Ghost Tour in My ‘Hood

The day I left for Poland, I convinced J to buy tickets for the UWS Ghost Walking Tour on Halloween because I love walking tours (I did, like, 8 in Poland) and especially ghost ones! On Halloween nonetheless.

We met at the “Ghostbusters” building at 55 Central Park West (you know, the one Sigourney Weaver lives in) and there was one other person there, as well as our tour guide, an older man wearing a cape and a black hat. He looked the part, for sure.

During the 90 minute tour, we weaved through the streets from 65th and Central Park West back to 72nd and Central Park West. First we took a detour along 69th Street between Central Park West and Amsterdam. The neighborhood association shuts down the street every year and goes really insane. It was quite the scene to walk through. There are some photos after the jump…

Back to the Ghost Tour: It was a ghost tour along with some history thrown in. We saw the Masonic Temple on West 73rd Street; we heard a story about a single woman who lived at 234 West 72nd Street and liked to pick up men at the bar across the street and once was killed by one of them in that apartment; we heard the history of the grand Ansonia. Our guide also pointed out that the first ever automobile accident was at the corner of 74th and Central Park West where someone was hit by a car while getting out of a horse-drawn carriage. Supposedly if you stand in the middle of the street, you’ll feel the hand of the man who was killed pulling you back towards the sidewalk. The townhouses on the north side of 73rd Street were designed by Henry Hardenberg, who designed The Dakota and later The Plaza. Our guide also pointed out the building where supposedly the first rock’n’roll song was ever recorded in this country (”Rock Around the Clock”) and it later became condos and home to Lady Gaga’s parents and later Lady Gaga. He said he likes to think the spirits of those musicians had something to do with her musical talents. 

We ended at my favorite building in New York City – The Dakota. If you’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, you’ll recognize it. It’s the only movie that was ever permitted to film inside the building. I watched with envy as we stood outside, listening to ghost stories, and watching the occasional resident run inside. Edward Clarke, the original owner of the building who died two years before it was finished, still haunts the building, we were told. There’s also the ghost of John Lennon, of course. And the ghost of a crying woman who can occasionally be seen.

The tour was less informative than some other walking tours I’ve been on, but it was still the perfect way to spend a chilly Hallow’s Eve.

Ghost Tours

I love going on ghost tours. I’ve been on them in London and Seattle (I should probably go on one in New York, right?), and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go on one when Kristen and I were in New Orleans for a few days. 

We ended up being the only people to show up for our tour so it was basically a private tour, just for us, with a few stops for drinks along the way. Our tour guide, Judy Bajoie, was incredibly informative (she was a former high school history teacher) and super fun. She kept telling us where to take photos to see if we’d catch anything. I took lots but I think I may have caught things in two of the photos.

Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly what happened in this building (I’m going to be buying this book very shortly to see if they can jog my memory) but our guide told us to take photos and see if we saw anything. I took a bunch and in one of them the white blur you see in the above photo appeared. Kristen and her looked at my camera and went, “Whoa, that’s definitely something!” And off we went to the next place.

This photo was taken from the steps outside the Louisiana Supreme Court Building, which is in New Orleans, yes, instead of the state’s capital, Baton Rouge. There’s a lawyer that’s been known to haunt the court building that our guide told us could be seen often standing in the hallway where I took this photo. There looks like there could be a fan or something above the light in the window on the right, or may even the outline of a body in the center pane. 

Who knows what these things really are. I just thought it was kind of cool and wanted to share them with y’all. If you’re ever in New Orleans, definitely take a ghost tour with Judy Bajoie.