The Most Haunted Places In New York

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Published: October 28, 2022
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New York is crowded, and it has been for decades, if not centuries! It is bustling with interesting people, fun things to do, and older buildings with stories and dozens of tenants. Some of the oldest buildings, including hotels and churches in US history stand in the state of New York.

Are you ready to be spooked and enjoy a unique and haunting experience? Listed below are six of the most haunted places in New York! And no, not all of them are cemeteries. Some of these interesting locations also offer experiences, like ghost hunting!

The White Horse Tavern

Exterior shot of the historic White Horse Tavern
The historic White Horse Tavern is said to be haunted by Dylan Thomas.

© Logan

The White Horse Tavern is the second oldest operating bar in New York. The owners first opened their doors in 1880. Although it has always been popular, it wasn’t until the 1950s that artists and authors started frequenting the bar including Dylan Thomas. It was one of his favorite places to visit because of the drinks and companionship. One particular night, he allegedly beat the record of whiskey drinking and fell ill. He died a few days later, but his spirit may have never left.

His ghostly figure sits at his favorite table and drinks beer, but the drinks are always left untouched. He isn’t the only ghost. Some visitors often swear they have seen white floating orbs above empty chairs. What if they aren’t empty? You can visit the tavern by yourself and enjoy a drink, hopefully catching a glimpse of the famous ghost, or settle for a walking ghost tour!

Contact Information

Address: 567 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 989-3956

The Naples Hotel

The Naples Hotel wasn’t always called that. It opened in 1818 as Lyon Tavern. Paranormal fans know this hotel well as it was shown on the Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters. It is a small hotel, with only 32 rooms. The hotel gladly boasts about its supernatural history. Dominick Gallo, a past member often shares stories of some of the most unexplainable things, like the smell of lilac randomly wafting through each room.

According to some guests who have stayed in the Naples Hotel, a woman named Alice and two ghostly children frequently giggle and sit down at the dining table. Sometimes, doors will open as if a spirit is walking around as they did when they were alive. One of the spirits may belong to a man who killed himself on the third story in the hotel. He is said to mess with guests and staff by flicking on and off lights and pulling out chairs slowly. Do you dare to stay a night or two?

Contact Information

Address: 111 S Main St, Naples, NY 14512
Phone: (585) 374-5630

Lady in the Lake (Lake Placid)

Aerial view of Lake Placid, NY, with fall foliage
Lake Placid, NY, is reportedly haunted by the spirit of Mabel Smith Douglass, who drowned there after a series of personal tragedies.

© Ricks

This story is something of nightmares, but it’s also heartbreaking. Lake Placid is a lake and village in Essex County, New York. Mabel Smith Douglass was a beautiful and compassionate educator and was well-known on the East Coast. She was the Dean of the New Jersey College For Women at Rutgers. Her amazing achievements though inspired the school to change the name in her honor.

Sadly, Mabel lost her husband, and soon after her son committed suicide. This led to her being institutionalized. To bring her spirits up, her daughter took her to their family camp on the lake, but as they were cleaning up, Mabel canoed in the lake. However, she never came back to shore. This was in 1933 and despite the police officer’s best search efforts, they were unable to find anything but an empty canoe in one of the deepest parts of Lake Placid.

Thirty years later, though, she was found in a haunting manner. Near Pulpit Rock, a group of three divers went for a swim. The group spotted what they thought was a mannequin. One diver pulled the arm, and it came off, surprising them. Two divers went to the surface to place a marker, the youngest one in fear dragged the body up. Mabel’s body started to melt and shatter. By the time he reached the surface, another arm and her head were detached.

It was ruled an accidental drowning, although many people believe Mabel committed suicide. Divers who dare swim in this area sometimes complain that they feel something tugging at their feet or swimsuits. Others swear they have seen a figure floating in the water where her body was found.

Contact Information

Address: Lake Placid, New York 12946

Rolling Hills Asylum

Exterior shot of the Rolling Hills Asylum
Rolling Hills Asylum was originally a work farm, then a mental institution. Today, it’s a favorite site for ghost hunters.

©Adam Moss, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Although the Rolling Hills Asylum is now a paranormal tourist attraction, it wasn’t always this way. This red brick building was opened on January 1, 1827, as the Genesee County Poor Farm. Although it started as a poor house/farm, it has operated as a nursing home, orphanage, infirmary, and tuberculosis hospital. While the numbers are uncertain, there are about 1700 bodies buried near the asylum with unmarked graves.

A lot of the building has been left untouched and looks the same. It gives an eerie vibe to visitors, perfect for hunting ghosts. The owner, Sharon Coyle, provides tours of the old building. The windows are broken and the rooms are kept in their original state, as much as possible at least. One of the most infamously haunted rooms is Hattie’s room.

Hattie’s room is located on the first floor of the east wing. The owner believes the ghost in the room belongs to Hattie, a previous nursing home patient. She was blind and shouted ‘hello’ to get the attention of the nurses. The shadow man is just as popular. He is a 7-foot-tall shadow that roams the halls but especially stays in Roy’s room. Although it may feel unsettling to know a large ghost still haunts the asylum, it’s a favorite among the staff because of its gentle nature. The owner even claims that the shadow man killed a rat for her, leaving a large bloody handprint.

Contact Information

Address: 11001 Bethany Center Rd, East Bethany, NY 14054

Phone: (585) 502-4066

The Dakota

The Dakota apartment building in Manhattan
The Dakota is said to be haunted by the ghost of John Lennon.


The Dakota Building is a historic landmark in New York. It’s a luxurious apartment building built in 1884. Still, the building can be seen, standing in all its glory. It was developed as an apartment building for the elite and in its first few years included multiple tennis courts and a private yard. In the center of the apartment building is a courtside garden.

It shouldn’t surprise you to know that the Dakota has always been popular. It has housed famous people like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. However, this apartment building is known for being choosy, rejecting applicants like Antonio Banderas, Gene Simmons, and Billy Joel. Ghost stories have surrounded this beautiful building since the 1960s including a young crying girl who visits each apartment. However, the most well-known story is the death of John Lennon.

In 1980, John Lennon was shot four times by a music fan suffering from mental illness. He dies almost instantly on the steps of the Dakota. This shocked the world, who loved his work with the Beatles. His ghost is often seen by staff playing the piano or floating through the halls with a smile.

Contact Information

Address: 1 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 362-1448

Bannerman Castle

The ruins of Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River
According to Native Americans, Pollepel Island is inhabited by evil spirits.


Castles in the U.S are hard to come by, especially abandoned on a small island. Bannerman Castle is located in the Hudson River and looks like something out of a fantasy book. Francis Bannerman VI bought Pollepel Island in 1901. He designed the structure himself, but maybe not for what you think. Instead, he used the castle to store repurchased military surplus.
However, since the beginning, the island has been cursed.

Native Americans during this time believed the island was filled with evil and angry spirits. Still, this did not stop Bannerman from constructing the castle. He passed away in 1918 and soon after two tons of explosives blew up, destroying a part of the castle. In 1950, a ship crashed into the island, exploding and destroying it more. Everything really went downhill though when the ferry connecting the island to the mainland sunk.

Rarely, small tour groups are brought to the island and given a tour, but they don’t recommend trespassing and walking through the castle. It may be haunted by evil spirits, but it’s also dangerous because of the structural issues. Even after 1950, the castle kept experiencing fire and weathering from storms and the river.

Contact Information

Address: Beacon, NY 12508
Phone: (845) 237-2636

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The ruins of Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River
According to Native Americans, Pollepel Island is inhabited by evil spirits.

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About the Author

I have been a professional content writer for 6 years now, with a large focus on nature, gardening, food, and animals. I graduated from college with an A.A, but I am still pursuing a Bachelors of Marketing degree. When I am not writing, you can find me in front of my TV with a blanket, snacks, and my fur babies.

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