New York City has its share of haunted spots, like Washington Square Park, a former burial site, the New Amsterdam Theatre, where the ghost of an actress has been rumored to roam, and the Morgan Library, where the librarian’s ghost supposedly brings books to visitors who ask for them out loud. No doubt the city’s haunted history inspired the works of one of its most famous residents, eighteenth-century writer Washington Irving. Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” immortalized a town of the same name in Westchester County. Now, just a short train ride away from Grand Central, ghost hunters can take nighttime “Murder & Mayhem” tours of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, one of the town’s creepiest sites, by lantern light.
As featured on Atlas Obscura, our favorite source for quirky and creepy history, the Murder & Mayhem tour highlights Sleepy Hollow’s eerie past, drawing on history and legends. For $20, thrill seekers can pay homage to the historical figures buried there, including Irving, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden and a Rockefeller. The real draws, however, are the urban legends surrounding the place. The cemetery is allegedly the site of a grave robbery, as well as the resting place of counterfeiters, murderers, a businesswoman who was known as “the wickedest woman in New York” and the “Mad Murderer of Sleepy Hollow.” The cemetery is still in use today, and its 90 acres are currently the resting place of over 45,000 bodies.
This month’s tour, held June 29, is already sold out. However, the Murder & Mayhem tour is also held July 6 and 13 at 9 p.m.