“Some of the most haunted spots in the city happen to be, perhaps unsurprisingly, in our least populous borough: Staten Island,” says Andrea Janes, owner and founder of Boroughs of the Dead: Macabre New York City Walking Tours. “For some reason, and I can’t quite figure out what it is, there’s an enormously high concentration of eerie and haunted spots out there.” The Conference House and the former Willowbrook Asylum, which is now part of the College of Staten Island, are both notorious for their hauntings.
For lesser-known haunted spots, just explore the borough: Janes says hauntings appear at “the oddest places” like Richmond Road in Graniteville, where a vaporous man in gray is said to drift in a wooded lot on the side of the road. Janes pointed out that this location also happens to be the spot where Polly Bodine allegedly murdered Emeline Van Pelt and her 18-month-old baby in 1843 (coincidence or not?). To add to the spooky factor, the location is also by the Moravian Cemetery, “where the Vanderbilt Tomb is said to be haunted by the luminous form of an unknown woman, as well as the shade of a man in a gray suit, who people swear is none other than old Cornelius Vanderbilt himself,” says Janes. “Gray, it seems, is the sartorial color of choice for the departed gentleman in Staten Island.”