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The Ghost Pilots of Times Square


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


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…

Did Edgar Allan Poe believe in Ghosts?


“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


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…

Fala Still in Search of His Master


Fala was an early Christmas gift to Franklin D. Roosevelt from his favorite cousin, Margaret Suckley, and proved to be the perfect political animal. He shook people’s hands instead of taking a bite out of them and refused to do his business in inappropriate places, unlike so many other dogs that the Roosevelts had. One had…