NYC History

5 Forgotten Burial Grounds Not To Miss In NYC

Eno EdetDiscover NYC, History, Manhattan Leave a Comment

Do you know what actually lies beneath the ground you walk on every day? Underneath the bright lights is a strange city, with some strange NYC history. When that seemingly insane subway passenger yells, “I see ghosts in the street!” he might just be telling the truth. The dead are buried all over New York, so why is it so ridiculous to believe that every once in a while they take a stroll through SoHo? With Halloween approaching, make sure to visit (or avoid) these five hidden burial grounds in NYC.

Tip: Looking for something fun to do in NYC? Check out our private photo tours, as well as these nightlife, culinary and other fun tours from our partners!

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Address: 301 Park Avenue

Yeah, that’s right. Not only does the elegant Waldorf-Astoria rest on top of an abandoned train platform, but the dead. The current location of the hotel sits on top of a 1931 burial plot. As a matter of fact, Park Avenue was a potter’s field with lined coffins of the unknown dead. So when all of the hotel guests are drifting off to sleep, they should wonder if, despite the bodies having since been moved, have any souls remained?

Washington Square Park

Address: West 4th Street and MacDougal Street

The home of protests and NYU students is also the home to some ghostly NYC history. City residents that died from yellow fever and hanged prisoners are buried here. And here’s the kicker folks: The bodies were never removed so they are still there today. In 2009, someone found a gravestone in the park from 1799.

The next time you walk through Washington Square Park and wonder, “Why is the old man playing chess alone?” He’s not.

Whole Foods on Houston Street

Address: 95 East Houston Street

When people look at Whole Foods’ prices and drop dead, there is a place to bury them– under the store. The market sits on the former site of where the Quakers buried their dead during the 1800s. But no need to worry about the mixed greens at the salad bar, America’s healthiest grocery store is safe. All of the bodies were moved to Prospect Park — sorry Park Slope residents!

Central Park

Address: West 59th Street to 110th Street

With all of the land that Central Park covers, it’s no surprise that people are buried there. One, it’s in a prime location and two, you could probably never run out of room. In 1848, All Angels Church held services in present day Central Park and buried their dead there. In 1957, the city seized the land and Central Park was born. And you guessed it, the bodies are still there. Knowing this part of NYC history adds a whole new meaning to Shakespeare in the Park.

Newtown Playground

Address: 92nd Street and 56th Avenue

Kids, the next time you are going down your favorite playground slide, be careful. Not for the obvious reasons, but because the playground is haunted. This location was once the home of a family cemetery. No one really knows if the bodies were removed from the site. The city did do one thing though: Instead of removing the headstones from the graves, they just laid them flat and covered them with dirt.

The dead walk among us…Say hello to them for us this Halloween!

*Featured Image via dfedor/Pixabay

About the Author

Eno Edet

Eno Edet is a children’s author who finds humor and absurdity in the bleakest situations. He's spent nearly a decade in New York City’s underground, and now dedicates his time to creating strange literature. Each one of his books is handcrafted from the binding to the narrative to the illustration. With the support of local bookstores, his titles have become underground favorites.

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