Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Haunted History of #theDakota ~ #NYC #NewYork #Travel #paranormal #ghosts

View of the Dakota from Central Park
Because I have a strong fascination with all things spooky, I tend to seek out haunted places to visit when we go on trips.  When we spent a day in Paris during a London trip, I insisted on exploring the Catacombs.  We also spent a day at the Tower of London, which is surely home to some restless spirits.  In Maryland, I've explored the abandoned Glenn Dale TB Hospital.  Closer to home, I've taken tours of the Old Jail (oldest wooden jail in the entire country), and haunted locations around Barnstable Village

More recently, between Christmas and New Year's this winter, we went to New York City to spend some time with our best friends again...with our family in MA, and theirs in VA, NYC is an excellent--albeit expensive--half-way point.  And there's so much to see packed into such a small area!


Looking up from the street...I can believe this building is haunted

When I looked up a list of haunted places in NYC to see what would come up, I was intrigued by The Dakota.  This is an exclusive apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side, built in 1884 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The list of celebrities who have lived--or currently live--here is very long, but one of the most well-known residents was John Lennon of the Beatles, who was murdered at the entrance of the building in 1980.  Some claim to see Lennon's ghost, but John Lennon himself apparently spoke of some supernatural encounters in the building before his assassination.  He mentioned an encounter with an apparition in the hallway, who he dubbed "the Crying Lady Ghost".


Site of John Lennon's assassination
Another frequently seen spirit is a little blonde girl dressed in early 1900s clothing, sometimes bouncing a ball.  There have been reports of other apparitions, including a figure resembling Edward Clark, head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, who built the Dakota but died before the building's completion.

Residents and employees have reported seeing objects move on their own, including things too heavy for a person to lift.

The exterior of the building is a Gothic blend of gables and dormers, arches and balustrades, with ornate iron details.  It is imposing and intimidating enough to have been chosen to represent The Bramford in the horror movie Rosemary's Baby, in which a Satanic cult in the building try to impregnate a new resident with the Devil's baby.  Thankfully, that is a fictitious tale created by Ira Levin in his book of the same name.


This intricate & somewhat sinister ironwork goes all the way around the building

I would have loved to explore the interior of the building, but as I mentioned, it's the home of many famous and affluent residents, and there is security at the entrances.  But I took plenty of photos of from outside, and while I don't think I caught any ghosts on camera, it did give off a spooky vibe that sent a few shivers down my spine.


This was as close as I could get...at one time,
these arched entrances allowed carriages inside.
A Christmas tree was still on display in the courtyard.



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