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8 Spooky New York Places That Should Be in the New Ghostbusters Movie

There’s something strange in these neighborhoods.

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The disused City Hall subway station. (Photo: Joe Wolf/CC BY-ND 2.0)

The original Ghostbusters is the quintessential New York movie. The slimy ghouls and occult demons are backdropped by an impressive sampling of classic Manhattan landmarks, replete with gothic architecture and that uniquely New York mix of elegance and aging decay.

There’s the turn-of-the-century firehouse that served as the Ghostbusters’ headquarters, the historic New York Public Library where the first ghost is sighted, the Tavern on the Green restaurant where Louis Tully goes full keymaster, plus Lincoln Center, City Hall, Rockefeller Center, the Manhattan Bridge, Columbia University and of course the gargoyle-adorned majestic high rise at 55 Central Park West, aka “Spook Central.” 

But curiously, the Ghostbusters reboot, which released nationwide today, wasn’t actually filmed in New York. Despite again being set in the city, the movie was largely shot in Boston and other parts of Massachusetts. Which is a shame, because Gotham is littered with places that could use a visit from a team of parapsychologists, however motley. 

Here are eight ominous and eerie New York places in the Atlas where the Ghostbusters would be right at home. And if you know of one we forgot, feel free to add it to the Atlas!

The Morris-Jumel Mansion

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The Morris-Jumel Mansion

The Morris-Jumel Mansion. (Photo: Luke J Spencer/Atlas Obscura)

On a hill overlooking the Harlem River, the stately Morris-Jumel mansion is not only Manhattan’s oldest home but supposedly one of its most haunted. Its macabre history started after owner Stephen Jumel died in 1832. His wife Eliza was rumored to have had a hand in the death—there was some suspicion afoot that she orchestrated the carriage accident that killed him.

Twice widowed, Eliza lived on in the giant house as a recluse. She was said to have walked the hallways and chambers of the mansion, her hair unkempt and her clothes soiled, haunted by the tortured souls of her past lovers before dying alone in the house. Today the house is a museum open to the public, and believers in the paranormal claim to have seen at least five ghosts inside. 

Pier 54, The Titanic’s Survivors Arrival Location

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

(Photo: kim_carpenter_nj/CC BY 2.0)

Pier 54 on the Hudson River has an eerie history of tragedy. First, in 1912 it was the final docking place of the RMS Carpathia, the ship carrying the few survivors of the sunken Titanic as anxious crowds gathered at the pier. Then three years later the doomed RMS Lusitania left from this very pier before being torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland, sinking the ship and killing 2,000 passengers.

Today the pier remains a blank, empty strip of metal and concrete stretching out into the Hudson River, remarkable mostly for its emptiness. Despite several plans to restore it, it’s been left untouched, perhaps in part out of respect for the many ghosts of its past.

North Brother Island

BRONX, NEW YORK

The remains of Riverside Hospital at North Brother Island

The remains of Riverside Hospital at North Brother Island. (Photo: reivax/CC BY-SA 2.0.)

Situated on the East River between the Bronx and Riker’s Island, this small island has the dark distinction of being home to the worst loss of life in New York’s history up until the 9/11 attacks. In 1905, over 1,000 people died here when a steamship caught fire near the island. For years the island was home to the Roosevelt Hospital for patients with contagious diseases; the hospital closed its doors in 1963 and has been left to decay since, making North Brother undoubtably one of the most ghostly places in the city’s five boroughs.

Tunnel Number 3

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

(Photo: NYC DEP/Public Domain)

Deep under Manhattan is a massive construction project that’s been underway since 1970s. The state of New York started digging this tunnel to channel water to the city from upstate, and 40 long years later the tunnel has been costly in dollars and lives: So far, the project has taken the lives of 23 workers—about one death per each mile dug. 

Kreischer Mansion

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK

(Photo: H.L.I.T/CC BY 2.0)

This ornate gothic Victorian house is said to be one of the most haunted places in all of New York. It’s one of two twin mansions built in the 1800s by a wealthy brick worker for his sons. When the family fortune fell, one of the boys committed a violent suicide in the mansion that remains today. The untimely death sparked superstitions and tales of haunting. Adding credence to this creepiness, the manse was also the site of a gruesome mafia murder in 2005. The ghost stories surrounding the vacant house persist to this day.

Bellevue Hospital

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Original iron gate to the hospital.

 Original iron gate to the hospital. (Photo: Luke J Spencer/Atlas Obscura)

Even today the name Bellevue sends a chill down the spine. Established in 1736, Bellevue has a past filled with scares and suffering. During New York City’s gaslight era it was overrun by the poorest of the poor, a refuge for the mentally ill, alcoholics, victims of epidemics, the homeless, and patients ranging from the suicidal to the homicidal, living in horrific conditions. It was later rebuilt as the infamous Bellevue psychiatric hospital, a dark building long associated with neglect and dubious, disturbing psychiatric practices.

The haunting-looking structure, still surrounded by a rusting iron spiked fence and covered in ivy as it was in the 1930s, has inspired horror films, nightmares, and comic books. Today the foreboding building lies mostly empty and abandoned.

New York City Farm Colony

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK

(Photo: Hannah Frishberg/Atlas Obscura)

The paranormal is tangible at this abandoned Staten Island farm colony, the crumbling remains of buildings where the destitute would work in exchange for food and a place to live. Left vacant since 1975, the ruins have an ominous look, despite being covered in graffiti and littered with beer cans. But even more disturbing is the colony’s sinister history. These walls have seen the burial of local missing children as well as evidence suggesting the grounds were used for Satanic worship. Over the years former patients were supposedly spotted haunting the grounds, walking the decaying tunnels and hallways under the buildings they once worked to maintain.

Abandoned City Hall Station

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 

City Hall Station

The beautiful City Hall Station. (Photo: Joe Wolf/CC BY-ND 2.0)

This beautiful arched subway station was one of the first terminal stations of the New York City Subway, opened in 1904. Designed to show off the new subway system, it was lavished with architectural details including glass tiles, large chandeliers, vaulted ceilings and skylights. However beautiful, it couldn’t sustain demand as ridership grew, and was closed in 1945. Today the station sits abandoned, open to the public by select tours only and unused by passengers for decades—perhaps the ideal congregation place for an ancient Sumerian supernatural cult.