Real Haunted Locations


‘Spirited’ October Events at The Merchant’s House Museum

 The Merchant’s House Museum has been called “Manhattan’s most haunted house.” The private residence, built in 1832, has been preserved intact and still contains the family’s original furniture and possessions. The home is seemingly frozen in time. A visit at any time of year can be creepy and filled with unusual occurrences, but their seasonal Halloween events are even creepier. 

This October, the museum will offer several exciting new events in addition to their annual ghost tours and 1865 funeral reenactment. Perfect for those looking for an elegant blood-free way to celebrate Halloween. Don’t miss these unique opportunities to immerse yourself in New York City’s haunted history.      

October 2013 Event Calendar


October 9 – Lecture: Ghosts of Manhattan

October 10 – Exhibition Opening: A 19th Century House in Mourning  

October 18 – Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt

October 22 – Lecture: Unsolved Murders of 19th Century New York

October 24 – Reading the Rooms: A Psychic Talks with the Tredwells

October 25 –  Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 26 – Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 27 – 1865 Funeral Reenactment and Graveyard Procession

October 28 – Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 29 – Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 30 – Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 31 – Tales of the Supernatural: Horror on Hallowe’en 


Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 p.m.
Lecture: Ghosts of Manhattan
Author and actress Elise Gainer shares historical images and tales of local haunts from her new book, Ghosts and Murders of Manhattan, from Arcadia Publishing. See the faces of the dead that still cling to Broadway theaters, stately hotels, picturesque homes, and cozy taverns. Hear about apparitions, footsteps, phantom smells, and mysterious fires, and the events that still echo today. $15, MHM Members Free. Reservations required; click here to purchase tickets.


Thursday, October 10, through Monday, November 4
Exhibition: A 19th Century House in Mourning
Step back in time to 1865, when family patriarch Seabury Tredwell died at home in his bed. Poignant scenes of death and grief recreated in the House will explore mid-19th century mourning customs. Included with regular admission; reservations not required.


Friday, October 18, 7:30 p.m.
Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt
Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins haunt the music of the 19th century. Come be spooked by these harrowing tales as the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society bewitches your imagination and sings shivers down your spine, echoing sumptuous, rarely-performed songs in an authentic Victorian parlor. Singers Roberta Alessandra, Anthony Bellov, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande. Music by Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Loewe, Mussorgsky, and others. $25, $15 MHM Members. Reservations required; click here to purchase tickets.


Tuesday, October 22, 6:30 p.m.
Lecture: Grisly Crimes and Unsolved Murders of 19th Century New York
Ike Iikiw, licensed private investigator, retired NYC Police Detective, and founder/owner of NYC Adventure Tours shares “just the facts” of the most macabre, gruesome, and some unsolved crimes of 19th century Gotham.$15, MHM Members Free. Reservations required; click here to purchase tickets.


Thursday, October 24
60-minute tours at 6:30, 8, and 9:30 p.m.

Reading the Rooms: A Psychic Talks with the Tredwells
A rare opportunity to walk the dark and hallowed halls of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (The New York Times) with Certified Psychic Medium and Paranormal Researcher Cathy Towle. Ms. Towle will relate happenings and unexplainable occurrences from her several years of on-going paranormal investigations at the House – and deliver any messages from the beyond she might receive on the spot. Bring your questions. $60, MHM Members $30. Reservations required; click here to purchase tickets.


Friday & Saturday, October 25 & 26; Mon, Tues & Wed, October 28, 29 & 30
50-minute tours begin every half hour from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Candlelight Ghost Tours of ‘Manhattan’s Most Haunted House’
Updated with the latest eerie happenings!

Doors slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the night. Restoration work always ‘stirs things up’ at the Museum so we’ve had lots of new reports of especially strange experiences this year. We invite you to venture into the shadows of history to see the house where eight family members died and hear the newest tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them. And the creepiest of past ones.

6 p.m. (includes 4th floor Servants’ Quarters) $40;
6:30, 7, 7:30 p.m. $25; 8, 8:30, 9 p.m. $30;
9:30 p.m. (includes 4th floor Servants’ Quarters) $40;
MHM Members $15 all times. 

Reservations essential, click here to purchase tickets. 

Read The Raven & Black Cat’s review of The Merchant’s House Museum’s Candlelight Ghost Tours. 


Sunday, October 27, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
From Parlor to Grave: 1865 Funeral Reenactment and Graveyard Procession
In the 19th century, death and funerals took place at home. Join us in the Museum’s double parlors as we recreate the 1865 funeral service of Seabury Tredwell and discuss the funerary customs of 19th century New York City. After the service, mourners follow the coffin to nearby New York City Marble Cemetery – rarely open to the public – for the graveside service and cemetery talk. 19th century mourning attire is encouraged. VIP tickets include front-row seating, black crape armbands, and the opportunity to lead the graveyard procession as a pallbearer. $50, $65 VIP Seats, $25 MHM Members; $10 Graveside Service & Cemetery Talk only. Mourners attending the Graveside Service and Cemetery Talk only should arrive at the Merchant’s House at 4:30 p.m. 
Reservations essential, click here to purchase tickets. 


Thursday, October 31, Hallowe’en
Performances at 7 and 8:30 p.m.
Tales of the Supernatural: Horror on Hallowe’en
Dramatic readings from 19th century Gothic literature and true ghost stories as reported by visitors of the Merchant’s House through the years told in the Museum’s parlors set for a Victorian funeral. $25, $15 MHM Members. Reservations required; click here to purchase tickets. 


Sundays, 1 p.m.
‘Spirited’ Walking Tour of 19th Century Noho:  Glamour, Greed — & Ghosts

The neighborhood surrounding the Merchant’s House was home to some of the most famous, and infamous, names in New York history. From the literary to the illegal, New York society was played out in the elegant parlors and dark alleys of the fashionable Bond Street neighborhood. On this tour, we’ll see the haunts of renowned figures such as Edgar Allen Poe and Washington Irving; the spirits of long ago firemen and stable boys; the high and low life characters of the Bowery — as well as a tale or two of haunted happenings at the Merchant’s House. And we’ll visit the site of the most grisly of all 19th-century New York murders and hear tales of more contemporary ghosts that just won’t leave the neighborhood.

Tour is 50 minutes and begins promptly at 1 p.m.

Promenaders will return to the Museum in time to take the 2 p.m. GUIDED TOUR if they wish.
$10, Students $ Seniors $5, FREE for Members.
Reservations not necessary.

NOTE: Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories. 


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The Old Jail Museum Ghost Tour
128 West Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA

History

Carbon County Prison  in Jim Thorpe, PA was modeled after Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary and was operational from 1871 until 1995. It may look like a miniature version of Eastern State, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in capital punishment. (There were never any executions held at Eastern State Penitentiary.) Not only were inmates executed at Carbon County Prison, but the gallows were located in the middle of the cell block for all to see. The site holds a place in history for the 1877 hangings of the ‘Molly Maguires,’ a group of Irish coal miners sentenced to death after a sensational and corrupt trial. After the prison closed its doors in 1995, it was reopened as the the Old Jail Museum.

Our Visit

We arrived in the adorable/creepy Victorian town of Jim Thorpe on a chilly Saturday evening to attend one of the Old Jail Museum’s seasonal ghost tours held on select Saturdays in October. Tours begin every 20 min and the line is entirely outdoors, so don’t forget your mittens. The guided ghost tour is an opportunity to experience the building at night with dim lighting.  Various ghost sightings and other unexplained events are recounted along the tour. The most famous is a ghostly hand print left behind by one of the Molly Maguires as proof of his innocence. The wall has been scrubbed, painted, and partially replaced and the eerie hand print remains.

Is It Scary? 

According to the Official Facebook Page: “Hear Tales of Strange Happenings & Hunt Ghosts!”

The Raven & Black Cat says: No one is going to jump out and scare you, but the history and energy of the building is truly chilling. 

What We Loved

The story of the mysterious hand print is very creepy, but the most horrifying parts of the tour are the gallows at the end of the cell block and the dark basement dungeon used for solitary confinement. It’s terrifying to think about the fact that it was still being used as a prison as recently as 1995. 

What Could Be Better

The ghost tours are only held on select Saturdays in October and most likely staffed with local volunteers. The guides sharing the mysterious happenings ranged from high school students reading awkwardly from note cards to spirited amateur actors. Overall, we felt that the ghost tours would benefit from a less is more approach. The building is so incredibly scary that it can get into the Halloween spirit just by dimming the lights. Adding store bought Halloween decor to an actual prison dungeon comes off looking silly. A few flameless candles would be simple, elegant, and downright scary. 

Final Thoughts

Real life horror leaves something behind. You can feel it as soon as you set foot in the Old Jail Museum. If you find yourself in the Jim Thorpe area, the Old Jail Museum is a must see.   

The Old Jail Museum Ghost Tours 2012 Season

October 13, 20, 27

Ticket Information

General Admission: $10.00   |  Students: $7.00
 

Age Requirements

No children under 12 permitted. 

Additional Information

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaHIht9lRO8?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=640&h=480]


The Raven & Black Cat Photo Coverage

 


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In October, we reviewed the Pennhurst Asylum Haunted Attraction, but tomorrow we return to Spring City, PA to experience Pennhurst Paranormal. A 6-hour Paranormal Investigation of the Mayflower Dormitory Building on the abandoned campus of the Pennhurst State School & Hospital .

The Pennhurst Paranormal Association offers both private and public paranormal tours and investigations. Tickets are $125 each for the public investigations and $1,000 for private investigations. Care to join us tomorrow? Buy Tickets Now

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter from 9 PM – 3 AM EST to Live Chat and Receive Photo Updates during our 6-hour Paranormal Investigation.

Additional Information

  • Official Website
  • Pennhurst Paranormal Facebook Page
  • Twitter 
  • Pennhurst Asylum Haunted Attraction
  • 2012 Pennhurst Asylum Review

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    On May 25th, we will be participating in a private paranormal investigation at The Shanley Hotel in Napanoch, NY. This haunted hotel was built in 1895 after the original hotel (built in 1845) burned down to the foundation on March 18, 1895. The Inn is comprised of 35 rooms, a hidden basement room, secret passages inside closets, and a former bordello.

    “Upon entering the Bordello, people have reported feeling lightheaded, shortness of breath, heaviness and feelings of joy/sadness. The ‘Bordello’ is considered the most active place in the Hotel.” – The Shanley Hotel

    We look forward to sharing our experience with you. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to Live Chat and Receive Photo Updates on our Paranormal Investigation.

    Have you visited The Shanley Hotel?  Tell us about your experienc in the comment section below. 

    Additional Information

    A Postcard of The Shanley Hotel from 1906.

    A Postcard of The Shanley Hotel from 1906.


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    Pennhurst Asylum
    Church Street & Bridge Road
    Spring City, PA

    History

    Nestled in the woods beside Spring City, Pennsylvania lies the remains of the Pennhurst State School and Hospital (originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic.) The massive compound for the mentally and physically disabled was built in 1908. It was completely self-sufficient with its own power supply, dairy, green houses, fire department, movie theatre, and underground tunnel system. At the turn of the last century, it was thought best to segregate disabled individuals from the rest of society, but a 1968 exposé uncovered that over-crowding and under-funding had led to conditions that were unsanitary, inhumane, and dangerous. Ultimately, the Supreme Court found institutionalisation to be unconstitutional (Halderman vs Pennhurst State School) and Pennhurst was abandoned in 1987.

    The buildings and everything within them were left to rot for the next 23 years. Pennhurst became popular with trespassers (particularly those with an interest in “urban” exploring and vandalism) until it was reopened as the haunted attraction Pennhurst Asylum in 2010 by hauntsmith Randy Bates (The Bates Motel.)

    Our Visit

    We arrived in Spring City, PA late on Saturday night. The Victorian architecture of the town is lovely, but under the mask of darkness it takes on a very different aesthetic. 

    We arrived at the address listed on the Pennhurst Asylum website and were directed to park in a field. Reaching Pennhurst requires a 10 min walk through the woods. Go ahead and read that last sentence again and really let it sink in.

    The buildings rise out of the woods and you are instantly transported to the early 1900s. Pennhurst Asylum  is straight out of your worst nightmare. The haunt is made up of 4 separate attractions: ‘Pennhurst Asylum’ in the old Administration Building, ‘The Dungeon of Lost Souls’ explores the basement of the Administration building, ‘Ghost Hunt’ is a self-guided flashlight tour through two floors of the abandoned untouched remains of the Mayflower Dormitory, and ‘The Tunnel Terror’ a walk-through haunt located in a 900-foot section of Pennhurst’s underground tunnel system. There is  a centrally located ‘picnic’ area with food and refreshments if you need to take a break.  

    Is It Scary?

    According to their Facebook Page: It was “Voted the Scariest Real Haunt in America for 2012!”

    The Raven & Black Cat says:  We agree! Fear is subjective, but the remains of the Pennhurst State School would be terrifying on its own. Pennhurst Asylum is a top-notch haunted attraction that can be placed in two very exclusive categories:  A Real Haunted Location & The Actors Can Touch You. 

    Here’s A Tip

    Visit Pennhurst on a Thursday or Sunday, or spring for the VIP Pass to cut the lines. Without timed admission, you could be looking at some outrageously long lines. 

    What We Loved

    Wow. There is a LOT to love here. The attraction entitled ‘Pennhurst Asylum’ is housed in the old Administration Building. You walk through the actual rooms of the historic building and greet deliriously dark staff and human experiments of the mad Dr. Chakajian. (A fictional legend, in which a mad Austrian Doctor houses his human experiments in abandoned Pennhurst buildings, was created in order to be sensitive to the history of Pennhurst.)  Many of the rooms contain equipment and artifacts that were abandoned in the buildings in 1986.  Animatronics and clever special effects are employed to  distract you while actors grab at your ankles. The element of soft touching is very effective. It is quite unsettling to have your personal space invaded in a traditional walk-through style haunt. One girl even tried to stick her fingers in my ears!

    The ‘Ghost Hunt’ Attraction is what we wanted to do from the moment we set foot on the Pennhurst campus. The Mayflower Building was featured on ‘Ghost Hunters‘ and ‘Ghost Adventures‘ and was found to be a hot spot for paranormal activity. It is outrageously creepy. The walls are covered in graffiti from the vandalism years. The odd messages commingle with remnants of dormitory life in a state institution like an abandoned metal walker still labeled with a patient’s name and ward number. The energy of the building is heavy with human suffering and I honestly believe I would be in tears if I had to sit in there for an hour by myself. It is that scary.  

    What Could Be Better

    ‘The Tunnel Terror’ is another fabulously inventive attraction with gorgeous elaborate sets. The lagoon section, in particular, is amazing, but I couldn’t help but wish that I could see the walls of the historic underground tunnel system. Perhaps by accident, we caught a glimpse of the original tunnel through an open door that was propped open by a chair. The tunnel is something I could not dream up. It is real life horror complete with secret passageways. A fifth attraction walking through a portion of the original tunnel would be an incredibly scary experience.

    The attractions of Pennhurst Asylum are so detailed and effective that we were surprised that they didn’t capitalize on the opportunity for a large and definitive ending for any of them. Instead of building towards a memorable last scene, all of the attractions end very abruptly. Creating a unique and memorable way to exit each attraction would be the perfect finishing touch to what is otherwise a flawless, fun, and frightening experience. 

    Final Thoughts

    Pennhurst Asylum is a must-see. It is a chilling and effective haunted attraction masterfully combined with the horror of human history.  

    Pennhurst Asylum Runs

    September 21st – November 4th

    Ticket Information

    • Pennhurst Asylum: $15.00  
    • Dungeon of Lost Souls: $15.00
    • Ghost Hunt: $15.00
    • Tunnel of Terror: $15.00
    • Combo Pass (All 4 Events): $40.00  
    • VIP (very important patient) PASS: $75.00

    Discounts

    •  $5 OFF All Tickets (Promo Code: ghost ) – CLICK HERE!
    • 13Haunts Coupon: $5 Off Combo Ticket (Thurs. + Sun.)  – CLICK HERE! 

    Age Requirements

    No age requirements are specified.

    Additional Information

    Then (1922)

    Then (1922)

    Now (Google Maps)

    Now (Google Maps)

    Pennhurst Haunted House


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    Terror Behind The Walls
    22nd & Fairmount Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA

    Terror Behind The Walls is a walk-through haunted attraction located within the Historic Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA. Built in 1829, this massive stabilized-ruin is still one of the top 5 creepiest places I’ve ever been.

    ‘S’ and I arrived around 3pm for a daytime audio tour of the penitentiary (Photos) and a behind -the-scenes tour with Creative Designer Jason Ohlsen. ( Behind-The-Scenes Feature: Coming Soon! )  

    A major addition for 2012 is, Detritus, a 7th attraction that adds an extra 5-7 min to the Terror Behind The Walls experience.  Detritus is located behind the Greenhouse, and provides an opportunity to explore a section of the penitentiary that was previously closed to the public.  

    Is it Scary?

    According to their Official Website: “You bet it’s scary. We do our absolute best to terrify you and your friends. Just imagine being inside an 11-acre abandoned prison at night.”

    The Raven & Black Cat says:  Fear is subjective, but Terror Behind The Walls is a family-friendly event that is heavy on startle scares and probably won’t cause any lasting psychological damage. I can’t say the same for Eastern State Penitentiary. 

    Here’s A Tip

    Get tickets for the daytime tour, too. The daytime tours of Eastern State Penitentiary are very scary in a completely different way. Walking through the stabilized-ruin in broad daylight is overwhelming. Without the haunted attraction to capture your attention you are forced to focus on the true horror of what happened there . A heavy ominous feeling permeates the air. As audio tour narrator Steve Buscemi  put it, “if ghosts exist anywhere, they must be here.”

    What We Loved

    The costumes, make-up, and character development integrate seamlessly to create each of the detailed creepy characters lurking inside the prison. ‘Lock Down,’ the harrowing journey down cell block 12 and ‘The Infirmary,’ with its rusted deteriorating medical equipment (and decomposing staff) are chilling stand-outs two years in a row. The electrifying ‘grand finale’ of Terror Behind The Walls utilizes flawless misdirection and provides the perfect ending to a night at the penitentiary. 

    What Could Be Better

    Terror Behind The Walls has perfected the art of the thrilling family-friendly haunted attraction. In a manner similar to their family nights, which are targeted to younger children, we would love to see what would happen if they added a few special late-night events to make the experience even scarier. 10 minutes alone in solitary confinement, perhaps?

    Final Thoughts

    Terror Behind The Walls has mastered the startle scare and uses it to create a truly family friendly event that is the perfect combination of creepy and fun. Last year, I called it the Disney Land of Haunted Attractions. I stand by that statement.  

    Terror Behind The Walls Runs

    September 21st  – November 10th

    Ticket Information

    Ticket prices vary by night.

    • General Admission: $20 – $37.50  
    • General Admission w/ Quick Pass: $25 – $52.50
    • After Dark VIP Tour: $49.50 – $99.00
    • Alone Package: $499.50 –  $999.00

    Discount Ticket Offers

    • Student Sundays: Students w/ valid ID half price after 9pm
    • $5 Off (Use Code: 13Haunts

    Age Requirements

    Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent of guardian. No children under the age of 7 are permitted on site. Ages 7 – 12 are encouraged to visit on Family Nights, held each Sunday until 9 pm.

    Additional Information

    Photographer: Tom Bernard

    Photographer: Tom Bernard

    Photographer:  Jeff Fusco

    Photographer:  Jeff Fusco

    Photographer: Douglas Alan Bailey

    Photographer: Douglas Alan Bailey

    Photographer: Jeff Fusco

    Photographer: Jeff Fusco

    A glimpse inside from The Raven & Black Cat

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie2UJBqcJvM?fs=1&feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=640&h=360]


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    Merchant’s House Candlelight Ghost Tour
    29 East Fourth Street
    New York, NY

    The Merchant’s House Museum is the only 19th century family home in New York City that has been preserved completely intact. Frozen in time on West 4th Street, it is a truly incredible place to visit and catch a glimpse into the past, but the Museum walls contain more than history. This massive time capsule is also the location of what has been called “Manhattan’s most haunted house.”

    Each Halloween, a series of candlelight tours are given in which guests are guided through the antique home at night with just a path of tea light candles to light their way. A brief description of each room is given followed by a recording that features detailed accounts of the strange goings on that have occurred in that room and suggest that its original tenants never left. 

    Is it Scary?

    The official answer on their website: “Come see the house The New York Times called “Manhattan’s Most Haunted” by flickering candlelight and hear about strange and inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them.”

    The Raven & Black Cat says: Yes. From the moment you enter the home you can’t help but feel that there is something unsettling happening there. 

    Here’s A Tip

    The Merchant’s house is currently undergoing a renovation. Since the renovation began last year there has been an increase in strange activity that has been documented by 12 different investigations by supernatural researchers. The Museum is currently holding a raffle to spend a night in the Merchant’s House with the supernatural research team.

    What I Loved

    This house is amazing. The candlelight ghost tour provides a unique opportunity to explore the home in darkness. I am dying to go back during the day so I can see all the little details that were hidden in the shadows. I am a huge fan of the Victorian era and this house is a perfect example of how terrifying and beautiful that time period can be.

    What Could Be Better

    The house is perfection even in the midst of a restoration. I strongly encourage the museum to expand on their “spirited” fall events. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to witness a séance held in the Merchant’s House Museum. 

    Final Thoughts

    It’s so creepy I wish I could live there. Since that is an impossibility, I guess I’ll just have to settle with becoming a museum member. Then at least, I’ll be able to visit whenever I want.  

    MHM Candlelight Ghost Tours Run

    October 21-22nd & 27-29th

    Discount Tickets

    Full Price Ticket Prices
    6-7:30pm: $25
    8-9pm: $30
    9:30pm (includes 4th floor servants quarters): $40

    • Merchant’s House Museum Members: $13 all time – Click Here for Museum Membership Info.

    Age requirements

     The Merchant’s House Museum is open to all ages.

    Additional Info