The Real Deal New York

Inside six of NYC’s haunted residences: PHOTOS

October 31, 2013 10:15AM
By Mark Maurer

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rotunda

Rotunda at the Octagon at 888 Main Street on Roosevelt Island

Prospective homebuyers are often curious about the number of bedrooms, bathrooms or fireplaces in a residence. But they rarely ask for the number of spirits. New York City does have its share of ghost stories, involving some properties currently available for sale or rent. This Halloween, check out photos of these haunted homes.

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Kreisher Mansion at 4500 Arthur Kill Road in Staten Island

Kreischer Mansion

This landmarked Staten Island mansion at 4500 Arthur Kill Road is said to be haunted and has been sitting on the market since spring 2012. The three-story, 4,500-square-foot circa-1885 townhouse was listed then for $11.6 million, and chopped to $8.5 million in August.

The five-acre plot is now zoned for commercial use, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services broker Michael Schneider, who has the listing. “There’s a lot of traction in that corridor, but it just takes time,” Schneider told The Real Deal. Ohio-based developer Isaac Yamtovian, who bought the house in 1999 for $1.5 million, had planned to build a 132-unit senior community there.

But the home has a gruesome history. Balthasar Kreischer, the German brickmaker who built the house, died a year after he finished the job, and his son Edward died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1895. In 2008, a caretaker was convicted of stabbing a man, drowning him in a pool and disposing of his body parts in the basement furnace at the mansion, TruTV reported.

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The Dakota at 1 West 72nd Street in the Upper West Side

The Dakota

The landmarked 94-unit, nine-story co-op building at 1 West 72nd Street doubled as the fictional Bramford building in the horror film classic “Rosemary’s Baby,” and was the home of John Lennon until he was murdered there in 1980.

In the 1960s, construction workers and painters reportedly saw two ghosts at the property, one being a young girl in turn-of-the-century clothing, who still haunt the place. Last year, Bruce Barnes, then-president of the Dakota co-op board, sold his three-bedroom unit with seven wood-burning fireplaces for $29.6 million. Former NFL coach John Madden unloaded his co-op there for $3.9 million in September, as previously reported.

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14 West 10th Street in the West Village and Mark Twain

14 West 10th Street

This four-story Gothic Revival brownstone between Fifth and Sixth avenues in the West Village has garnered the nickname “the House of Death.” Former criminal defense attorney Joel Steinberg was convicted in 1987 of beating his adopted daughter to death in the home. And Mark Twain, who lived there between 1900 and 1901, is said to be one of 22 ghosts roaming the halls. It’s currently broken up into 10 rental units, owned by Massachusetts-based Jalst Realty Corp.

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The Octagon at 888 Main Street on Roosevelt Island (Inset: New York City Lunatic Asylum rotunda)

The Octagon

The Octagon on Roosevelt Island originally served as the main entrance to the New York Lunatic Asylum, most famous for a five-story rotunda that survived the eventual demolition of the hospital.

Developer and architect Bruce Becker transformed it in 2006 into a 500-unit high-end rental building, located at 888 Main Street. The building was sold to lh Acquisition LLC for $31.8 million in December, StreetEasy data show. It features studios and one-, two- and three-bedrooms apartments. Pet owners have said their pets refuse to ascend the stairs in the building. In 2006, a team of ghost hunters found several apparitions, the New York Times reported, citing a CNN segment.

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12 Gay Street

12 Gay Street

This 4,346-square-foot two-family house near Waverly Place in the West Village is believed to be the stomping grounds of a supernatural entity known as “the Gay Street phantom,” the New York Daily News has reported.

Corcoran Group brokers Carrie Chiang and Loy Carlos had the listing when the house, now owned by Lucina International, an Albany-based entity, changed hands in 2009 for $4.2 million. The 1920s-era New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker’s mistress Betty Compton and “Howdy Doody” creator E. Roger Muir were former residents.

Linda Stein and the duplex Fifth Avenue apartment

Linda Stein and the duplex Fifth Avenue apartment

965 Fifth Avenue, Unit 18C

Douglas Elliman power broker Linda Stein was murdered in 2007 in this 18th-floor duplex penthouse co-op at the Upper East Side tower near East 78th Street. One of her daughters found her bludgeoned to death; Stein’s personal assistant was later charged with homicide.

Jamie Zimmerman, founder of the New York hedge fund Litespeed Management, was believed to be the buyer of this unit and two others last October, paying a total of $17.9 million, as The Real Deal reported. Elliman broker Joan Swift, who arranged the deal on the seller’s behalf, could not be reached for comment. Before entering real estate, Stein once served as manager of punk rock band the Ramones.

  • http://michaelthackerrealtor.com/ Michael Thacker – Realtor

    Such gorgeous photos of buildings from times past!

  • De Nucci

    Paranormal Research: Any information on Michael Schneider of the Kreischer Manson? Or Massey Knackal? Anything that may be of use for an appointment to talk about doing a night of investigation. I am a researcher for a paranormal group and would like to ask.

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