The Understanding Network: Throwback Thursday | Historic Hauntings

Warning: If you put the search terms “ghost” and “haunted” into Occasions Machine, you’ll get one,253 outcomes — ample fascinating studying that you might not look up for days.

Clicking “oldest first” makes things even a lot more interesting. That way, it is effortless to see just how many reports of “hauntings” have been published in The Instances in the late 19th century, an era when “spirit photography,” séances and psychical investigation had been all the rage.

As T. M. Luhrmann writes in her latest “Ghosts Are Back!”, spiritualism at that time “became a implies to hold on to the supernatural claims of religion in the encounter of science.” (And she wonders if, maybe, our interest in the supernatural right now is inspired by some thing comparable.)

We took a deep dive into The Times’s archives to discover as several 19th-century posts about hauntings as we could, although we did restrict ourselves to the New York location. Where they have been reported, we supply the street addresses as properly.

Happy Halloween!


Neighborhood Ghosts: A Assortment of 19th-Century Instances Reporting (PDFs)

New York City:

  • 131 West 14th Street, Manhattan: The Fourteenth Street Ghosts and Two Spectral Lodgers
  • 929 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn: 1888 | Ghosts in Myrtle Avenue
  • 112 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn: 1878 | A Haunted House in Brooklyn and the following-day adhere to-up, Scuttling a Ghost
  • East Broadway, Flatbush, Brooklyn: 1896 | Flatbush Has a Ghost
  • Jackson Avenue, Prolonged Island City, Queens: 1874 | A Ghost in Lengthy Island City
  • Broadway, Flushing, Queens: 1884 | Flushing’s Ghostly Visitor

Prolonged Island:


Connecticut:


New Jersey:


For more modern reporting, check out out the Times Topics webpage on Ghosts.

And to locate out what occurred on this day — or any day in historical past — go to our On This Day index or comply with @NYTarchives on Twitter.

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