Merchant's House Museum
The Merchant’s House Museum in New York is known for being haunted, not just at Halloween, but all the time. It was built in 1832 in the wealthy Bond Street area of Manhattan that already had such elite residents as John Jacob Astor. That same year, New York suffered a cholera epidemic that resulted in approximately 4,000 deaths. The wealthy New Yorkers left the crowded city for their health. One of those people was Seabury Tredwell, a wealthy hardware merchant. He, his wife, and children stayed in the country until 1835 when he purchased the brick and marble house that had been built three years earlier.
The Tredwell’s had a total of eight children. Their youngest, Gertrude, was born in the new house in 1840 and she would be the one to later have a major role in preserving the house. In 1865, near the end of the Civil War, Seabury Tredwell died in his bed. Over the years, more family members died in the house. The last one was Gertrude, in 1933 at the age of 93. All totaled, eight members of the same family died in the same house.
Gertrude, facing poverty in her later years, had kept the house with its original furnishings and other items that were reflective of the wealthy, 19th-century merchant family. In 1936, the house opened as a museum and is considered one of the best examples of architecture of its time. The visitor experience combines the wealthy family, their four Irish servants, and how the City of New York grew and changed from 1835 to 1865. As far as being haunted, some say Gertrude is still there. Some people have reported sudden rushes of cold air, clocks that start ticking when they hadn’t before. Over the years, others have investigated shadows, sounds, and smells. Guided tours are available or visitors can go at their own pace. A video tour is available on their website.