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The Best Ghost Tours in New York City
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The Best Ghost Tours in New York City

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 7 September 2017
With Halloween around the corner, New Yorkers are seeking out spooky happenings across the city. Dare to be scared at these eight haunted happenings, the best ghost tours New York City has to offer.

Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Trotten Park

An abandoned Civil War fort is yours to explore on the Haunted Lantern Tours of Fort Trotten Park. Let Urban Park Rangers guide the way through this minefield of memories, where the only reprieve from darkness comes from period-appropriate lanterns. Along with close encounters and things that go bump in the night, this tour provides hair-raising insights into the history of the ghostly grounds.

Fort Trotten in the 1860s l Wikicommons
Fort Trotten in the 1860s l Wikicommons | Fort Trotten in the 1860s l Wikicommons

Candlelight Ghost Tours of ‘Manhattan’s Most Haunted House’

When seven occupants of the building now known as the Merchant’s House Museum died within its walls, a new sort of occupant took their places. On the 50-minute Candlelight Ghost Tours of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House,” you’ll hear recounts of restless spirits and supernatural events straight from the people who experienced them. This year, the tour has been expanded to include the previously off-limits servants’ quarters.

Green-Wood Cemetery: Murder, Mayhem, Scandal and Spiritualism

On the tour Green-Wood Cemetery: Murder, Mayhem, Scandal and Spiritualism, you’ll find that national historic landmark and Victorian graveyard Green-Wood Cemetery hides more than the bodies buried beneath its grounds. Secrets, stories and perhaps even a few spirits will be unearthed on this Brooklyn walkabout where you’ll explore the final resting places of the 19th century’s most tragic and notorious New Yorkers.

Green-Wood Cemetery l Marcela/Flickr
Green-Wood Cemetery l Marcela/Flickr | Green-Wood Cemetery l Marcela/Flickr

The Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

Promising all killer and no filler, the Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour is a must-try tour for serious spook-seekers. Only ‘consistently verified ghost stories’ are covered on this 2-hour trek through Manhattan’s East and West Village. Sites of reported paranormal activity, murder scenes, burial grounds and more await your discovery — if you dare to discover, that is.

Haunted Waters Walking Tour

Not for the faint of heart, the Haunted Waters Walking Tour takes to the sea for story time, leaving listeners with nowhere to run. Long Island City’s waterfront provides the perfect backdrop for terrifying tales of the victims of the Hell Gate, 18th-century tragedies at sea, and an explosion that turned Manhattan’s waters into a mass grave.

Shipwreck l Pxhere
Shipwreck l Pxhere | Shipwreck l Pxhere

Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

Meet with New York City phantoms for free on the Greenwich Village Ghost Tour, brought to you by Free Tours by Foot. Covering everything from hidden mass graves concealing 20,000 yellow fever victims to sites of contemporary tragedies, this trip through Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and Chelsea provides impressive value. Be warned though, with stops like Washington Square Park and New York University, this tour may ruin some of the city’s top attractions for you.

Island of Lost Souls: A History of Madness and Medicine on Roosevelt Island

Believe it or not, festival season favorite Roosevelt Island has a not-so-sunny history. A one-time holding place for convicts, lunatics and smallpox-infected individuals, the island hides a past not often revealed — until now. Join Island of Lost Souls: A History of Madness and Medicine on Roosevelt Island for a first-hand look at the asylums, prisons and hospitals that once housed hundreds of desperate souls, and perhaps, still do.

Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital l Wikicommons
Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital l Wikicommons | Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital l Wikicommons

Haunting Histories and Legends of Astoria

Today, the residential area of Astoria is a quiet, safe place in Queens, New York. However, this wasn’t always the case. Discover Astoria’s storied past, which includes gruesome murders, tragic Hollywood film stars, poltergeists and more, on the 2-hour Haunting Histories and Legends of Astoria.