House of Death

This serene-looking brownstone, built in the 1850s, witnessed 22 deaths. Their spirits never left . . .

This dignified yet unremarkable house that stands on one of the Greenwich Village’s loveliest blocks, has earned a reputation as one of the most haunted places in the city.

Built in the 1850s as a single family house, the brownstone was later split into 10 different apartments. 22 of the house residents expired while staying at the house, though their spirits had resolved to stick around. 

The most famous resident ghost is that of Mark Twain, who lived there for a year in 1900. He didn’t die in the house, so his white-haired apparition seems kindly and non-threatening.

The rest of the ghosts, however, do not possess such a pleasant disposition. Ominously screeching stairs, sudden feelings of dread and cold, translucent female figures in long flowing gowns, and a mysteriously disappearing cat have been terrorizing residents for years. 

14 W 10th Street was made famous in the 1970s when Ms. Bartell, house resident and actress-turned-psychic, wrote a book describing her life among the ghosts.

Perhaps more shocking than the ghost stories was the horrific murder that actually took place in the house in 1987. Joel Steinberg, a lawyer, and lived here with his girlfriend and two adopted children. On the surface, they seemed to live like any normal middle-class family; the reality was far different. Steinberg’s drug habit increasingly affected his behavior. One day, in a violent rage, he beat his six-year-old adopted daughter to death.

The ghost activity in the house diminished following the monstrous incident. It seems like that calamity was too disturbing even for the ghosts.

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