last surviving Tredwell, died in 1933. 

Is it Gertrude who is watching over her family home? 

  • Dates: Friday, October 13, 20, 27 and Saturday, October 21 & 28
  • Time: 50-minute tours run every half hour, 6:30 to 9 p.m. 
  • Tickets: $45 ($35 for Merchant’s House Museum members)
  • More information and tickets.

Super Spooky Candlelight Ghost Tour with Paranormal Investigator Dan Sturges

Join Dan Sturges, who has performed paranormal investigations at the Merchant’s House Museum for 15 years. 

Fact-based evidence increasingly indicates the reality of paranormal activity at the house. 

On this tour, Dan will share with you chilling - and true - tales of decades of otherworldly happenings in the house. Then decide for yourself if anyone still ‘lives’ there!

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 2nd, 2023
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