The Real Deal New York

New Soho clothing shop features haunted well

The 200-year-old well was at the center of an infamous unsolved murder
January 10, 2015 03:00PM

Last month, COS (H&M’s sister brand) opened a store at 129 Spring Street in Soho. But the new shop houses more than minimalist Swedish fashion – there is also a supposedly haunted well in the men’s department.

Upon entering the store’s first floor hang a left and head down stairs into the men’s department. There, to the left of the cash register, you’ll find the remains of a 200-year-old well that was involved in “one of the most infamous unsolved murder cases in New York City history,” according to Scouting NY.

According to Scouting NY, the story goes that “a young woman named Gulielma Elmore Sands left her Greenwich Street boarding home on the evening of Dec. 22, 1799, to meet Levi Weeks, a fellow boarder. The two had a secret romance and were planning to elope that night. Eleven days later, her body was found in a well in Lispenard’s Meadow (today’s Spring Street). Marks on her neck suggested death by strangulation.”

The incident was dubbed, “The Manhattan Well Murder,” and it became a sensation. “Handbills distributed to the public implied that Weeks had impregnated Sands before killing her, and the woman’s family later displayed her corpse outside their boarding house to encourage speculation. Public sentiment turned passionately against Weeks, who was arrested and tried for murder, but ultimately acquitted,” Scouting NY writes.

The well was uncovered during a renovation in the 1980s and some have reported being visited by Sands’s ghost since then. [Scouting NY]Christopher Cameron