The Manhattan Well Murder – New York, New York - Atlas Obscura

Manhattan, New York

The Manhattan Well Murder

A dark, dank room in subterranean Manhattan was the site of a ghastly murder. 

A sealed well underneath former Manhattan Bistro in Soho was the site of the 1799 murder of Gulielma Elmore Sands, who was strangled and dumped in the well on Spring St.

The accused murderer was Levi Weeks, a fellow boarder in a house on Greenwich Street, whom Sands had been secretly seeing. Weeks was masterfully defended in court by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. As a result, the jury delivered an acquittal after just five minutes of deliberation.

Weeks, nevertheless, had to leave the city, as he was widely condsidered guilty.

The well is not open to the public, but it is sometimes accessible upon special request provided its status as one of the Travel Channel’s “10 Most Haunted Places in America.”

The Manhattan Bistro above the site is also now closed, but it is visible in the lower level of a clothing store called COS.

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