New York is one of the best places in the world to spend Halloween. Not only do you get the watch the most fabulous Halloween parade ever, but you can follow up with a bar crawl of some of the east coast’s most haunted bars and pubs. Here’s your Halloween night bar crawl strategy after the parade – my Top 5 favorite haunted pubs in New York City (ps. make sure that you watch the parade from the west side because most of the bars are in the west village).
1. Ear Inn-(circa 1817) 326 Spring St
One of my favorite pubs in the west village and the oldest working bar in NYC. It’s been a speakeasy during Prohibition and the upstairs apartment was a boarding house, smuggler’s den, as well as a brothel- all the makings of a proper haunting. Say hi to a few ghosts that call this place home, namely Mickey, a sailor who lived in the Ear Inn, when it was a boarding house. Mickey was killed in front of the Ear Inn by a car.
2. White Horse Tavern– (circa 1880) 567 Hudson St.
Another old haunt of mine, particularly for the spirits you drink, not the ones that haunt (badabum tsch). Dylan Thomas used to frequent this tavern. “They say” that in 1953 he decided to try and beat his record of 18 shots of whiskey and after he finished those shots of whiskey, he stumbled outside and collapsed on the sidewalk. Soon after that he was taken to the ridiculously haunted Chelsea Hotel, were he slipped into a coma. The next morning he was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he passed away. People have reportedly seen his ghost sitting in his favorite spot and walking around outside.
3. One If By Land, Two If By Sea– 17 Barrow St
If you have time to dine here, do it. Just make sure you have reservations. The food is phenomenal and the atmosphere is as romantic as it gets. It also used to be Aaron Burr’s carriage house. Apparently, Mr. Burr really loves his carriage house because he’s said to have scared employees by throwing plates and chairs amongst the tables for two. His daughter also supposedly makes appearances around the building. She mysteriously disappeared while traveling from North Carolina to New York to visit her father. Daddy dearest, indeed. They aren’t the only ghosts that haunt this fine establishment, though. It’s reported that at least twenty ghosts have permanent reservations here. Waiters have actually attempted to serve entities who are sitting at a table and then mysteriously disappear. A few notable ghosts include a woman who dresses in a black gown who has been seen walking down the staircase, but never up, a Ziegfield follies girl, and a man who likes to linger by the fireplace.
4. Pete’s Tavern– (circa 1864) 129 E. 18th St., at Irving Place
Pete’s Tavern claims to be the oldest “continuously” operating restaurant and bar in NYC and has the ghost to prove it. Remember that Christmas tale Gift of the Magi that you read in school? No? Maybe you need to have a pint with the author himself, O Henry. It’s said that he can be found sitting alone and unkempt in a booth, sipping his beer in between scribbles of his latest novel. Maybe that will inspire you to read his classic tale for the upcoming holiday season.
5. McSorleys (circa 1854, but debated)- 15 E 7th St,
(between Cooper Sq & Taras Shevchenko Pl)
Poet E.E. Cummings described McSorley’s as “the ale which never lets you grow old.” He also described their brew as he described the bar -as “snug and evil.” With a description like this and a patron list with the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Peter Cooper, Boss Tweed, and Woody Guthrie as well as literary figures like Hunter S. Thompson there’s got to be ghosts right? Right. But it’s not haunted by just any ghost… Harry Houdini is one of the many ghosts that is said to haunt this place. Read more about its interesting history and how women were not allowed to drink there until 1970 here.
I’m beginning yet another category on my blog: “Book Chatter” from my GoodReads activity, and it will begin with a book review of my first cousin twice removed, Ruth Chatterton, by Scott O’Brien . I’ve been waiting for a book to finally surface about this interesting and famous actress of the 1920’s/1930’s. It’s about time she got her due (but then, I’m partial). She was bold, blunt and daring in her thoughts, actions, opinion and words…which she voiced often. Not only was she a fantastic actress, but a writer and aviatrix (she was good friends with Amelia Earhart). She did what she wanted to do without apology and lived her life fully. Reading this book will certainly inspire you; it certainly inspired me.
Ruth Chatterton, Actress, Aviator, Author by Scott O’Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Very interesting read. As a Chatterton, I’d heard various stories about my cousin, Ruth Chatterton growing up. Some of these stories were confirmed in this book, so Mr.O’Brien obviously did his research. I would have liked to have read more personal stories about the family but I understand how difficult it is to get personal info from the family…especially ours.
The legendary rock pioneer died today at the age of 71. I listened to him endlessly as part of my initiation to the east village in the 90’s. Love you, Lou. This calls for a youtube Sunday morning mix. Enjoy.
Those who don’t feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don’t drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don’t want to change,
let them sleep.
This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
I you want to improve your mind that way,
I’ve given up on my brain.
I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.
If you’re not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
Instead of paying far too much money to get chased, groped and screamed at by overzealous actors with chainsaws and overdone horror makeup, why not check out some “real” haunts in Seattle. Most of these are free, so there will be none of that “buyer’s remorse” nonsense. Here’s my top ten list for spooky spots in Seattle:
1. The Marqueen Hotel (Queen Anne). I walk by this hotel all of the time and finally made myself walk into the lobby this week. I always get a sort of dark, dreary and “full house” vibe when I pass this place (full of ghosts?). When I did force myself to walk in, I was welcomed by two very nice gentlemen and this gorgeous winding staircase. I can see why people would haunt this former engineering school, built in 1918. It’s quite lovely. Some hotel guests mention a feeling of being watched. I can honestly say, the energy is quite dense, heavy if you will. Sit in one of the lobby chairs or wander the beautiful yet creepy hallways and judge for yourself. For an account of one guest’s stay, read this TripAdvisor report.
2. The Alibi Room (Post Alley). The pizza here is great. Just be weary of the “little girl” my friend swore she saw in the back booth corners of the bar or a cold whoosh of air that perpetually lingers on your lap (that little girl likes to sit on laps, apparently). The most famous ghost in Alibi is Frank, though- an elderly man who stands outside of the bathrooms and introduces himself. Post Alley, the street that Alibi sits on, is made up of cobblestones from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. That might have something to do with it.
3. The Owl ‘n’ Thistle in (Pioneer Square) (Circa 1930). This place is full of spirits…brick, brass, books and beers. What more could you ask for, really? I love this cozy little pub. Apparently John Wayne and Robert Mitchum frequented this place, as well. But onto the ghosts and there are many. Apparently the staff at the Owl ‘N Thistle has the pleasure of listening to paranormal piano playing, seeing dark shadowy figures, kitchenware that moves on its own, and the apparition of a woman wearing an antique wedding gown and veil.
4. The Sorrento Hotel & Fireside Lounge, First Hill. It’s beauty and elegance has lured guests in since 1905. It provides yet another lovely spot I want to spend countless hours in with a book- The Fireside Lounge. It’s the fourth floor that’s haunted, though, so rent a room (#408) to find your supernatural experience. Find a review of their cafe here.
5. The Merchant Cafe and Saloon, Pioneer Square. This place is so haunted, it’s been on “Dead Files.” Ask Darcy, the owner, about the little girl that haunts the place and the doll someone left for her. There are too many ghosts here to mention and apparently after the “Dead Files” held an exorcism here, the ghost activity picked up. Read this for the history of the building and this blog post for a personal account of a gentleman’s experience there. I can honestly say, it’s the most haunted place I’ve experienced in Seattle.
6. The Moore Hotel & Theater, downtown Seattle (circa 1907). All sorts of ghosts and happenings have been reported in the hotel and in the theater. Ghostly cigar smells come from chairs (Mr. Moore?) as well as the feeling of “being watched” in various rooms. Previous actors an actresses of the Theater seem to still be hanging around, as well. Apparently Kurt Cobain had a drug overdose here.
7. Kells Irish Bar & Restaurant. (Post Alley) Ghost Hunters shot an episode here. It was a former mortuary as well as an Indian burial ground-the perfect combo. There’s a variety of ghosts here, apparently, including a little girl. You can view part of the Ghost Hunter’s episode here. Personally, I haven’t experienced anything here but I’ve spent most of my time on the outdoor patio and in the main bar area. Another friend of mine swears she saw a man standing in front of our table. I was too busy drinking my cider to notice, apparently. Here’s another video report of Kell’s that Seattle’s local news KOMO4 aired.
8. Harvard Exit Theater (Capitol Hill). circa 1925. This building was originally used as a meeting place for The Woman’s Century Club. Today, the theater currently shows independent and foreign films, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Apparently, laughter echoes throughout the theater and apparitions of women dressed in early 1900’s style clothing are seen on the third floor. At least the ghosts seem to be having a good time. Typical theater folk.
9. All of Pioneer Square and underneath it. Spooked in Seattle Tours takes you through the oldest neighborhood in Seattle, stopping off at the most haunted spots like The Pioneer Hotel (formerly Yesler Hotel). This tour is led by real ghost hunters and is highly rated on TripAdvisor & Yelp. The tour headquarters is a spectacularly spooky space in the original Seattle underground that they claim is haunted, fully equipped with haunted, creepy dolls and caskets. Tour prices vary according to the tour but the walking tour is $16 for adults and $12 for kids up to twelve. After you finish that tour, though, you might want to take The Underground Tour, which my husband and I both enjoyed because it gave a thorough history and literal view of historical Seattle (take the night tour-it talks more of how the city was founded on prostitution).
10. Pike Place Market. Market Tour. Pike Place Market, established in 1907, is Seattle’s oldest farmer’s market…and it’s one of Seattle’s most haunted spots. By day, it’s hustling and bustling and not very scary. At night, the market takes on another personality and completely different energy. Yes, it’s on an old Indian burial ground. Yes, there is a ghost of an Indian…amongst many others. The Market Tour group gives a thorough after hours tour for $16.50.
And for those non-believers out there, here’s Dave Grohl telling a story of his ghostly experiences in his former Seattle home. See, even rockstars see ghosts. All the cool kids are doing it.
Next up, “Ghosts of New York”…
For the last twenty years, I’ve had countless people tell me at various points of my life that I should write a book. In the last three weeks, two people have told me the same thing. Since the occurrences are now happening more frequently and with less time in between, I’m going for it. I’m thinking I’ll start with an eBook and take it from there.
I finally began my research today and ran across this video. It was the first of many but I found it simple, logical, and to the point. Of course, if you have additional suggestions, they are absolutely welcomed!
As an artist, I go through phases of inspiration and periods of drought. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or actor, you long for that divine inspiration to light within you and flood your art with mission, brilliance.
After chatting with a friend about this divine inspiration (suddenly, I want to write, photograph and paint all at the same time), she mentioned this video and emailed it to me later. I’ve always been a fan of Ted Talks but this talk by Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat Pray Love” fame hits it on the head. Watch it and find your divine inspiration.
I have daydreams about this salad, LloydMartin.
I know, I know… salad? Yes, salad. A good test of a brilliant restaurant, in my opinion, is how well they make their salad. Are the ingredients fresh and unique? Is it drowning in dressing? Are the croutons fresh, made on site? How do all of the elements of the salad work together as a whole? This salad, the Tandoori pork belly salad, was exquisite- all flavors worked together magically. Pickled peppers, ricotta, tandoori dusted pork belly …heaven! I could eat it every day of my life. I’m serious.
I haven’t eaten this well since I left New York (and yes, you’re spoiled in New York with the variety of restaurants that rest on your doorstep). I started with this magical salad and knew that I was in for a treat for the rest of my courses. Pork ravioli with a generous portion of shaved truffles, duck breast with summer vegetables, pickled huckleberry with port sauce, and sipping Badia a Coltibuono Chianti makes for a perfect meal. Does it get better?
Apparently, it does. They have a new menu. And they change it regularly. That means you really need to eat there at least twice a month to eat the latest and greatest deliciousness. I love a restaurant with a changing menu-you never get bored!
Fair warning: make reservations if you want to eat there on weekend nights. It’s a favorite date place due to its intimate setting and warm, romantic lighting. The bar area is always packed, as well, but you can probably sneak in on a Tuesday or Wednesday without reservations if you’re the spontaneous type (like me).
For reservations, call 206.420.7602
1525 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109