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The Ghost Pilots of Times Square

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Two men looked around, as tourists do, but repeatedly checked their watches against the large flashing sign on the New York Times building. Theodore Reinsen, businessman, thought they must be on leave. The men stopped beside him, glanced quickly at their watches, and then nodded and grinned at him. The taller of the two asked…

Eliza Jumel, the Wrathful Wraith of Washington Heights

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Eliza Jumel is a ghost in her own right at the Morris-Jumel Mansion at 65 Jumel Terrace in Washington Heights. Built in 1765 as a summer home for British colonel Roger Morris and his wife, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest remaining house in Manhattan. It served as George Washington’s headquarters in September and October…

The Leni Lenape Spirits

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The Common was laid out by the Dutch government in colonial New Amsterdam as pasture land, located adjacent to the freshwater Collect Pond.  Later the Commons became as site for the African burial ground, parading troops, public gatherings, and celebrations and executions. The Leni Lenape, American Indians, once dwelled here at the village of Werpoes. …

Did Edgar Allan Poe believe in Ghosts?

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“Did Poe himself believe in ghosts?  I don’t really know, but somehow I doubt it. He never showed any particular interest in spiritualism, which became extremely popularly during his lifetime. He certainly never wrote about it, though lots of other writers did.” Daniel Cohen, Ghost of Elvis and Other Celebrity Sprits  (New York: Pocket Books),…

The Spectral Scholar’s Seat at the Old New York University

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When I attended New York University as a graduate student in history in the early 1970s, I heard a rumor about a ghost, a scholarly ghost no less, at the main library of New York University.  The library stuck as a kind of afterthought in the basement of what is now the main undergraduate building…