Spooky Buildings In New York City


The Octagon. Photo by stu_spivack (CC BY-SA 2.0)

When you’re in the process of renting an apartment, there are thousands of things you need to cover. What’s included in the rent? What’s the lease terms? Is it pet friendly? Those are commonly asked questions for renters. One question that’s rarely asked however, is if there has been any brutal murders, suicides, or spooky events happening in the building?

Most of us assume that if there had been, we would be informed. However, the New York Law does not require brokers or landlord to disclose this information. Would you change your mind about the perfect apartment if you found out someone was murdered in it?  Check out this post to see if your building has some spooky history attached to it. 

1. 129 Mulberry St

On April 7, 1972, one of the most notorious mobsters, Joey Gallo, nicknamed Crazy Joe for his extreme criminal behavior and love for violence, was celebrating his 43rd birthday after a long night out at Umberto’s Clam House, located at 129 Mulberry St.
Joey was struck with five bullets, although 20 were apparently exchanged in the crossfire by his accompanied gangsters. Umberto’s Clam House later moved a few blocks away, but the scene of the crime was converted to an apartment building.

2. 82-70 Austin St, Queens

March 16, 1964 marked one of the darkest nights in New York City history. 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was coming home from work at a bar around 3:15 am, when she caught the eye of predator and necrophiliac, Winston Moseley. He chased her down and began stabbing her. Winston was scared off by some neighbors turning their lights on. However, the neighbors turned their lights off and went back to sleep, allowing the killer to return. Winston proceeded to stab her twelve more times, rape her, and leave her dead in her foyer.

3. 150-22 72nd Drive, Kew Gardens, Queens

In 1965, Alice Crimmins’ two children, Eddie Jr., 5, and Missy, 4, went missing from the Crimmins’ apartment. Missy was found strangled just a few days after they went missing. Eddie’s corpse was found later on, too decomposed to gather evidence. The mother’s promiscuous reputation along with her nonchalant reaction, lead the media to believe that she had murdered her children. With no physical evidence connecting Alice to the crime, she was tried and found guilty in 1968.

4. 200 Water St. Financial District

In 2008, the Russian model Ruslana Korshunova lost her life after leaping out of her ninth floor apartment in the Financial District. Being constantly mistreated by men and missing her family, Ruslana turned to a cult called Rose of the World for guidance. Days after joining this cult, Ruslana chose to take her own life, cutting a hole in construction netting and landing 28 feet away from the building she leapt from.

5. 242 Fifth Ave

In 1920 the most mysterious murder of all time took place. Joseph Elwell was found dead in his beautiful NoMad apartment. The only evidence left behind was a kimono. The spooky thing about his death was that the door was locked, it had never been unlocked, officials concluded that it was physically impossible for someone to have left the room after the murder. So the question is, are they still there? This case was left unsolved.

6. 169 Avenue B

The love died in 1967, when hippies and lovers James Hutchinson and Linda Fitzpatrick were bludgeoned to death in their East Village apartment. Linda Fitzpatrick came from a wealthy family in Greenwich, CT and James Hutchinson was a wanderer from Rhode Island. All about peace and love, luck was just not on this couple’s side.

7. 253 West 72nd Street

In 1973, Roseann Quinn was found dead in her studio apartment on the Upper West Side. She was discovered missing when she didn’t show up for her first day of school to teach. When her naked body was found slain in bed, the police were lead to a man she had taken home from a bar, who later killed himself while awaiting trial.

8. 888 Main St, New York

The Octagon building was built in 1834 and its history is known to most New Yorkers. In 1841, the building originally served as the main entrance to the New York City Lunatic Asylum. In 1887, journalist Nellie Bly disclosing the mistreatment of patients at the asylum in her book, “Ten Days in a Mad-House.” Today, the building is an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment building has shared stories of unusual incidents, strange things occurring, and paranormal activity in the building.

9. 15 Abingdon Square

In 2006, the talented actress Adrienne Shelley was murdered. The murder was made to look like a suicide. Diego Pillco was working the building and apparently went to the apartment to address a noise complaint. While arguing, Diego struck Adrienne in the head and thought she was dead. He then proceeded to tie a sheet around her neck, attached it to the shower curtain rod, and left her, hoping it would be deemed a suicide.

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