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If you want to see a different side of New York City and hear some spooky stories about the Big Apple, consider taking an NYC ghost tour. This type of activity stands out from other tours because you’ll get to see some of Manhattan’s top attractions and landmarks in a creepier light.
While you’ll see the dark side of NYC, you’ll also have a few laughs along the way, and most New York City ghost tours are family-friendly. Of course, this type of tour is one of the best things to do in NYC at night, so I recommend waiting until after dark to do it.
During these tours, you’ll visit some of the most haunted places in New York City, like old mansions and theaters, hidden catacombs and cemeteries, and old mafia hideouts and crime scenes. So, if you’re ready to walk in the footsteps of the ghosts of Manhattan, keep reading to see the 7 best ghost tours in NYC!
1. Greenwich Village Ghost Tour, the best ghost tour in NYC
First, this Greenwich Village tour is a spooky walk through some of the neighborhood’s most haunted places. It’s one of the top tours in NYC and is reserved for small groups to allow for a more intimate experience.
A local guide will take you to some of the creepiest parts of Greenwich Village and share ghost stories and urban legends that will make your hairs stand on end. Among the sites you’ll visit are Washington Square Park and the Hanging Tree, also known as Hangman’s Elm. This 135-foot-tall tree is over 300 years old, and it’s said that hangings took place here in the 1800s. While the only recorded hanging was of Rose Butler in 1820, it’s still a spooky place to visit.
You’ll also go to the most haunted house in Manhattan, the Murder House at 14 West 10th Street, which is said to house 22 spirits. Other NYC haunts in this tour include the Church of the Ascension on 5th Avenue, which is supposedly haunted by artist John Lafarge; 12 Gay Street, the former home of Mayor Jimmy Walker; and the Emma Lazarus House, which is also a beautiful library.
Finally, visit the Brown Building, the site of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. They say the spirits of those who died are still walking through the site today!
- Price: $35+
- Duration: 2 hours
- Highlights: Small-group tour with a local guide past several haunted homes and attractions
2. East Village Haunted Tour, the best way to see ghosts in Manhattan
Another great option is this tour through Manhattan’s East Village. You’ll explore the spookiest spots in the area while listening to ghost stories about the former residents and their ghosts.
Your guide will be a New York bartender, who will lead your group through 13 haunted sites, from the old Public Theater to the Merchant’s House Museum, deemed one of the most haunted houses in Manhattan. Then, pass by McSorley’s Old Ale House, Manhattan’s oldest continually-running bar, said to be inhabited by drunken ghosts!
Daytime and evening slots are available, but I think you should book this New York ghost adventure at night to get the full experience. For example, the ghost train subway stop at the abandoned City Hall station is a lot creepier if you visit after dark.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this is a fun tour that you’ll enjoy. Along with some of the best haunted attractions in New York City, you’ll get a little history lesson about the East Village.
- Price: $28+
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Highlights: Small-group tour to 13 haunted sites in Manhattan’s East Village
3. Gangsters & Ghosts Tour, another must-do NYC ghost tour
If you want to learn more about the ghosts of Manhattan, then check out this two-hour tour. You’ll follow a local guide, who will tell you the dark side of NYC’s most famous neighborhoods while taking you to creepy hideaways.
Learn more about the city’s mafia and gangster history, then visit some old hangout spots and headquarters for prominent crime families. You’ll go to the restaurants where several mafia murders took place, then visit “Five Points,” a 19th-century neighborhood that became notorious for its high levels of disease and crime. The Five-Point Gang emerged from this area and was the starting point for mobsters like Lucky Luciano and Al Capone.
Then, make your way to Chinatown’s Bloody Angle, also known as Murder Alley. This 200-foot-long stretch of Doyers Street was the site of several hatchet murders by the Tong Gangs of the 1920s and 30s. Several tenement houses on Doyers Street also suffered from fires, adding to the dark history of this alley.
As you make your way past the creepy, haunted houses in Manhattan’s West Village, you’ll go through the old “vice district,” then visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Throughout the entire tour, your guide will share ghost stories about the spirits that still haunt these famous sites.
- Price: $35+
- Duration: 2 hours
- Highlights: Historical tour through NYC’s most notorious crime spots, haunted houses, and mafia hangouts
4. Ghosts on Broadway Tour, one of the spookiest NYC ghost tours
For theater lovers and fans of Broadway, this guided tour is a must-do. This particular NYC ghost tour has a more lighthearted feel, so it’s a good option for families. You’ll join a local theater guide, who will lead you on a tour past Broadway’s oldest theaters.
Over the course of two hours, you’ll hear lore and legends about Broadway’s most haunted buildings, which are said to have vaudeville spirits lingering about. As you explore NYC’s iconic Theater District, you’ll learn about several famous Broadway ghosts.
Also, during this haunted Broadway tour, you’ll sing along to well-known songs from Broadway’s darkest musicals and shows, and at the end, you’ll have the option to book a tarot and palm reading session.
- Price: $40+
- Duration: 2 hours
- Highlights: Guided tour to some of Broadway’s most haunted theaters
5. Old St. Patrick’s Basilica Catacombs by Candlelight, the best NYC catacombs tour
One of the best candlelight ghost tours in NYC is this 1.5-hour tour to old St. Patrick’s Basilica. Inside, you’ll want to hold onto your tea lights as you walk through the hidden vaults and crypts.
The catacombs of St. Patrick’s Basilica hold over 200 years of history and are typically closed off to the public. Through this NYC catacombs tour, you’ll get to see secret parts of the church, and while it’s an informative tour, it can be pretty creepy!
These vaults and tombs are the final resting place for many significant public figures, including the Catholic Delmonico family and New York’s first resident bishop, John Connolly. The remains of Civil War-era general Thomas Eckert are here, as well as dozens of merchants, captains, lawyers, bankers, and politicians.
After the catacombs, you’ll visit the two walled cemeteries on the church’s grounds and learn more about the history of Manhattan’s Irish Catholic and Italian population.
- Price: $37+
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Highlights: Candlelight tour through the catacombs and cemeteries of old St. Patrick’s Basilica
6. Take the Merchant’s House Museum ghost tour in a haunted NYC mansion
This tour through the Merchant’s House Museum is another candlelight ghost tour in NYC where you can learn some history while visiting a famous New York landmark.
The Merchant’s House was the home of the Tredwell family for nearly 100 years. During those decades, seven members of the family died there, including Gertrude Tredwell, the youngest of the eight children. She lived in the home as a spinster until her death in 1933 and she’s often considered the most prolific ghost in the house.
A few years after Gertrude’s death, the house opened as a museum and immediately became the talk of the town for its strange occurrences. Today, the Merchant’s House Museum is considered the most haunted mansion in NYC, as visitors often report doors slamming and floorboards creaking on their own. Others have said that they’ve heard voices screaming or crying at night.
Not only is the Merchant’s House one of the most haunted attractions in New York City, but it’s also meticulously preserved, so walking through it is like stepping back in time. Yes, touring through the museum is creepy, but it’s also quite informative, so it’s one of the top tours to take!
- Price: $30
- Duration: 50 minutes
- Highlights: Guided tour by candlelight through Manhattan’s most haunted house
7. Morris-Jumel Mansion Ghost Tour, another top haunted attraction in New York City
Last but not least, this tour is an after-dark adventure through Manhattan’s oldest surviving house, the Morris-Jumel Mansion. This Federal-style mansion was built back in 1765 and served as the headquarters for both sides in the American Revolutionary War. A place with so much wartime history is bound to be haunted, right?
You’ll find out for yourself as you walk through this haunted NYC mansion and its grounds, led by a knowledgeable tour guide. Listen to ghost stories about the spirits that are said to still inhabit the house, and access the third-floor attic, which still has much of its original structure. Your guide will tell you about the mansion’s “shadow figures,” creepy phenomena, and old ghost stories, some of which date back to the early 1800s.
This candlelight ghost tour in NYC is a great choice for haunted house enthusiasts, but it’s only for ages 14 and up. Also, the mansion is a hotspot for ghost hunters, and you can even book a private paranormal investigation tour.
- Price: $30
- Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Highlights: After-dark tour of the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion and grounds
Now you have seven New York City ghost tours to check out for your next trip to the Big Apple! If you have any questions or you’d like to share your spooky NYC experience, leave me a comment below. I’d be delighted to hear from you! Until then, happy haunting!